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Navy assists to bring normalcy of flood victims in the North

Dec 27 (SLN) On the directives of Office of the Chief of Defence Staff and the information provided by the DMC, SL Navy is extending their relief operations for the victims affected by the adverse weather condition prevailed in Kilinochchi and Mulativu districts. As at now, relief teams have been deployed in many areas including Thondamanaru, Mankulam and Kottaadi. Accordingly, mobile kitchens, cooking utensils, ovens, tents, water pumps, mobile lavatories and even mobile RO plants etc. more..

UK expresses concern at disruptive behaviour of Lankan MPs

Dec 27 (DM) UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field has informed the UK Parliament last week that they expressed concern over the behaviour of some Sri Lankan MPs disrupting parliamentary proceedings. He said this in response to a question asked by MP Liz McInnes about the latest political developments in Sri Lanka on December 17. ďThe British High Commissioner to SL met regularly with all political parties and more..

BOI zone in Seethawaka tops US$ 290 million in export earnings for 2018

Dec 27 (Island) The BOIís Seethawaka Export Processing Zone, contributed US$294 Mn (Rs.52,842 Mn) in export revenue as at end of October 2018. It was Rs. 65,791 Mn. in the year of 2017. Seethawaka Export Processing Zone is the only zone located in the Colombo District. It is 47 Km from Colombo via low Ėlevel road and 57 Km via High level road. It was built with Japanese technical co-operation and is a well-planned Export Processing Zone. more..

Colombo to be Tuk Capital in Uber Universe

Dec 27 (CT) Colombo is on its way to become the Tuk Capital in Uber Universe, said Uber, Head of Cities, South Asia, Prabhjeet Singh. Tuk has been identified as the day-to-day transportation mode of many South Asians. Majority of the population uses tuks due to its convenience and less time consumption than the other public transportations. Further it is also cost effective. Concerning about the above requirements of the clients, Uber has introduced Uber Tuks powered with more..

Worker remittances rebound in October

Dec 27 (DM) The earnings sent by Sri Lankans working aboard rebounded in October, ending a 5-month declining streak. Worker remittances are SLís largest foreign income earner, which along with tourism earnings bridge the negative balance in the current account. SL expats sent home earnings worth of US$ 599 million during Oct, which is an increase of 9.7% year-on-year, compared to US$ 538 million in the same more..

Unclaimed remains of Tsunami victims donated to medical students

Dec 27 (AD) The preserved remains of 2004 Tsunami victims that are currently placed at the Faculty of Medicine will be donated to medical students for their academic activities. The decision was taken as the remains of victims of Tsunami catastrophe in 2004 that were uncovered 14 years ago have not yet been claimed by the relatives, stated Dr. U.C.P. Perera, Senior Lecturer, Department of Forensic Medicine at Faculty of Medicine at University of Ruhuna. more..

Video: There is no conspiracy to assassinate President: Ranjith Maddumabandara

Dec 27 (AD) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara says that investigations have revealed that there had been no conspiracy to assassinate the President. He mentioned this to the media following his visit to Malwatu-Asgiri Chapter Chief Prelates at Kandy. Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara and Minister Thalatha Atukorale visited the Asgiri Maha Viharaya in Kandy and met the Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Parakrama Viharaya Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero, today (26). more..

Tamils voted for President Sirisena to oust Mahinda: Sumanthiran

Dec 27 (AD) The Tamil community had never acceded to the reappointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM who was removed from his term of office through peopleís vote, says TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran. He stated this addressing an event held in Batticaloa to commemorate the 13th death anniversary of late MP Joseph Pararajasingham, who was assassinated on the 25th of Dec 2005. more..

Sri Lankaís merchandise exports to pick up in 2019: UNESCAP

Dec 27 (DM) SLís merchandise export earnings are likely to accelerate to 6.3% year-on-year (YoY) next year, while the growth of cost of merchandise imports is set to decelerate to 6.6% YoY, easing off the pressure on balance of payment, according to UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). UNESCAP, in its latest Asia-Pacific Trade & Investment Report 2018, estimated that SLís merchandise exports would achieve a growth of 4.8% at end-2018, more..

Car registrations up 225% in October

Dec 27 (CT) SLís motor car registrations rose 225.3% (5,496) to 7,935 on a year-on-year (YoY) basis in October. However, the poor manís mode of transport, namely bus and three wheeler registrations fell by 27.9% (96) and 8% (180) to 248 and 2,079 respectively in the review period. Nonetheless, motorcycle registrations, increased by 7.9% (2,293) to 31,156 in the review period. How be it, goods transport vehicles led by lorries fell by 31.8% (317) to 679 in the review period, more..

Three TNA MPs to give up dual citizenship

Dec 27 (Island) Three lawmakers, representing the TNA, will soon give up their foreign citizenship to contest the next parliamentary polls, a senior party official said. That decision had been taken after UPFA Galle District MP Geetha Kumarasinghe lost her parliamentary seat in early Nov. 2017 for being a dual citizen, the official said. The Supreme Court upheld Court of Appeal ruling against the former actress. more..

UNP still undecided on prez candidate

Dec 27 (Island) Justice and Prisons Reforms Minister attorney-at-law Thalatha Atukorale has said that the UNP will decide on its presidential candidate when the time is opportune for that purpose. Minister Atukorale said so when a journalist asked her whether UNP leader and current PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the partyís presidential candidate. Atukorale met the press after meeting the most Ven Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddartha, Mahanayake of the Malwattu Chapter on Dec 25. more..

Proposed railway strike called off

Dec 27 (CT) The two-day strike by Railway trade unions to agitate over unmet demands seeking favourable solutions concerning irregularities in the grading system and salary anomalies caused thereby, has been temporarily called off following a written assurance given by Minister of Transport, Arjuna Ranatunga. The Unions representing engine drivers, station masters, guards, controllers, supervisory managers (formerly foremen) and others, yesterday met with the Secretary Ė more..

PMís asset declaration: Prez Office yet to comply with RTI Commission directive

Dec 27 (Island) Presidential Secretariat hasnít so far complied with the Right to Information Commission directive that it disclose assets and liabilities of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for 2015 and 2016. Sankhitha Gunaratne, RTI Manager, said that the RTI Commission issued a directive on Dec 04, 2018 in respect of TISL petition in this regard. RTI Commission issued the directive during the recent constitutional crisis more..

Suspect arrested for damaging Buddha statue

Dec 27 (DM) Mawanella Police today arrested a man at Hingula, Mawanella for allegedly damaging a Buddha statue, police said. They said two men were reported to have been involved in the incident and one of the suspects was arrested after he was captured by the villagers. The suspect, Mohammad Ashfar (30), will be produced in court and police investigations are underway to ascertain whether there was any move to provoke religious tension among the Sinhalese & Muslim communities. more..

SLFP Head Office closed till Prezís return

Dec 27 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed to close down the SLFP Head Office until he returns from an overseas trip on 30 Dec. The decision was taken during a meeting on Monday, where he ordered the post of District organiser scrapped, leaving only the post of Electoral organiser. Instead of the District organiser post, the Party will create a new post called District manager. When the decision was announced, several District organisers protested against the move, more..

PM to visit Northern flood victims

Dec 27 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be in Kilinochchi on Friday to work out a programme to provide assistance to those affected by the recent floods in the Northern Province. This is the first time PM will be visiting the North after assuming the Premiership for the fifth time. A special meeting has been organised where the Heads of State institutions, administrators, Members of Local bodies, Provincial Councils more..

The second freedom struggle (III)

Dec 28 (FT) John Locke (1632-1704) was the first philosopher to introduce the concept of classical liberalism, a political ideology that argued that the sovereignty of the state rests on the people. The state derives its power from the people. He presented this idea to the world in a very clear formula. Bertrand Russell described him as the most distinguished and fortunate philosopher among all the other philosophers. He can also be considered the philosopher whose ideas have had more..

Lessons learned from a catastrophe

Dec 28 (FT) Sri Lankaís vulnerability to succumb to natural disasters was probably the pick among the topics spoken on Boxing Day (26) as the island commemorated the horrifying tsunami experience we had 14 years ago. The main commemoration programme this year was held at the Peraliya Tsunami Memorial in Thalwatte, Galle. As those affected by this tragedy, which happened in 2004, wiped away tears and remembered the dead on Wednesday, the people in the north are more..

Notorious nicknames: Stories behind the names of Sri Lankan gangsters

Dec 28 (Roar) With the recent recapture of drug kingpin Sunil Shantha, after his crafty escape using a fake prison transport vehicle, the fact that he shares a name with famed singer Sunil Santha has reignited interest in mobster nicknames. In Sri Lanka, the most dangerous mobsters sometimes have the most ludicrous names, such as Barrel Sunil, Maalu Nihal or Laddu Roshan. Here are a few such examples: more..

Portfolio madness (Thathva Pissuwa) at Diyawannawa

Dec 28 (CT) The failure of the Executive Presidential System and the chaos it can bring has been dramatically demonstrated in a different manner over the Sirisena-Mahinda attempted coup that took place recently. Previously, Sri Lankans observed a different kind of failure in this institution, namely, failure due to the abuse of power that a constitutional arrangement which concentrates so much power in one individual can bring. What I am going to refer to here is a third kind of failure more..

Mawanella incident: Nation should be wary of racist cat-paws at play!

Dec 28 (CT) What happened in Mawanella involving the destruction of Buddhist statues is extremely tragic and should be severely deplored with all the emphasis at our disposal. Further, this act goes against the religious teachings, our people hold sacred. Impartial investigation should begin without any delay to identify if this is a lone wolf attack or the attackers are mere cat-paws of and part of a greater machination. Those involved in the dastardly act should be subjected to more..

A regime capable of robbing even from the CB: And so are they all: honourable men

Dec 28 (FT) The appointment of the Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, MP as the Minister of Power and Energy has set the polecat among the pigeons. It has got a knowing glance from the national press. While setting social media ablaze. And one can see why. But one might also be invited to see why not. Also what else hangs in the balance between political ethics and public expectations. Reappointment of Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP as the PM more..

Edtorial: Madush did it

Dec 28 (Island) Who got four persons gunned down in Kudawella the other day? Madush did it. Madush always does it. Who had loads and loads of heroin brought into the country during the last few weeks? Madush did it. Ask the police and they will tell you that it cannot be anyone else. The mention of Makandure Madush, a criminal on the run, makes us cast our minds back to a dark era. The people lived in mortal dread of the unidentified gunman (or nadunana thuwakkukaruwa) who was blamed more..

Power rivalry in Indian Ocean

Dec 28 (DN) The year ending this week has seen growing power rivalry in the Indian Ocean region with stakeholders in the region as well as super powers outside playing dominant roles with small countries in the region such as Sri Lanka also getting deeply involved, willingly or otherwise. The most recent US naval ship to come to Sri Lanka was USS Rushmore (LSD 47) with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The ship left Port of Colombo on December 26. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Opposition Leader post: it is for the UPFA, not for the TNA

Dec 28 (FT) The debate between the Maithri-Mahinda group and the UNF over the Opposition Leader post is a best case in point with regard to the ridiculous level the SL politics has stooped to. This has introduced a new but totally unnecessary Constitutional conundrum into the SL politics. Constitutional impasse that was brought in by the decision by President Sirisena to sack Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of PM and replace him with former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Cassandra Cry: a womanís anticipatory look at the New Year poised to dawn

Dec 28 (Island) For once Cassandra seems to be at a loss for words, since her words are more often than not, bitter, even vituperative. The Season with its joy and sharing, its lights and bright sunny days, goodwill and good wishes spread around, she cannot but be happy, content even. One big plus point is that that so called political coup engineered by some misreading lawyer advisors and swallowed hook line and sinker by the Prez with the proclamation of a new PM & Cabinet without more..

Samaraweera points to Sri Lanka's batting gains on day of losses

Dec 28 (CI) Outgoing batting coach Thilan Samaraweera was disappointed at the manner in which Sri Lanka's middle order folded, exposing tail-enders to Trent Boult's high-quality swing bowling on day two at Hagley Oval. But as he prepares to leave his post to make way for new batting coach Jon Lewis, he also reflected on what he felt was a moderately successful 13 months in the role. Samaraweera is essentially being demoted more..

CIMOGG silences its own voice

Dec 28 (Island) Citizensí Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) decided recently to silence its own voice. What follows, for the purposes of record, is a brief summary of what CIMOGG endeavoured to do during the sixteen plus years of its existence. CIMOGG was formed in 2002 by a group of persons who had held high office in the public and private sectors. Even a listing of its better known members would be too long for a newspaper article but it may be mentioned that more..

Sinhala Buddhist Vote

Dec 28 (CT) SLís 70% Sinhala Buddhist (SB) vote is the key to win the next Presidential Poll (PP), due as early as next December or as late as March 2020. SLís last elections were the February Local Govt (LG) Mini Poll, where Mahinda Rajapaksaís fledgling SLPP swept the Polls, garnering 40% of the vote. It was followed by the UNP/UNF (29%), SLFP/UPFA (12%), JVP (6%) and the TNA (3%). The balance 10% of the vote may largely be deemed to have had been spoilt or rejected votes. more..

Boult's 6 for 4 studs NZ's dominance

Dec 28 (CI) Trent Boult claimed six wickets in 15 balls of searing late swing to turn the second Test dramatically in NZ's favour. At stumps, the hosts had piled on 231 for 2, stretching their lead to a commanding 305, with three days left to play. Having begun 100 runs adrift and with six wickets still in hand, SL's day two was disastrous - their lower order clueless against Boult's sublime bowling in the morning, and their seamers more..

Gemunu Chethiya accepts charges

Dec 28 (CT) SL under-19 rugby skipper Gemunu Chethiya has accepted the charges of misbehaviour levelled against him during the recently concluded Asian Rugby Championship in Taipei. The complaint was lodged by Taiwan Rugby to Asian Rugby, who channeled it to Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) for further investigation and action. SL Schools Rugby Association (SLSRA) held an inquiry, headed by its President Ranjith Chandrasekera. Gemunu Chethiya has accepted charges levelled against him. more..

Childcare subsidies will make Sri Lanka grow faster: IFC

Dec 28 (EN) The SL economy would grow faster with more female participation in the labour force if the govt subsidized or incentivized childcare programmes as merit goods and more investors entered the industry, International Finance Corporation, which is a part of the World Bank Group, said in a new study. "Childcare and early childhood programs are critical to economic development going forward," the study titled Tackling Childcare: The Business case for more..

Commonwealth commends Sri Lankaís commitment to democratic process

Dec 28 (AD) Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has commended SLís PM and other political stakeholders for their steadfastness in defense and support of the rule of law and the constitutional framework. In a congratulatory message to PM Wickremesinghe, she welcomed the peaceful resolution of the political crisis in SL and congratulated the PM on his re-installation in the position. more..

Marella Discovery cruise ship makes maiden call to Colombo port

Dec 28 (DN) Super luxury passenger vessel M.V. Marella Discovery of Marella Cruises with 1,732 passengers and 764 crew on board made her maiden call at the Port of Colombo recently. Managing Director of SLPA Capt. Athula Hewavitharana said that the Port of Colombo was honoured by the presence of Marella Discovery in Colombo. Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) is a British cruise line offering cruise holidays around Europe, Caribbean & Asia. more..

Sri Lanka voted by travel influencers as top destination in Asia for 2019

Dec 28 (FT) A panel consisting of five of the worldís top travel influencers and bloggers has voted SL as the top emerging Asian travel destination for 2019. The awards were published last week, which focuses on emerging and off-the-beaten path travel spots around the globe. Winners for the Asian awards were selected by an expert panel consisting of five of the best renowned travel bloggers and influencers in the world, with a combined following on social media of over 750,000. more..

President orders strong measures to curb drug trafficking

Dec 28 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant authorities to further strengthen the raids related to illegal drug smuggling. After President Sirisena took over the Police Department under the Ministry of Defence, during the last two months the raids related to illegal drug smuggling were strengthened and there is a significant improvement in detection of illegal drugs. more..

Uproar in Parliament: Some 400 to be questioned

Dec 28 (DM) Statements will be recorded from some 400 people including MPs in connection with the uproar and the unruly behaviour in the Parliament chamber last month, the Police team investigating the incident has yesterday informed the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into the incident. Informed sources said the police had conveyed this message when the PSC headed by Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri met in the P'ment Complex to discuss this matter. more..

Video: Emergency hotline to inform disaster situations

Dec 28 (AD) The Ministry of Disaster Management today (27) introduced a special emergency hotline to inform disaster situations faced by any citizen. Accordingly, the general public is able to contact 1902 to inform any disaster-related situation, stated Minister Vajira Abeywardena. He said that, according to statistics, 27,000 families have been affected by the inclement weather as of now and nearly 85,000 persons have been victimized due to the prevailing disaster situation. more..