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Five things Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt needs to do save its reputation

Dec 31 (FT) Much was expected from the Sirisena Govt. So far, the achievements have been unsatisfactory. The PM is good at promising the earth and the moon with his high-flying vision for Sri Lanka; nothing more so far. Committee after committee is appointed with limited results. What he does not realise is that people want benefits and visible performance. President is more pragmatic than the PM. He does not go around the country talking about making SL a digital economy more..

'There is nothing in Budget for fisheries sector'

Dec 31 (SL) The current national govt is nothing but a bunch of shameless liars and they are simply cheating the people charged Sarath Kumara Gunarathne MP and former deputy minister and a long-standing member of the SLFP. He said that hailing from Negombo, this time of the year is the most celebrated Christmas season for many Catholics in his area and they usually celebrate Christmas in a grand manner having earned more..

Piloting Politics

Dec 31 (DN) The sky is the limit for SLFP MP Kanaka Herath, who has stepped out of his father’s shadow and made his name in politics in Sri Lanka. Young Voices from Diyawanna features this MP, for whom the proletariat has been the wind beneath his wings. Herath comes from a political family. His father, Maheepala Herath, is the chief minister of Sabaragamuwa Province. Herath studied at Trinity College. After finishing his A/Ls in 1995, he completed his higher studies at Melbourne, more..

Editorial: End of Bras bands?

Dec 31 (Island) President Sirisena has said he continues to draw heavy flak from the social media over his threat to whip anyone who dares organise events where women throw their underwear at artistes. He says nothing will deter him from safeguarding the country’s values and customs. The present govt has not been able to eliminate the scourge of narcotics, the culture of violence, bribery and corruption and other such social evils in spite of its much-publicised election promises. more..

JVP press conference

Shaping for a resilient tomorrow: Revolutionary resolutions

Dec 31 (FT) This is the time for retrospection, reflection and resolutions, unless of course you are fixed on dry cleaning for that perfect midnight bash. The year 2016 is just around the corner and we are going to get a fresh 31,622,400 seconds – 2016 being a leap year, we are going to get an additional 86400 seconds –to work, play and live. I just hope that someone is not going to moan about the fact of having to work an extra day for the same salary. From a Sri Lankan point of view, more..

The curtain falls, but the drama still on

Dec 31 (DN) As Sri Lanka bids adieu to 2015, a year that saw significant changes in the country’s political domain, the national unity govt, formed nearly 12 months ago, is facing a three-pronged challenge. The biggest challenge confronting the national unity govt at the moment is the slow-moving anti-corruption investigations into some top-brass members of the previous govt. Although the govt has initiated action against some, including former Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Standing tall on and off the court

Dec 31 (ST) Randika Doling challenges stereotypes both on and off the courts. Only three feet and 10 inches tall, Doling was born with a genetic condition called achondroplasia which left her with disproportionately short arms and legs. But Doling has never let her stature get in the way of realising her potential. This September she participated in her first Para-Badminton World Championship & walked away with a bronze more..

SLT launches wild fruits of SL calendar

Dec 31 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), launched its calendar for the year 2016 under the theme Wild Fruits of Sri Lanka. The calendar was launched during a special event held on Wednesday, December 16 at the SLT premises in Fort Colombo. Prof. Devaka Weerakoon, Senior Lecturer of the Zoology Department at the University of Colombo, Samantha Gunasekara, former Deputy Director of Customs – Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Division and more..

Potential demand for senior living housing

Dec 31 (ST) Sri Lanka is a country with a discreetly ageing population because of an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in birth rates. The demographic transition that is taking place is expected to result in the old and young representing a lopsided share of the population. The elderly population of Sri Lanka makes up 12.4% of the overall population, and this figure will likely grow. The existing working population who follow the trends of nuclear families, more..

Looks back at Sri Lanka's sporting achievements in 2015

Dec 31 (CT) CRICKET: Sri Lanka painted a poor picture during the 2015 season as they fell to a new low while succumbing to seven humiliating Test defeats and also remaining in the seventh position of the ICC Team Rankings. Altogether, SL played a total of 11 Test matches and managed to pull off only four victories with just a solitary series win (2-0) over the lowly West Indies team on home soil. The year 2015 also saw, two legendary cricketers more..

Sri Lanka could have built 130 hospitals for losses at two SOEs

Dec 31 (EN) Sri Lanka could have built 130, 300 bed hospitals for losses suffered by the Rajapaksa regime at SriLankan Airlines and the 2011 loss of the state petroleum monopoly, a minister has said. After Emirates management was terminated and the airlines shares were taken back Sri Lankan had lost 128 billion rupees, minister Kabir Hashim told parliament. "This is enough to build 65, 300-bed hospitals." He said 130 top grade schools could also have been built with the money. more..

'Apparel exports can top US$ 16 bn revenue with GSP'

Dec 31 (DN) Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports could reach the US$ 16 billion revenue mark if the suspended GSP plus facility is granted. To reach this target, the apparel industry also needs to be made into an industry of innovation for which GSP plus facility is important, Senasinghe said. He said Sri Lanka’s overall exports as a share of GDP has been on the decline over the years. Commenting on the govt’s ambitious plan of setting up 5,000 industries more..

Ravi K under fire for batting for Nihal in Hilton claim

Dec 31 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake is under fire for making a case in Cabinet for Nihal Sri Ameresekere over latter’s claim of Rs. 300 million as compensation for supposedly savings Rs. 87 billion for the State over the years with regard to long-drawn dispute concerning Hilton Colombo. Criticism against the Finance Minister is on account of him seeking Cabinet approval for compensation when a JVP WPC member has lodged more..

NCC champions

Dec 31 (CT) Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC) emerged champions of the 'AIA' Premier Inter Clubs Limited overs Cricket tournament when they defeated defending champs Colts CC by 77 runs in the final played at R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium yesterday. NCC won the toss and elected to bat. They scored 255 runs for 8 wickets in 50 overs. Angelo Perera scored 50 runs in 74 balls with 2 boundaries and a six. Opener Niroshan Dickwella scored 49 runs in 49 deliveries. more..

Global competitiveness and Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (Island) The Global Competitiveness Report compiled by the World Economic Forum is an annual analysis of economies around the globe, paying attention on key factors and their inter-relations of each country's economic growth and present &future prosperity. This analytical report has been in production for the past 35 years. Sri Lanka stands at the 68th rank out of 140 economies in 2015-16 index. In 2014-15 Sri Lanka was in 73rd position, out of 144 economies. more..

Video: 'No troubled water over bridge'

Dec 31 (DM) The plan to construct a bridge connecting SL and India will suffer the same fate as the Sethu Samurdram project due to environmental issues. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the proposed bridge would never materialise as it would adversely affect the marine environment. The minister made this comment with regard to a recent allegation by the joint opposition that SL govt had given the go-ahead for the project. more..

Shehan Pathirana in hot water

Dec 31 (CT) Kandy flanker Shehan Pathirana could face a suspension following a protest lodged by his former club Havelock SC after he made his first appearance of the inter-club league rugby tournament 2015/2016 against CR and FC a couple of weeks ago despite not being released by Havelock SC. SL Sevens star returned to action in the fifth week of the league competition after being sidelined for two months due to an injury he picked up during the Tuskers semi final defeat more..

Total 98 complaints received against local govt institutions in November

Dec 31 (FT) A total of 98 charges against fraud and corruption in Local Govt Institutions have been received for the month of November whilst the Western Province recorded the highest number of complaints. Western Province Local Govt Authorities had a significant number of grievances recorded against them which amounted to 53 whilst North Western Province followed by recording 11 and Central Province recorded 8 complaints. The Eastern province had six complaints against more..

Video: Govt wasting money on hopper revolution: Wimal

Dec 31 (DM) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the govt was making arrangements to waste people’s money on celebrations to mark the hopper revolution in January. Mr. Weerawansa who returned in the country after touring Europe to deliver a number of lectures to the Sri Lankans there on the theme, hybrid court, said the present govt which promoted simplicity was now wasting public funds. more..

SLMC, TNA leaders meet

Dec 31 (FT) Representatives of TNA and SLMC met at the oppositions leader’s office and discussed matters pertaining to the proposed new constitution and electoral reforms. Oppositions Leader R. Sampanthan, MPs Mavai Senathiraja and M.A.Sumenthiran represented TNA while SLMC Leader Minister Rauff Hakeem, Party Deputy Secretary General, Nizam Kariyapper, Former MP M.B. Farook and SLMC Foreign Affairs Director A.M. Faais represented SLMC. more..

Five adults, infant die in accident

Dec 31 (CT) Six people died in a head-on collision between a passenger van and an oncoming bus in Dummaladeniya, Warakapola yesterday. The bus was carrying pilgrims to the 2nd century B.C. Somawathiya Stupa. The tragedy took place at 4.55 a.m. when the van that was carrying about 20 passengers was on its way from Sammanthurai to the Department of Emigration and Immigration in Colombo. Driver of the van aged 29, three females aged 67, 37 and 26 including a 2-year-old girl more..

Video: I was removed for voicing against corruption: Nishantha

Dec 31 (DM) JHU Spokesman and former Western Province Health Minister Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said he was removed from his ministerial portfolios in an act of political revenge because he had lodged complaints with the Bribery Commission and other law enforcements agencies against corrupt politicians in the previous govt. He said that according to the Constitution, a provincial minister could not be removed on the basis of more..

PRECIFAC probes Rs 134 M water filtration fraud

Dec 31 (CT) The PRECIFAC has commenced investigations into a possible fraudulent transaction in the North Central Provincial Council involving a payment of over Rs 134 million for the supply of 12,500 multipurpose water filtration units. The filtration units were for the purpose of providing patients suffering with chronic kidney disease in the North Central Province (NCP) with safe drinking water. The NCP has paid this amount to a private firm allegedly through connivance between more..

Photo ban on Sigiriya frescoes

Dec 31 (DN) Photographing of the Sigiriya Frescoes will be prohibited from Dec 30, 2015, Central Cultural Fund Director General Prof. Prishantha Gunawardana said. Decision was taken after lengthy discussions, in order to preserve the frescoes and the Archaeological Director has also given his approval for this decision. "Experts have confirmed that the camera flash is bad for the frescoes. Matter was given serious attention to due to the remarkable increase of visitors to this site " more..

More land released for resettlement in Jaffna

Dec 31 (DN) President has directed SL Army to release 701.5 acres of land in two DS Divisions in Jaffna district on a request made by Minister D.M. Swaminathan. 468.5 acres of land in Tellippalai and 233 acres of lands in Kopay DS divisions have been released by SL Army in the resettlement process. The 30 year war resulted in IDP families and the private lands owned by the people been occupied by the Armed Forces. more..

Siddharthan defends TPC participation

Dec 31 (CT) TNA MP and PLOTE Leader Dharmalingam Siddharthan said that ITAK members cannot demand an explanation for his representation at the Tamil People's Council (TPC), only the TNA has the right to inquire into it. "I'm ready to give explanation if the TNA questions me but members from a single constituent party cannot question me," he said. He participated in the TPC meeting, where many civil organizations and religious leaders too participated apart from some political leaders. more..

A/L results out by January 3?

Dec 31 (DN) Examination Department sources said that the A/L Exam 2015 results will probably be released on January 3, next year. According to him, Examinations Department is engaged in the final stage of issuing the results. The results will be issued simultaneously to the schools and to the internet. Results can be viewed through the internet by logging on Examination Department website - However, Examinations Department sources had earlier stated that more..

Megapolis Development Plan presented to President

Dec 31 (PSL) Megapolis Development Plan formulated for entire megapolis development in the island including Western Province was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena today (30) at the Presidential Secretariat. At this occasion, President said everybody should contribute to make the Megapolis Development Plan, main development project to be implemented by govt in the new year successful. more..

AG to retire on Jan 9: Wijeyadasa pushing Suhada Gamlath as new AG

Dec 31 (AM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa is likely to nominate Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath as new Attorney General, Justice Ministry sources said. Current Attorney General Yuwanjana Wanasundara is to retire from service on January 9. The current AG, who was appointed during the tenure of former President Rajapaksa, has not sought a service extension. According to standard procedure, Justice Minister has to recommend the name of a suitable candidate more..

New traffic plan in Borella

Dec 31 (CT) A new traffic plan was brought in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 8.45 a.m. yesterday morning in Borella. Police said the traffic plan will function on weekdays only. All vehicles except buses plying the Sri J'pura – Borella route will not be allowed to turn towards Borella at the D.S. Senanayake junction. All other vehicles have been advised to use alternate routes to Borella. Motorists have been advised to enter Borella through Cotta Road at Ayurveda junction and to use the road running parallel more..

Dormant account funds to Treasury

Dec 31 (DN) Funds in all dormant accounts of all banks will be sent to the Consolidated Fund from Jan 1, 2016. Treasury circular with the instructions has already been prepared, officials confirmed. Accordingly banks will be required to send all funds kept in dormant accounts to the Treasury by March 31, 2016. Funds transferred to the Treasury from banks are expected to boost the cash flow of the consolidated fund. more..

Peaceful 2016; Let’s go beyond words

Dec 31 (DM) As 2015 draws to a close tonight, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which terrorized hundreds of millions of people in at least three continents and was seen by many analysts as an incarnation of Satan, appeared to be on its heels back to hell. Iraqi PM, Haider al-Abadi, vowed on Tuesday that ISIS would be terminated in Iraq in the year ahead after the raising of the national flag over govt buildings in Ramadi that had served as the terror group’s base in the city. more..

Hirunika: Vicious cycle of sinister system

Dec 31 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra took a path to Parliament that was well trodden by her predecessors; the public sympathy over the untimely demise of a family member that turned into votes at the next election. That is how many pioneering female politicians in this part of the world, from Sirima Bandaranaike to Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto to Bangladesh’s feuding Sheik Hasina and Khaleda Zia landed in the high political office. Their overnight meteoric rise meant that they were more..

On board the Tsunami train

Dec 31 (DM) Thousands of innocent lives were sacrificed to the deadly tsunami that struck the Pearl of the Indian Ocean on Dec 26, 2004. It was a poya day and hundreds and thousands of Buddhist devotees were praying for the goodwill of their lives and of their loved ones. On that very day, many decided to travel on board the Ocean Queen Express, express train from Colombo to Matara, for religious and other purposes. more..

New Year fun and frolics don’t come cheap

Dec 31 (ST) As the Christmas season passes and 2016 approaches elaborate arrangements are in train to celebrate the New Year – but there can be a hefty price tag. While the dawn of the New Year will be welcomed with solemn rejoicing in religious ceremonies, big-name hotels are going all out with dinners, dances and shows reaching new heights of indulgence. For Rs. 25,000 a head, one five-star hotel in Colombo more..

Missing without a trace

Dec 31 (SL) Every year thousands of Sri Lankan women go to the Middle East to work as housemaids in order to provide for the their families. There has always been news of women who are abused, harassed and stoned to death. These stories have become more and more horrifying with each passing second. Recently a story was reported. Story of Deepika Kumari of Meegalewa. Deepika as many other women left more..

'Sri Lanka has had wrong policy in transport'

Dec 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka has had wrong policy in encouraging private transport and congesting the roads, making it inefficient and polluting the environment. “As you can see we have too many vehicles on the roads,” Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “The biggest frustration when you land at the Colombo airport is that it starts with a pleasant drive unlike a few years ago, but when you get to the city the traffic hits you,” more..

Bill to increase salaries of private sector workers by Rs 2500 to parliament next month

Dec 31 (Island) A bill seeking to make private sector employers increase the salaries of their employees by Rs. 2,500 would be presented to Parliament in January, Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne said. He said according to the bill, Rs. 1,500 would be added to the basic salary of private sector employees from January 2016. The balance Rs. 1,000 will be added in June. more..

Lankan MP wants Ceylon House in Makkah returned to community

Dec 31 (AN) A visiting SL legislator said that Ceylon House, which is a property of the island’s Muslims, has to be redeemed from an individual who claims to be its owner and handed to a new group of trustees, who should be appointed by the Colombo govt. Mujibur Rahman, a young MP who was elected to Parliament with a large number of votes from Colombo, said that it is sad that the previous govt has not taken any action on more..