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Recommendation made to impose royalty for songs

Dec 13 (NR) Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources Development recommended that a song airing with effect from the 1st of Jan to 2022 will have to pay a royalty of Rs. 30, and going forward the amount must be increased by Rs. 50 whilst songs being telecast on TV should pay an amount of Rs. 100 with effect from the 1st of January, and going forward the amount must be increased by Rs. 250. more..

Reinstate Dr Weliange plead Rajarata University students

Dec 14 (SO) It took 20 years to do the research and another four years to compile all the collected information into a book. When Thrilokawijeya was finally launched in Aug 2016 it was praised by many. Why? Because for the first time in SL an academic tirelessly collected indigenous and almost forgotten literature about medicinal use of cannabis in the country. But little did its author Dr. Wasantha Sena Weliange know then that the book would cost his job as a lecturer at the University of Rajarata. more..

BASL condemns lambasting comments made on judges and legal officers

Dec 14 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) issuing a statement today condemned recent statements made against judges, prosecutors and even private practitioners. Statement said that BASL unreservedly condemns the statements made with reference to concluded cases, pending litigation, role of Judges, role of prosecutors and the right of representation relating to litigants who are parties to court. This statement follows accusations raised by an Attorney Ajith Prasanna against more..

'UNP failed to convince people'

Dec 14 (CT) UNP MP, Harshana Rajakaruna, says the UNP did a lot for the country, but failed to convince people. "People had a few major hopes. One is catching thieves. We failed to do them," he said. Q: What is the UNP's stand on the prorogation of Parliament? A: Prez has that right. There is no other reason behind that, than the Prez's need to address Parliament from the Chair. All the committees will be abolished with this? more..

Re-establishing security

Dec 14 (CT) Renowned terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, testifying before the PCoI appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday attacks, recently stated that there were warning signs of rising extremism in Sri Lanka and that a terror attack was predicted as far back as 2016. He said in an interview with Ceylon Today in Nov 2016, that there were between 200 and 300 Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) supporters in Sri Lanka and that there was a terror threat. more..

Govt’s spice import ban: Over 200,000 pepper farmers to benefit

Dec 14 (SO) Thousands of pepper farmers who were left powerless by falling prices for their crops had a sigh of relief as they learnt on Friday that the govt had banned the import of black pepper along with several other minor export crops such as areca nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and cloves for re-export. According to Dept of Export Agriculture, some 200,000 pepper farmers, including pepper smallholders in the country, would benefit from this decision. more..

Paid to be alive: How universal basic income in Sri Lanka could change lives

Dec 14 (Roar) Imagine a world in which the govt grants every individual enough money to cover their basic needs: food, water and shelter. There are no conditions upon which this money is given and recipients are not even strictly made to use the money on basic needs—they could even use it for non-necessities— if they so choose to. Would this world be any better than the one we are living in today? more..

Hoax or genuine?

Dec 14 (Island) Cassandra, while feeling extremely sad about the vet doctor who was gang raped and burnt in Hyderabad raising an almighty furor across India, had mixed feelings on reading the sequel to this horrifying tale. The four arrested men, aged between 20 and 26, who admitted having committed the crime, were shot dead by the police when escorted to the scene of the crime. The police alleged they attempted escape. Indians who were demanding castration of the rapists-cum more..

Unusual mixture of economic theories

Dec 14 (CT) An economic package, at least one small segment of it, was announced at the first Cabinet Meeting, under the chairmanship of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This package is basically aimed at reducing taxes, as promised by Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the election campaign. The attempt to fulfil promises made before coming to power is always commendable. Of course, the criticism that he has so many promises yet to be fulfilled is not a justifiable one, as only more..


Uni dons condemn UGC decisions to bar Dr. Guruparan from practising law

Dec 14 (CT) Academics have condemned the decision made by the UGC to bar Dr. Kumaravadivel Guruparan, Senior Lecturer in Law and Head of the Department of Law, University of Jaffna, from legal practice. We publish below the statement in full: We, the undersigned academics attached to various public universities in Sri Lanka, protest the decision made by the UGC to bar Dr. Kumaravadivel Guruparan, Senior Lecturer in Law and Head of Dept of Law, U of Jaffna, from legal practice. more..

Editorial: Upending systems

Dec 14 (Island) Gotabaya Rajapaksa govt seems determined to upend existing systems. It has introduced several progressive initiatives, which have gone down well with the people who are desperate for a radical change, having witnessed many a false dawn, over the years. The scaling method (Z-score), currently used to select university entrants, is to be abolished and a new one, based on schools instead of districts, introduced, we are told. Education Minister Dallas Alahapperuma more..

The call for a true democracy

Dec 14 (Island) He is determined to remain in the news. Maithripala Sirisena has asked the SLFP (or what is left of it) to help the Pohottuva to get a two-thirds majority at the coming general election, to help Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa build a prosperous country. This is a call to completely defeat and even bury whatever he campaigned for in 2015, which made him the prez; and decidedly remove the 19th Amendment, more..

Cabinet approves funds to minimise human -elephant conflict

Dec 14 (FT) The Cabinet has approved the proposal to repair and maintain prevailing electric fences as a move to minimise human-elephant conflicts. The proposal was made by Minister S.M Chandrasena to prevent elephants entering into human habitat and destroying crops. The Cabinet approved allocating funds to human resources to improve the condition of the prevailing electric fences. The Govt expects to implement the proposed program with the assistance of District Secretaries. more..

Bus-Stop Talks to hone researchers’ presentation skills

Dec 14 (ST) Reminiscent of chats people had whenever they strolled up to a bus-stop and awaited this popular mode of transport in days gone by, it was innovative Bus-Stop Talks 2019 in a different setting recently. The setting was not a bus-stop though the backdrop portrayed one, but the New Building Lecture Theatre of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. It was also not just a chat about this and that but a very specific one – just three minutes did each person armed with more..

Sri Lanka industrial activity grows in October on higher food, apparel production

Dec 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s industrial activity expanded 1.1% in October 2019 from a year earlier on food and apparel production, while wooden products manufacturing surged ahead of the holiday season. The Index of Industrial Production compiled by the Census & Statistics Dept rose to 112.1 points in October from 110.8 points a year earlier. An index value over 100 shows growth compared to the index base year of 2015. more..

Tourism veteran Upali Ratnayake steps down as DG of SLTDA

Dec 14 (LBO) Tourism industry veteran Upali Ratnayake has stepped down as the Director-General of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the apex body of the Tourism Sector in Sri Lanka. Having joined as a Management Trainee in 1995, Ratnayake rose to the organization’s top tier of decision making over the years as the Director Planning and Development, Domestic Tourism, Quality and Assurance before taking over the Director-General Position. more..

Shilpa Diriya scholarship program launched for child victims of Easter Sunday attacks

Dec 14 (FT) The tragic events of Easter Sunday created one of the most challenging times Sri Lanka has faced. Despite the tragedy, the eagerness demonstrated by Sri Lankan donors overseas to help those most in need and give them the necessary strength to overcome adversity created a new sense of hope across communities. As an extension of these efforts to ensure that the children affected in Katuwapitiya and Kochchikade had a secure future, the long-term Shilpa Diriya more..

මොහොමඩ් කෝටි 14 ඇත්ත නැත්ත

14 Sri Lankans figure in the Vivo IPL 2020 Player Auction List

Dec 14 (Island) VIVO IPL 2020 Player Auction list is out with a total of 332 cricketers set to go under the hammer in Kolkata on Dec 19. While 997 players had initially registered, the final list has been pruned after the eight franchises submitted their shortlist of players. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is owned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). With its 2019 brand value estimated at $6.9 billion by Duff & Phelps, it is the world’s richest cricket tournament. more..

UNDP’s Youth Co: Lab promotes Innovation for Social Change

Dec 14 (Island) Under the Youth Co: Lab initiative, the UNDP together with Citi Foundation recently hosted Innovation for Social Change - a design thinking program recently - for the National Youth Model UN (NYMUN) delegates. A statement by the UNDP said: Following their annual conference, over 65 young people, including award winners, executive committee members and members of the NYMUN secretariat came together to participate at the Youth Co:Lab extended program in SL. more..

Plan International closes operations in SL

Dec 14 (EN) Plan International a non-governmental organization (NGO), is closing its operations in Sri Lanka after four decades of activity supporting hundreds of thousands of children, a statement said. “The organization’s exit is based on the significant growth in Sri Lanka’s economy and a marked improvement in its Human Development Index ranking, which now ranks Sri Lanka at 71 out of 189 countries,” Plan International said. more..

'An attempt by Rajitha to bring int’l disrepute'

Dec 14 (DN) Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne concocted the Swiss Embassy employee abduction incident to tarnish the good image of the Sri Lankan Govt internationally, Passenger Transport, Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said recently. He said former Minister Senaratne is the only person who is alleged to have facts and evidence on the incident related to the Swiss Embassy employee because he made a statement to media as if he eye witnessed the incident. more..

Market tender mired in controversy; Kurunegala MC vote ends in tie

Dec 14 (ST) Controversy shrouds a proposed tender for the construction of a mega market complex that will replace the old market in Kurunegala town. SLPP councillors allege that Kurunegala Municipal Council Mayor Thushara Vitharana, also from the SLPP, wanted to award the contract to a company that bid Rs. 280 million higher than the estimate worked out by the council’s chief engineer. They say the chief engineer has estimated that the project would cost Rs 687 million but the company, more..

Bogollagama released from corruption case

Dec 14 (CT) Following instructions given by the Colombo High Court, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratna yesterday, released former Minister Rohitha Bogollagama from the bribery case filed against him by the CIABOC. Bogollagama had been charged with misusing his position as the former Head of the BOI to attend an event held in London. When the case was previously heard on 10 Dec, defendant Bogollagama more..

Entrust trial to proceed without absconding chairman

Dec 14 (DN) The preliminary objection raised by the defence over the case filed against six individuals including Chanuka Ratwatte for allegedly carrying on financial business named Entrust Limited and accepting deposits, without authority was yesterday dismissed by the Colombo High Court. At a previous occasion, several documents pertaining to the indictment were handed over to the defence by the Attorney General and informed that the prosecution is not in a position to provide more..

High profile delegation from Holland in Sri Lanka on familiarization visit

Dec 14 (DM) A delegation from the Vereniging van Kleinschalige Reisorganisaties (VVKR); Small & Medium Tour Operators Association in The Netherlands arrived in Sri Lanka on Dec 2nd, on an invitation from Sri Lanka Tourism. Upon their arrival, they were given a warm welcome amidst a distinguished gathering, and also had the opportunity of witnessing a cultural performance. The delegation was in Sri Lanka till Dec 8. The delegation consisted of 6 members more..

Sri Lanka to strictly control land rights of coconut farmland owners

Dec 14 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to strictly control the right and freedoms of coconut farm owners to put their land to alternative uses, the ministry of Plantations Industry and Export Agriculture has said. The decision was made following a meeting with Minister Ramesh Pathirana with the Organization for Protection of Coconut Industry, which was pushing to control the land rights of coconut farmers. more..

CA Sri Lanka to sign new agreement enabling strategic dual-membership for students

Dec 14 (Island) A landmark agreement is scheduled to be signed to provide a new pathway to students of CA Sri Lanka on 16th December 2019 together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The agreement allows CA Students to obtain the membership of the most prestigious professional accountants organisation in the world - ICAEW - as well as the membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) simultaneously. more..

No privatisation of Postal Service: Bandula

Dec 14 (DN) Minister Bandula Gunawardena stressed that the Postal Service will never be privatised even though it is presently running at a loss. He made these remarks after assuming duties as the Information and Communication Technology, Higher Education, Technology Innovation Minister at the Postal Services headquarters in Colombo. He highlighted that the Postal Service is enriched with many facets that can be utilised in making it a profit making venture. more..

Free visa programme to be extended?

Dec 14 (TM) The visa fee exemption facility or free visa on arrival programme launched on 1 August to promote tourism for a period of six months is most likely to be extended due to requests from the industry. The programme was to expire at the end of February as planned initially, but the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is considering extending it further, as it would be favourable for the country. “There is a good response for more..

'UNP doesn't need urgent leadership change'

Dec 14 (CT) There is no urgent need for a change in the Leadership of the UNP, said UNF MP Mayantha Dissanayaka. He added that although there was a need for some changes within the UNP, there was no need to remove or appoint anyone urgently. He said, Party Leader, MP Ranil Wickremesinghe is a mature leader, adding that there was no intention of removing him suddenly from the Party Leadership and appointing another. Stressing that one person's change was not a solution to more..

PCB defends scheduling of SL Tests

Dec 14 (TN) Ongoing first Test against visiting SL in Rawalpindi was supposed to mark the historic return of Test cricket to Pakistan. But persistently cold and wet weather has badly hit the first of the two-Test series with just 91.5 overs possible on the first 3 days of the Test. Only 32 deliveries were bowled on Friday. The fact that it’s the first Test being played on Pakistani soil since 2009 raises questions as to why the Pakistani cricket authorities failed to properly schedule the Test series. more..

Video: Will take steps internationally to restore due respect of armed forces: PM

Dec 14 (AD) Initiatives will be taken at the international level to restore to the armed forces, the respect and dignity they deserve, says PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. PM made this remark addressing the graduation ceremony of the Defence Services Command and Staff College yesterday. This was the first time he formally addressed members of the armed forces after being appointed PM. He pledged the armed forces that more..

Two persons who made white van claims at Rajitha’s media briefing arrested

Dec 14 (AD) The two individuals, who had made controversial statements at a media briefing conducted by former Minister Rajitha Senaratne on the purported incidents regarding white vans, have been arrested by the CID. They were taken into custody at Mahara area. The CID had commenced an investigation into a media briefing conducted by the former Health Minister in early November along with two other individuals, where they made controversial statements. more..

Fight Cancer Project Founder Mohamed says: All monies accounted for

Dec 14 (DN) The Founder of Fight Cancer Project M.S.H Mohamed said the recent event of being allegedly accused of mishandling hospital funds was a false accusation by Hospital Director Dr Wasantha Dissanayake and legal action will be taken against him. “We are meeting with our lawyers to take legal action against Dr. Dissanayake. This project was started in 2016, through the Pet Scanner project we collected Rs. 252 million within a short period. The money was deposited to the same account, more..

2020 Geneva sessions: Susil agrees to address concerns about handling of...

Dec 14 (Island) State Minister for Foreign Affairs Susil Premajayantha has assured a delegation of the Federation of National Organizations (FNO) and the Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) that he would certainly inquire into their concerns about the manner in which the accountability issues in terms of the 2015 Geneva resolution were handled. Premajayantha early this week invited them for a meeting close on the heels of the nationalist more..

Urgent need to address energy crisis

Dec 15 (SO) SL has achieved almost 100 percent electrification, but this does not mean that everything is rosy in the power generation sector. Far from it. There is actually an energy crisis, as the present power generation capacity is bursting at the seams. Power cuts will be inevitable if no new capacity is added during the next few years. This problem has been exacerbated due to the fact that the previous Government failed to add any capacity to the National Grid for the past four and a half years. more..

A sense of misplaced pride?

Dec 15 (CT) A wave of wall art and graffiti seems to be sweeping the nation at present: Groups of youngsters get-together to clean up concrete surfaces around the country and then cover them with colourful art. Public bus stands, bridges and underpasses, which were otherwise covered in posters advertising tuition classes and politicians, are first cleaned up and then covered with various graffiti and art, mostly depicting symbols of tradition, culture and national pride. more..

'Differences of opinion within EC a sign of democracy'

Dec 15 (SO) Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said he was grateful that his work has been recognized by the President and the Speaker but the credit for peaceful elections should be shared by everyone from casual workers on poll duty to voters and political parties, not just him or the EC. Q: Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa both have turned down your letter of resignation on the eve of a crucial general election by as early as March this year. more..