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Exchange programmes between SL & Korea

Dec 25 (DN) Korea and Sri Lanka agreed to exchange knowledge and experience in labour field and also to implement exchange programmes. The two countries also agreed to exchange knowledge and experiences on social security schemes and prevent workplace accidents, a Labour and Trade Union Relations Ministry spokesman said. Agreements were reached when Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne and Korean Ambassador Won Sam Chang met at the ministry recently. more..

Moves to curtail sugar consumption

Dec 25 (Island) The Health Ministry said yesterday that steps would be taken to implement a special circular issued last November to reduce sugar levels in hot beverages at eating houses by first setting an example in govt institutions. The spokesman of the Health Ministry, Nipun Ekanayake said the govt institutions would have to serve tea or coffee during workshops, meetings and ceremonies without sugar added. more..

Environmentalists wary, doubtful !

Dec 25 (CT) President Sirisena has decided to make use of Army personnel to protect the environment, natural resources including wild life, and coastal destruction which are all greatly endangered. The President is expected to appoint a committee within the next few days. Destruction of wild life or the environment could be conveyed to this committee when it begins functioning. President announced these decisions at a discussion last Tuesday with heads of environment protection bodies more..

Warnasinghe desperate for loopholes

Dec 25 (CT) Western Province Minister of Health, Nishantha Shri Warnasinghe has yet to resign even though he had on Dec 22 said he would, following the expenditure allocation proposals for his Ministry being defeated by the majority in the governing party at the WPC's budgetary voting. Warnasinghe then said he would put political ethics above other considerations and resign from his WPC portfolio. Acknowledging the fact that his Ministry's budgetary proposals had been rejected more..

'Claim that suspect was SLA sniper baseless'

Dec 25 (Island) Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said that govt of SL had assured the Maldivian govt there was absolutely no basis for claim that Lahiru Madushanker (27) now in custody over an alleged assassination attempt on Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen had served in the military. Deputy Minister insisted that Madushanker had never served in the sniper unit as alleged by the media. more..

E01 earns Rs. 16mn in 24 hrs

Dec 25 (AD) The Southern Expressway has generated a record income of Rs 16 million within yesterday alone due to excessive traffic ahead of the long weekend. Police had yesterday advised the motorists looking to exit from Godagama Interchange on the Southern Expressway to exit from Pinnaduwa and Kokmaduwa instead due to a long queue at the Godagama Interchange for several hours. Around 50,000 vehicles had used the Southern Expressway yesterday. more..

TNA gets joint chair posts at DCCs

Dec 25 (DM) Main Opposition TNA Leader R. Sampanthan had been appointed as the Co-Chairman of the Trincomalee District Coordination Committee (DCC), TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran today said. He said TNA members had been appointed to the Coordination Committees at eight districts in total. MP Kavindran Kodeeswaran had been appointed as the Co-Chair to the Ampara District, while MP G. Srineshan as the Co-Chair of the Batticaloa DDC in Eastern Province, he said. more..

Sharif’s SL visit to see signing of 10 pacts

Dec 25 (Hindu) Sri Lanka and Pakistan are expected to sign 10 pacts during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit to Colombo next month. A spokesperson of the Pakistan HC said Mr. Sharif would be here mostly in the first week of January. The pacts, aimed at improving bilateral cooperation, cover a range of issues such as youth development, health, culture, exchange of census data and scientific & technological cooperation. more..

Lessons on tolerance & pluralism

Dec 26 (CT) As the Muslims remembers the birth of the Prophet of Islam (on whom be Peace), at one of the most challenging times in their history when they, along with their faith and their role model Prophet are being unfairly tar-brushed and criminalized as being intolerant and averse to Pluralism by political bigots and a biased Western media, it in relevant to refer to his exemplary approaches towards accommodating the other. The history has proved over the ages that more..

It’s morning in Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (CT) When Ronald Regan started his campaign to be the President of Americas he choose a theme and slogan that was both mesmerizing and inspiring. He told the American Citizens that it is Morning in America. When we are saying good bye to another year most eventful one where we Sri Lankans are concerned can we repeat that mesmerizing wish it is morning in SL. SL started 2015 embroiled in unending controversies and the country plunged into a ruthless anarchy, more..

Nepotist Sirisena at it again

Dec 26 (CT) Nepotism powered yahapalanaya govt led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe is due to bring the President’s daughter Chathurika Sirisena into the public limelight once again. This time the Civil Security Department which comes under the Ministry of Defence, has invited her to be the chief guest at the BMICH on 28th Dec. 202 houses and educational material are to be handed over more..

TNA welcomes Wiggy’s latest move

Dec 26 (CT) At a closed-door meeting at the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium, Tamil People's Council (TPC) was launched under the Chairmanship of Northern Province CM C.V.Wigneswaran a week ago on Saturday. CM Wigneswaran making his announcement on the TPC has stated that it was neither a political party nor an alternative political outfit to the TNA. However, former TNA MP and EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran who had played a key role in ousting the previous more..

Friends with benefits?

Dec 26 (CT) Shehara was a young girl of 10 who was studying at a popular girl's school in Borella. A girl of mild disposition she was loved and cherished by all. She never had a shortage of friends in school. The second child of a family of three children she was adored by her siblings and loved by her parents. At school her teachers discriminated the other students in favour of her, although it was not Shehara's fault. It was perhaps, because on their birthdays and teacher's day, more..

'The govt hasn’t brought any change'

Dec 26 (CT) Politburo member of FSP, Pubudu Jagoda who is known to be a firebrand among university student unions, criticized the concept of a National Govt and said, Even PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said National Govt concept will not last long. Q: What is your opinion on the current govt's productivity? A: Current govt promised democracy and Yahapalanaya (Good governance). To bring back democracy more..

Non-consensual governance

Dec 26 (NS) A major cause for some of our failures as a nation has been lack of consensus at least between the two main political parties on key issues facing the country. Perhaps, that is why we have agreed that country should be governed with consensus at least for the next five years. Disagreement, debate and discussion are key elements of such an administration. Acting through consensus is better than fast tracking things without debate, even if it takes time. more..

Editorial: Highway or hemingway

Dec 26 (Island) There were many critics who questioned the previous government’s wisdom of building highways which they dismissed as ego-boosting projects. Among them was a minister of the Rajapaksa administration; he said the Southern Expressway (E01) should have been built on pillars! Others put forth various arguments. But, with less than one week of the grand opening of the E01 in 2011 quite a few of them got ticketed for exceeding the speed limit! more..

Dullas Alahapperuma

What’s missing out there? People or Politics?

Dec 26 (GV) Thamil Makkal Peravai (TMP) prompted this essay on Christmas Day. I checked up on the English translation of the Tamil word Peravai with a few Tamil friends and there were at least 3 suggestions. One said it’s a Council. Another said it’s a Front while the third suggested the word Platform. A council, front or platform, this new collective of Northern and Eastern politicos and concerned social activists formed during the previous weekend, more..

Understanding Fundamentalism

Dec 26 (Island) In my last article which dealt with Islamic terrorism I made the point that it is something that comes out of the matrix of Islamic fundamentalism. In this article I want to make some comments on fundamentalism in general, not just in Islam, as it has become one of the important political problems of our time. It is a huge, complex, and difficult problem, requiring in-depth analysis. Here, in these brief comments, I want to make just one point: there is no nexus between more..

Rise of the Yaha Yugaya

Dec 26 (Island) MPs to have a new goal in politics - Rs. 20,000 for each day in Parliament – News item. "Looks like the New Year will bring buckshees of cheer for MPs", said Yahavadana. "Did you ever think of Sri Lanka being a breeding ground for millionaires… or even billionaires, by the pack?" asked Yahakeliya. "Hope you are not trying to get back to recent history…haven’t we heard enough of those people with so much more..

Central Bank has to restrained for free trade to succeed

Dec 26 (EN) Sri Lanka's car owning bureaucrats, politicians and central bankers have have started to tighten auto imports in a return to the same old vicious trade controls that follow every bout of money printing showing the urgency of central bank reforms to ensure that any free trade agenda succeeds. All this shows the importance of reforming Sri Lanka's soft-pegged central Bank to ensure that any free trade agenda that is pursued is not rolled back and economic nationalism and more..

Implementing and enforcing Megapolis development plan

Dec 26 (Island) Govt’s flagship project is the Megapolis plan for the implementation of which a very high emphasis was placed in the election manifesto of August 2015, PM’s Policy Statement to the Parliament presented on the 5th of Nov and other public statements made at various other forums. PM in his election pledges reiterated that a city larger than Chennai would be developed in SL in Western Province with a population size of 80% of the present SL population. more..

‘Tax burden has increased by Rs. 100 per person’

Dec 26 (Island) The Year 2016 Budget of the govt has no clear direction to achieve the country’s economic aspirations and objectives but has only imposed more tax burdens on the people. Every person would have his tax burden increased by Rs 100. Further, the budget also lacks a proper framework to maintain fiscal stability, several trade union representatives said. Lanka Teacher Services Union General Secretary more..

'Clear land and condo laws needed to attract foreign investment'

Dec 26 (ST) Ambiguous laws relating to ownership of land and condominium property rights in Sri Lanka can thwart foreign investment flowing into the country. Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that land and condominium ownership in Sri Lanka is an issue that has to be addressed as legislation in this regard in recent times has regrettably become slightly muddied and unclear and this needs urgent repair for which the new government has made plans. more..

Sri Lanka to mentor Zambia’s ICT future

Dec 26 (FT) A delegation of nine high-level officials arrived in Sri Lanka from ZICTA, the Zambian Information and Communications Technology Authority, in order to scope out the possibility of emulating the existing infrastructure in Sri Lankan ICT, namely the e-Wis factory. With one of the country’s most advanced computer, laptop, and tablet assembly plants, based in Sooriyaweva, the group was approached by Zambian officials eager to go into partnership. more..

Northern crack widens

Dec 26 (NS) There are indications that the northern centre stage of politics has begun to crack following Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s establishment of Tamil People’s Council (TPC). Reports from Jaffna stated it has caused much concern within and outside the TNA as other political groups view Wigneswaran’s move as a step towards embarking indirectly to strengthen his political bastion in the North. more..

Microimage extends presence to Myanmar

Dec 26 (Island) Microimage HCM Asia, partner of Asia-based OMESTI Group, has extended its presence in the South East Asia region, this time to Myanmar, through an exclusive partnership with local corporate services firm VDB-Loi. Microimage HCM Asia is part of the Microimage Group of Sri Lanka which this year marks its 20th year of providing cutting edge human capital management (HCM) solutions to companies across the region. Companies based in the newly emerging more..

SLT brings augmented reality to Majestic City

Dec 26 (DM) Following their teaser earlier this month, SLT revealed their Christmas-themed activation event at Majestic City. Placed near the entrance of the popular shopping complex is a giant LED screen that shares all movement occurring in the corridor in front of it – much like a security camera would. But walk closer to the screen and you’ll be greeted by a comic, animated snowman that will amuse you with his antics – and even strike a variety of poses to take a selfie with you. more..

Rugby lawbreakers give the shivers

Dec 26 (NS) The stakes in rugby seem to be so high in the Division 1 Inter-club rugby league tournament that the players appear to disregard the laws of the game. Rugby fans can make this assumption if they were told that the five weeks of competitive rugby have produced 36 yellow cards, 5 red cards and also seen the imposing of suspensions on five players. These statistics provided by SL Rugby Football Union more..

'Govt formed to salvage country'

Dec 26 (DN) A national unity govt was formed by the UNP and the SLFP to salvage and rebuild the country facing economic ruin under the previous regime and provide relief to the people. This was made possible by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe joining hands to usher in a govt of good governance, said Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi. He said so addressing members of the fisheries communities at meetings and conferences in Chilaw, Ambakandawila and Karandigolla areas more..

Right to Information Bill to Parliament in Jan

Dec 26 (DN) Right to Information Bill will be presented to Parliament in January, Mass media and Parliament Reforms Ministry Secretary Wajira Narampanawa said. The right to information is enforced in several countries. It is considered as a fruitful sight of democracy. The govt promised to strengthen the right to information during the 100 day programme, Narampanawa said. Right to Information Bill will have to be passed in Provincial Councils before being passed in Parliament. more..

SAFF Championships: India beat SL 2-0

Dec 26 (Hindu) Striker Robin Singh did the star turn for host India as it kick-started its campaign with a patchy 2-0 win over SL in the SAFF Suzuki Cup football championship at the Greenfield stadium on Friday. Robin Singh’s brace (51st & 74th minutes) saved India’s blushes against an overtly defensive SL side. Margin of victory could have been higher for India but SL captain and goalkeeper Sujan Perera was virtually unbeatable under the bar. more..

Joint opposition not against CA

Dec 26 (NS) The Joint Opposition has stressed that it was not against the govt’s plans to convert Parliament to a Constitutional Assembly, but only insisting that proper Parliamentary procedures be followed when introducing the resolution in the House. One of the leaders of the Joint Opposition, MP Dinesh Gunawardena, said it had been incorrectly reported in certain media that the Joint Opposition was against converting Parliament to a Constitutional Assembly. more..

Sri Lanka unhappy with SAFF activities

Dec 26 (DN) Sri Lanka will display their dissatisfation against the slow reaction of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) in developing soccer in South Asia. The executive committee meeting of the SAFF will be held on January 2 at Thrivandram and Sri Lanka will hand over a letter to the officials of SAFF. Football Federation of SL Anura de Silva and its immediate past president and Financial Committee Chairman Ranjith Rodrigo will attend the meeting on behalf of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka's Catholic leader tells priests to cast out Christmas trees from churches

Dec 26 (Telegraph) SL's top Catholic told priests not to put up Christmas trees in their churches, saying they had no religious significance and had instead become the festive symbol of parties and shopping centres. Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, issued a statement telling clergymen to "try to avoid putting up Christmas trees inside the churches". "These do not belong to the sacred significance of Christmas but more..

Rajapaksa linked Singha FM closed down aiming rebranding exercise

Dec 26 (AM) Singha FM, owned by CSN network linked to the Rajapaksa family, has been closed down temporarily. It would be re-launched under another name soon and the company would retain the radio frequency allocated to Singha FM. Company officially ended the Radio channel's transmission yesterday. Singha FM was launched on Feb 3, 2012 and it was owned by VIS Broadcasting Company linked to some close associates offormer President and his family. more..

Spare a thought for the crib maker

Dec 26 (ST) While cheap plastic replicas of cribs are available during the Christmas season island-wide, demand for the wooden crib is in greater demand. Justin Perera a carpenter and father of four from Wennapuwa, has been involved in the crib-making trade since his youth, and depends on this trade to make a living. For him it is not a one man job. Making cribs for him is a collective handicraft which involves his entire family. He starts preparing the cribs as early as in August. more..

DNA evidence rescues man from 27 year RI

Dec 26 (DN) A man convicted and sentenced to 27 years of rigorous imprisonment by a High Court for kidnapping and raping a girl, was acquitted and discharged from the case by the Court of Appeal based on a DNA report obtained 10 years after the alleged incident. The accused had been convicted and sentenced by Kurunegala HC on June 2012 to a total term of 27 years of rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping and raping more..

3,000 residents warned

Dec 26 (CT) Ministry of Health has issued notice on more than 3,000 residents in the Western Province for allowing mosquito breeding sites at their households and legal action will be taken against 521 individuals. 3,084 residents were issued notices during the Special Dengue Control Programme conducted on 21-23 Dec covering all three districts in the Western Province. Accordingly, 80,650 residences were inspected and according to the data 865 mosquito breeding places more..

Geetha to chair Galle DDC

Dec 26 (DM) Actress turned politician Geetha Kumarasinghe was likely to be appointed as the Chairperson of the Galle District Development Committee. She has been active in the Galle District development Committee in the recent past and was seen involved in arguments with the fellow members of the Committee. Ms. Kumarasinghe was a notable absentee at the second and third reading debate on the budget. Sources said she was likely to back President Sirisena and the govt in the future. more..