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TUs ask govt to first scrap pensions of MPs

Dec 23 (Island) Pro-JVP trade union asked the govt to set an example by scrapping the pensions of MPs who were elected by the people only for five years, instead of doing away with the public sector pension scheme from next year. It was a shame to introduce several measures through the budget, to curtail the few benefits enjoyed by public servants including the pension, General Secretary of All Ceylon Railway Employees’ General Union S.P. Vithanage said. He said that though it took ten years more..

New organisation to protect war heroes

Dec 23 (Island) President of the newly formed Organization for the Protection of War-heroes (OPW) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera yesterday lashed out at President Maithripala Sirisena over a statement the latter had made recently branding patriots as extremists. "The current government hates the word, patriotism," Nalaka Thera said, adding that the head of state should not have made such a statement. "There are no extremists in Colombo. We are not extremists but patriots. more..

Video: Hirunika’s supporters remanded

Dec 23 (DM) Six persons arrested with a jeep belonging to MP Kirunika Premachandra, over the abduction of a youth in Dematagoda, have been remanded till Jan 4 pending an identification parade. When the suspects arrested last evening were produced at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court today, the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) requested for an identification parade. CCD informed court that statements have been recorded from more..

Dr Nalaka Godahewa further remanded

Dec 23 (AD) Former SEC Chairman, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, and two others arrested over a financial irregularity at the SEC, have been further remanded until Jan 4. Dr Godahewa was arrested by the FCID on Dec 7 in connection with the suspected misappropriation of five million rupees. He was arrested after appearing at the FCID to record a statement regarding an alleged Rs 5 million grant by the SEC for Tharunyata Hetak, a youth movement headed by MP Namal Rajapaksa. more..

Video: Detached compartments stall Batticaloa-Colombo train

Dec 23 (DM) A train travelling from Batticaloa to Colombo had suddenly stalled near the railway traffic lights at the Hunupitiya Railway Station after some of compartments had got detached, the Railway Department said. It said the second compartment had detached itself from the one adjoining and that technicians had been sent to the location to rectify the mishap. “They will move out the first compartment and attach the other one to the engine,” Department said. more..

'Govt is listening to criticism over monetary policy'

Dec 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's current administration is listening to criticism over monetary policy instead of targeting the critics, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said as inflation picked up and the currency was sliding due to loose monetary policy. "We have seen several opinions expressed by economist whom we respect about this issue," de Silva, a fierce critic of loose monetary policy of the last regime said. more..

Harbhajan Singh to invest in Sri Lanka

Dec 23 (PTI) Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh is to invest in Sri Lanka, Ministry of Finance announced today. Harbhajan met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in his office yesterday and discussed investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. The Ministry quoted Singh as saying he was looking forward to invest in Sri Lanka given the long standing friendly relations between the two countries. Karunanayake had stressed that his 2016 budget approved in parliament early this week more..

Trinco fishermen protest en masse

Dec 23 (CT) Trinco Fishermen Federation of Marine Wealth and United Sea Workers have conducted a draw attention protest event on Monday to ban the use of explosives and bottom-trawler nets offshore in Trincomalee waters. This protest started at Vijithapura Arasa Tree area in the Greater City divisional secretariat where protesters marched through N.C. Street to reach the Clock Tower at the centre of the city. Protests were carried out by brandishing placards and banners more..

Sri Lanka to get $1 bln through FX remittances in a month

Dec 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will receive $1 billion through foreign exchange remittances from offshore investors within a month, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, a move that could boost the island nation's faltering reserves. "There will be $500 million inflow this month and another $500 million inflow before Jan. 20 from foreign investors," Karunanayake said adding that the investors are from Europe. more..

Lankan court extends remand of 35 arrested TN fishermen

Dec 23 (PTI) Judicial custody of 35 fishermen from TN, arrested by SL Navy was today extended till Jan 4 by a court in the island nation. Oorkavalturai Judicial Magistrate passed the order when the fishermen were produced before him on expiry of the remand period, Rameswaram fishermen organisation president T Sasuraja said. The fishermen were arrested on charges of violating IMBL in separate incidents. All of them were later lodged in Jaffna prison, he said. more..

Three arrested during bank robbery attempt in Biyagama

Dec 23 (AD) Three suspects who came to rob a state bank have been arrested by police at Bandarawatta in Biyagama police area while another managed to escape after jumping into the Kelani River. Four individuals arrived to rob the bank at around 3.45pm today, however the police were alerted due to the bank’s security alarm system being triggered. Police team had immediately arrived at the scene of the ongoing crime prompting robbers to escape by jumping into Kelani River. more..

Video: Black defenders in place of white vans: JVP

Dec 23 (DM) JVP described, the use of a vehicle belonging to MP Hirunika Premachandra to abduct a youth, as a transition from the white van culture to a black defender vehicle culture. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that this kind of drama was totally unwarranted. However, he said the issue was not with Ms. Premachandra but with the political culture introduced by previous regime. “Political culture introduced by previous regime more..

Take action against Hirunika: Gammanpila

Dec 23 (DM) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila said that action should be taken against the young female MP in connection with the abduction of a man in Dematagoda. He said it appears she was above the law. Is this Yahapalanaya? he asked. MP Gammanpila said the Defender vehicle, which had been used to abduct the youth, belonged to this MP and that it was her supporters who had abducted the youth. “The abducted youth had been kept in an office belonging to the young MP. more..

MR courting the Dragon

Dec 23 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to visit China during the middle of January, sources said. This is his first visit to the country after the defeat at the Jan 8 presidential election. During his tenure, Sino-Lanka relations were elevated to the level of Strategic Partnership Cooperation and Chinese business ventures invested heavily in SL's infrastructure projects. Then opposition accused him of being over reliant on China to the detriment of other countries. more..

Prof. Sally to be new Treasury Secretary?

Dec 23 (AM) Professor Razeen Sally is likely to be appointed as the new Treasury Secretary, govt sources said. Key changes would take place at the Ministry of Finance in January, after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's return to the country from the UK. Dr. Sally, a well-known figure among business and financial circles, is a highly respected international economist. He is the Director of ECIPE, which he co-founded in 2006. more..

Anti-corruption activists lose faith in CIABOC

Dec 23 (Island) Advisor to the Anti Corruption Front (ACF) Keerthi Tennekoon said his outfit had no faith in the investigations conducted by various agencies under the incumbent govt. He said: "Some politicians accused of corruption during the Rajapaksa regime have now crossed over to this govt and continue to rob public money and they are stalling the investigations." Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera, President of ACF, said it had made 2,159 complaints to the CIABOC, FCID more..

SLFP now wearing bulletproof clothing: Dilan

Dec 23 (AD) State Minister of Highways Dilan Perera says that certain groups are attempting to shoot the SLFP in its head and heart but they will not succeed because the party is wearing bulletproof clothing. “To those who have accepted contract from the UNP to destroy the unity within the SLFP, what we have to say is that they will not be able to fulfill that contract,” he said. He stated that party supporters know very well the calamity faced by SLFP due to splits within party in the past. more..

Saudi spares Lankan maid in adultery case

Dec 23 (AFP) A Saudi Arabian court has commuted the death-by-stoning sentence passed on a Sri Lankan maid convicted of adultery, govt in Colombo said. "We have succeeded in getting the death sentence overturned. Our concern was to make sure that the original sentence was not carried out," deputy minister Harsha de Silva, said. Govt of SL wishes to acknowledge and appreciate and appreciate good offices of Saudi authorities," more..

Between no longer & not yet: An authoritative misreading of history

Dec 24 (CT) Che Guevara’s son and daughter were the honoured guests at a seminar at Tehran University in July 2007. The organizers of the event called themselves “The internationalist wing of the Iranian Islamic Students movement.” Main speaker welcomed the offspring of the iconic Revolutionary leader and declared that martyr Che was an internationalist. He would have been their comrade in arms in the streets of Tehran had he been alive! He then pronounced that Che was in fact a more..

Praising the Lord & Passing the ammunition to Prabhakaran

Dec 24 (CT) The mainstream Churches of all denominations aligned themselves with the LTTE in varying degrees of connectivity. In particular, the clergy in the Tamil-dominated Churches threw their full weight behind the Velupillai Prabhakaran’s one-man regime. At the grass root level as well as the international level Prabhakaran could not have dominated the Tamil constituency and got away with his brutalities without the blessings of the Churches. Churchmen, some of them drawn from more..

Today is Unduvap Full moon Poya day

Dec 24 (DM) After the Parinibbana of Lord Buddha- the Enlightened One- there are three kinds of items for the worship of the Blessed One by the devotees. The first kind is Saririka Dhathu – relics of the Enlightened One, the eminent example being the Tooth Relic-Sri Dalada in the Hill capital. There are Buddha relics enshrined in dagabas in various places in Sri Lanka and other countries in the Buddhist world. more..

Draped in Sri Lankan flavours

Dec 24 (DN) She is a diplomat who is not comfortable with protocol. She likes to be at ease rather than being bound by the formalities of the job. She makes it a point to remind herself of where she came from. Such is the humility displayed by Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting as she sits down to have a chat. "I enjoy people, although in the company of people I am somewhat shy and retiring. I think I have a good sense of humour and try and find humour in days," more..

Beyond the Birds and the Bees

Dec 24 (CT) Truth be told, the older generation including our parents, like to believe that sexual relationships happen only between married couples. Most often than not, they'd rather not even think about premarital sex. We all know that intercourse is taboo for the unmarried. We, the Travelling Chaos duo, the more we looked into this, the more we realized that people are reluctant to talk about it -they would rather ignore this very blatant thing that is happening in our society. more..

'I’m glad regime was changed'

Dec 24 (CT) Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha who initially defected from Rajapaksa regime along with President Sirisena and later supported Mahinda Rajapaksa at general election said while he was glad the change was made said the incumbent govt too like the previous regime was making the mistake of doing too little too late in terms of reconciliation. Q: You are planning to publish a book on education, a collection of your old essays. more..

Editorial: Lucky shirkers

Dec 24 (Island) Some people have all the luck in this country. They are the politicians who live off the fat of the land at the expense of the public. MPs are paid salaries to attend Parliament. It defies comprehension why they should be given anything extra for being present in the House. As if that were not enough their attendance allowance is to be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 20,000 per sitting, we are told. Parliament usually sits 8 days a month and govt is planning to have sittings on 10 days. more..

SL include Charana in U-19 WC squad

Dec 24 (CI) Sri Lanka Under-19s have retained their core team from the recent tri-nation series against India and England for the upcoming Under-19 World Cup which starts from January 27 in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka trimmed five members from the 19-member squad for the tri-nations series, but the only new inclusion in the side is Charana Nanayakkara. The squad will be captained by Charith Asalanka, who led Sri Lanka U-19s to the final of the recent triangular series, and more..

360 with K.D. Lal Kantha

Sri Lanka Cricket under the ministry of thuggery, violence & criminal activities

Dec 24 (Island) Today is the last Poya (full moon) day of the month / year. Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which has declared the full moon day a holiday to carry out religious activities though crimes such as murders, theft take place on this day. Yes, people do insult , hate each other even on this day and even consume alcohol on this day. Sad isn't it? I, as the Minister for Nothing to do, (in fact nothing at all to do) decided to visit temples on this day of full moon mainly because more..

When would physicians heal themselves?

Dec 24 (DN) Govt succeeded in seeing its maiden budget through Parliament this week with a comfortable majority and will heave a collective sigh of relief despite the fact that a significant number of its proposals were diluted or withdrawn. Its challenges are not over however and it now faces resistance from an unexpected quarter: the doctors' trade union, the GMOA. GMOA announced a few days ago that it would grant a two-week ultimatum to govt to redress three issues more..

Battle within the TNA

Dec 24 (SO) Amidst reports on the widening gap between TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and CM C.V. Wigneswaran, there is much that is not discussed. TNA-controlled NPC, in the eyes of many, appears to be out of TNA's control with Wigneswaran projecting an image largely independent of his party. When we spoke to senior journalists and party front liners whether a split was imminent, if any, offered mixed reactions. more..

Lakpahana keeping traditions alive through Jewellery

Dec 24 (Island) Lakpahana is a traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan gifts and souvenir shop. It is located in Colombo 7, across from the Colombo Race Course. It was started in 1973 by Deshamanya Mrs. Siva Obeyesekere, founder of Laksala, the Govt handicrafts emporium. Today, after being in business for 42 years, Lakpahana has achieved its main goal of fostering and protecting crafts and the craftspeople of Sri Lanka. Lakpahana retails many of these beautifully hand crafted more..

Korean Embassy donates books to Korea Corner, Colombo Public Library

Dec 24 (FT) The Embassy of the Republic of Korea donated a total of 221 books and audiovisual materials regarding Korea to the Korea Corner at the Colombo Public Library. Around 40 people including Korean Ambassador Chang Won-sam, KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) Sri Lanka Country Director Cho Kyu-chan, library representatives and Korean language students at the Korean Corner attended the donation ceremony which was held on 19 December. more..

CoL hits the festive season

Dec 24 (SL) The dawn of 2016 is right around the corner marking the end of another year. Month of December, as it is important to Catholics because of Christmas, is equally important to the general public. All Sri Lankans are making preparations for the oncoming New Year. This is evident from the heavy motor traffic that is seen in all major cities in the country at present. With the benefits granted by govt to general public more..

Tackle risk factors, say no to NCDs

Dec 24 (DN) Tackling risk factors can reduce the number of people getting non-communicable diseases, World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Sri Lanka Dr. Jacob Kumaresan said. "One risk factor is tobacco. It causes lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis which are serious lung cancers. It is also risk related to hypertension and so forth. The second risk factor is alcohol. The third risk factor is the diet. An unhealthy diet can cause some of these diseases. more..

President’s Meelad–un-Nabi message

Dec 24 (PSL) I am pleased to send this message of greetings on the occasion of Meelad-un-Nabi, the birth of Prophet Muhammad, celebrated with much reverence by the followers of Islam in Sri Lanka and their brethren in faith the world over. This day of significance for the followers of Islam draws attention to the teachings of the Holy Prophet that lays emphasis on peace and harmony, which led to the building of important religious and cultural traditions. more..

SAFF Championships: Sri Lanka beat Nepal

Dec 24 (Hindu) Mohammed Rifnas scored an injury-time winner as Sri Lanka snatched an unlikely win over Nepal in the opening Group A match of the SAFF Suzuki Cup football tournament at Greenfield Stadium here on Wednesday. Just when the match seemed heading for a dreary draw, Rifnas cashed in on a defensive error to slot home the match-winner in the 94th minute. Goal came following a quick counter from the Lankans as Nepalese were more..

Credibility of a budget and the minister in charge

Dec 24 (ST) The chaos taking place in Parliament and outside on Budget 2016 reminds one of an old quotation by a distinguished US President. Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. The many ad hoc changes being made in the budget is also reminiscent of the pithy Sri Lankan saying Koheda Yanne Malle Pol. Another comment– next year’s budget is like that ages-old song more..

SLT Mobitel, connectivity partner for providing taxi meters

Dec 24 (Island) National Mobile Service Provider SLT Mobitel recently partnered with Serandib Technologies to provide three-wheel owners a taxi meter on a special and affordable payment plan. SLT Mobitel will act as the Official Mobile Connectivity Partner for this initiative by providing three-wheel owners a daily payment plan. The taxi meter easy payment plan is the first of its kind provided by the operator to its customers. The main objective of this scheme is to support more..

'Performances in Tests affected by poor domestic structure'

Dec 24 (DN) Inconsistent form shown by Sri Lanka in their 0-2 loss to NZ has brought forth strong criticism on SL's domestic cricket structure from interim head coach Jerome Jayaratne. "All are pretty disappointed with themselves to lose the match from a position where we could have dominated. The immaturity and lack of experience showed in them," said Jayaratane. "My stand is still that our domestic cricket structure is where more..

Asiri performs Sri Lanka’s first dextrocardiac surgery

Dec 24 (NS) Asiri Group of Hospitals, which has a history of introducing several firsts to Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector, recently announced the successful completion of the country’s first dextrocardia surgery that was performed at Asiri Surgical using the Minimally Invasive Coronary Surgery method. Dextrocardia, scientifically called dextrocardiasitusinversus, is a congenital condition in which the heart is located on the right side of the chest which also causes the other organs more..