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Yoshitha suffers serious head injury

Dec 30 (ST) Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, suffered serious head injury during a game of rugby football match recently. He underwent an emergency operations at the Durdans private hospital where metal plates were inserted to his extended skull on either side of the face and chin. Doctors said Yoshitha, the CH&FC, captain, was now in a stable condition but have recommended that he should not play rugger hereafter. more..

President concedes state media institutions to UNP

Dec 30 (EN) President Sirsiena has allocated all state media institutions to the ministry of Finance and Media ending speculation that he may keep some of them under his direct control as the country heads for an election year. In an Extraordinary Gazette notification dated Dec 24, but published Saturday, Prez listed the two state television stations as well as Lake House under the ministry headed by Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Video: Govt wants to create Sinhala-Muslim clash: Wimal

Dec 30 (DM) The incumbent government was anticipating a Sinhala-Muslim clash in the country so that it would pave the way for them to fulfil the promises made to the TNA, National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa said. Addressing a news briefing, he said it was evident that there was clear political hand behind the Digana incident and added that it shows how the govt was plotting to create turmoil between the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the country. more..

278 skeletons found in Lanka mass grave

Dec 30 (AFP) Some 278 skeletons have been found at one of the biggest mass graves uncovered in SL since the end of the country’s civil war almost a decade ago, a top investigator said. Dozens of women and children as well as men were buried at the site in Mannar where Tamil guerrillas fought security forces during the conflict, said Samindra Rajapakshe, JMO in the northern city. Mass grave was uncovered in March by construction workers preparing to build a cooperative store. more..

Casualties emerge from 2018 political turmoil

Dec 30 (ST) Atumultuous year, which created a political crisis unprecedented since SL’s independence, ends tomorrow. Within a span of just 52 days, a so-called national govt’s constituent parties which pledged unity nearly four years ago fought each other. If they vowed to fight bribery, corruption and even misrule, those evils proliferated. They reached newer heights because opportunities were more and more..

Behind the Mawanella bigotry

Dec 31 (CT) Who were the bigots who broke Buddha statues in Mawanella and in other places? There are only two possible answers to this question. Either, they were a bunch of urban hoodlums seeking sadistic pleasure from destroying religious icons, or handpicked hirelings obliging their paymaster(s), who have sinister motives. Let the authorities sort out the right answer. However, behind all condemnations of this dastardly act and resolve to repair the damage lies a greater more..

2018 manoeuvres and 2019 battle lines

Dec 31 (Island) If the SL version of political triangulation involving Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena pre-occupied the country for the last three months of 2018, its continuation and multiple manifestations will likely consume almost all of 2019. The tail end of 2018 was a period of heightened manoeuvres with mixed results. The key battle lines have already started to emerge and 2019 will see them intensify even as other battle lines involving more..

Floods in the North: Armed forces’ swift action saves many lives

Dec 31 (SO) Continuous rains in the northern part of the country during the past few days inundated large areas of Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Jaffna. Overall, 123,178 people belonging to 39,669 families were displaced by the bad weather. Meanwhile, 474 houses had been fully damaged and another 4,522 houses partially damaged due to the floods. However, the reported number of deaths is 2, more..

Chanting open sesame to communal and racist hatreds

Dec 31 (ST) As a foreboding New Year by way of the Gregorian calendar dawns for Sri Lankans, the choices before us (at least, politically) are not felicitous by any stretch of the imagination. A cynic may question, when were the choices ever felicitous during the past five decades or more? That query has a sting of truth to it. Even so, what faces this country in 2019 portends a special tinge of darkness, touched with fears of rampant racism. Increasingly we hear politicians more..

2018: Year the hopper crumbled for Mahinda

Dec 31 (ST) If the year 2018 began with a bang for Mahinda Rajapaksa when his ghost-led Pohottuwa party swept the local polls in February, the year ended for him with a whimper stuck in the sinking sands of his fluctuating political fortunes. Whatever his royal astrologer may have predicted of the rosy things to come for Mahinda Rajapaksa — that he will realise his dream to be once more in the saddle of power late October — he may, perhaps, have forgotten to mention, at least in passing, more..

Checks and balances of 19th Amendment

Dec 31 (SO) Political events in the recent past have tried and tested the country’s separation of the power among the main three pillars of governance and the Supremacy of the Constitution. 19th Amendment was introduced in 2015 reinstating some of the independent mechanisms that were taken away by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. It is imperative to study as to how well the law of the country was upheld and more..

Vexed question of choosing Opp. Leader

Dec 31 (SO) Sri Lanka is a land like no other, says the slogan promoting tourism. That must indeed be so. A few weeks ago, the country had two Prime Ministers. Now, we have two Leaders of Opposition! Mahinda Rajapaksa, unceremoniously deposed as PM after being hastily appointed to the position, has been recognised by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as the new Leader of Opposition. The position’s previous incumbent, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan is challenging that decision. more..

Resolutions: Beyond the New Year

Dec 31 (CT) New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken they say, so why make them in the first place? Because as flawed as we may be, we humans inherently aspire to do better and be better year upon year. Common resolutions such as dieting, exercising, spending quality time with family, not working late, made in all earnestness, tend to fizzle out early in the year. So if we cannot stick to basic, heartfelt promises we make to ourselves, what of the bigger picture? more..

Sri Lanka's top travel tips guide

CBSL’s misleading response to misleading newspaper article

Dec 31 (CT) The rupee is depreciating fast. This has been happening for a while now. Former governor of the central bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal squarely blamed the Good-governance Govt and the Central Bank for rupee depreciation. His article on this subject has been published in a few newspapers on 8th and 9th Oct 2018, just 18 days prior to the beginning of constitutional crisis. On Oct 11th, the CB issued a communique to the media insisting that Cabraal’s article was misleading. more..

Edtorial: Another year ends on chaotic note

Dec 31 (Island) An eventful year has drawn to a close. It saw the collapse of two govts, in quick succession, and an unprecedented clash between the executive and the legislature among other things. The country had two Prime Ministers and was, at the same time, without a govt for a couple of weeks. It currently has two Opposition Leaders! Chaos, discord and confusion, etc. we have witnessed during the last 12 months remind us of the Discordian calendar and its seasons. more..

'I am going to try and get 1000 every year'

Dec 31 (CI) On the day in which 23-year-old Kusal Mendis became the youngest batsman since 2005 to score 1000 Test runs in a calendar year, he revealed he had been eyeing up the milestone for several months. Only four younger batsmen have ever managed a 1000-plus year, and three of them are giants of the game. Garfield Sobers, Alastair Cook and AB de Villiers had achieved the feat at age 22 or younger, more..

Year in review

Dec 31 (Island) It’s been a long year, or more precisely, feels like it. Yet at its end, 2018 also feels short - punctured by individuals, institutions, violent events, chance discoveries, demagogues and Democrats. One and a half months of pre-planned reading and research went out the window on the morning of October 27. Not without strange symmetry, this year, for me, ended the way it began – in ways I could not have planned for or even anticipated. more..

This cabinet is better than Yahapalana’s

Dec 31 (Island) Cabinet of Ministers Sirisena grudgingly swore in on 20 Dec is, in the circumstances and taking into account the material available, a pretty decent one. There are five simple reasons why I say so. It is not bursting at the seems with crooks; to an extent core-competences have been recognised; people who can’t stand Sirisena have been given prominent and powerful places (Harin, Patali, Rajitha, Kiriella and Harison); the media ministry after considerable standoff more..

Chandimal pleased with SL's 2018 despite big areas for improvement

Dec 31 (CI) Captain Dinesh Chandimal rued the first-innings mistakes in Christchurch that had allowed New Zealand to build an advantage and set the tone for the game, but in reflecting on SL's Test year, suggested there were some promising signs. SL have lost four of their last five Tests, but had won away series against Bangladesh and WI, as well as a home series against South Africa, through the course of 2018. more..

Druvinka and Kasuni win Ritzbury Junior National Squash titles

Dec 31 (DN) Ritzbury powered 29th Ritzbury Junior National Squash Championship held in partnership with Sri Lanka Squash (SLS) at the Sugathadasa Stadium Courts concluded recently on a high note. Druvinka Perera of Royal College and Kasuni Gunawardhna of Vishaka Vidyalaya were adjudged the Junior National Boys and Girls Player of 2018 respectively. Nevidu Lakamal of D.S. Senanayake College was awarded the Most Promising Junior Player (Boys) and Chanithma Sineli of more..

President directs release of 1,099 acres of State land used by Army for farming

Dec 31 (FT) In addition to the ongoing process of releasing private and State lands in the north and east, hitherto being used by the Army with no impact on national security needs, President Maithripala Sirisena has directed further to release State lands, being used as Army farms in those provinces without delay. Accordingly, 1,099 acres of State land in the Northern Province used as Army farms have been identified for release within a short period. They are: more..

Wijeyadasa on 19-A: Thirty ministers include Prez, PM

Dec 31 (Island) UNP lawmaker Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, yesterday said that in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution the number of ministers, including the President and PM couldn’t exceed 30. In accordance with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a larger Cabinet was possible only under a properly constituted national govt, the Colombo District MP said. more..

Sri Lanka sinks to all-time Test low

Dec 31 (CT) SL’s colossal 423-run loss to New Zealand during Sunday’s second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, marked the island-nation suffering its worst defeat in terms of runs in its 37-year history of Test cricket. Dinesh Chandimal’s men, who have become one of the whipping boys of international cricket lately, thus succumbed to an all-time low during Sunday’s thumping Test loss to the Black Caps. The hosts for their part clinched their fourth successive Test series triumph more..

Link Lanka to launch Yogo taxi booking app

Dec 31 (Island) Taxi Meter Company, Link Lanka, will soon launch a Yogo taxi booking app. Link Lanka, with a huge driver base, as big as half a million users intends to revolutionise the market with the introduction of what its Managing Director, Thushara Kariyakarawana says, is the most accurate method of calculating the distance, thus guaranteeing Yogo customers wouldn't have to pay more than they are supposed to. Kariyakarawana said the usage of tacho pulse of the vehicle more..

CEB Engineers’ Union warns of power problems in 2019

Dec 31 (FT) Due to delays in constructing new power plants, Engineers’ Union has warned new Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake the the CEB may have to purchase power from private entities to meet demand, which could result in an increase in its losses. “The CEB was unable to build new power plants after Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai. Therefore CEB has had to purchase power from private more..

BOC staff's compassion makes flood victims in North feel better

Dec 31 (Island) The staff of the Bank of Ceylon raised voluntary donations to aid victims of the natural disaster that occurred due to torrential rain in the Northern Peninsula recently. Standing alongside with the rest of the Sri Lankans in this difficult time, BOC’s staff also shared their thoughts with affected people and helped in providing dry rations etc, in hope of bringing relief to affected people in Northern Peninsula assisting them to rebuild their lives once again. more..

Additional Secy. for Opp. Leader’s Office: PM to seek Cabinet approval soon

Dec 31 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would submit a paper to the Cabinet on Jan 02, seeking approval for appointing an Additional Secretary to the Opposition Leader’s Office on Mahinda Rajapaksa’s request, parliament sources said yesterday. Although an official from the pool of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service should be appointed to the post the be created, the Cabinet paper seeks to accommodate a close associate of Rajapaksa, according to sources. more..

Release of more lands held by security forces in Batticaloa district begins

Dec 31 (SLA) Documents pertaining to release of four more land plots (8.5 acres in total extent) in Batticaloa District, which were earlier used by armed forces for security requirements were handed over to the Governor of the Eastern Province, Rohitha Bogollagama, Chief Secretary of the Eastern Provincial Council, Sarath Abeyagunawardena and the Assistant District Secretary Batticaloa, Mrs. Shrikanth on more..

Minister to bring Cabinet paper to stop tuition on Sunday

Dec 31 (DM) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said he is planning to submit a Cabinet Paper with the signatures of all Cabinet of Ministers to stop private tuition on Sundays and Poya Days to make Daham School Education compulsory for children. He further said that this decision had been taken not only for Buddhist children and but also for Hindu, Catholic and Muslim children on the request of religious leaders of all religions with the intervention of the Ministers who have been empowered more..

Size of cabinet: Purawesi Balaya urges lawmakers to be realistic

Dec 31 (Island) Attorney-at-law K.W. Janaranjana said that instead of addressing national issues, govt was struggling to cope with various lawmakers’ demand for ministerial portfolios. He said so on behalf of civil society organization Purawesi Balaya – one of the groups that had been at the forefront of the campaign against the previous Rajapaksa administration. He pointed out that whatever the political compulsions; political parties whether in govt or opposition had no option but more..

Video: 2018 A/L exam: Best results

Dec 31 (AD) Dept of Examinations says that 167,907 students who sat for the GCE A/L exam this year have gained entrance to universities, as per the results released online last night. A total of 321,469 students had sat for the A/L exam this year. Meanwhile the results of 119 students have been suspended due to various irregularities, Comm. General of Exams Sanath Pujitha said. Closing date for resurrections is Jan 16, 2019. more..

Mathews to miss Australia Tests

Dec 31 (Island) Sri Lanka’s injury woes continue as Angelo Mathews is set to miss the limited overs leg of the tour of New Zealand and the two match Test series in Australia starting next month. Mathews sustained a hamstring injury while batting on day four of the second Test that the tourists went onto lose. Mathews has been the team’s best batsman in New Zealand having notched up 258 runs in four innings and was dismissed just once. His unbeaten 120 helped SL to draw the opening Test more..

SLIC launches MTI-enabled Strategic Plan

Dec 31 (DN) Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has recently launched its three-year Strategic Plan, aimed at consolidating its dominant market position and exploring emerging opportunities in risk protection and life investment optimization. The strategic plan was developed in consultation with MTI Consulting, using its internationally applied MTI’s 8S Model® and with the active participation of the management team. Since its establishment in 1962, SLIC is the largest state-owned more..

CoE unimpressed by Singapore FTA

Dec 31 (FT) Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are of no use unless backed by a slew of reforms to make Sri Lanka’s economy more competitive, a highly-critical report from the Committee of Experts (CoE) appointed by Prez Sirisena to evaluate the Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA has said, while recommending that any future FTA be preceded by feasibility studies to map its need and effectiveness. more..

PM participates in religious observances

Dec 31 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Somawathie Raja Maha Viharaya for the first time after 16 yeas on Dec 29 and performed religious observances there. PM called on Somawathie Raja Maha Viharadipathi Ven. Pahamune Sumangala Nayake Thera and 7th mile post Sri Bodhirukkharama Viharadipathi Ven. Hidiukbure Sobitha Nayake Thera and received their blessings. Thereafter, PM went round the Viharaya premises and looked into the problems faced by more..

'SLFP Headquarters to reopen tomorrow'

Dec 31 (DN) SLFP Headquarters which was closed for holidays would be reopened on Jan 1, 2019. SLFP MP Mahinda Amaraweera said that President Maithripala Sirisena had ordered that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party headquarters in Darley Road, Colombo be shut down on Dec 26, until his return from Thailand. Prez is expected to return to the country on Dec 30. Meanwhile several media reports had said that the keys of the SLFP headquarters have been handed over to Maradana Police. more..

New scanners cause delays at BIA: Controller promises speedy solution

Dec 31 (Island) SL Immigration and Emigration Officers Association alleged that the recent introduction of new scanners at the BIA had caused chaos with long delays in clearing approximately 25,000 passengers, both ways daily. President of the Association K.A.A.S. Kanugala and its Secretary Jayasinghe Bandara said that the previous scanners had been phased out and the process was completed this month. more..

Video: SEC to conduct special investigation on rugby player’s death by elevator crash

Dec 31 (AD) An engineer of the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) will be deployed to conduct a special investigation on the death of a rugby player due an elevator malfunction at a night club. According to the Police Media Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara, the relevant investigation will be done as per the order of the court. A 24 year old CR&FC Rugby player had died last morning (29) as a result of a malfunctioning electric elevator at a night club on Navam Mawatha, Colombo 02. more..

Video: UNP is disappointed about the Cabinet: MR

Dec 31 (AD) The Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa says that there is disappointment among United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians regarding the newly elected Cabinet of Ministers. He mentioned this to the media when he visited Anuradhapura yesterday. He also called on the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero on his visit. Rajapaksa then proceeded to worship and obtain blessings of the Sri Maha Bo Tree. more..