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Tourism industry leaders decide to boycott tourism awards ceremony tomorrow

Dec 5 (CT) Many tourism industry leaders have decided to boycott Sri Lanka Tourism Awards ceremony this year, as President Maithripala Sirisena has been invited as the Chief Guest. They have expressed disgust at the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has invited Sirisena, the man who is responsible for ruining the tourism industry this year by engineering a constitutional coup and a political crisis, as the Chief Guest of the event. more..

After war’s end, a long struggle to patch invisible wounds

Dec 5 (NYT) One by one the villagers arrive, each carrying a little blue book that chronicles a history of loss and heartache. On the back of each book is the patient’s name. Inside, on the first page, a family tree. An “X” is scrawled next to each loved one who has died. A “?” next to the missing. Underneath the symbol is the cause, and more often than not, it is written in simple capital letters: WAR. If bearable, their trauma would have remained more..

'Engaging universities in implementing SDGs'

Dec 5 (FT) Social statistics use statistical measurement systems to study human behaviour in a social environment. Social statistics research is a crucial resource for effective implementation of the development agenda of a country. In the absence of robust, reliable, and valid social statistics that are derived from credible research, development actors would be blindfolded; vast resources spent on development would be wasted, or even cause negative repercussions. more..

Wijesuriya asks Prez not to double down

Dec 5 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena was attempting to rule the country like a tribal leader who didn’t care about public opinion, the Constitution, the parliament and the courts of law, Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Convener of National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) said. "President must work with the person that has the support of the highest number of MPs. He must no longer destabilise the country. Everyone knows the damage his decision on Oct 26th did to the country." more..

The space is ours; the frame is ours too

Dec 5 (FT) On 28 Nov, at the annual National Youth Drama Awards held at Nelum Pokuna, two young artists – Surin Chamara and Kasun Ukwatta– made a singular public statement against the prevailing political culture of corruption, greed and shamelessness in this country. Dramatically, in full sight of a live audience, these two young artists refused to accept awards from the hands of two chief guest politicians on stage more..

Son axes father to death

Dec 5 (AD) An individual has been arrested on suspicion for murdering his father over a family dispute, by assaulting him with an axe. The deceased has been identified as a 49-year-old individual named T. Jayantha. The arrestee and the victim are reportedly residents in Kiwulawatta area in Dodangoda. The son of the deceased has surrendered to the police following the incident, according to the Police. Magistrate’s inquest on the murder is scheduled to be conducted today. more..

Poor financial literacy helping scammers

Dec 5 (EN) Ignorance about risks and a focus on rewards only making it easy for people to fall victim for scammers despite having high general literacy and education, a financial professional who is pushing to boost financial literacy said. Ravi Abeysuriya, who is advocacy chair of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society said a survey by S&P's found that South Asia had the lowest share of financial literacy. "On average about 65% of adults are financially literate in advanced countries" more..

Video: Piyasena machang, waren Chandeta: Geetha

Dec 5 (DM) Former MP Geetha Kumarasinghe accused MP Piyasena Gamage, who has sworn in to fill the vacant position left by her in Parliament, of not allowing her to work at least a month in her constituency. She said that she was elected to Parliament as a member after polling the highest number of votes. “These Kaalakanni did not give any chance for me to serve my people at least a month in a free state of mind. more..

Dinesh asks if Ranil is ready for polls why he opposes dissolution

Dec 5 (Island) If former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe was ready for an election, there was no point in the UNP going to courts against the dissolution of Parliament, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday. "The current political crisis can only be solved through a general election. Mahinda Rajapaksa said Monday night that the SLPP would move the Supreme Court against the interim order issued by the Court of Appeal temporarily preventing him functioning as the Prime Minister. more..

‘Solution to crisis exists only in Parliament’

Dec 5 (NR) UNP MP Harsha de Silva meanwhile believes that the solution to the present political deadlock exists only within Parliament. He said the executive has no authority to enforce decisions that led to this crisis. MP de Silva said the President’s power is that he can appoint a PM who has a majority in Parliament. He noted the President thought that Mahinda Rajapaksa has a majority adding however that the former Prez couldn’t claim a majority although he tried various ways. more..

Fitch downgrades SL financial institutions

Dec 5 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it has downgraded the ratings of National Savings Bank, Bank of Ceylon, DFCC Bank and People's Leasing & Finance, all with stables outlooks, after the sovereign rating was downgraded. The Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) downgrades were, National Savings Bank (NSB) to 'B' from 'B+', Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to 'B' from 'B+'; DFCC Bank to 'B' from 'B+'; more..

A truth truer than truth

Dec 6 (CT) We must not trust a man willing to die in glory but unwilling to live with truth and pride. Politicians who succeed in convincing themselves that the truth is identical with their self-interest turn out to be exceptionally good at being good liars. The best political liars are those who do not see reason and hence lie convincingly. Even when it becomes obvious that they are lying they insist that they are telling the truth and other party is guilty of untruth. When my son asked me if more..

No to disintegration, Yes to real harmony

Dec 6 (DM) We had a semblance of unity and peace at Independence in 1948. At that time we were materially on the way to growth, prosperity and mutual acceptance of equal dignity of human persons. The solidarity that was there could have been and should have been built upon with patience, insight and wisdom. Yet we seemed to neglect attending to the three qualities of mind, heart and spirit we needed most. While the prospects of material, temporal and worldly prosperity and more..

Youth violence

Dec 6 (SO) We often come across violence in different forms. Murder, drug trafficking, thefts and sexual assault top the list. It would be tragic if the future of a nation is destroyed by violence. But, violence seems to be the new-trend among the youth of our country. The country is still reeling from the shock of two recent homicides, involving youth. The first incident was the murder of a student in Matara allegedly by another student and more..

We want a home and country free of violence

Dec 6 (GV) The 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, begins on the 25th of Nov and ends on the 10th of Dec, on International Human Rights Day. These 16 days of activism was created to raise our voices to end violence against women and human rights violations. For more than 20 years women activists have been speaking out to end violence against women. Nov 30th is South Asian Women’s Day dedicated for peace, justice, human rights and democracy. more..

Hashtag battles

Dec 6 (DM) There are political moments – like when President Sirisena addressed the media after his defection in November 2014 or Speaker Karu Jayasuriya surrounded by police officers without badges conducting parliament seated on the side next to a wall, an act of defiance as powerful as that of Sirisena, four years back. These moments, sometimes choreographed, have been catalysts for political movements in SL. The campaigns then get coated with catchphrases, slogans & visuals. more..

'Today there is no govt in the country'

Dec 6 (CT) UNP MP Gayantha Karunatileka says what is required, at this moment, is not a General Election but a Prez Election. Q: When the vote was held to suspend the Expenditure Head of the PM it was passed with 123 votes. With this, it will not be possible to continue with this govt. If so, is the UNP prepared to take over the Govt and run the country? A: Today there is no govt in the country. more..

Independence of the judiciary

Dec 6 (DM) Citizens have the highest expectations of the judiciary, and Judges’ rights are guaranteed by the Supreme Law of the country (Constitution) international conventions and Charter of the United Nations. Therefore States give special emphasis and protection for the judicial independence, Judges and the system of Justice. Independence of the Judges and judiciary should be real and not merely apparent safeguards in which guarantees is jealously guarded by all. more..

Edtorial: Rating downgrades

Dec 6 (Island) Political instability invariably takes a heavy toll on a country’s economy with the passage of time. It is only natural that economists and members of the business community, here, have been appealing to the parties to the present political crisis to be mindful of the consequences of their actions and find a solution without further delay. The Supreme Court determination on the petitions against the dissolution of parliament is expected shortly. But court decisions alone will not help more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Appointment of PM: President now found contempt of parliament

Dec 6 (CT) Oct 26th 2018 will be recorded as an important date in the political history of Sri Lanka. It was the beginning of series of events that unfolded when the President of Sri Lanka acted unconstitutionally to sack a sitting PM, appointing a new PM (who even to date does not have command of the majority) and issuing a gazette to dissolve the Parliament. For any laymen the constitution is very clear and his actions could be termed as a well planned constitutional coup. more..

The constitutional crisis and need for general election

Dec 6 (Island) The present constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka that originated with the dissolution of Parliament by the President on 9th Nov 2018 has aroused unprecedented interest of the people. This is a good omen as the Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every Sri Lankan to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law. Several fundamental rights applications had been filed in the Supreme Court on 12th of November 2018 seeking inter alia- a. To quash the orders contained in more..

A brief history of English language films made in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (Roar) SL cinema is overwhelmingly Sinhalese—the language of its majority, but that doesn’t mean that only Sinhala films were made here. Tamil cinema had some humble beginnings but was nipped in the bud by the unrest in the country. It’s only recently that it’s shown signs of a comeback, with the stellar Komaali Kings. As far as English films go, Chandran Rutnam’s According to Mathew is gaining traction. more..

House of Horrors

Dec 6 (ST) With the political cum constitutional crisis deadlocked between the country’s two main political entities – the UNP (and its allies) and the SLPP/SLFP combine, the focus shifts next week to a resolution through the Supreme Court. However, whether a decision by the court on Dec 7 after hearing submissions by pro– and anti-dissolution of Parliament protagonists on Dec 4-6 would be adhered to or parties would continue to stick to their guns in Parliament, remains to be seen. more..

At the apex of decision making

Dec 6 (DN) The hallowed halls of Hulftsdorp will be where the fate of SL’s most complex constitutional crisis is decided in the coming weeks, if not days, as major political parties map out strategies and counter strategies in their bid to gain control of govt. The battleground has now decisively shifted from unruly scenes in Parliament, the home of the legislature, to the courts of law, the home of the judiciary. Meanwhile, the executive continues to engage with different political parties more..

New smaller coins into circulation

Dec 6 (ST) A new series of smaller circulation coins released by the Central Bank (CB) will be issued to the public, on Dec 3 after a presentation box was given to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov 27. The Rs. 10 and Rs. 5 coins have been made thinner and the Rs. 2 coin has been made 30% smaller. Seven notches have been cut into the side of the Rs. 2 coin to make it more easily identified by visually impaired people. more..

Money printing passes Rs 150 billion

Dec 6 (CT) Central Bank lent Rs 15,339 million to the Govt yesterday to fill in a revenue gap, thereby increasing Govt’s money printing liabilities by 11.37% to Rs 150,275.95 million. Since the advent of the political crisis on 26 Oct, Govt’s Money Printing liabilities have increased by 71.84% (Rs 62,826.35 million) thereby fuelling inflationary pressure and increasing Govt debt. In related developments, stock market net foreign outflows (NFOs) due to this crisis more..

National Tea Sales average static

Dec 6 (FT) National Tea Sales average for the month of November 2018 totalled Rs. 584.58 vis-à-vis Rs. 586.19 of October 2018, showing a marginal decrease of Rs. 01.61 month on month. However, in comparison to the November 2017 average of Rs. 626.85, it shows a decrease of Rs. 42.27, Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers revealed yesterday. It said High Growns totalling Rs. 547.64, lowest since July this year, has recorded a sharp decrease of Rs. 64.40 vis-à-vis Rs. 612.04 of October 2018. more..

CB Chief warns against fiscal slippage

Dec 6 (FT) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy voiced concerns over politicians resorting to populist policies with SL anticipating possible elections, warning it would undermine fiscal consolidation essential to ensure debt repayment. He said progress towards achieving sustainable external debt dynamics has slowed down, but assured the situation is still manageable provided the govt continues on the trajectory of more..

CB to compensate Standard Credit Finance depositors

Dec 6 (CT) Central Bank (CB), SL’s banking regulator, said it would pay compensation to depositors of The Standard Credit Finance Limited, a failed finance company, and asked depositors to be ready to make claims when an announcement is made. CB said that depositors of The Standard Credit Finance Ltd. should submit duly completed claim forms along with required documentation to its Resolution and Enforcement Dept. An announcement would be made in the press more..

LAUGFS Terminals to receive first commercial cargo from Dec. 15

Dec 6 (DN) LAUGFS Terminals Limited, a unit of the LAUGFS Gas Plc, has commissioned the LPG Transshipment Terminal at Hambantota port and will receive its first commercial cargo from Dec 15. This is adding to a growing list of companies building LPG terminals in Asia. LAUGFS Gas Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said that discussions are ongoing between the company and suppliers for LPG term supply contracts. “Fruitful discussions are also ongoing with prospective partners, more..

Bond Commission report cleared UNP and Ranil of wrongdoing: Wajira

Dec 6 (Island) UNP MP Wajira Abeywardena said that Sri Lanka was in a deep political crisis because of the unconstitutional removal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his govt by President Sirisena, who appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new PM. "In a bid to justify his unconstitutional and unethical act, Prez informed foreign media correspondents of SL that PM Wickremasinghe and his govt had been corrupt. more..

Dealing with indiscipline in cricket: The Pramodaya factor

Dec 6 (ST) Indiscipline in international sports is not a rare phenomenon. Just to recollect some talked about instances, especially in cricket, we could picture well-known figures like Andrew Symonds – the Australian legend who bat, bowl or field a side to victory almost singlehandedly. However his off the field escapades started getting bigger than the game and pop went the whistle. Then English allrounder Andrew Flintoff and his infamous pedalo incident in the Caribbean: more..

Doctor hospitalized after brawl: Clash over parking space

Dec 6 (CT) A doctor attached to Karapitiya Teaching Hospital was admitted to the emergency care unit of the same hospital for treatment to injuries he sustained in a fierce brawl with another doctor. Police Unit attached to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle said this incident had taken place last afternoon at the hospital’s vehicle parking lot. Police suspect the reason for the argument and the subsequent brawl had been a dispute between them regarding parking of vehicles at parking lot. more..

Plantation worker strike over higher wages continues

Dec 6 (FT) Trade union action demanding Rs. 1,000 daily wage in the plantation sector continued for the second day, dimming hopes for a breakthrough, with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) insisting on an alternative productivity-based wage model, and politicians calling for fair reasoning. UNF-linked MPs, NUW Leader MP Palany Thigambaram, UCPF Leader V.S. Radhakrishnan, and UNP MP Vadivel Suresh more..

People seem pretty comfortable without a govt: SLIA president

Dec 6 (Island) No-one seems to be spooked by the ongoing political crisis, and in a way, people seem pretty happy, comfortable and more relieved without a govt, D.H. Wijewardene, president of SL Institute of Architects (SLIA) said. However, when asked him whether he seriously thought that investors also won't be spooked when there is no govt, he said, "The current crisis and the way the businesses and the people react to it shows that a govt is not needed to a certain extent. more..

Pathfinder Foundation Participate in Dialogue of BIMSTEC Think Tanks

Dec 6 (DN) Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) jointly organized by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) of India and Vivekananda International Foundation was conducted in new Delhi with the participation of all BIMSTEC member countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, SL and Thailand. Scholars representing each of member countries presented their views on enhancing land as well as maritime security more..

No-Confidence Motions against MR: UNP postpones debate

Dec 6 (CT) The UNP yesterday, decided not to proceed with a Motion to ask President Sirisena to take action, in connection with the No-Confidence Motions passed in Parliament against former President Rajapaksa and his purported Cabinet in terms of Article 48 (2) of the Constitution. It was scheduled to be taken for a vote on the same day. The Motion was signed by MPs Wijepala Hettiarachchi, Harshana Rajakaruna, more..

SLTDA insists no move by tourism industry to boycott awards

Dec 6 (CG) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has strongly rejected claims that tourism industry leaders have decided to boycott the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards tomorrow as President Maithripala Sirisena has been invited as the Chief Guest. SLTDA, as the governing body of Sri Lanka Tourism, believes that the duties vested in the institution should be carried forward under any circumstances and as a collective decision, hosting SL Tourism Awards 2018 was decided to more..

Kiriella wants Prez made accountable to legislature

Dec 6 (Island) President Sirisena’s statement that he would not appoint MP Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM even if all 225 MPs made a request that effect was a humiliation of Parliament, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, the MP pointed out that the Executive should be accountable to the legislature. He said that the judiciary with its interim order on December 3 had justified Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s ruling that there was no PM or Cabinet in the country. more..