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Unending traffic snarls

Dec 21 (CT) Although transport is an essential aspect of life, traffic snarls have become a headache. Irrespective of whether you are a pedestrian, motorist or a passenger, volume of traffic definitely has created a state of mental stress in everybody. While on the move, listening to some lovely music at the beginning of Christmas month, pops up this advertisement on the radio about how to overcome a headache & it says that traffic causes more headache than work load in office. more..

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke

The nation’s pampered jades get more without even asking

Dec 21 (ST) They came to your door in the guise of beggars imploring for alms; beseeching you, in the bowels of Demos, to fill their empty bowls with your ballots. Knelt at your feet and vowed to be your humble servants. They beat their breasts and swore to dedicate their lives to serving you. Altruistic joy of serving, they said, would more than recompense their pecuniary sacrifice. Somewhere over the rainbow, they said again and again, is the fabled pot of gold which is yours by divine right to enjoy. more..

Kadirgamar commemoration and foreign secy.’s Toronto visit

Dec 21 (Island) In August 2008, the then foreign secretary Palitha Kohona made a rare visit to Toronto. It was a highly successful visit which also coincided with the Sri Lanka United National Associations 25th anniversary celebration, and commemoration of the late great foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. TULF leader V. Anandasangaree and Suganthi Kadirgamar also visited Toronto at the same time and took part in the Kadirgamar commemorations. more..

'Sri Lanka could export powdered milk if govt check dairy imports now'

Dec 21 (DN) Sri Lanka should discourage importing powdered Milk which would result in the increase sale of local fresh milk and protect the local dairy farmer, said Chairman MasterDivers and Plewatta Sugar, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake. If this is done Sri Lanka would be able to export powdered milk to countries like, Bangladesh, Middle East and China in a couple of years. Govt should seriously look at introducing a permit for more..

Lasith Malinga pulls out of PSL

Dec 21 (PT) Lasith Malinga has pulled out of the inaugural edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) amid fear of getting injured before World Twenty20 2016. In a letter written to PSL’s management, Malinga’s agent has said that his client is currently in NZ to play ODI and T20 series after which he is due to take part in World T20, scheduled to be held in India in March-April next year. He said the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) doesn’t want Malinga to take any risk before the showpiece event; thus more..

Western Province overall champions

Dec 21 (DN) Western Province dominated the medals table from the beginning and emerged overall champions with 77 gold, 66 silver and 53 bronze medals in the 41st National Sports Festival concluded at Diyagama yesterday. Central Province became runner-up with 47gold, 33silver and 57 bronze medals while the North Western Province secured third place winning 26 gold, 27 silver and 34 bronze medals. Two SL records and 12 new meet records were established during 3-day meet. more..

Yahapalana Deal: Ravi K’s brothers-in-law here, there and everywhere

Dec 21 (CT) Nepotism a la the Sirisena-Ranil combine continues to flourish and expand with the latest example being the brother-in-law of Minister Ravi Karunanayake being appointed as Chairman, Development Lotteries Board, an institution that comes under the direct supervision of Karunanayake. This is not a first for Karunanayake however. He shows a penchant for appointing brothers-in-law to top govt positions. more..

Upfront incentives: Carrot for migrants & cash for others

Dec 21 (IPS) Incentive payments to attract low skilled migrants are rare. But in the case of Sri Lankan female domestic workers, employers of several Middle Eastern (ME) countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain are willing to bear an exorbitant incentive payment. With regard to Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that the employer makes a payment of around LKR 875,000 (or SAR 23,000), to source a housemaid from Sri Lanka. Out of this amount, LKR 275,000 – 375,000 is more..

'Fiscal, monetary policy corrections urgent'

Dec 21 (EN) Need for Sri Lanka's fiscal and monetary policy correction is becoming more urgent and solutions can be in line with a policy statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Razeen Sally, a top international economist said. "The repair of public finances is more urgent than ever," ex-London School of Economics Professor told a forum. "I am repeating a familiar story here, but it is a story that does not seem to have registered with the govt as it had not with the previous govt." more..

BOI plans strong investor push for 2016

Dec 21 (FT) Investment for the private sector including foreign companies is set to become easier in 2016 as the Board of Investment (BOI) plans a host of new methods including public-private partnerships for dozens of investment zones, reforms and liberalising land ownership. BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya will personally be available with his officers to investors under special efforts by the Govt to spur FDI, more..

NDB in rapid expansion moves to Tissamaharama

Dec 21 (DN) NDB opened its latest branch in Tissamaharama with the intention of further strengthening its financial services to the residents in the Southern Province. With this opening, NDB branch network has now grown to 93. Situated in Hambantota District, Tissamaharama is enriched with a proud legacy and renowned for itsbeautiful landscape in southern coast. Rich cultural heritage and pristine splendour of Tissamaharama have made it a popular tourist destination. more..

ILO, NEDA spurring Lankan Facebook generation to biz spirit

Dec 21 (DN) The first ever national initiative to push Sri Lanka’s Facebook generation to the spirit of entrepreneurship will be unveiled today, in Colombo. A joint effort by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) of Sri Lanka, the pioneering initiative leverages the surging online space for this novel effort via a youth biz oriented web portal. Use of internet based services in Sri Lanka reported steady growth more..

Wettimuny urges change in SLC constitution

Dec 21 (CI) Outgoing interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny has called for a change to Sri Lanka Cricket's constitution in order to bring in greater accountability. Wettimuny heads a nine-member interim committee that will be dissolved by the end of the month before the board elections on Jan 3. Wettimuny, who has been a part of several interim committees in the past, said the presence of seven such committees in last more..

SLFP and joint Opp. will not keep quiet: MR

Dec 21 (DM) SLFP and the Joint Opposition will not keep quiet about the changes that were taking place in the country today, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Speaking at the 80th celebration of LSSP former President said the citizens were now witnessing an age where they were waiting for ships to bring in supplies. “It is an age where school children have been given coupons instead of uniforms; parents spend more on getting the coupons than material taken from coupons. more..

SL eager to share Make in India avenues

Dec 21 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is eager to share the opportunities created by major govt plans such as Make in India and Digital India. Sri Lankan sources said that finding space for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs in major Indian industrial schemes will be a key issue during the fourth round of the Commerce Secretary-level talks planned on Dec 21. “Make in India will create a chain of production and major research and development opportunities, some of which can be shared by Sri Lanka as more..

MPs pampered with free body massage

Dec 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's law makers are entitled to duty free cars and heavily subsidised five-star meals in addition to a retinue of personal staff all paid by the state, but they are now being offered free spa treatment too. MPs elected at the August elections were told that they have access to the Pancha Karma Treatment that includes head massage, foot therapy and full body massage. Thrown in free are beauty culture as well as more..

Drunk drivers beware from Wednesday

Dec 21 (CT) From 23 Dec 2015 until the 3 Jan 2016, the Police Headquarters has instructed all Police Stations to step up its operations to arrest drunken drivers. Every year the accidents caused by drivers under the influence of liquor have been increasing during Christmas and New Year season, and with a view to curtail these accidents, this measure has been taken, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, said. If the drunken driver or rider who is arrested does not consent to the breathalyzer test, more..

SL wins Asia Youth Netball crown

Dec 21 (DN) SL Youth netball team regained the Asian Youth Netball crown by beating defending champions Malaysia 53-48 in the Cup final worked off in Hong Kong yesterday. SL was the only nation maintained an unbeaten record through out the tournament and won the title for the third time. Previously SL emerged champions under the captaincy of Harshini Wijelath (1998) and Sashika Samarasinghe (2002). Gayani Dissanayaka captained the champion Sri Lanka team and more..

NZ beat SL by 5 wickets; win series 2-0

Dec 21 (CI) Two balls into the day and every question that hung over the Hamilton Test was given an answer. New Zealand would win it, and the series as well, to equal their longest undefeated streak in Tests. Kane Williamson would get his century, finish unbeaten and secure the most runs by a batsman from his country in a calendar year. The one from whom he took that record, Brendon McCullum, said more..

Top politico tries to woo PRECIFAC

Dec 21 (CT) A top politician, who is suspected to be connected to the corruption allegation of the Avant Garde organization, has called a senior official of the PRECIFAC, internal sources of the PRECIFAC said. The politician has tried to explain to the official of his innocence with regard to the Avant Garde allegation. Furthermore, the politician has invited the senior official to his residence, but the official had rejected his invitation. Official has told the politician, "If you want to give an explanation on your more..

A stickler for Yahapalanaya principles, but he had to go

Dec 21 (DM) Customs got a new chief last week. Incidentally, he was the third to be appointed in quick succession to this key post under the Yahapalanaya. Many inquisitive ones naturally made inquiries as to why the Customs Chief despite being a stickler for yahapalanaya principles was suddenly ousted. And they soon discovered the reason behind the virtual ouster: He had refused to carry out orders from powerful politicians. Latest wrong done by him was the sealing of container shipment more..

No slashing of any projects to accommodate budget amendments: Finance Secy

Dec 21 (DN) Govt will not slash any of its projects to finance the additional expenditure of Rs. 35 billion to accommodate the amendments to Budget, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said. However, he said scaling down of some projects could be expected, adding that those projects might take a longer time to complete. Adjustment of money would not be difficult as the year progresses as more..

Former President explains why he skipped budget vote

Dec 21 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa, MP said he had not been present in Parliament on Saturday when the vote on the budget was taken at third reading stage because he considered it an utter waste of time. "If it had been a vote to topple the govt, I would have exercised my vote," If I voted the number of votes against the budget would have increased form 51 to 52, he said. He said the oil prices had plummeted in the world market and the govt could reduce the price of fuel. more..

PM to appoint an Economic Management Committee

Dec 21 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says an Economic Management Committee will be appointed to determine the increment of expenditure and the reduction of the revenue due to the recent amendments to the budget proposals, the newly-established Economic Management Committee will operate the economic affairs and the members to the committee will be appointed from the Cabinet, PM said. He said Govt agreed to make several key amendments to the Budget following more..

President orders halt to clearing of forest lands in N&E till further notice

Dec 21 (Island) All kinds of deforestation activities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces including clearing of lands to resettle people have been stopped immediately on the orders of President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Minister of Environment. Conservator General of Forests, Anura Sathurusinghe said President’s order had been conveyed through a circular to all District Secretaries, Directors of Wildlife more..

Oluvil engineering undergrads to surround UGC again today

Dec 21 (Island) Engineering undergraduates of South Eastern University at Oluvil will surround the UGC today against the failure on the part of the govt to provide lecturers. President of the Engineering Faculty Students’ Union Ashan Karunaratne said that they would gather in Borella today and march to the UGC along the Ward Place. "The Higher Education Ministry and UGC officials promised us to provide lecturers immediately," he said, noting that the faculty also lacked laboratory facilities. more..

Two navy officers identified

Dec 21 (CT) Three persons involved in the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen have been identified after analyzing CCTV footage. Among these are two persons attached to the Navy. The Computer Department of the University of Colombo is further analyzing the footage and CID has called Senior DIG S.K.D.S. Gunawardane, who was in charge of Colombo during the time of the murder, to record a statement today. Meanwhile the Police will question former DIG Anura Senanayake and more..

Doctors take up crucial issues with President

Dec 21 (Island) GMOA alleged that Rs. 10,000 public sector salary increase was in contravention of the long standing 1:4 salary compression ratio. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the contravention of salary compression ratio had been one of the four major contentious issues caused by the recently passed budget. He said that the problems faced by the medical profession had been placed in three categories, namely more..

Trade tricks of the TNC Mafias

Dec 21 (DM) In an editorial last week, the Daily Mirror exposed some of the subtle ways in which the rich world is continuing to plunder the resources of the poor third world through sophisticated economic neo-colonialism, with some transnational corporations (TNCs) carrying out the air attacks or chemical warfare. According to world analysts, the biggest profit making TNCs are those involved in the multi-billion dollar arms and ammunition business. Pope Francis, during his extensive talk with more..

The push-bike Parliamentarians of LSSP

Dec 21 (DM) Comrade Colvin R. de Silva, was elected the President at the inaugural meeting of Lanka Sama Samaja Party on 21st Dec, 80 years ago. The 28-year old young advocate in his address referred to a public meetings held simultaneously by the new coalition of Ceylon National Congress [CNC], and A. E. Goonasinghe’s Ceylon Labour Party [CLP], he said, “…and with the Senanayakes and Jayatillakes travel the remnant that is miscalled the CNC; the organisation of landowners had more..

'Strikes are examples of good governance'

Dec 21 (DM) Minister Harin Fernando, is a dynamic politician who has embraced the warmth of the good governance regime in all ways possible. However, during the past few weeks MP Fernando faced various mud-slinging campaigns on print and social media. MP Fernando responded to these campaigns while also speaking about projects that are planned to be carried out under his ministry and the pace of the present regime. more..

President meets people in Thilippalei Welfare Centre

Dec 21 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena visited Thilippalei area in Jaffna district to look into the well-being of the people living Welfare Centre. More than 1500 people from Palali, Kankesanturai and Mailadi areas, who were displaced due to terrorist action live in this Welfare Centre for the past 25 years and at present they are being faced with many difficulties. President having heard about their grievances made a sudden more..

Arrested Sri Lankan sniper's family to send lawyer to Maldives

Dec 21 (Haveeru) Family of a Sri Lankan, arrested in Maldives for suspicion of being a sniper hired to kill the president, is to send a lawyer to the South Asian neighbour. Confirming the arrest for the first time, police said in a statement early last month that the 27-year-old man was arrested on Oct 24. He has been remanded by the Criminal Court. Some SL media outlets have even reported that the man was an importer of Maldives dry fish. more..

PM resolves issues over budget 2016

Dec 21 (SL) With the new govt’s maiden budget creating ripples in the water, news arrived that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has made drastic changes to the Budget 2016 at the eleventh hour. PM made a special statement in parliament with regard to the issues raised by trade unions over the proposals of the 2016 budget. PM stated that as a response to the demands made by trade unions, he reiterates that EPF and ETF would be more..

Farmers strip to meet PM but he stays away

Dec 21 (ST) Passers-by were agog when scores of farmers congregating in the middle of busy Colombo began taking off their clothes on Thursday. Tourists began videoing the unusual sight as farmers stripped on the crowded roadside at Lipton Circus in Colombo 7. Off came shirts, sarongs and trousers as 100 farmers stripped down to a loincloth – the traditional attire worn in the fields – in preparation for a protest march to more..

JVP issues ultimatum to govt over graduate employees’ grievances

Dec 21 (Island) Employed graduates led by the JVP are threatening tough trade union action if the PM’s Office fails to provide an acceptable solution to their grievances before the year end. General Secretary of the Graduate Employees Union Chandana Suriyarachchi said that they had met Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake on Friday and he had promised to address their grievances on Dec. 30. more..

MR tells govt not to sign ECTA without consulting stakeholders

Dec 21 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called upon the govt to consult all stakeholders including the general public before making a final decision on the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic & Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Rajapaksa has urged the govt to table the proposed ETCA agreement in Parliament to enable MPs to discuss it. Former President said so while addressing parliament prior to final vote more..

Mathews laments day three collapse

Dec 21 (CI) Angelo Mathews has described the second-innings collapse on day three as a mockery, after Sri Lanka went on to lose the Hamilton Test by five wickets. His team had a lead of 126 with all second-innings wickets intact, but lost 10 wickets for 62 inside a 14-over period either side of lunch on day three. "We just had to bat well and dig deep, but we made a real mockery out of our second innings batting and we just more..

Govt favours setting up of private campuses

Dec 21 (DM) The govt has decided to encourage the establishment of private universities in the country, while giving the fullest possible autonomy to State run universities Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He said the govt had made sufficient allocations in the budget for the development of the university sector. Alongside, he said the govt would encourage the private sector involvement in development and expansion more..