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Will not allow to topple got by coup: Prez

Dec 21 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena categorically stated that he would not allow the govt to be toppled by unconstitutional conspiracies and it could only be done by people’s mandate at an election. Some extremist groups dreaming of capturing power stating that the national security has been compromised and PM and I will not allow such conspirators to be successful, he said addressing the National Christmas Function more..

US-Sri Lanka ties strengthened

Dec 21 (CT) The United States and Sri Lanka has not always sustained a healthy relationship – diplomatic or otherwise – in the past. The Bald Eagle and the Proud Lion, being the apex predators by their own choice, surprisingly have held no bad relationships either. The only word that could explain the relationship between the United States and Sri Lanka is acquaintance with the United States of America having vested interest in our country since the dawn of the millennium. more..

Pirapâharan as inspiring deity yesterday and today

Dec 21 (CT) Way back in the 1960s the scholar Sinnappah Arasaratnam noted that in SL two (communal) extremisms were feeding off each other and thereby sharpening conflict (1967, 1974 & 1979). This was, of course, just one factor contributing to a developing crisis that requires a careful analysis that identifies the multiple factors aggravating division. The tragic tale remains true today: Sinhalese and Tamil extremists continue to stir the pot and gain vigour by attacking more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

JVP accuses govt of targeting trade union activists

Dec 21 (Island) JVP trade union leader Lal Kantha alleged that govt was targeting trade union activists responsible for exposing waste, corruption and irregularities. He said that the ruling coalition had forgotten that it had given an assurance to the public that corruption would be tackled and those responsible for misdeeds punished. Lal Kantha said that National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) affiliated to the JVP would campaign against what he called the suppression of workers’ rights. more..

Lankan jumps to his death from hospital building

Dec 21 (AN) A 30-year-old Sri Lankan reportedly jumped to his death from the terrace of Qatif Central Hospital in the Eastern Province on Saturday. The police are investigating the case and the reason for the expatriate taking his own life were yet to be ascertained, local media reported on Sunday. “The police department in central Qatif received a report from the hospital about an Asian worker who committed suicide by jumping from the terrace of the hospital building,” more..

Namal clicks rare shot of MR

Dec 21 (DM) This photograph captured by MP Namal Rajapaksa and posted on his Facebook account shows former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a rare Yoga position the day after he celebrated his 70th birthday, with Yoga instructor Nandana Siriwardena seated beside. MP Rajapaksa wished a very happy birthday to Yoga instructor whose birthday falls today and also wished him long life enough to be yoga instructor more..

Inflation accelerates to 4.8% in November

Dec 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's country-wide inflation rose 4.8% in the 12-months to November accelerating from 3% in October. The newly constructed National Consumer Price Index measures prices around the island, unlike the Colombo Consumer Price Index, which measures prices in the capital. Prices rose 2.6 during the month. Food prices rose 2.1% and non-foods rose 0.5 percent during the month. Central bank has been printing money heavily to enforce a rate cut in April 2014 and more..

Williamson's record ton and NZ's longest unbeaten streak at home

Dec 21 (CI) 11: Test victories for New Zealand under Brendon McCullum's captaincy - joint second-highest behind Stephen Fleming's 28 wins in 80 Tests. McCullum has 11 victories in 29 Tests and Geoff Howarth also had 11 wins, in 30 Tests. Since McCullum took charge of New Zealand in 2013, only Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook have won more Tests as captain - 13 each in 27 and 35 attempts respectively. 13: Number of consecutive home Tests without a defeat for New Zealand. more..

Lanka Hospitals opens Gastroenterology Centre

Dec 21 (Island) Lanka Hospitals, Sri Lanka's internationally accredited hospital last week announced the commissioning of its state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment centre for gastro-intestinal (GI) disorders with the most advanced technology in the private sector. The GE Centre is a fully-fledged unit where Gastro Intestinal disorders can be diagnosed and treated with state- of-the-art equipment under the care of more..

Laying off short ball was key: Williamson

Dec 21 (CI) Omitting the pull and hook shots early in his innings was what Kane Williamson has said was the key to scoring the second-innings ton that saw his side to victory in the Hamilton Test. "All the guys like to play the pull, but like any shot, on some surfaces it's important you try to select the right ball," Williamson said. "I was a victim of that in the first innings as well, having played the pull shot a lot in previous games and thinking I could go out and do that again. more..

India U-19 beat SL U-19 in tri-series final

Dec 21 (CI) India Under-19s' seamers shared seven wickets between them as they bowled their side to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka Under-19s in the final of the Tri-Nation Under-19s tournament. Taking the new ball after Sri Lanka chose to bat, Avesh Khan and the left-armer Khaleel Ahmed struck early, decisive blows to leave the hosts 23 for 4 within the tenth over of the innings. Sri Lanka never really recovered from there, with wicketkeeper Vishad Randika's 75-ball 58 (7x4) the only more..

Video: Ravi must become US Treasury Sec. to stabilize rupee: Udaya

Dec 21 (DM) Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila requested US President Barack Obama to appoint Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake as the US Treasury Secretary so as to help stabilize Sri Lankan rupee in a reverse procedure. He said that though the govt was fighting to stabilize the Sri Lankan rupee which had fallen sharply in value against the US dollar, the solution was not far away but within the govt itself. more..

Colombo Port will have trouble providing welfare facilities to employees: Minister

Dec 21 (LBO) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga had revealed that even though the annual income is 29 billion rupees, Authority will have difficulties when providing welfare facilities to its employees. “Colombo port receives 29 billion rupees of annual income. However there is a significant portion from the earnings has to be allocated to cover the debt loans of Hambantota port. So we are in big trouble when providing welfare facilities to the employees who are working at Colombo port.” more..

New front not alternative political party: Wigi

Dec 21 (CG) Northern Province CM C V Wigneswaran says the newly formed Tamil front is not an alternative Tamil political party. Wigneswaran was last week appointed as the head of a new organisation comprising Tamil politicians and civil society members, which will work on Tamil rights. Tamil People’s Conference (TPC) met in Jaffna and discussed its future goals and also decided to form sub-committees which will handle various tasks. The main committee in TPC includes more..

Video: GMOA gives two weeks ultimatum

Dec 21 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) today said they would give two weeks to the government to solve issues of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe, the Indo-Lanka trade agreement and budget proposals pertaining to state sector. If the government fails to do so, the GMOA threatened of a massive trade union action with other island wide trade unions during the first week of January. more..

Another State, Deputy Minister appointed

Dec 21 (CG) United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Priyankara Jayarathne was sworn in today as the State Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. Meanwhile Dushmantha Mithrapala was sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Buddha Shasana before the president. Mithrapala is also the current Deputy Minister of Justice. more..

South-East Uni students protest in Colombo

Dec 21 (AD) Over thousand students from the South-East University staged a protest in front of UGC since this morning. The undergraduates demanded the authorities to take immediate steps to either reconstruct or replace the Engineering Faculty of the South Eastern University. “The relevant authorities have failed to address the issue though we informed them in this regard several times,” a student said. Heavy traffic also reported in Ward Place and Town Hall areas due to protest. more..

US official examines future role of army

Dec 21 (CG) US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for South and Southeast Asia Dr Amy Searight, who just concluded a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, examined the future role Sri Lankan security forces could play in humanitarian assistance, responding to natural disasters, and increased participation in overseas peacekeeping operations. DASD Searight met with Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi more..

Nisha Biswal here purely on a private visit

Dec 21 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal is in Sri Lanka purely on a private visit. The US Embassy in Colombo denied reports she was here with a message from the US President or was here to have talks with the SL Govt. Biswal had already visited Sri Lanka at least twice this year after the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The opposition last week questioned the keen interest the US is having on SL with several top US officials more..

'Plantation to be taken over if wages not increased'

Dec 21 (DM) The govt today warned that regional plantation companies, which refuse to increase the wages of their workers, would be taken over by the State, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said this at the District Coordination Committee meeting. He said these companies were concealing their profits from the State and was nothing but a ruse to justify their decisions not to increase wages. The minister said these companies were managing estates each 20,000 hectares in extent. more..

I will beautify lives of Colombo residents similar to the beauty of the city: President

Dec 21 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says he would fulfill his responsibility to make the lives of the residents of Colombo beautiful, similar to the beauty of the city, by boosting them economically. “Though the Colombo has been built as a beautiful city, solutions haven’t been provided to the problems of the poor people who are living in the slums. Hence, it’s the govt’s objective to boost all people economically, by minimizing more..

Video: Transforming 21,125 houses to homes in northern Sri Lanka

Dec 21 (RCSL) Red Cross Post Conflict Recovery Programme (RC PCRP) that began its operations in 2010 soon after a 30 year old conflict ended is now coming to an end after constructing 21,125 homes in northern Sri Lanka. The Programme has aided over 400,000 people living in all five districts of the north (Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar & Jaffna) in terms of shelter, livelihood support, water and sanitation, infrastructure development, health and care & community development. more..

Sri Lankan shares little changed, turnover slumps to 5-month low

Dec 21 (Reuters) Shares ended little changed in thin trading on Monday as investors kept to the sidelines ahead of holidays later in the week. Turnover dropped to the lowest since July 21 at 360.6 million rupees, against this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. The market is expected to be lacklustre with low turnover due to year-end holidays starting this week, stockbrokers said. The markets will be closed on Thursday for a Buddhist religious holiday and Friday for Christmas. more..

Video: Move to discredit Gotabaya over Eknaligoda case: Gammanpila

Dec 21 (AD) The real killer of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda might be a powerful minister of the present govt, PHU Secretary Udaya Gammanpila predicts. “There is a serious doubt whether the real killer is a powerful minister of the present govt,” he said. He also went into say the alleged move by a senior cop to urge the arrested five intelligence officers to give statements in a bid to make former Defence Secretary accountable more..

Activists join forces to condemn injustices endured by Sri Lankan migrants abroad

Dec 21 (AN) Concerned People, a group of lawyers, religious leaders, artists and members of various civil society groups, met last Friday, 18 December, at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Colombo, to mark International Migrants Day. The group wants Sri Lankan authorities to provide greater protection for Sri Lankans who go abroad to work. They also want the govt of Sri Lanka to monitor their conditions, provide those who are detained with legal aid, more..

Video: Colombo port income used for H’tota loan settlement: Minister

Dec 21 (DM) Though the Colombo Port has earned an income of Rs.26 billion this year, a significant portion of it will go to settle a loan obtained from the Chinese govt for the construction of the Hambantota Port, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today said. Addressing the media in Colombo Port, after ceremonially marking the handling of the five millionth container at the port, the minister said the means to improve the welfare of port employees had also been hindered because of the issue. more..

Issue of 45 Indian fishermen held by Sri Lanka figures in Lok Saba

Dec 21 (PTI) The issue of 45 Indian fishermen in the custody of Sri Lankan Navy and Tamil Nadu floods were among the issues raised in the Lok Sabha today. K Ashok Kumar (AIADMK) said 45 fishermen are in the custody of Sri Lankan Navy. "Along with boats, they have to be released. There has to be a permanent solution to this," he said, adding, the Centre should intervene so that fishermen are released by Sri Lanka. more..

Catholic Church bans the Christmas tree

Dec 22 (CT) Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has officially banned the Christmas tree from the Catholic Church. Issuing a confidential letter to Priests through a the Archdiocesan Bulletin, Archbishop has banned the placement of the Christmas tree inside the Catholic Church saying that it has no significance to the Sacred Liturgy in Feb 2015. Many Priests had not implemented it to protect the image of Archbishop and the Church among the people. more..

Editorial: X-files and excuses

Dec 22 (Island) Many thought the Jan 8 regime change would pave the way for thorough probes into attacks on journalists and media institutions during the past few decades. But, regrettably, investigations into those dastardly incidents are being conducted very selectively. Media person, Pradeep Ekneligoda, disappeared and national rugby player, Wasim Thajudeen, died under mysterious circumstances which must, no doubt, be investigated. more..

'Plantation mafia taken to task'

Dec 22 (CT) UNP Badulla District MP Vadivel Suresh said plantation companies were functioning like mafias. They are earning in various ways. They have foreign investments and they save money in foreign bank accounts but neglect Sri Lanka. He said, "They are just a mafia. Some companies are sending manufactured goods to foreign companies. They have a separate bank account in those countries. more..

Effective policies needed to avert instability

Dec 22 (ST) Bold pragmatic policy initiatives are needed to resolve the current economic crisis. However, the policies of the govt have not shown adequate sensitivity or response to the developing crisis. The public, trade unions and interest groups are clamouring for more benefits that would aggravate the crisis. The postponement of remedial actions owing to their unpopularity, ideological differences and divergent political agenda of coalition partners and the opposition, more..

So go tell it to the marines

Dec 22 (ST) Timeo Danos et dona ferentes, wrote Virgil, one of the greatest of Roman poets. With Latin rarely taught in our schools in the last several decades one might be forgiven for translating the above into English for the uninitiated- beware of Greeks bearing gifts. The Greeks are hardly in a position today to bear anything but grief seeing that their cupboards are even barer than Mother Hubbards. Without providing succor to a people who gave birth to democracy which more..

'The truth is sacred, it has to surface'

Dec 22 (SL) The govt has made several promises with regards to the accountability issue and is in the process of taking steps to ensure justice is served for the victims of the war. However concerns have been raised over the pace of the process and if members of the former govt will also be held accountable. Minister Mano Ganeshan insisted that whoever violated the law by engaging in acts of state and non-state terrorism more..

Unuth ekai, munuth ekai or six of one and half a dozen of the other

Dec 22 (SL) I have chosen to use the vernacular, followed by the English equivalent because, to anyone with a familiarity with both languages, the former is, by far, the pithier and conveys what the thinking Sri Lankan is faced with in the matter of making choices between the main political conglomerations in Sri Lanka today. One is almost tempted to exhort readers, “Don’t vote, it only encourages the b……ds,” except that such action will only lead to the (endless) perpetration of more..

Budget changes: Advice of Sun Tzu or Mrs. Hobson’s choice?

Dec 22 (SL) The Season of Good Cheer and Peace with its usual complementarities of forgiveness, goodwill, love towards all, etc., etc. is now on us and has set us on the serendipitous path of finding reasons for the Yahapalanaya leaders and its sworn arch enemies of the RRR (Rajapaksa Resurrection Retrogrades) kissing and making up in public to prevent a strike before X’Mas. Despite the sugar and spice and all things nice such as paripppu, onions, gas cylinders, tinned fish and Haal Messo more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast #24

Active peace building remains necessary to garner western support

Dec 22 (CT) The election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January this year and the formation of a new govt led to an immediate improvement of Sri Lanka’s relations with the western world. This relationship had become increasingly strained during the period of the last govt and was getting progressively worsened. However this improvement in relations cannot be taken for granted if it is to yield concrete benefits to the country. One example has been the attempt to get back more..

The Ranil Factor in 2016 and beyond

Dec 22 (Island) One year ago, around the time of Christmas, there was tension in the country. The people were about to vote in a presidential election which would decide the destiny of the country, one way or the other. Today, one year later, we are celebrating Christmas and enjoying the festive season without any of these tensions. A few weeks from now we will see President Sirisena complete one year in office. Anniversary will no doubt prompt many to step back and assess. more..

Long wait for Dengvaxia

Dec 22 (SO) While Sri Lanka is one of the hardest hit countries due to by the rising number of dengue cases, Sri Lankans could may have a long wait before they get easy and affordable access to a new vaccine that has just being introduced to the market. The world's first dengue vaccine - Dengvaxia - was approved after 20 years of research earlier this month. The vaccine which won clearance in Mexico is considered more..