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UNP asks govt to reveal stand on MCC

Dec 13 (Island) The govt should tell the people what its official stance on the MCC agreement was, UNP MP Mujibur Rahman said, addressing a press conference in Colombo. The MP said that the SLPP created a mass hysteria about the MCC during the election period. "They made people believe that this will cause great harm to the country. But now that they are in power, they have not revealed their official stance. Now even MP Udaya Gammanpila says that 70% of the agreement is okay," more..

Singapore to inform legal standing in 2 weeks: Govt

Dec 13 (DM) Singaporean Govt will inform the legal position on the extradition of the prime suspect in the Central Bank bond scam to Sri Lanka in a fortnight and if all chips fall into place, the alleged fugitive Arjuna Mahendran could be produced in a SL court soon, Minister Ramesh Pathirana said. He said the Attorney General had submitted all particulars and information on the court proceedings against Mahendran to more..

Niroshan Dickwella fields embarrassing question meant for team-mate

Dec 13 (Stuff) SL batsmen Niroshan Dickwella played with a lovely straight bat when a journalist made an embarrassing press conference blunder. After play on day two of SL's first test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi was limited by rain, Dickwella was put up before the assembled media after making 33 in his innings. The visitors were 263-6, with Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 72 off 131 balls. ​Dickwella however was asked by a journalist: "Are you thinking a hundred on this pitch?" more..

Sri Lanka, Qatar share close bonds of friendship, trade links

Dec 13 (QNA) SL ambassador to Qatar Kithsiri Athulathmudali affirmed his country’s commitment to strengthen bilateral relations with the State of Qatar and to increase regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. The ambassador said that Qatar has endeavoured to consolidate relations with many countries of the world within the framework of its foreign policy principles, which include mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, as well as more..

UNP Committee proposes Sajith as next leader

Dec 13 (FT) UNP leadership battle took a fresh turn yesterday, with the Committee members tasked with deciding the UNP’s future saying that their recommendation was to appoint MP Sajith Premadasa as the next Party Leader, and called for the confirmation process to be expedited. The 6-member Committee had decided that if Sajith Premadasa was made the Opposition Leader and was to run for the Prime Ministerial position more..

A pilgrimage that sets aside differences

Dec 13 (DM) The beginning of the annual pilgrimage to Sri Pada, also known as Adam’s Peak, makes us reflect on the cultural harmony that exists when pilgrims make the journey together as one. People from all walks of life make the trek through a cleared path which can turn into a rough terrain at times. The fit and strong walk with ease, but there are those who turn to prayers and chanting to make the grind to the top. This is where the main shrine is and holds the footprint of the sacred one: more..

13 A Just a cudgel in India’s hand

Dec 13 (DM) It was India that first sent its External Affairs Minister to SL within 24 hours after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as SL’s President on Nov 18. It was also India that became the first diplomatic destination for President Rajapaksa. Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subramaniam Jaishanker arrived in SL with a personal message from Indian PM Narendra Modi on Nov 19 and held talks with the new SL President and extended an invitation to Prez to visit New Delhi. more..

New Rajapaksa govt in power crisis

Dec 13 (DM) Since 2011, over 700 renewable energy projects totalling 2,400 MW, had been stalled due to opposition in the CEB read a news report, quoting sources at a meeting the new Minister of Power and Energy Mahinda Amaraweera had with top officials of the CEB and the ministry, last week. This year, another 80 such renewable energy projects with a total capacity of over 450 MW had not been approved. more..

Concessions soon for micro finance loan victims

Dec 13 (ST) The Govt is considering concessions for micro finance loan victims while introducing strict regulatory control on micro finance businesses using rough tactics in the loan recovery process. State Minister for Development Banks and Loan Schemes Shehan Semasinghe said that immediate relief will be granted to small and medium scale entrepreneurs to free them from a situation that they have faced in SL at present. more..

Govt Analyst yet to release report on waste containers

Dec 13 (DN) It transpired in the Court of Appeal that the Govt Analyst is yet to release his analytical report regarding the alleged consignment of containers carrying waste material. The delay in the part of Govt Analyst is to be considered by the Court of Appeal on Dec 18. Court of Appeal President Yasantha Kodagoda PC and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara have already issued an Interim Order directing the authorities to prevent any more..

Petition filed with UN on behalf of Sathkumara

Dec 13 (CT) The US-based pro bono legal service provider, advocating to free prisoners of conscience, Freedom Now and the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, on 9 Dec filed a petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of author Shakthika Sathkumara. In a release issued in this regard, they argue that the previous detention of Sathkumara and the ongoing legal proceedings against him more..

Health workers complain of of stepmotherly treatment

Dec 13 (Island) Some unilateral actions of the Health Ministry officials and the GMOA would make the govt unpopular among other categories of workers in the health sector, President of the Joint Council for Professionals of Supplementary Medicine, Ravi Kumudesh said, yesterday. A number of decisions on their service had been made in recent weeks without any consultation with other stakeholders, Kumudesh said. more..

Intelligence services play a major role in controlling terrorism & extremism: Def, Secy

Dec 13 (MoD) While the LTTE is attempting to re-emerge and an extremist group of misled youth, who has misinterpreted their religion, are trying to destabilize peaceful situation in the country, the intelligence agencies have a vital role to play to keep a tab on those disturbing elements to protect the country, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said. He said a group of Muslim extremists had created havoc in the country more..

PM says new terror threats have to be contained by whatever means

Dec 13 (EN) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the threats such as Easter Sunday attacks carried out by Islamist extremist will have to be contained by whatever means necessary. “If we don’t get on top of the situation, all neighbouring countries including India, Maldives, Bangladesh, and even countries further off like Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia will be under threat,” PM said at a graduation ceremony more..

Delhi and Colombo building on legacy of Going Green: Indian High Commissioner

Dec 13 (Island) India and Sri Lanka have long history and tradition of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. Both countries have values that cherish, nourish and protect environment, Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu said addressing the 2nd International Symposium on Social Sciences and Humanities yesterday. He said that for ‘India and SL going green is not a new motto and has always been more..

Majority of Sri Lankans against protectionist taxes: survey

Dec 13 (EN) Advocata, a Colombo-based think tank, said 57% of Sri Lankans are against paying a higher price for food and 76% opposed paying more for construction materials to protect the local industries, in a new survey. Advocata had surveyed 855 respondents across 8 provinces in door-to-door interviews. Opposition to protectionist taxes on food items was highest in the Southern Province, where 78% of respondents said they would rather more..

Waruna Priyantha for MP seat vacated by late Ranjith de Zoysa

Dec 13 (AD) Waruna Priyantha Liyanage’s name has been gazetted to fill the parliamentary seat vacated by the demise of UPFA Ratnapura District MP Ranjith De Zoysa. MP Ranjith De Zoysa, who had been receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Singapore, passed away on the 4th of Dec at the age of 57. Two days later, Parliament’s Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake informed Election Commission more..

'Don’t walk on rail track to spot elephant seal'

Dec 13 (RN) SL Railways has requested the public today to avoid walking along the stretch of railway track between Bambalapitiya and Kollupitiya on the coastal line. This was in view of people gathering in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the elephant seal spotted in the waters nearby. Groups of people were seen carelessly crossing the track this morning to get closer to the visiting animal. In a video captured by Lankadeepa, at least one person can be seen casually strolling along with more..

Ranil's Acolyte Speaks

Dec 13 (CT) Kuliyapitiya is the electorate of UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, an acolyte of UNP's discredited leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Kariyawasam insists that Wickremesinghe who hails from Sedawatte, Kelaniya, will lead the UNP at the forthcoming Parliamentary Poll. At the August 2015 Parliamentary Poll, Kariyawasam won Kuliyapitiya for the UNP, garnering 37,037 votes comprising 50.79% of the valid vote. more..

Ramesh Pathirana

How to select top officials to public corporations

Dec 13 (FT) It is commendable that the Prez wants to select suitable decision-makers to public corporations without them being mere and ad hoc political appointments. However, the process thus far seems somewhat weak. Various people are complaining about the process. There had been some embarrassing withdrawals after appointments. And there is an unacceptable lack of public communications about the progress. So I thought of proposing a recruitment and more..

CMC and John Keells Foundation present New Community Centre in Colombo 2

Dec 13 (AD) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) together with John Keells Foundation declared open the new De Mel Park Community Centre in Colombo 2 on 9th December. The project, initiated by CMC and Her Worship Rosy Senanayake, the Mayor of Colombo, was funded by John Keells Foundation (JKF) – CSR entity of the John Keells Group - together with John Keells Properties which undertook its construction as a community development initiative. more..

Video: Govt to review MCC Agreement, AG tells Supreme Court

Dec 13 (AD) The govt has decided to review Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement, which was to be signed between the former govt and the US, Attorney General Dappula de Livera has informed the Supreme Court today. Speaking on behalf of the AG, Deputy Solicitor General Farzana Jameel further informed the judge bench of the govt’s decision not take any steps to reach the agreement until the review is completed. more..

Two sentenced to death for killing boy 18 years ago

Dec 13 (Island) The Colombo High Court yesterday sentenced two convicts to death for murdering a 17-year old youth. Colombo High Court judge, Gihan Kulatunga sentenced Guruswami Milton and Kaluthanthrige Ruwan to death for murdering 17 year old Prasad Wiswatta on April 12, 2001 at Kotahena. The two suspects stabbed the youth over a personal dispute. Milton has not appeared before courts for some time, and the Colombo High Court issued a warrant for his arrest. more..

Group of UNP MPs calls for Working Committee meeting before Dec. 20

Dec 13 (AD) 26 UNP MPs have submitted a letter to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting him to summon a Working Committee meeting before 20 Dec. The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss the current political situation of the country and the necessity to appoint new office bearers to the Committee, the letter read further. MPs Thalatha Atukorale, Harin Fernando, Sujeewa Senasinghe, J.C. Alawathuwala, Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, Kabir Hashim, Mangala Samaraweera, more..

Sri Lanka beats Superbowl, Area 51 for top spot in Google’s where is queries

Dec 13 (EN) Americans to trying to locate places of interest, Sri Lanka topped the list beating the superbowl venue and area 51, Google trends published by the search engine shows. Google’s Year in Search list for 2019 showed Sri Lanka topping the Where is? category. Sri Lanka hit global headlines in 2019 for being named Lonely Planet’s best tourist destination and other similar accolades from travel publications such as more..

European MP applauds Gota’s emphasis on being President for all Sri Lankans

Dec 13 (DM) European Parliament Member Geoffrey Van Orden CBE applauded Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s emphasis on being a President for all Sri Lankans. Geoffrey Van Orden, Chairman of Friends of SL in the European Parliament and Leader of the British Conservatives, said they have sent warmest congratulations to Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as Prez. “We recognise the new confidence and stability and the economic growth and reconstruction that had flowed more..

Duty Free employee in Gold biscuits scam fined Rs.9.8M

Dec 13 (NR) The employee of a Duty Free store who was arrested in possession of 99 Gold Biscuits worth Rs.100 million on Wednesday, at the BIA has been fined Rs.9.8 million. Deputy Customs Director had issued directives to permanently seal the duty free electrical goods store the suspect was employed at. Suspect had requested a passenger – a Civil Engineer, who had arrived in the island from Australia to deliver the gold weighing more than 10kg, inside packaging for an electric fan. more..

President pays attention to issues related to power and energy sector

Dec 13 (PSL) A meeting between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and senior officials of the Ministry of Power and Energy and institutions under its purview was held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (12). Representatives from the CEB and Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority participated at this meeting, during which the attention was drawn to provide swift solutions to the issues prevailing in these entities. more..

Govt to move out from private buildings

Dec 13 (DM) The Govt is mulling towards moving out its offices from private buildings onto State-owned buildings. This decision had been taken with the view of minimising the additional cost incurred to the govt for locating its offices in privately-owned buildings. Presently, several Ministries, line management offices and several state institutions are housed in privately-owned buildings. Steps have already been taken to obtain information with regard to these institutions. more..

SL to fast track cases against drug offenders

Dec 13 (DM) SL’s Justice Ministry will soon look at amending laws which will allow fast-tracking of cases against drug offenders, Human Rights and Legal Reforms State Minister Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva said. He said that following discussions with legal experts, govt was urged to amend the laws to fast track cases against drug offenders as there was a large number of cases pending in courts. "Although we have been just appointed we will take this matter as a priority and work to amend more..

Sri Lanka – Japan development cooperation to be further strengthened

Dec 13 (PSL) Sri Lanka and Japan reaffirm their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in vital sectors of economic development and identify key areas of such cooperation. Information and communication technology (ICT), harbor infrastructure including Eastern Container Terminal (ECT), expressways, agriculture, digitalization of television transmission, disaster prevention and security cooperation more..

Education Minister congratulates Olympiad winners

Dec 13 (DN) Sri Lankan students, who participate in 16th International Mathematic and Science Olympiad (IMSO 2019) could show the Sri Lankan colurs by obtaining many medals. Accordingly students contest under Science category received a gold medal, a silver medal and three bronze medals while in the mathematic category received five bronze medals. Athsara Fernando of Ananda College Colombo obtained the Gold medal in the Science category. more..

Video: More police officers to record statements with PCoI probing Easter attacks

Dec 13 (AD) Several more police officers are scheduled to record statements today with the PCoI probing the terror attacks on Easter Sunday. Chief Inspector of DIG’s office of Colombo-North division Mahinda Karunaratne is among the police officers who are set to record statements with the panel today. In the meantime, Sub-Inspector Lahiru Pradeep Udayanga, Constable Nalin Bandara of Parasangaswewa Police Station, Inspector of Police Sirisena Abeysinghe of Kotahena Police more..

Make known to public stand on MCC Agreement: Mujibur Rahman

Dec 13 (CT) UNF MP Mujibur Rahman said that the PM or the Prez should tell the public of their stance on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement. "Since their election campaign was based on all the disadvantages of this Agreement, they must give their view on the MCC to the public as soon as possible. MPs like Udaya Gammanpila are speaking about Agreement being 70% advantageous," more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi participates the WHO Global Meeting

Dec 13 (DN) SL delegation led by Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Services, Minister of Women, Child affairs and Social Security Pavithra Wanniarachchi participated at the Global Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health held in the Sultanate of Oman from 9 to 12 Dec. The goal of the WHO Global Meeting was to accelerate progress on SDG target 3.4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to reduce more..

Dhanajaya de Silva inches towards ton as rain ruins third day

Dec 13 (CI) Thirty-two deliveries. That's all the cricket Rawalpindi saw on yet another frustrating, weather-affected day. Overnight rain and a delay in removing the covers wiped out the entire first session of play - the one-hour lunch break for Friday prayers unfortunately falling during exactly the brightest, most cricket-conducive period of the day. Play did eventually begin at 1.10pm, but went on for only 26 minutes, before the umpires deemed the light too poor for cricket to continue. more..

Sri Lanka to double fuel storage, start India-Japan tripartite LNG plant in 2020

Dec 13 (EN) Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has said SL’s crude oil tank capacity will be doubled by 2020, while a tripartite LNG terminal and power plant agreement signed with India and Japan will be started. In 2017, Sri Lanka had faced a three-day crisis due to a shortage of fuel. Amaraweera, at a meeting held at the CPC, called for uninterrupted supply of quality fuel, as there was rising public outcry. more..

Rs. 810 Mn from EU for agriculture modernisation

Dec 13 (TM) The European Union (EU) is funding the LKR 810 million Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Programme (TAMAP) in Sri Lanka, supporting a move towards sustainable and productive agriculture. The primary objective is to make the agricultural sector more productive, diversified, climate- resilient, market-oriented and equitable. The programme is being implemented by the consulting company Ecorys since January 2018. TAMAP also carried out a cold chain more..

Travel ban imposed on champika & driver over accident case

Dec 13 (TM) Court has imposed a travel ban on former Minister Champika Ranawaka and his driver over a motor traffic accident that took place in Feb 2016. A youth was injured when his motor cycle collided with a vehicle reported to be owned by Ranawaka on 28 Feb 2016. Colombo Additional Magistrate Chandana Kalansooriya said due to insufficient evidence Ranawaka could not be named a suspect. However the Minister’s driver was named a suspect in the case. more..