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Harvest - 2018 agriculture exhibition opens

Dec 12 (PMD) Harvest 2018 organized by the Minister of Agriculture with the intention to build a modern culture in agriculture is opened by President Maithripala Sirisena to at BMICH today (11). This exhibition is held for the public from today from 9 a.m to 9 p.m and it is comprised of exhibition stalls, food stalls, fruits and vegetable stalls, and many other sections. A number of local and foreign institutes are gathering more..

Big data, data analytics vital for work efficacy: Peter Carey

Dec 12 (DN) To keep up with the ever-changing technological advancements in the world, accounting professionals need to utilise big data, data analytics in improving the efficacy of their work. “Emerging technologies such Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain today are likely to reshape many aspects of accountancy profession and at the same time, the relevance of the role of accountants in the financial markets is more important than ever before. Hence it is essential to incorporate or more..

ComBank Annual Report best in banking sector for 14th year

Dec 12 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon was reaffirmed the best among Sri Lanka’s banks for financial disclosure for a consistent 14th year, winning the Gold in the Banking Institutions category at the 2018 CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards. The Bank also won the Bronze award for Overall Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting across all sectors of business, the Gold for Integrated Reporting - Best Disclosure on Capital Management, Gold for more..

Sri Lanka, UNDP to improve tourism sustainability standards

Dec 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's state tourism office will be launching a sustainable tourism certificate scheme for the industry in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme in 2019. "Next year we are planning to implement a sustainable tourism certificate scheme for the country with the UNDP," Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General Upali Ratnayake said. more..

Malinga crowned Most Popular Sports Personality

Dec 12 (DN) ‘During my 15-year international cricket career it is the first time that I had the chance to win the Most Popular Sports Personality award at the 4th annual SILK sports awards ceremony which was held at the BMICH recently', said SL's most successful fast bowler Lasith Malinga. The awards ceremony recognized local sporting heroes who have excelled in their respective sporting fields during the 2018. "During my sports career I have received so many awards but this award more..

Unpredictable politics continues to drag stock market lower

Dec 12 (Island) Both indices ended lower amid lacklustre market turnover on the trading floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday as Investor sentiment continued to take a major hit due to the ongoing political and economic uncertainty. The depreciation of per share value of Dialog – one of Stock Market's big cap counters – by 30 cents ( 2.8%) served as a major factor for the day's lacklustre trading. Dialog per share value moved down by 30 cents compared to previous day. more..

Hutch to return 5MHz of 900MHz band spectrum

Dec 12 (CT) Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has instructed Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Hutch Lanka) to hand over 5MHz of its 900MHz band spectrum to TRCSL, subsequent to its recent merger with the Etisalat Lanka Limited (ESL), TRCSL sources said. The combined business of Hutch Lanka and ESL currently has 15 MHz (7.5 MHz each) of 900 MHz band spectrum. more..

Asiri Surgical launches specialized oncology centre

Dec 12 (CT) With the intent to offer world class cancer care in Sri Lanka, Asiri Surgical Hospital, a member of the country’s largest private sector hospital chain, in collaboration with the American Oncology Institute (AOI), a leading provider of oncology services based out of the USA, has launched Asiri AOI, a major new cancer-care initiative to transform the spectrum of cancer treatment and management available in the country, a media release stated. more..

Gihan Cooray appointed chairman of Nations Trust Bank

Dec 12 (Island) Nations Trust Bank has announced the appointment of Gihan Cooray as chairman of the board of directors, with effect from Dec 1st 2018. Cooray takes over as chairman following the retirement of Krishan Balendra who stepped down after having served the stipulated maximum 9 year tenure as a Director of Nations Trust Bank. Cooray is the group finance director of John Keells Holdings and has overall responsibility for the Group’s Finance and Accounting, Taxation, more..

SriLankan Airlines without any documents on appointing reinsurance broker

Dec 12 (Island) The insurance division of SriLankan Airlines did not have any documents to prove board approval for awarding MS Willis the contract as reinsurance broker in 2008, Rajinda Fernando, Senior Insurance Executive of the airline told the PCoI yesterday. He said that, in Feb 2008, former Insurance Manager, Aruna Kalubowila had asked two companies, Willis and Mills, to submit proposals as the reinsurance broker for SriLankan. more..

Economic crisis: Bandula invites US Ambassador to meet CB Governor

Dec 12 (DM) MP Bandula Gunawardana said the remarks made by US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz on SL’s economic crisis were erroneous and invited her to meet the CB Governor to be enlightened about the country’s economic situation. MP said it appeared that certain elements had fed false information to the Ambassador on the economic situation in Sri Lanka. “We appreciate the fact that the Ambassador took the time to pay her respects to the Tooth Relics at Sri Dalada Maligawa. more..

RADA case fixed for further trial on Jan. 11

Dec 12 (DN) The case filed against former MP Tiran Alles and three others was yesterday fixed for further trial on January 11 by the Colombo High Court. Attorney General had filed indictments against four accused for allegedly conspiring to misappropriate Rs. 200 million public funds belonging to the RADA in 2005. The prosecution witness Dayananda Perera, private secretary of Minister Champika Ranawaka is to be further cross examined by defence on Jan 11. more..

RW’s Confidence Motion in Parliament today

Dec 12 (NR) A proposal stating parliament has absolute confidence in Ranil Wickremesinghe functioning as the PM, will be presented in Parliament today. The proposal will be presented by MPs Sajith Premadasa, Ravi Karunanayake, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Lakshman Kiriella, Rajitha Senaratne, Palani Digambaran, Mangala Samaraweera, and Rishad Bathiudeen. Furthermore a proposal will also be more..

JVP to consider Mano’s stance: Handunnetti

Dec 12 (DM) While appreciating the statement made by Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader and MP Mano Ganesan that his party’s stance to join JVP, MP Sunil Handunnetti said they would consider it. MP said the statement made by TPA leader in an audio message on Twitter was his personal view, but he had not officially communicated it to the JVP. However, we respect his stance. As the JVP, we cannot make any statement regarding that statement now, he said. more..

Mano wondering whether to ally with JVP

Dec 12 (DM) Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader and MP Mano Ganesan said he was wondering whether his party should change its stance and join the JVP. Mr. Ganesan said this in the latest message on Twitter. “Many feel that we should team up with the JVP and it is natural for me to feel the same way and to contemplate whether a new alliance has to be formed with the Marxist party,” he said in his Twitter message. TPA contested the 2015 general election and more..

Paralysis pains plantations

Dec 12 (FT) Amidst political paralysis in the country, the plantation industry is battling their own crisis over what it described as an unfair wage hike demand by unions, who have struck work causing nearly Rs. 2 billion in losses in a week, with more damage to follow if there is no solution. Unions are on strike, demanding a 100% hike in basic wage to Rs. 1,000 per day, whereas industry has offered a 20% increase to Rs. 600 more..

Shashi Weerawansa case trials fixed for Jan1

Dec 12 (DN) Two cases filed against Shashi Weerawansa, wife of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa were yesterday re-fixed for the trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne. This is over an incident where Shashi Weerawansa had fraudulently obtained two passports including a diplomatic passport by submitting forged documents to the Immigration and Emigration Dept. Magistrate postponed two cases due to the absentia of the accused. more..

Alleged Prez/Gota assassination plot: Magistrate chides CID

Dec 12 (CT) Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday issued notice on the investigating officers, in the case concerning the alleged plot to assassinate the President, to appear in Court, as their enthusiasm was evidenced by the fact that they didn’t appear in Court when the case was taken up yesterday. Magistrate gave the order as the CID officers were not present in Court when the case pertaining to the alleged phone conversations regarding an alleged more..

Parties discuss feasibility of holding general election

Dec 12 (DM) Discussions are underway among political parties to approve a resolution in Parliament with two-thirds majority calling for its dissolution in case the Supreme Court holds that the dissolution violated the Constitution. The govt which took office on Oct 26 is considering the possibility of relinquishing office in the event the Supreme Court rules that the dissolution of Parliament by Prez Maithripala Sirisena is invalid. more..

The lad who set the paddy field ablaze….

Dec 12 (DM) What cost Bill Clinton a second term in office was not his affair with Monica Levinsky, per se. It was his sworn deposition and the public affirmation by him that he had nothing to do with the latter, which later was proved and he admitted, as false. He admitted the affair and that it was wrong and apologised. Yet as the Prez he had lost the confidence of the public, not only those who voted him to power. Prez Clinton himself, in the eyes of the American citizen, had become persona non more..

Mr. Executive, your office is bigger than yourself

Dec 12 (DM) When an electorate gets carried away with the candidate’s veneer of simplicity that concealed all the oozing that was rotting away within the presumed common man, consequences are seldom concealed. When he couldn’t match his flowing rhetoric with actual accomplishments on and off the field of politics, his acquired purity fades into nightmarish shadows. When the Executive does not realise that the office he holds is bigger than the person, the scope and expanse of office more..

Fear of the future freezes festive sales

Dec 12 (ST) Sharp rises in the prices of many goods and the unprecedented political crisis are affecting businesses at this critical sales time of Christmas and the New Year. Shoppers say the rising cost of living and political instability have made them cautious about how they spend their money. “I have worked here for 32 years and I have never seen a period as bad as this,” lamented K.P. Upatissa, an employee at a retail clothes more..

Tradition in danger of dying out

Dec 12 (CT) The Traditional String Puppet Drama of Ambalangoda has been recommended by the UNESCO to be inscribed in the UNESCO representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Speaking to Ceylon Today, Consultant in preparing nominations seeking the UNESCO status, Professor Emeritus of the Kelaniya University, Prof. B. D. Nandadeva, said that every two years the UNESCO requests for nominations from more..

Forum in Jaffna calls for people-centred democracy

Dec 12 (FT) A forum on democracy held in memory of late Somesasunthary Krishnakumar, Uni of Jaffna Senior Lecturer in History, was held in Jaffna on 9 Dec. Activists, students, academics, journalists, artists and others from different parts of the country, including Akkaraipattu, Kilinochchi, Kandy, and Colombo, discussed the ongoing political crisis, its historical origins, and what democracy should look like in the future. more..

US envoy called upon to exercise diligence: Cabraal

Dec 12 (DN) The comments made by new American Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz that SL’s economy is in bad shape after Oct 26, is erroneous and damaging, said former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. He hoped that the foreign mission will be magnanimous enough to correct their statements. “I don’t think it’s a fair comment to make. The new ambassador does not know much. They should have had the care and foresight more..

'Norway, Canada, Germany continues to violate Vienna Convention'

Dec 12 (DN) The heads of the Canadian High Commission, the Norwegian and German embassies in Colombo are directly violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a former judicial officer of the European Court of Law pointed out,judicial officer and Law Professor Dinesh Gunasekera said. “The heads of missions from these sending States have acted in a manner ignoring their obligations under the Vienna more..

Govt expenses to be met through special provision: Yapa

Dec 12 (DN) Due to the absence of an Appropriation Bill, the govt may decide to raise loans in Sri Lanka or from overseas to meet the country’s operational expenditures through a special provision for loans under an Act of Parliament. UPFA MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that the country would have to face a crisis if it does not raise enough funds before the new financial year. “We have no desire to either burden the public, more..

Prez approves Akila’s mug shot

Dec 12 (Island) Prez Sirisena has instructed the Education Ministry to resume the process of distributing school uniform vouchers suspended on Nov 2 because they carry the picture of former Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. The incumbent govt found that the school uniform vouchers for the next year had already been printed and suspended the distribution thereof because Kariyawasam was referred to as the Minister of Education. more..

Estate workers’ strike concludes

Dec 12 (AD) The strike action launched by the estate workers demanding a basic daily wage of Rs 1000, which lasted for 08 days, has been concluded this morning. The leader of the CWC and Nuwara Eliya District MP Arumugan Thondaman stated that the strike came to an end following the discussion held with Prez Sirisena in this regard. During the discussion held at Presidential Secretariat last evening, the President had more..

Quo Warranto petition against Mahinda postponed to January

Dec 12 (AD) The Court has decided to hear the Writ of Quo Warranto on Mahinda Rajapaksa holding office as the PM on the 16th, 7th and 18th of January, 2019. This was decided when the case was taken up today. The Writ of Quo Warranto was filed by 122 MPs against Rajapaksa and his govt’s continuation in office after two no-confidence motions had been passed against it. Application was also taken up for consideration on Nov 30 more..

Video: Motion expressing confidence in Ranil presented

Dec 12 (AD) A motion expressing confidence in the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to function as the PM has been presented to the parliament. The motion was presented to the parliament by UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. The motion reads, “that this House resolves that Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Member of Parliament commands the confidence of Parliament to function as the Prime Minister.” more..

Sooner the deadlock is over the better

Dec 12 (CT) The present state-of-affairs in SL is unwholesome where there is no operational Govt composed of a Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and into the bargain, a PM. Executive Prez is the sole authority over the affairs of the country since the PM and the Ministers were sent on mandatory paid leave following the Court Order impeding them to function in their respective portfolios. This is an unprecedented situation which, if continued, can destabilize the country. more..

We don’t want an executive presidency

Dec 12 (FT) The executive presidency was established in 1978. Since then there has never been as much hope for its abolishment as there is right now. It however still requires many actors to come together to work towards its abolishment. The 20th as brought to the house by the JVP is agreeable to all stakeholders. It will require a bipartisan movement within Parliament to pass. Civil society must now press for its legislative passing. If brought to current parliament it should pass. more..

Ranjith Aluwihare

Lawyer files motion claiming President insulted SC

Dec 12 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Anura Laksiri Unawatuna yesterday filed a motion in the Supreme Court claiming that President Sirisena had insulted the judiciary and interfered in the independence of the judiciary, by asking the Attorney General to request the SC to deliver speedily, the judgement in respect of the fundamental rights violation petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament. The motion states the President’s action is in violation of Article 129 of the Constitution of SL, more..

Complaint lodged at CID for twisting identity of Beruwala drug peddler

Dec 12 (DM) A compliant was lodged at the CID today against the false rumors that a close associate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allegedly involved in an incident where a large heroin haul weighing 231.5 kilogrammes was seized at Beruwala on Dec 5. The complaint was lodged by Attorney Gamini Ekanayake claiming that the false rumor had gone viral in the social media where a picture is being circulated in which Mr. Gotabaya and an individual named Mohammad Najmi appearing more..

Sri Lanka’s crisis clouds fate of 20,000 missing people

Dec 12 (AT) After seven months of digging around the old Sathosa Building in Mannar, a city some 250 kilometers north of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the remains of some 266 people have been pulled from the clinging earth. While these bodies remain unidentified – and, in some cases, likely unidentifiable – few doubt that they are witnessing the exhumation of the first of 16,000 to 20,000 people who disappeared here more..

Singer Upali Kannangara passes away

Dec 12 (DM) Veteran singer Upali Kannangara passed away this morning at the age of 67 at a private hospital, Sri Lanka Singers Association (SLASA) President Keerthi Pasquel said. He said Kannangara underwent a heart surgery after which he had been unconscious for four days. The remains would lie at his residence 19A, Fourth Lane, Jambugasmulla Mawatha, Nugegoda. The final rites are scheduled to be held on Saturday (15) at 4.00 p.m. at the Kohuwela Public Cemetery. more..

New system to obtain pictures for NICs

Dec 12 (NR) A new system has been introduced to obtain pictures for National Identity Cards according to international standards. The first phase of the programme is scheduled to get underway in the Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces from next Thursday. According to the new system a hard copy of the picture will not be handed over to the applicant but instead an invoice containing a QR code that contains the number assigned to the picture will be issued. more..

President informed on Ranil’s vote of confidence

Dec 12 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has informed the President in writing that the motion expressing confidence in Ranil Wickremesinghe to function as the PM has been passed at the parliament. Official Media Unit of the Speaker has confirmed that, the motion was debated according to the standing orders of the parliament and voted on via an electronic system as per the standing order 47(2) (b), to be passed more..