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TPC discusses several issues

Dec 27 (CG) Tamil People’s Council (TCP) led by CM C V Wigneswaran met today in Jaffna and discussed several issues. The meeting took place following a meeting held between Wigneswaran and TNA leader R. Sampanthan on Christmas day. There have been concerns among members of the TNA that TCP is looking at being an alternative Tamil political party. TCP discussed the proposed electoral reforms, political solution for the Tamils and other issues concerning Tamils in the North. more..

President hints at possibility of his PM candidacy in 2020

Dec 27 (AM) President Sirisena has hinted at the possibility of his PM candidacy at the General Election in 2020. "I will not retire from politics. Politicians cannot retire from their social engagements. It is true that the Executive Presidency will be abolished. We will make strong and comprehensive measures in that direction. But that does not mean that I will retire from politics after abolition of Executive Presidency," more..

Don’t intimidate Ekneligoda investigators says Lawyers Collective

Dec 27 (Island) Lawyers Collective’ views with deep concern the attempt being made to intimidate, by public pronouncements, police officers conducting investigations into the disappearance of journalist Pradeep Ekneligoda. Previous govt did not allow any investigation into the abduction of any journalists and this investigation commenced after the regime change. Lawyers Collective is happy to state that the investigations are steadily progressing, it said in a statement. more..

Ranil to further consolidate powers under UNP constitutional amendments

Dec 27 (AM) UNP leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will further consolidate his under proposed amendments to the party constitution, UNP sources said. "When the UNP was in opposition, certain powers previously placed under the party leader were devolved between the Deputy Leader and the Leadership Council. Therefore, with the proposed amendments to the party constitution, the party leader will regain his lost authority," a senior MP, who holds a key position in the party, said. more..

Hero and villains as Enrique storms stage after many glitches

Dec 27 (ST) By 10 p.m. at the CR&FC Grounds last Sunday, a mutinous crowd-reportedly some 8,000 plus strong-has begun to cheer every stage hand that walks on to the stage. Backstage, there’s an atmosphere of complete exhaustion fuelled by anticipation – many of these people have been up for the last 48 hours, running a production that encountered major setbacks from the previous day. more..

South Asian Human Rights group visits SL

Dec 27 (SL) A delegation from the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) was in Sri Lanka as part of an initiative to promote the message of regional peace and solidarity amongst South Asian civil societies. “During our stay here, we met with many people: Representatives of civil society in Colombo, Vavunia, Kilinochchi and Trincomalee; people affected by war in the northern and the eastern province and people affected by the construction of coal power plant in Sampur; more..

Ex, Current intelligence chiefs to be grilled

Dec 27 (SL) State intelligence head S.Saleh, former State Intelligence chief Major General (Retd) Kapila Hendawitharana and former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya are to be questioned this week with regards to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. CID is to grill them over the incident as well as the Kidnapping of businessmen and extortion. Top CID sources said that during investigations and questioning of suspects in custody over the disappearance of more..

'TPC to monitor US Resolution'

Dec 27 (CT) Newly formed Tamil People's Council (TPC) will hold its second meeting in Jaffna today to appoint two sub-committees tasked with the responsibility of drafting a solution to Tamil National problem and for monitoring the implementation of the UNHRC's Resolution. Council said that they are serious about these programmes because the TNA is not transparent in its work programme. more..

300 arrested for drunken driving

Dec 27 (CT) Over 300 drivers were arrested by the Traffic Police around the island during the X'mas weekend for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police said 306 drivers had been taken into Police custody, including 118 on 24 December and 105 on 26 Dec while only 83 drivers were arrested on Christmas day. The Traffic Police have been vigilant since 23 Dec about drunken driving. Those arrested will be produced before the respective Magistrates' Courts. more..

Cardinal Ranjith slams laws’ systemic delays

Dec 27 (CT) Colombo Bishop His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said Sri Lanka's judicial system needs to be completely overhauled to rectify the weakness in the system that tends to stagger the delivery of justice. Addressing the ceremony held on 25 Dec at which the Presidential pardon granted to 557 prisoners to mark Christmas was announced, Bishop said that his statement should not be construed as being tantamount to contempt of court. He also said that the maximum time frame more..

Video: 'No more bra throwing shows in SL'

Dec 27 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena today said that he would not allow concerts where Sri Lankan culture and morals are destroyed by foreign artistes. Speaking at an event held at the Ampara D.S. Senanayake National School today, the President said the organisers of such indecent events should be punished for bringing artistes, who destroy SL’s proud culture. “Hereafter, approval would not be granted for such events. more..

Beat cost of living during the festive season

Dec 28 (CT) Festive season has emerged and the citizen is testing the buying power in purchasing the consumer items for festive season. Consumer is any actual or potential user of any goods or services made available for a consideration by any trader or manufacturer. (s75 of the CAA Act) This shows that every citizen is a consumer and need protection from the state to protect the consumer against unfair trade, hazardous to life and property of consumers, adequate access to the gods, more..

Year 2015 ends in a whimper

Dec 28 (CT) Though 2015 started off on a felicitous note which continued into the middle of the year – trouncing Rajapaksa in Jan and again in Aug, an agreement on war-crimes investigations, Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader and global economic easing though not recovery, and snippets of good news towards year’s end such as Aung San Suu Kyie’s victory – eventually 2015 ended on a despondent note. Unease stalks US & Europe; global economy, by and large is stalling. more..

'Now we have an independent judiciary and impartial media'

Dec 28 (SL) MP and Chairman of the Young Professionals’ Organisation of the UNP, Harshana Rajakaruna says Sri Lankan people rejected the nepotism based governance of the previous regime on January eighth. He pointed out that vast majority of the people in the country had to face discrimination during the previous regime, and even the media was not independent and were under constant pressure. more..

Can Trotskyite obsession with Rajapaksa save Sri Lanka from doom?

Dec 28 (SL) Sri Lankans celebrate anniversaries worthy of celebrations and not. The LSSP’s 80th anniversary was worthy of celebration although we did not hear of any political hoopla but read only an article by Sri Lanka’s, Mr. Omnisicient, Prof Carlo Fonseka, in a newspaper about Samasamajist Chairman Tissa Vitarana’s pamphlet released for the occasion titled: The Road Ahead for Sri Lanka in a World Crisis. Carlo Fonseka is a multifaceted personality who is considered an more..

A year of mirabilis, horribilis and lunu miris

Dec 28 (ST) And so it came to pass that 2015 would enter the history books as a momentous year in that Miracle of Asia. Hardly had the nation stepped into the new year when, like in ancient times the unde bera beaters announced the birth of a new king and the renaissance of the Polonnaruwa era. Nothing like this would have occurred had the emperor from the Ruhunu Rata which produced historical rulers such as King Dutugemunu who had in turn bequeathed to nation colourful descendents more..

'Apparel industry bullish about the budget'

Dec 28 (Island) Despite the passage of the budget for 2016 with a two thirds majority in parliament, discontent over certain proposals continues to boil below the surface and threatens to erupt to the surface in the form of industrial action after the holiday season. One important sector that appears to be quite satisfied with the budget is the apparel industry. General Secretary of Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Tuli Cooray more..

Mother Teresa at Heaven’s Gate

Dec 28 (ST) Santa Clause never came to Mother Teresa’s door. Instead it was cholera, smallpox, leprosy and a whole host of other terminal illnesses sardine packed in a container of human cargo that tottered to her door quivering betwixt ebbing life and painful death. They came not for miracles but for succour; for relief, care and a prayer only she could provide them at the home of her Mission of Charity in the Black Hole that was India’s Calcutta. For them and for the thousands who more..

The season to be merry!

Dec 28 (SL) I have to admit the provocation for the (corny) title of this piece is the time of year and the need to take yet another look at the year just drawing to a close behind us. By the time you read this, Santa would or would not have descended down your (metaphorical) chimney and placed gifts in abundance or the proverbial piece of coal (in our case an anguru kaella probably) at the foot of a metaphorical tree. But what of the time between such an event last year and one this year? more..

Bimal Rathnayake

‘Local gem and jewellery sector could become a $1bn industry’

Dec 28 (Island) Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector will become a US $ one billion worth export industry soon with the booming of tourism in the country. Therefore, President Sirisena’s move to ban foreign entities from involving themselves in gem mining is a welcome measure, former Director, Export Development Board (EDB) Ashan Refai said. "The Gem and Jewellery Authority coming under President Sirisena’s purview, is a great move towards the better development of the sector. more..

Assignment Toronto

Dec 28 (Island) Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada better known as SLUNA was a tower of strength to me during my assignment in Toronto. There isn’t any other organisation like SLUNA in Canada which has supported Sri Lanka throughout. The organization continues to stand by Sri Lanka having completed 32 years of service. The battle by SLUNA to safeguard the territorial integrity and independence of SL and the tireless and brave efforts made by the organisation to counter more..

'India’s responsibility outweighs US’s onus'

Dec 28 (CT) Leader of TN's Pattali Makkal Katchchi (PMK) Dr. S Ramadoss, who at present an ally of the BJP holding three seats at the TN Assembly, points out that TN has a strong apprehension towards the Govt of Sri Lanka due to the fishermen and the human rights issues which Sri Lanka cannot handle properly. He said he would continue to support SL Tamils morally and politically till the Eelam Tamils' demands are met. more..

Ranil watches Sirisena's goose-stepping

Dec 28 (CT) Postponement of the March/April 2016 LG Elections by President Maithripala Sirisena was no surprise to any observer who has come to understand that the President is a man who appears to never miss a step in matters of State. His handling of issues in the budgetary proposals which Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake placed before Parliament underscored the proverbial iron fist inside a velvet glove approach to issues which demanded more..

Editorial: Substandard universities

Dec 28 (Island) There is hardly anything that is devoid of politics in this country. Not even a public convenience gets built without political interference. Politicians under successive govts have, over the years, built dams, airports, ports and roads according to their whims and fancies. Quite a few flyovers have been constructed in the sparsely populated Hambantota town whereas the roads that link conurbations to Colombo are sickeningly congested for want of overpasses. more..

Long dark days ahead in a Riyadh prison

Dec 28 (SO) To the SL housemaid locked up in a Riyadh prison, one nightmare seems to be over. However, how many more long dark days are to be spent in the prison is still unknown. According to Dy. Minister Harsha de Silva, final decision of the jail term will be notified by this week. "Our main task was to overturn the initial judgment and save her life. The matter has to be readdressed by courts and decided thereafter, more..

SL wins 2 Golds, 5 Merit awards at APICTA

Dec 28 (DN) Sri Lanka clinched two coveted golds and five merit awards at the recently concluded Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA)-2015 in Colombo. These feats were announced by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) and BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka (BCSSL). Representing the business sector, Sri Lanka clinched two gold awards and two merit accolades. In addition, two merit awards were won by segment representing university students' more..

Muruttettuwegama assumes duties as Lankapuvath Chairman

Dec 28 (FT) Attorney-at-Law and Legal Educationist, Nanda Muruttettuwegama has assumed duties as the new Chairman of the Lankapuvath, National News Agency of SL. Expressing his views at the occasion, Muruttettuwegama stressed that he will do his utmost best to restore Lankapuvath to its former glory which had weakened due to various reasons in the past. Muruttettuwegama, who is the Managing Director of Centre for Professional Studies (CfPS) Law School, has consolidated his role more..

Sri Lanka - Japan economic partnership showing great promise: Ambassador

Dec 28 (Island) "There is growing interest by the Japanese business community to strengthen business with Sri Lanka and we are hopeful that more trade and investments are coming in, Kenichi Suganuma, ambassador for Japan said recently. "Japan welcomes SL govt’s ambitious plans to restructure its economy and we look forward to the various initiatives that are underway such as the megapolis, ambassador noted. more..

‘Sri Lanka poised to join South Asia innovation corridor’

Dec 28 (Island) In a major development in advancing its national innovation culture to global standards, SL voiced its interest to actively join the South Asian regional innovation corridor at a top international innovation confab. Pioneering call by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was issued during the first ever international innovation forum to be held in Colombo, co-organised by NEDA, COSTI and more importantly, Tokyo based Asian Development Bank Institute. more..

Need for a proper study of constitution making

Dec 28 (CT) UK, the mother of the Westminster model of democracy functions without a written Constitution. It has successfully carried on a democratic Constitution based on traditions and conventions very smoothly without running into major hurdles for more than a century. As SL is to venture into drafting of a new Constitution – the 3rd Republican Constitution – in January 2016, we have to take a look at the Constitution making exercises in few other countries and learn a few lessons. more..

Acute shortage of medicos in Jaffna

Dec 28 (CT) Recent statistics shows that there is a shortage of specialists and doctors in hospitals in the entire Jaffna Peninsula. Apparently the hospitals need 104 specialists and 890 doctors. However, there are only 76 specialists and 388 doctors to serve at the hospitals in the Jaffna District. Proposals and the needs for 2016 have been assessed in the report. Report points out the needs in the health sector of Jaffna District more..

Lanka Sathosa to turn around in six months

Dec 28 (DN) The loss making Lanka Sathosa would be turned around in six months, said new Chairman Dr Rohantha Atukorale. He said that the institution is running in the excess of Rs. 30 million monthly loss and this is due to bad planning and positioning. He said that within the next three months all outlets will receive a face lift with the basic infrastructure corrected in lighting, freezer facilities and retail staff so that it can ensure that total basket of goods for a housewife can be bought at more..

Yasir Shah tests positive for banned substance

Dec 28 (CI) Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah has been provisionally suspended under the ICC's anti-doping code for testing positive for a banned substance. A sample taken from Yasir on November 13, when Pakistan played an ODI against England in Abu Dhabi, was found to contain chlortalidone, which is on WADA's prohibited list of diuretics and masking agents. While he is provisionally suspended, Yasir cannot play - or be involved in any capacity in - international matches, and more..

Protest against Uma Oya project defying court ruling

Dec 28 (Island) People blocked the Colombo-Badulla road at Bandarawela on Saturday to pressure the govt to address the grievances of those badly affected by the Iranian-funded Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project (UOMDP). Over 2,000 people took part in the protest which lasted for about five hours. Former JVP MP and Uva PC member Samantha Vidyaratne, who spearheaded the protest said that they had gone ahead more..

Army yet to find Chief Of Staff after Jagath Dias retirement

Dec 28 (AM) 24 of 46 Major Generals in the Army are likely to retire from service next year, military sources said. They further added that the Major Generals turning 55 would not receive service extensions from the govt. The govt is aiming at a restructuring of the military service with the retirement of 24 Major Generals. "There are serious issues concerning promotions of senior Army officers. Their upward mobility should be ensured through a transparent process," more..

Assassination plot on Yameen: 3 arrested besides Sri Lanka sniper

Dec 28 (HO) Three people have been arrested over a recent assassination plot on the president that involved a sniper brought into Maldives from Sri Lanka. A police spokesperson said the three were take into custody on Dec 17. They have been remanded for 15 days, he added. Confirming the arrest of the Sri Lankan sniper 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. more..

Malinga's fitness test postponed for Dec 28

Dec 28 (DN) Sri Lanka's T20 captain Lasith Malinga has had his fitness test on his injured left knee postponed for Dec 28 thus reducing his chances of making an early appearance in the ongoing five-match ODI series against NZ. Malinga was expected to undergo the fitness test on Boxing Day, but it has been postponed for Dec 28 on the advice of team physio Steve Mount and 3 doctors attending to him more..

Golden Key depositors want CEO removed

Dec 28 (FT) Golden Key Depositors Association will seek recommendations from Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran as well as the Monetary Board to conduct a proper investigation into the increasing of the salary of the Golden Key Credit Card (GKCCL) CEO, to Rs. 525,000, misleading the new Board of Directors. Disregarding the direction given by the Monetary Board on 25 April to the GKCCL Board of Directors that the company shall not pay all inclusive monthly remuneration, excluding payments of more..

Sri Lanka's city property prices soar

Dec 28 (DN) The skylines of the world's emerging cities are being transformed. Colombo is no exception. As construction booms in the emerging markets, cities in these regions will soon be home to record-breaking property developments and some of the most ground-breaking real estate the world has seen. As the year draws to a close, online property portal Lamudi looks back at the key developments in real estate in the emerging markets in 2015. One Galle Face: This $608 million more..