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Enjoining order on bank unions extended

Dec 29 (Island) Colombo District Judge extended till Jan 20, an enjoining order which restrained Trade Unions from obstructing Employees of Bank of Ceylon, National Savings Bank and People’s Bank, who reported to work during a strike by banking sector trade unions for Dec 17. Plaintiffs are the BOC, NSB and People’s Bank, which had requested the Court to restrain the trade unions from obstructing and inconveniencing employees who reported to work during strike at issue. more..

More woes for Enrique concert organisers

Dec 29 (DN) The Colombo Municipal Council's (CMC) Revenue Department has placed all its documents related to Enrique Iglesias' Love-and-Sex tour concert under lock and key after President Maithripala Sirisena's critical speech on Sunday against the show. CMC revenue officials said they are poised to go to courts as the concert had been held without the Council's permission. more..

Travails of the elderly

Dec 29 (DM) 42-year-old woman was recently arrested at Balagolla for allegedly locking up her 72-year-old father in a kennel. The father was living in a cramped room – similar to a cage made of bricks and metal bars, where the family dogs were once held, the report said. Then, last month Meetiyagoda police were able to rescue a 78-year-old mother locked in a bathroom adjoining a toilet which was under construction. The woman had been locked in the bathroom by her granddaughter. more..

Path ahead for SL won’t be a bed of roses

Dec 29 (DM) The 2016 Budget was one of those passed in parliament with the most number of amendments since independence. It also created unprecedented public protests countrywide resulting in several of the proposals either being amended or withdrawn. This no doubt was likely to have caused the govt a loss of credibility. Did the Finance Ministry craftsmen, who prepared the budget fail to give serious thought to the possible consequences of such a budget? Did they fail to realize of more..

COPE will be completely politicised if ministers are summoned: DEW

Dec 29 (DM) Former minister, COPE chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara was interviewed by the Daily Mirror on his recent visit to India and the future of COPE. Excerpts of the interview. Q: We learn that you were in india attending a conference of communist parties. What was its outcome? A: Yes, I was invited by the Communist Party of India (CPI) to participate in a conference devoted to the 90th Anniversary of Indian Communist movement. more..

Police seek AG’s advice on Hirunika

Dec 29 (AM) The Colombo Crimes Division sought legal advice from the Attorney General's Department today with regards to MP Hirunika Premachandra's role in a recent abduction of a youth in Dematagoda. Multiple parties claimed that the UNP MP should be arrested over her role in the alleged abduction. Premachandra even went on to justify the alleged abduction saying it was a move to resolve a family dispute. more..

Hirunika’s action puts govt to the test

Dec 29 (SL) The govt was last week put to the test on its good governance policies following an incident involving MP of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) Hirunika Premachandra. As the govt looked to bury the notorious white van abduction years, it was forced to deal with an abduction of a youth using a Defender jeep registered to ruling party MP Premachandra. more..

CEB records Rs.7bn cash flow

Dec 29 (DM) The CEB has recorded a positive cash flow of Rs.7 billion during the first seven months of this year and remains out of red with much of its debts being paid because of the favourable oil prices in the global market, Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) said. PUCSL Chairman said CEB was now in a position to consider a downward tariff revision in March if the current global prices remain unchanged or drop further. more..

TNA may consider action on Sidharthan

Dec 29 (CG) The TNA may consider taking action against MP Dharmalingham Sidharthan for joining the Tamil People’s Council. ITAK General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah has called for an inquiry to be conducted on Sidharthan who contested the last Parliamentary election under the ITAK ticket. ITAK is the main political party in the TNA and Sidharthan, leader of PLOTE, entered Parliament after winning a seat through TNA more..

China to have talks with Sri Lanka on FTA

Dec 29 (CG) Chinese Govt says it will have talks with Sri Lanka next year on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Gao Hucheng, minister of commerce in China, said that China will step up negotiations next year on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, as well as the free trade agreement between China, South Korea and Japan, and the country’s proposed FTAs with Sri Lanka and Maldives, to build stronger more..

Video: NWSDB workers call off strike

Dec 29 (AD) After several rounds of discussions, the authorities have agreed to give full annual bonus for the employees of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB), removing the token strike which had been launched since early Tuesday morning. The first token strike was commenced on December 26 after the authorities had decided to grant a reduced bonus for the employees. more..

'Dual citizenship, corporate tax simplification to attract more investments'

Dec 29 (DN) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said the re-introduction of dual citizenship facility and simplification of corporate taxes will help reverse brain-drain and attract top talent back to SL. Speaking at the Work In Sri Lanka (WISL) conference under the theme of Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, he noted that these measures will also encourage entrepreneurship skills and investments in the country. more..

JHU to decide on Warnasinghe's resignation today

Dec 29 (AM) JHU Media Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe stated that the JHU Central Committee will meet today to discuss the future steps to be taken regarding the defeat of his expenditure heads at the Western Provincial Council. Warnasinghe said that Chief Minister does not have any power to remove him from his position. If a Minister resigns, his portfolios are automatically transferred to the CM, more..

Mega holes in multi-billion rupee highway accounts

Dec 29 (ST) The cost of some major road projects carried out within the past three years had risen above their original estimates during the construction phase, the AG’s 2014 Annual Report reveals. It also highlights other irregularities and the colossal waste of millions of rupees as a consequence of poor planning and implementation. “Substantial increases in the estimated cost, as well as instances where the functions of more..

Romanian Ambassador urges his countrymen to invest in Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (Island) Romanian ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr.Victor Chiujdea says he has been encouraging businesses and investors in his country to avail of the economic opportunities in Sri Lanka. Addressing the Romanian National Day in Colombo recently, he revealed that bilateral trade had increased in recent years and there was potential to boost it further. "Total trade improved from US$ 18.89 million in 2013 to US$ 22.42 million as at the end of last year. Tourist arrivals from Romania also grew more..

Sri Lanka tax-spender hopefuls to launch more protests

Dec 29 (EN) Graduates educated at tax-payer expense in state universities are expected to launch a protest if PM does not give into a demand to be tax-spenders for life with a govt job, a media report said. Convener of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG), Dammika Munasinghe was quoted as saying there were more than 20,000 graduates who want public sector jobs. "We protested demanding employment on Nov. 16 in Colombo and wanted to march up to more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Jaffna: An arid land without heroes

Dec 29 (CT) The first shot in the North-South war , a.k.a. Eelam War, rang out on July 27, (Friday), 1975. Its vibrations shook the foundations of the sleepy villages and towns of Jaffna. It was never going to be the same again in Jaffna. The shock waves shook Jaffna not because the shot was fired at Ponnalai Varadraja Perumal Temple, Jaffna in a time of peace. It was because of the political implications of killing an unarmed pilgrim visiting the temple. more..

Conflicting Priorities

Dec 29 (CT) Social media and bloggers took to the internet to condemn the announcement made by President Sirisena to ban future attempts to host Enrique-esque shows, deeming it a step backwards. The President on Sunday (27) stated that such concerts provoke young people to act in a manner that's brazen and risqué, in reference to the incident of a young woman throwing her underwear at the Latin American Singer. The condition in which the act took place is unknown. more..

Audio: JVP wants LG polls right away

Dec 29 (DM) The JVP today opposed to the Presidential move to extend the tenure of some Local Govt (LG) bodies by six months and urged govt to hold elections for these bodies forthwith under the existing electoral system. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said the elections for LG bodies were delayed by the govt because of the issues between the main two parties in it and also intraparty issues of the SLFP. more..

Sirisena’s son-in-law deletes Sex and Love concert photo

Dec 29 (CT) With growing public anger on social media President Sirisena’s son-in-law Thilina Suranjith has un-tagged a photo on his Facebook page, which showed him reveling at the recently concluded Sex and Love world tour concert of the Spanish music super star Enrique held in Colombo. President Sirisena went on a rampage accusing the organizers Live Events Pvt Ltd for bringing disrepute to a culturally sensitive Buddhist country when he addressed a gathering in Amapara. more..

Polythene less than 20 microns in thickness to be banned

Dec 29 (Island) Govt has decided to ban the use of polythene which is less than 20 microns in thickness from Jan 1, 2016. Central Environment Authority (CEA) said that on the direction of President, govt would impose a blanket ban on the use of polythene bags at groceries and retail outlets in the country. The violators would be fined up to Rs. 10,000 or jailed, according to a presidential directive. Shopping bags, grocery bags, lunch sheets and all other such material would fall into this category, more..

Video: President defends stand on Enrique concert

Dec 29 (AD) A social media attack has been waged against me about my comments in connection with a recent concert by a pop star in Colombo, President Maithripaka Sirisena says. “This is not an attack against me, but it will be an attack on our culture and civility,” he said. “Those who give a high priority to protect what is ours are always rewarded with more blames,” President Sirisena added. more..

'No one in TPC came through back door'

Dec 29 (CT) No one in the Tamil People's Council (TPC) came through the back door, NPC CM and co-chairman of Council C.V. Wigneswaran said. He made this remark addressing 2nd session of TPC held in Jaffna on Sunday. "There has always been a wide gap between political principles and politics in practice. So, there must be a movement to monitor such conduct. Our people are prone to the thinking based on whether this party or that party, whether this leader or that leader. more..

Video: Minor earth tremors in Meda Dumbara

Dec 29 (AD) A minor earth tremor was reported last night in and around the Meda Dumbara area in Kandy, it was reported. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said that the tremor was reported at around 10.30 p.m. The vibrations have been recorded at the Earthquake Monitoring Stations (EMS) in Pallekele, Hakmana and Mahakanadarawa. The GSMB has launched an inquiry to generate accurate information regarding the incident. more..

LakSathosa to guzzle another billion rupees from tax-payers

Dec 29 (EN) State-run Lak Sathosa retail chain will spend billion rupees of tax-payer money to expand to 500 shops from the current 309 in 2016, Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said. "I welcome the efforts of Minister Ravi Karunanayake to revive Lak Sathosa, under my Ministry and to expand the distribution network by increasing the number of outlets up to 500 from 309 at present, for which Rs.1,000 million to be allocated," more..

Minister promises justice to tortured housemaid

Dec 29 (Island) The govt would conduct a fresh investigation into the incident where a Sri Lanakan housemaid had been allegedly tortured in Riyadh Saudi Arabia; the victim had been forced to swallow iron nails allegedly by her employers, Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. The victim Subhashini Malkanthi, a resident of Madurankuliya in Puttalam, left the country on June 09, 2014. According to her the incident took place on Oct. 15, 2014. more..

Uproar over ITAK MP’s speech

Dec 29 (CT) Agitation occurred among the general public at an event held in Puttur-Jaffna on Saturday when ITAK representatives began to speak politics instead of social issues of the district. Agitators began to raise questions as to why the representatives continuously spoke about politics, but not their grievances. ITAK MPs Mavai Senathiraja, Sumanthiran, Chairman of NPC and Northern Provincial Councillors participated in the public gathering held on Saturday. more..

No ban on foreign singers performing in SL

Dec 29 (CG) Govt says there is no move to ban top foreign singers from performing in Sri Lanka despite concerns raised over a recent concert. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said the President Sirisena was concerned over the conduct of local fans at a concert staged by Latino star Enrique Iglesias in Colombo last week but was not against the singer. Earlier this week the President said the Enrique Iglesias concert more..

LG polls in mid June next year, says Rajitha

Dec 29 (AD) The next local govt election will be held next year June under the new mixed electoral system, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says. The tenure of the local government bodies was extended by 6 months, President Maithripala Sirisena announced earlier. There are 335 local govt authorities in Sri Lanka which includes 23 Municipal Councils, 41 Urban Councils and 271 Pradeshiya Sabhas. The tenure of a majority of these local govt authorities are already over. more..

TNA welcomes TPC activities

Dec 29 (CT) TNA welcomes the democratic activities taken forward by Tamil People's Council (TPC). TNA is also ready to consider the reasonable solutions put forth by the TPC for resolving the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka. TNA General Secretary, ITAK Leader Mavai Senathiraja said the above during Valikamam- East Development Advisory Committee meeting held at divisional council Puttur head office on Saturday led by Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Member A. Paranjyothi. more..

SriLankan Airlines may have to cancel A350 orders: Minister

Dec 29 (EN) SriLankan Airlines may have to cancel some of the Airbus A350 aircraft ordered by ousted Rajapaksa regime paying a penalty, which make the airline suffer losses of US$ 955 million. Many of SriLankan Airlines long-haul destinations to Europe is suffering losses, partly due to the use of old aircraft but also due to competition from privatized European airlines and Middle Eastern carriers which are owned by feudal more..

RDA slaps biggest ever fine for damaging E01

Dec 29 (DM) A fine of Rs. 2.18 million was recovered by the Road Development Authority for the damage caused to the protective fence of the Southern Expressway by a heavy vehicle transporting gas cylinders recently. The accident had caused extensive damage to the protective fence at the 59.6 kilometre post between Welipenna and Kurundugahahetepma entrances. Southern Expressway police said it was the highest ever fine imposed for the damage caused to property more..

Isura Devapriya takes over Warnasinghe's ministerial posts

Dec 29 (AM) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya took oaths in the ministerial portfolios which Nishantha Warnasinghe of Jathika Hela Urumaya held. PC Minister Warnasinghe’s expenditure heads were voted down recently by the Western Provincial Council. Therefore, the portfolios of Western Health, Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare, Probation and Child Care, the Ministry of Women's Affairs are now controlled under Devapriya. more..

JSC gives one year extension to judge hearing Thajudeen case

Dec 29 (AM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris, who handles the magisterial inquiry on the death of Wasim Thajudeen, has been given an extension of term of office. Judicial Services Commission informed Additional Magistrate Peiris of the decision to extend his term of office for one more year. Meanwhile, Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya was also given an extension of one year at his present position. more..

US takes note of democratic gains in SL

Dec 29 (CG) United States says the past year marked important democratic gains in Sri Lanka and some other countries. US Secretary of State John Kerry said that despite turbulence and tragedy, the past year has provided fresh hope that the world community can come together and tackle even the hardest problems. “The past year also marked important democratic gains in such countries as Nigeria, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela,” Kerry said in an opinion article for Boston Globe. more..

LPBOA to launch luxury bus service

Dec 29 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) is to start a luxury city bus service under the instructions of the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in order to reduce the traffic congestion in Colombo. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said that the PM had extended his fullest support to the project and LPBOA is hoping to have further discussions with the PM over the matter. "These bus services will operate from major suburbs such as Kottawa, Maharagama, Moratuwa and Kadawatha more..

Govt hiding report on ISIS threat: BBS

Dec 29 (DM) Two foreign countries had warned the State intelligence of spreading Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorism in Sri Lanka, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said. “It is disappointing to hear that the govt had to wait until foreign countries inform them. We have alerted the govt several times warned the intelligence services over an ISIS attack in this country within a year,” more..

SLFP says no split, will contest with UPFA

Dec 29 (CG) The SLFP today insisted that there was no split in the party and added that it will contest the next election under the UPFA. SLFP member and UPFA MP S.B. Dissanayake said that members of the SLFP have been given the freedom to express their views on any issue but this did not mean there was a split. He said when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power and was the head of the SLFP, all SLFP members had no choice but to agree with his views. more..

Sri Lanka secures support for Swiss bank account probe

Dec 29 (EN) Switzerland has agreed to support Sri Lanka’s probe into alleged Swiss bank accounts maintained by the ousted former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said police investigations were continuing into allegations that Rajapaksa and his family have wealth hidden in overseas bank accounts. “The Swiss authorities agreed to co-operate and provide information if there are accounts in Swiss banks used for money laundering,” he told a news conference. more..