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One tweet to break an impasse!

Dec 19 (DM) Last Sunday morning, as I was preparing to report on the swearing in of Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM, I received a message that said that media would not be allowed to cover the ceremony. It was in fact, a very apt ending to the impasse that began on Oct 26 evening. Then too my first indication that something was amiss came via a Whatsapp message. When media were prevented from attending the swearing in ceremony, the first confirmation that it had taken place came more..

Pieces of Goodwill not Peace and Goodwill!!

Dec 19 (DM) PEACE AND GOODWILL are what the Season of Christmas is all about, but sadly while people the world over are preparing for Christmas, our politicians are dishing out ill will with the unchanged political climate and the state of the country in PIECES NOT PEACE!!! THE ALL IMPORTANT DECISIONS THAT HAVE TO BE TAKEN ARE POSTPONED AND POSTPONED OVER AND OVER AGAIN, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY more..

'80% health sector Director Positions vacant'

Dec 19 (CT) Doctors unions claimed that the Health Ministry was unable to fill approximately 80% of Director positions in the country including that in the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Secretary of the GMOA yesterday claimed that the Health Ministry had not given Deputy Administrative Grade Appointments since 2009. He said that it had affected the process of appointing directors to hospitals. more..

Kusal Mendis the dasher turns into Thilan Samaraweera clone

Dec 19 (CI) Kusal Mendis didn't quite manage the double ton he had hoped to score as a leaving present for batting coach Thilan Samaraweera, but he did get something else after the innings in Wellington: the label of Samaraweera clone. After making a hundred on day four, Mendis had thanked Samaraweera for helping him out of a substantial batting rut over the last few months, and said that he hoped to make double-century more..

Vital dengue research comes to halt

Dec 19 (CT) The Centre for Dengue Research of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura said that research activities have been halted as the National Science Foundation was unable to provide them with required funds for this year due to financial constraints placed by the Treasury. This mainly concerned their recent research regarding a discovery about certain antibodies giving rise to severe dengue. more..

A bloody gang vendetta shows no sign of finale

Dec 19 (ST) Last Monday’s shooting in Modera that left six people injured was the latest act in a bloody feud between two rival gangs that goes back four years. According to police the bloodletting began in 2014, when the father of one gang leader and the mother of the other were murdered within hours of each other. The feud has so far cost eight lives and left several others injured on both sides. In the latest incident on Monday, more..

CID returns with Namal Kumara’s deleted voice recordings

Dec 19 (DM) The CID today informed the Fort Magistrate that experts from Hong Kong were able to recover several voice recordings which were deleted from the phone of the Operations Director of the Anti-Corruption Force Namal Kumara. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said the three-member team from the CID and Govt Analyst Department who left for Hong Kong had returned on December 14. more..

SriLankan incurs loss of Rs 539.7 mn for delay in returning leased aircraft

Dec 19 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had incurred a loss of Rs. 539.7 million, in 2017 due to its failure to return a leased A-320 aircraft to the lessor before the deadline, the PCoI was told. Asitha Fernando, Technical Services Engineer at SriLankan told the PCoI, that the airline had to return the aircraft on March 15, 2017. He said: "On Jan 15, 2017, the airline handed over the plane to the maintenance section to for necessary refurbishments. more..

I never entered into agreements with LTTE to win presidential election: Ranil

Dec 19 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he never entered into agreements with the LTTE, to win a presidential election. "I didn’t take any steps to enter into any agreement with the LTTE in order to win a prez election. In the past, I dedicated the victory in the Prez Election for the sake of my motherland. I haven’t yet changed that stand. Our intention is to form a broad alliance to protect democracy. more..

Sri Lanka earn first Test draw

Dec 19 (CI) They had less than half a session to see out due to rain on day five, but Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews stayed firm as they had all through Thursday, playing out 12 wicketless overs, to secure a draw. Through the course of the morning's play, which had begun 90 minutes after the scheduled start time, the pair were largely unbothered by Tim Southee and Trent Boult's fuller lengths, and even less troubled by more..

Sample selection of Mannar grave begins

Dec 19 (NR) The selection process of skeletal remains found in the Mannar mass grave due to be sent to a Uni in Florida commenced this morning. Accordingly six samples of the skeletal remains are due to be sent to Florida for a carbon dating tests. Two samples have already been selected. The initial six samples will also include remains identified as belonging to women and children along with remains found bound more..

Unconstitutional Cabinet Portfolios

Dec 19 (CT) The year draws to a close in another 12 days’ time with no budget presented neither a vote on account for the New Year, due to the political crisis of 26 Oct. Nonetheless, with the reappointment of UNP/UNF leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP, as Premier on Sunday due to the alleged unconstitutionality of the 26 Oct political coup deemed by the Supreme Court (SC), denoted by a Stay Order, at least a Cabinet should now be appointed, so that a Vote on Account (VoA) more..

Former DIG Nalaka de Silva further remanded till Jan 02

Dec 19 (AD) Former DIG Nalaka de Silva, who was arrested by the CID in connection with an alleged assassination plot targeting the President and former Defence Secretary, has been further remanded until 2 Jan 2019. The former Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) was arrested by the CID on October 25 over a suspected plot to assassinate Prez Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He was arrested after a police informant, more..

Prof. Theekshana Suraweera

7 Indian trawlers released from SL custody

Dec 19 (SLN) Seven Indian fishing trawlers held by the Sri Lanka Navy, while engaging in illegal fishing in SL territorial waters, were released from SL custody yesterday, with the assistance of SL Coast Guard. The released trawlers had been seized in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for trespassing on Sri Lankan territorial waters. These trawlers moored at the jetties of Trincomalee and Jaffna were repaired by a dedicated team of Indian engineers who recently arrived in SL, before their release. more..

What’s next after Supreme Court decision?

Dec 19 (FT) Last Thursday, just before the courts closed for Christmas holidays, the Supreme Court, sticking strictly to a legalistic path, put an end to the controversial issue of defining the powers of Prez Sirisena, leaving the nation to wrestle with the bigger problems still awaiting solutions to stabilise the nation. In fact, the grim reality is that the decision of the Supreme Court has thrown the nation back to square one. If the President agrees to work with Ranil, the nation will be back to more..

Tenure of Presidential Commission on SriLankan extended

Dec 19 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has extended the term of office of the Presidential Commission to inquire into allegations of large scale frauds and malpractices in SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering Ltd and Mihin Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, to Feb 15, 2019. President appointed this Commission on Feb 14, 2018 to inquire into allegations of large scale frauds and malpractices in relevant institutions during period of Jan 1, 2006 to Jan 31, 2018, more..

Phethai cyclonic storm: Rs.20mn from airlines using SL airspace

Dec 19 (DM) Sri Lanka will receive more than Rs.20 million in revenue from foreign airlines for using Sri Lanka’s airspace because of the cyclonic storm Phethai, which is affecting Southern India, BIA head of air navigation service, Mahinda Mahamittawa said. He said international airlines and private jets had used the Sri Lankan airspace on some 380 occasions on Sunday and Monday. “There are more than 20 routes inside SL airspace which are used by international airlines more..

CMC budget passed by 60 votes

Dec 19 (DM) 2018 Budget of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was passed today with a majority of 60 votes. 77 members voted in favour of the budget, while 17 members voted against and 16 were not present at the time of voting. Eight abstained. The budget was presented by CMC Mayor Rosy Senanayake. She said she was privileged to present the budget as the first female Mayor and added she would work to the best of her ability to render service in the interest of the people of Colombo City. more..

SL has two opposition leaders: TNA chief

Dec 19 (EN) The Head of TNA questioned whether there were two opposition leaders in parliament, because Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has not formally removed him while naming Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post. "There are two persons in the position of leader of opposition in the current parliament," TNA leader R Sampanthan said. He questioned whether the Speaker lacked the conviction to remove him from the post. more..

TISL offers four journalism fellowships

Dec 19 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the local chapter of the global movement against corruption is inviting expressions of interest from young journalists for the TISL Journalism Fellowship to Strengthen Accountable Governance in Sri Lanka. The fellowship will include workshops and support for the publishing of news stories focusing on public procurement, accountability, asset declarations, asset recovery and other related topics. more..

Russia Pacific Fleet ships due in Colombo

Dec 19 (Island) Russian Pacific Fleet’s Slava Class missile cruiser Varyag is scheduled to arrive in Colombo tomorrow. Varyag will be accompanied by large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and Auxillary vessel Boris Butoma. The vessels are scheduled to leave on Dec 24. Vladivostok-based vessels were on a four-day friendly visit. The vessels participated in a joint bilateral exercise by the Russian and Indian Navies dubbed Indra Navy 18 in the Bay of Bengal. more..

We won't give Prez Ministries of Law & Order and Media: Akila

Dec 19 (DM) General Secretary of the UNP, former Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the UNF would, under no circumstances, give the Ministries of Law and Order and Media and Information to President Maithripala Sirisena. He said that it was inevitable that there will be more constitutional and political dilemma if these two Ministries were given to the Executive President. “President can hold only the Ministries of more..

Eleven Aava gangsters netted in Police special operation

Dec 19 (CT) In a special pre-dawn Police operation, eleven notorious AAVA members from Jaffna were nabbed by Police engaged in a route patrol in Manipay at 3 a.m. yesterday. At the time of the arrest, the eleven gang members were travelling in a van followed by a motorcycle escort, reportedly on their way to an attack. Police patrol seized six swords in the possession of the AAVA members. The suspects were between the ages 21 and 24. Pre-dawn special operation was carried out more..

Williamson gives high praise to Sri Lankan batting duo

Dec 19 (CT) NZ tried bowling short from around the wicket. They tried bowling full to tempt a loose drive, with plenty of catching men in front of square to snaffle a low chance. They bowled their spinner unchanged from one end for an entire session, then switched around their quicks so the ones who were running into the wind, now had the breeze behind them. There were short legs, square gullies, short mid-ons, every variation of the fine leg imaginable, leg slips, wide slips & at one point, a fly slip. more..

Video: 'MR still SLFP Patron, member'

Dec 19 (DM) Former Prez Rajapaksa was still a patron and a member of SLFP and therefore, there was no obstacle for him to be appointed as the Opposition Leader, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. He said all SLFP MPs, who backed SLPP including Mr Rajapaksa continued to pay their membership fee to SLFP and that they had not withdrawn from that party. “Neither have we withdrawn from SLFP nor we were expelled more..

Sri Lanka at the World Tea & Coffee Expo 2018 in Mumbai

Dec 19 (GDI) A delegation from SL Tea Industry participated in the World Tea & Coffee Expo 2018, an annual gathering of tea professionals, held in Mumbai from 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2018. TSL delegation consisted of officials from the Sri Lanka Tea Board as well as representatives from Chelcey Holdings and Lumbini Tea Exports Pvt. Ltd. World Tea and Coffee Expo in Mumbai, which was supported by the Govt of Maharashtra attracted professionals and consumers in Indian tea and coffee industry more..

Ill-effects of smoking: Pottuvil Base Hospital creates awareness

Dec 19 (CT) The World No Tobacco Day campaign on the theme Make everyday, world no tobacco day organised by the Pottuvil Base Hospital was held in Pottuvil yesterday. The programme was organised with the assistance of Officers of the Kalmunai RDHS and Pottuvil MOH and began with the hoisting of the national flag by Medical Superintendent Dr. T.S.R.T Rajab after religious observances at the Hospital premises. A large number of people from all walks of life more..

'Constitution not for personal agendas'

Dec 19 (DM) The country's Constitution is not a document to be used or abused according to the whims and fancies of three people - President Maithirpala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem said. He said this during an adjournment debate on the abolition of the Executive Presidency. “Constitution is a sacrosanct document on which is based on the administration of more..

Nimal Lewke Heads RSPOA

Dec 19 (CT) Senior DIG Nimal Lewke was unanimously elected as the President with Senior DIG Asoka Wijethilaka and DIG Rohana Abeywardena as Vice Presidents. Lewke, at the inaugural meeting, highlighted that Rtd. officers welfare was one of the key subjects that the committee would plan out with the assistance of the suggestions of the outgoing Committee and assistance and guidance of other Senior Officers, who are not in the Committee and launch more..

China donates 90 water bowzers

Dec 19 (GDI) China donated 90 water bowzers to Sri Lanka, further marking the strength of Sri Lanka-China friendship since ancient times. The documents for this donations were presented to President Sirisena by Chinese Ambassador, Cheng Shu Ann at the Presidential secretariat today. China has decided to donate these water bowzers, worth over Rs One billion, because of the difficulties faced by the people in certain areas due to adverse weather conditions. more..

Mangala to retain Finance Ministry

Dec 19 (EN) SL’s new cabinet is expected to be sworn in Thursday with Mangala Samaraweera retaining the finance and media portfolio in a 30-member cabinet. There was serious wrangling with President Maithripala before PM Wickremesinghe could get his list of 30 approved. There was intense speculation about the law and order ministry with Sirisena insisting that he wanted to retain the subject of the police department more..

Japan, high potential entrepreneurial ground for Sri Lanka: Prof. Karunaratne

Dec 20 (SO) One of the main issues is policy inconsistency and drastic changes in policies. New products of low quality and price coming in from China is another constraint. The Chinese influence is substantial in the automobile and machinery sectors In the wake of rapid globalisation, migration has become a common phenomenon. The migration trend is mainly in a one way direction, from the developing to the developed world. Advanced economies such as the US, UK, Canada, more..

Will a third political force emerge from the current instability?

Dec 20 (CT) Disgusting and despicable political crisis triggered by the sacking of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM on 26 Oct 2018 demonstrated the need for a third political force to save the country. The irony is that this crisis was sparked at a time when the country is already passing through political and economic instability. Thus the pressing need of the hour is for a political leader like Dr Mahathir Mohamed who within three months after more..

RC racing in SL: What you need to know

Dec 20 (Roar) Hidden away from the busy roads of Rajagiriya and Nawala is a racetrack where a group of enthusiasts gather regularly to race their cars and trucks against each other. But there’s a twist. These are radio-controlled (or RC) vehicles, normally of a smaller size and scale compared to their real world counterparts. These gadgets (we can’t really call them toys, and we’ll explain why in a minute) are not quite what you would buy for more..

Sorry women of sorry politics

Dec 20 (CT) UNP’s All Men – No Women constitutional crisis has finished. In true UNP fashion the Galle Face tamasha complete with Flashback playing has ended with Rajitha Senaratne having the last word. He reminds one of Ranasinghe Premadasa, nicknamed Kaanu Kataa, the Gutter Mouth of UNP. Premadasa used to give the wind up speech of UNP rallies of the yesteryears. In traditional SL rallies the last speech meant to titillate and entertain the gallery is delivered by more..

MCA’s new wing unveils portraits of cricketing giants

Dec 20 (DN) The incumbent MCA President Roshan Iddamalgoda, together with the Members of the Executive Committee saluted eight Mercantile cricketers, who served their country with distinction by unveiling their portraits at the grand opening of their plush and elegant New Wing on December 7. The top 8 were: Bandula Warnapura (Ceylon Tobacco Co. and Wellawatte Spinning and Weaving Mills), Duleep Mendis (Maharaja’s), Roy Dias (Frudenbergs), Arjuna Ranatunga more..

Plantation workers’ wage hike: Will it be solved?

Dec 20 (CT) Aggrieved plantation workers continued to protest in various estates last week too, despite the calling off of the strike by the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC). Workers claimed that the trade unions involved in the Plantation Collective Agreement have betrayed them. On 11 December, Leader of the CWC, Arumugam Thondaman announced the ongoing plantation workers’ strike would be called off more..

Meal plate and development

Dec 20 (ST) Komagata-san, a Japanese farmer living in a rural village, made a remarkable comment about development, while we were his invited guests having lunch at his home. I was with my wife, accompanied by our friend Prof. N.S. Cooray, who was a friend of Komagata-san. We were excited about this invitation, because it was a rare opportunity to visit a traditional farmer’s house in rural Japan. We were sitting on the floor mats around a Japanese short-legged dining table. more..

Disce Aut Discede

Dec 20 (DM) Latin phrase Learn or Depart is used as the motto of many educational institutions and schools around the globe, the first to exploit it being King’s School, Rochester, the second-oldest school in the world, established in 604 AD. Royal College, Colombo in Sri Lanka also uses the motto. The author and the date that the motto was adopted are unknown. Royalists in Colombo believed that the first mention of the adoption of the motto by their school was in the Colombo Academy days more..