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Despite floods, displacements, most people in safety: DMC

Dec 23 (DN) Effective early warnings circulated by local authorities and prompt rescue operations spearheaded by Armed Forces disaster response units has enabled the quick movement of threatened populations from out of flooded areas thereby saving many lives over the storm-swept weekend, DMC sources said last evening. Latest data indicated nearly 27,000 people (7,565 fmilies) have been affected in various ways mainly in the North Central, Eastern and the central hillcountry, more..

Christmas: A time for remembrance

Dec 24 (DM) In three days time; on Dec 25 to be precise, all over the world, Christians and others of different faith, will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ whom Christians believe is the son of God. It was the time, Augustus Caesar who had conquered the Middle East, had declared all men should travel to their hometowns with their families and register themselves. And so it was Joseph, the betrothed husband of Mary who was pregnant, had to take her and travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem - more..

Eliminating Corruption

Dec 24 (DM) The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) defines corruption as the misuse of public power for private benefit; this misuse of power includes bribe, nepotism, misuse of assets, embezzlement, and requests for sexual favours from the public or clients in return for providing service. Bribery is one of the most common forms of corruption in Asian countries. There are several factors that contribute to accepting or giving bribes, including the need to maintain standard of living during high inflation more..

Dawn of Ceylon independence and birth of Tamil Federal Party

Dec 24 (DM) Dec 18, 1949 was a red letter day in the political history of SL Tamils known as Ilangaith Thamizhar in their mother tongue. On that day, a group of 60 Tamils including two MPs and two senators launched a new political party with the avowed goal of establishing an autonomous State for Tamil-speaking people of Ceylon (as SL was known then) within a united island. New party was named in Tamil as Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi more..

Swiss embassy drama: Due process and unduearrogance

Dec 24 (Island) The Swiss embassy abduction affair hogged the media spotlight in SL barely a week from the commencement of new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s term of office. The commotion it caused drew attention away from a wave of activity that has been set in motion, to fulfil promises, bring about anticipated change and carry out a mandate given by the people in a watershed election held last month. While the drama surrounding this event (or non-event?) continues to unfold, more..

Three Tsunami disasters: Work of divine?

Dec 24 (DM) Day after Tomorrow, the blockbuster Hollywood film was enacted in a real life drama on 26/12, fifteen years ago when giant tidal waves lashed 3/4th of the island’s coast plunging into a crisis of unprecedented nature reminding one of the legendary Viharamaha Devi, [daughter of King Kelanitissa] who volunteered to sacrifice her life as predicted by soothsayers, for the sake of her countrymen two millennia ago. As the story goes…, Kelanitissa punished a monk by boiling him more..

'I stand up for one country one law'

Dec 24 (DM) Newly appointed eastern province governor Anuradha Yahampath, in her maiden newspaper interview, spells out her plan for the job. She used to work for the nationalist movement that advocated candidacy for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Also, she went to Geneva and protested the co-sponsorship of the UNHRC resolution by the then govt. Eastern province covers a vast territory in which the three main communities live, more..

Editorial: Crack down on godowns

Dec 24 (Island) The prices of rice and vegetables have gone into the stratosphere, nay mesosphere, and sent both Citizen Perera and the newly formed caretaker govt reeling. Inclement weather, which has wreaked havoc on farming areas and caused disruptions to the transport network have also led to sharp increases in the prices of the locally produced food items. Such price hikes are also seasonal. But they are mostly due to deplorable market manipulations and the absence of storage more..

The Federal Party after 70 years

Dec 24 (CT) Rife with leadership qualities of every kind, with a heritage of many leaders who sacrificed their all, the Federal Party (a.k.a. FP, Ilangai Thamil Arasuk Katchi, ITAK) continues to work with firm faith upholding the right of the Tamil people to maintain their identity, and establish a governance structure that would help them protect this right to maintain and their unique ethnic identity, arts, culture, language, religious practices through self-determination for our people. more..

Rohitha Abeygunawardena

Will the new President of Sri Lanka guide the country in the correct path

Dec 24 (CT) Singapore success is attributed to their leader Lee Kuan Yew developing a society where each race appreciate and respect that of others, encouraged to preserve its unique culture and traditions, let alone that of the majority. It’s fostering such an approach for a multi-race society enabled them to go forward. Lee Kuan Yew was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades with the country described as transitioning from a Third world country to more..

Democratic governance at a crossroads: The enemy to be defeated is within

Dec 24 (DM) Democracy, as against monarchy or authoritarian rule, has been hailed as the best form of govt due to a number of reasons. It permits citizens’ voice in govt, allows people to have choice over right to life, career, faith, or property, creates an environment conducive for intellectual pursuit, helps prospering creativity in members and promotes peaceful cohabitation among diverse social, ethnic and religious groups. In the older form of democracies that existed in ancient Greece more..

Pakistan clinch emotional Test series against Sri Lanka

Dec 24 (CI) It took Pakistan just 16 balls on the fifth morning to take the three Sri Lanka wickets they needed to wrap up the second Test and the series. It was made even more memorable for the hosts when Naseem Shah became the second-youngest player to take a five-for by trapping Vishwa Fernando plumb in front to seal the win. The 15 minutes today were a microcosm of the lack of fight SL exhibited over the previous two days. more..

Colombo Dockyard delivers two pilot launches built for SLPA

Dec 24 (FT) Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC) yesterday delivered two pilot launches as per an agreement signed with Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on 1 February. This ceremony was graced by Roads and Highways and Ports and Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando, State Minister of Ports and Shipping Kanaka Herath, Ministry of Roads and Highways and Ports and Shipping Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, State Ministry of Ports and Shipping Secretary M.P.V.P. Piyathilake, more..

Lion king of Asian beers in USA

Dec 24 (FT) It’s invasion USA, but even the Avengers are not fighting this one. Sri Lanka’s Lion beer first made landfall in America way back in 2004, and over the past 15 years the brand has achieved high-profile listings in the Big Apple (New York) with over 700 accounts, alongside more in the states of Colorado, Michigan and New Jersey. SL’s premier and favourite brewer, Lion Brewery Ceylon, exports the complete Lion range to the US including Lion Lager, Lion Stout and Lion Imperial Pilsner. more..

Rs. 28 b for Sapiri Gamak program

Dec 24 (FT) Govt has allocated Rs. 28 billion to carry out infrastructure development at the village level countrywide in the New Year, Finance Ministry said. The Rs. 28 billion will be divided up amongst all 14,021 Grama Niladhari Divisions, with each area getting Rs. 2 million to be spent on village-level infrastructure. The statement by the Finance Ministry said that Cabinet approval has already been given for the program, which will be titled Sapiri Gamak. more..

Tamil Union elects Ramesh Schaffter as new president and inaugurates indoor nets

Dec 24 (Island) For over 120 years, the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has played a strategic role in defining SL’s cricket landscape. From being the prestigious venue for the first ever Test match played in the country to being recognized as the only Asian venue which witnessed the masterful batmanship of Sir Donald Bradman, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has enjoyed an unparalleled heritage, resplendent with some of the finest moments of cricketing history in Sri Lanka. more..

Gulf Air and SriLankan Airlines in Codeshare Partnership

Dec 24 (Island) Gulf Air - the national carrier of Bahrain – and SriLankan Airlines - the national carrier of Sri Lanka - have entered into a codeshare partnership with effect from December 18 2019, significantly enhancing the travel options of their respective valued customers. With nearly 70 years of operations for both Gulf Air and SriLankan Airlines, this partnership will further strengthen the commercial ties between the Bahrain and Sri Lanka. more..

'Seniors need to take the blame'

Dec 24 (CI) Senior players failed to take responsibility. The bowlers were impatient in the second innings. And Sri Lanka gave up a good match position too readily. These were Dimuth Karunaratne's verdicts following Sri Lanka's 263-run defeat in Karachi. The visitors had had a first-innings lead of 80, but allowed openers Abid Ali and Shan Masood to put on a mammoth 278-run stand, Pakistan then going on to post 555 for 3 in the second innings. more..

Sri Lanka heading for uncertainty with low rate obsession: Bellwether

Dec 24 (EN) Sri Lanka is heading into uncertain territory with an obsession on interest rates, a trigger happy central bank which tends to deliver liquidity shocks through open market operations, which now buys bonds to create money, and the budgets deteriorating on top of all that. In 2018 the central bank triggered two runs on the currency with a combination of a buffer strategy (where maturing bonds were repaid with a central bank re-financed overdrafts), overnight and term reverse repo injections and more..

Sri Lanka Telecom to connect million homes with fibre, rates low: Fitch

Dec 24 (EN) Sri Lanka Telecom, the islands sole wireline operator is expecting to connect a million fibre optic customers in the next two years form current 70,000 despite low broadband tariffs, Fitch a rating agency said. Fitch downgraded the outlook on SLT’s ‘AA+(lka)’ rating after the outlook on Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating was lowered. SLT is expected to invest amounts equal to 28-30% of revenues on infrastructure on its 4G networks. The full statement is reproduced below: more..

Video: Overseas travel ban issued on Rajitha

Dec 24 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has issued an overseas travel ban on the former Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Considering a request made by the CID, the Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage issued the order to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration, today (23). The CID informed the court that investigations have revealed that the relevant media briefing under investigation has been conducted under the full patronage of former Minister Rajitha Senaratne. more..

NPC calls for report from acting IGP on the arrest of MP Ranawaka

Dec 24 (Island) The National Police Commission yesterday instructed acting IGP C. D. Wickramaratne to submit a report on the arrest of MP Champika Ranawaka. The Commission wants to inquire whether correct procedure had been followed in making the arrest. The Commission will meet on Dec 27 and Wickramaratne was instructed to furnish the report by then. Deputy Speaker, Ananda Kumarasiri on Friday informed the Commission that Ranawaka had been arrested in violation of the standard procedure. more..

A UN aid worker took the horrors of SL’s civil war and turned conflict into a graphic novel

Dec 24 (Scroll) By Sept 2008, I had become accustomed to fitfully sleeping in a fortified underground bunker. After four years of living in Sri Lanka as an aid worker, I was then being constantly woken by sporadic air attacks surrounding the Tamil Tiger de-facto capital of Kilinochchi, in a northern district of the country called Vanni. The sonic boom made by a fighter jet, swooping low and bombing its target and then thrusting through the sound barrier to escape anti-aircraft fire more..

Speaker wants to summon IGP, senior Police officers over manner of Ranawaka’s arrest

Dec 24 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he would summon the IGP and other senior Police officials who were involved in the arrest of MP Champika Ranawaka, and inform them on the need to adhere to parliamentary conventions when arresting a lawmaker. Speaker also said he would request the National Police Commission (NPC) to inquire into the manner in which the arrest was carried out. more..

High spirits at hotels officially legal this X’mas

Dec 24 (FT) This Christmas brings good cheer, for spirits at all Tourist Board approved hotels are now officially legal on Christmas Day, bringing much joy to the formal industry and guests. Hitherto, Christmas being a religious holiday, sale of liquor was banned; however, after much lobbying by the private sector and with the support of SL Tourism’s new administration, the industry has achieved a breakthrough this year. The Excise Commissioner issued a notice more..

Sri Lanka borrowers getting moratorium should continue to pay interest: Cabraal

Dec 24 (EN) SL’s borrowers who are using a debt moratorium of up to 300 million rupees should continue to pay interest which will help bank’s revenue and profits, Senior Economic Advisor to the Finance Minister Nivard Cabraal said. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also finance minister had asked bank heads to offer a moratorium of up to 300 million rupees for small and medium borrowers, a govt statement said. “Borrowers should continue to pay interest,” more..

Switzerland and SL to calm matters down

Dec 24 (RN) They have been eyeball to eyeball, staring each other down over the past month, but as of this week, Sri Lanka and Switzerland will begin the long-slow dance to step back from further confrontation towards normalizing relations. This is not because it is the season of good cheer, but both sides are showing that they want a way out lest more serious damage is done to the relationship between the two countries. more..

Heavy rains help CEB gain Rs. 500 mn a day

Dec 24 (Island) CEB is gaining more than Rs. 500 million per day due to the high generation of hydro power, a senior electrical engineer said. He said that usually the hydro accounted for about 15% of the power generated and at present it was almost 70%. Ministry of Power and Energy Ministry of Passenger Transport officials said that due to the increased water levels in the hydro power reservoirs due to torrential rains, hydro electricity generation had increased to 68.34% by yesterday. more..

Video: Three Indians including woman, van driver killed on Southern highway accident

Dec 24 (AD) Four persons have been killed in a road accident at Kurundugahahetekma on the Southern Expressway, stated the Police. Two other persons have been injured in the incident, according to the Police. The accident had taken place between Kurundugahahetekma and Welipenna area on the Southern Expressway, earlier this evening (23). The van they had been traveling in had collided with a container truck en route to Colombo. The injured have been admitted to Elpitiya Base Hospital more..

President visits flood-affected areas in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa

Dec 24 (PMD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited areas affected by floods in A'pura and Polonnaruwa districts today (23) to inspect relief measures provided to displaced people in the area. President Rajapaksa who met the political authority and govt officials at the President’s House in A'pura this morning reviewed the welfare programme and instructed the relevant authorities to continue with providing assistance to affected communities. more..

Skipper killed, five injured in clash on Turkish vessel

Dec 24 (CT) A Turkish ship's captain was killed and five others injured following a major on board clash between the crew, while the vessel was sailing close to the country's territorial waters on 20 Dec, Int'l Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) said. The bulk carrier-MV Ince Karadeniz was sailing to the Suez Canal from a port in Indonesia when the clash had broken out and according to international maritime procedures, the vessel has to dock at the nearest port, ITF Inspector Ranjan Perera said. more..

Govt. should abolish International agreements as per mandate: Sajith

Dec 24 (DM) All international agreements including the MCC, ACSA and SOFA should be abolished as per the mandate given by the Sri Lankan people to the present govt at the last Prez Election, NDF Prez Candidate Sajith Premadasa said over the weekend. Speaking to the party members in Kirillawala on Saturday, Mr Premadasa said he as the new Leader of Opposition would get his party to support the govt if it decided to cancel the signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Agreement, more..

Over 65,000 people affected by floods

Dec 24 (FT) A total of 65,294 people from 19,095 families in 13 districts have been affected by the adverse weather, which has devastated large areas of Sri Lanka over the last three days, DMC said yesterday. There are 15,510 people from 14,704 families in 123 temporary shelters set up in affected areas and the provinces affected the most include Northern, North Central, Eastern, North Western, and Central. more..

TNA ready to help UNP form govt

Dec 24 (Island) The TNA has expressed its willingness to help the UNP muster a working majority after the upcoming general election. TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that the TNA had decided to help the UNP form a government if it could not secure enough seats at the next general election for that purpose. Addressing the media, on Sunday, after a special meeting at TNA office in Kayts, Sumanthiran said that the TNA would surely obtain more than 16 seats at next gen. election more..

Supreme Court Justice Prasanna Jayawardena passes away

Dec 24 (AD) Supreme Court Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, PC, has passed away while receiving medical treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. Justice Prasanna Sujeewa Jayawardena was a sitting puisne judge of the Supreme Court, prior to which he was senior member of the Unofficial Bar. He was appointed to the Supreme Court as a judge by then President Maithripala Sirisena in June 2016. In January 2017, he was appointed by Prez Sirisena to a three member Special Prez Commission more..

Champika's hit-and-run case: Pujith to be questioned

Dec 24 (CT) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama that according to statements given by former Minister Champika Ranawaka, who is currently in remand, in connection with an accident that occurred in 2016, in which a youth named Sandeep Sampath was injured, he and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, then Western Prov Senior DIG, more..

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Dec 25 (CT) My Editor, I am sure, gratefully joins me in bringing you the good news that you will not have to suffer a weekly mid-week column from me beginning 2020. But oh dear, there’s a downside; you will have to endure a fortnightly version. Let’s make this last weekly offering a happy one; let’s talk about Christmas. From my childhood buried somewhere in the depths of bygone years, to parenting my own kids, to grand-fatherhood, I know that one can best behold the wonder of more..

Electoral victories and pyrrhic outcomes

Dec 25 (CT) Electoral victories are not Pyrrhic victories in the historical sense of the ancient Sicilian war between the Roman Empire and King Pyrrhus of Epirus. Pyrrhus won the battles but at great cost to himself. “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, said Pyrrhus, “we shall be utterly ruined.” Hence, Pyrrhic victory. Modern electoral victories are different. The winning parties usually take everything before them, while the losing parties are often left with nothing. more..

'Contesting under Lotus Bud is beneficial'

Dec 25 (CT) State Minister of Power, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, says "we do not want to elect the next Parliament with only Sinhala-Buddhist votes." The President will visit Jaffna in January. I am sure he will win their support, he said. Q: Now, the subjects of the Ministries have been divided. However, Chairmen and Directors of the corporations and statutory boards have not been appointed. Do you think it is good to delay? more..