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Muslim O/L candidates harassed?

Dec 4 (CT) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma denied reports that Muslim GCE O/L candidates had been harassed, adding that no student has been harassed or disturbed at any examination centre. "This is an attempt to use children to gain political advantage merely by presenting false information that such obstacles have occurred. Some social media accounts are propagating the news stating that several Muslim students were not allowed to enter exam centre due to their cultural face veils. more..

Campaign to be launched on Friday: Harin

Dec 4 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando said those who wanted the party’s former deputy leader Sajith Premadasa to be appointed as party leader and leader of the opposition would launch a campaign on Friday (6), to re-build Mr. Premadasa’s political future. He said that those who were backing Mr. Premadasa would get what they were for but the unnecessary delay was disconcerting. “The issue now is the delay and we do not understand why this matter should be dragged for so long,” more..

Activists to monitor progress on govt manifesto

Dec 4 (RN) The March 12 Movement, an organization working towards achieving clean politics in Sri Lanka says that it will review the progress the govt is making towards fulfilling promises in its election manifesto every six months. Operations Committee member of the Movement, Saman Ambangoda told reporters that discussions on party manifestos being limited for the election period is not a good sign. more..

HSBC, IUCN to study on sustainability in Sri Lanka apparel sector

Dec 4 (EN) HSBC Sri Lanka, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have begun a study to plan for greener processes in the apparel industry, with a focus on small and medium-sized manufacturers, officials said. “The apparel industry is a critical income earner for Sri Lanka, and supporting its transition into greener development is imperative for the growth and long term stability of the industry,” HSBC SL and Maldives CEO Mark Pothero said. more..

Verdict of bribery case against fmr Prez chief-of-staff and STC chairman on Dec 19

Dec 4 (AD) Permanent High Court at Bar has announced that the verdict of the bribery case against Prez’s former Chief of Staff I.H.K. Mahanama and the former Chairman of the State Timber Corporation (STC) Piyadasa Dissanayake will be delivered on Dec 19. The case was taken up before Special High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne today. Mahanama and Dissanayake were arrested by the Bribery Commission for more..

Calling armed forces for civil matters shows signs of military rule: NPP

Dec 4 (DM) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s move to call on the three forces to maintain law and order in the country at a time when there was no emergency situation was a bad sign that the country was heading towards as a military rule, National People’s Power (NPP) said today. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that it was the responsibility of the people who value democracy to come forward against more..

Corruption during UNF regime: Govt should launch probe: Dr. Amarasekera

Dec 4 (CT) Convener of the Federation of National Organisations, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, claimed the people's confidence in the present Govt would be severely damaged, if the authorities did not investigate corruption of the UNF Govt, and take legal action against the suspects. He claimed some of the people in the Govt were trying to protect the persons who had committed irregularities in the previous Govt. He also emphasised the present Govt should work towards abolishing more..

Sri Lanka rejects Swiss request to fly staffer for treatment

Dec 4 (AP) Foreign minister Dinesh Gunawardena says the govt has rejected a request from the Swiss Embassy to allow one of its employees to be flown out for medical treatment after a group allegedly abducted and threatened her to disclose embassy information. He said that the woman has not made a statement to police about the incident despite repeated requests. Instead, he said, the govt has received a request from the Swiss Embassy for permission to fly the woman out more..

Video: Swiss envoy has no right to detain SL worker: PHU

Dec 4 (DM) The Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka has no right to keep a SL employee inside the Embassy on the basis that local employees do not enjoy diplomatic privileges, PHU said. Its leader, MP Udaya Gammanpila said under Clause 38 (2) of the Vienna Convention, locals employed at embassies do not enjoy diplomatic privileges. “The decision on whether the employee should give a statement to the police or not should be more..

Minister proposes proper rest stops for long distance bus commuters

Dec 4 (Island) Minister of Passenger Transport Management, Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed his officials to establish a few resting places for long distance bus passengers and drivers in the next two months. This will be a pilot project of an initiative to introduce rest stops with the necessary facilities. The Ministry has received a large number of complaints from long distance bus commuters that private and CTB buses stop at shops that offer minimum facilities. more..

Video: Karu to intervene in protecting unity and discipline of UNP

Dec 4 (AD) Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya stated that he would be taking action in the future for the sake of the UNP. The Speaker mentioned this to the media following a visit to Malwatu-Asgiri Chief Prelates, today (04). Speaker Jayasuriya called on Chief incumbent of the Malwathu Chapter Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero and Chief incumbent of the Asgiriya Chapter Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero, this morning. more..

Video: General Election likely in last week of April?

Dec 4 (AD) The Election Commission has revealed the possible dates on which the upcoming general election can be held if the Parliament is dissolved at the beginning of March. Elections Commission today held its first discussion with the Secretaries of political parties and election monitoring groups, after the conclusion of the Prez Election. Speaking to reporters after the meeting at the Prez Secretariat, more..

Ethnic Conflict: The problem is the people

Dec 5 (CT) Today’s column is of an academic nature, where names are used it is for illustration, not to bestow praise or blame on an individual. If a reader thinks a name inappropriate, substitute another and read on. Though most examples are Sri Lankan the argument is general; it is true mutatis mutandis all over the world. The dynamic may be race, religion, language, caste, colour or tribe or any such separator of a society into identity groups. The key word is identity, charged by history and more..

Sri Lankan Youth; where about?

Dec 5 (CT) Every nation has strong assets when developing their national interest, power capability, strategic security concerns with creating territorial integrity and sovereignty. If these intellectual properties are being creating and expanding the conceptual functions of national development; it would take the opportunity to address the consequences of distinctive policies that jeopardized national security. Consisting vital perspectives of knowledge with creating some competitive more..

Modi’s request, 13 A, Gota & Tamil expectations

Dec 5 (CT) Someone asked: Indian PM has stressed the implementation of the 13th Amendment. Would the 13th Amendment be a solution to the political aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils? My response was: The fact that Indian PM stressed the importance of fully implementing the 13th Amendment to the visiting Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has received the urgent attention of the Tamils, is true. more..

Country of millionaires

Dec 5 (ST) My first visit to Vietnam was in 2012 to deliver a couple of lectures at a Master’s degree programme conducted by the University of Economics. The university was in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – the capital of Southern Vietnam, which was formerly known as Saigon. Every visitor to Vietnam has a common difficulty especially during their first visit – handling the local currency, the Vietnamese dong. When you change a few US dollars, you will receive a big bundle of more..

So much to be done!

Dec 5 (DM) With a new President and an interim Govt in place, the people are hopeful that burning questions will be addressed!!! Law and Order is THE MOST important issue with people who can be counted on to implement what needs to be done!!! The traffic situation with all the outrageous offences committed on a daily basis – you only have to open a paper to see the countless number of deaths caused by accidents!!! There is no respect or regard for speed regulations or safe driving, more..

'Sajith Premadasa won, but SL lost'

Dec 5 (CT) Former Minister, and UNP Working Committee member, Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, says as a result of lack of democracy in the Party, powder babies and parachutes become decision-makers. Q: Was the UNP defeated like this because of not ruling the country in the correct way? A: I cannot whitewash. I have to admit the truth. There were shortcomings and weaknesses. Therewere positive factors like RTI Act, more..

Destroying the CID

Dec 5 (Island) A Police Inspector attached to the CID named Nishantha de Silva fled to Switzerland with his entire family after the change of govt. Why would a low ranking police officer want to flee the country when his superiors in the CID and the politicians who were above them all, are still very much in Sri Lanka and even attending the swearing ceremonies of the new govt? One would think that the ones that should be fleeing the country after an election are the politicians of the defeated side more..

The making of a media prophet

Dec 5 (DN) I go down the memory lane. When I succeeded Mahagama Sekara in the then radio Ceylon’s Sinhala Music Division as the Scriptwriter, I was assigned to produce several other arts programmes like Nirmana Vindana. This was as far back as 1967. I was hunting for new talents when I came across Edwin Ariyadasa, the journalist who worked in the Sinhala newspapers. He had already introduced new features on several journals such as Nava Yugaya. more..

Eran Wickramaratne

Editorial: The plot thickens

Dec 5 (Island) The diplomatic row between SL and Switzerland over the alleged abduction of a female Swiss embassy worker in Colombo took a dramatic turn, on Tuesday. Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the alleged victim to make a statement to the police and not to leave the country. One may appreciate the concerns of the Swiss embassy, but legal aspects of the alleged abduction must be investigated thoroughly. SL woman concerned is without diplomatic immunity more..

Blueprint to amend archaic Sports Law ready but will it see light of day

Dec 5 (ST) Sports Ministry has decided to remove some of the intrusive and restrictive clauses from the old Sports Law No 25 of 1973 to give more independence to national sports associations and to resolve conflict with international laws that govern sports bodies. The blueprint has already been done but whether the new Govt will proceed with the initiative started by the previous administration remains to be seen. But the changes are imperative and the only way forward to keep more..

Social Services Dept - para games : Athletes complain of shabby treatment

Dec 5 (SO) It was a long ride from Anuradhapura to Colombo. Menaka Ekanayaka, 41, an athlete eager to compete at the para games organised by Social Services Department left her hometown as did 69 others at around 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov 25. It was about 10 p.m. when they finally arrived exhausted and sleepy in Colombo and were shown into a classroom at Vijayaba Maha Vidyalaya in Grandpass. more..

SAG team hit by Dengue

Dec 5 (CT) Eleven members of the SL contingent currently participating in the South Asian Games in Nepal have been infected with dengue, while four are still hospitalised. Dr. Lal Ekanayaka who accompanied the team said: "We are faced with some unfortunate incidents in Nepal. We got to know that table tennis player Bimandee Bandara was suffering from dengue, hence she had to be hospitalised. Then Nadeesha Ramanayaka, M.U. Kumara and a female football player suffered more..

Dilruwan has more to offer

Dec 5 (Island) When off-spinner Dilruwan Perera was axed after Sri Lanka’s disastrous tour of Australia early this year, there was a feeling that there was no comeback for the 37-year-old. He did make a comeback in the second Test against NZ in August this year, but there were question marks whether he will be picked again for an overseas series where spin options will be limited. Rightly, the selectors have agreed that he has more to offer and he has been picked for the tour of Pakistan. more..

Expressway still stalled: Crucial talks this week

Dec 5 (TM) Crucial talks are set to take place this week as attempts are made to resume work on sections of the stalled Central Expressway Project (CEP). Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and the Road Development Authority (RDA) are to hold talks this week to discuss issues related to the project, sources said. Sources also said that Japanese officials had met Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Fashion for Good hosts first South Asia Innovation Day

Dec 5 (Island) Fashion for Good hosted their first Innovation Day in South Asia, leading up to the launch of Fashion for Good’s dedicated regional innovation programme which officially starts in January 2020. A carefully curated selection of ten innovators were invited to pitch their sustainable solutions to a jury of key industry leaders from the region, for the chance to join the Fashion for Good Innovation programme. During the Innovation Day the official partnership between more..

Sri Lankan Buddhist delegation visits temples in China

Dec 5 (CT) A Sri Lankan Buddhist delegation, led by Most Venerable Ahungalle Sri Sheelawisuddhi Mahanayaka Thera, of Sri Saddhammawansa Chapter, of Amarapura Sangha Sabhawa, visited China, on an invitation extended by the Embassy of China in Sri Lanka, and the same was coordinated by the Sri Lanka - China Buddhist Friendship Association. The following members joined the delegation: Ven. Watagedara Wimalabuddhi Thera - Anunayaka Thera of Amarapura Sangha more..

SAG 2019: Lanka wins three more gold medals but remain fourth

Dec 5 (CT) After losing some anticipated Gold medals in the morning, the two long jumpers Sarangi Silva and Anjani Pulwansa put Sri Lanka in a celebratory mood by winning the Gold and Silver medals respectively yesterday. Sarangi could not perform well during the trials and it was Vidusha Lakshani and Anjani Pulwansa who were selected to compete in the event. Sarangi was only selected for the 4x100m relay team. more..

SriLankan Airlines becomes the World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean

Dec 5 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld alliance, won the prestigious World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean title once again at the Grand Final Gala Ceremony of World Travel Awards, in Muscat, Oman recently. The Airline was also nominated for the titles World’s Leading Airline, World’s Leading Airline - Business Class, World’s Leading Airline – Economy and World’s Leading Cultural Airline. more..

Govt to roll out plan for progressive national economy: Minister Yapa

Dec 5 (DN) Sri Lanka at the threshold of a new era following the prez election, economic revival is paramount and to achieve this vision, the current administration will roll out an important plan aimed at creating a progressive national economy and a pluralistic society. These views were expressed by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa addressing the CA Sri Lanka’s 55th Annual Report Awards at Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday. Minister also emphasized the need for all organizations more..

Reform best path to growth: WB Chief Economist

Dec 5 (FT) Sustained high growth in South Asia is dependent on relentless commitment by govts to structural changes, including rolling back protectionism and integrating with the global economy, a prominent economist said this week, warning Sri Lanka may not have the needed fiscal space for ambitious stimulus. World Bank’s Chief Economist for South Asia Hans Timmer, delivering a public lecture titled more..

CCC optimistic tax revisions will stimulate growth

Dec 5 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said it was optimistic that the revisions in taxes and levies recently announced by the Govt would stimulate the economy. The slew of tax proposals put forward as part of the stimulus package will revive economic growth and activity in the short-term, the statement said.“Our expectation is that recent statements by the Govt in curtailing non-priority public spending and the constrained approach to ministerial portfolios signals more..

MNA alleges Netball Federation is illegal

Dec 5 (CT) The Mercantile Netball Association (MNA) filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal stating the election held by the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka in 2019 is illegal. MNA allege that the electoral register on which the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka election was held in August 2019 contained names of affiliated associations which are not eligible to vote at such an election, as they have not participated at the required number of tournaments. more..

Sex scandal rocks Sri Lanka Cricket

Dec 5 (Island) Claims that three female cricketers aged 18 to 19 were asked to join a prostitution ring by a cricket official from Matara District has sent shock waves in cricket circles. Apsari Tillakaratne, the former head of women’s cricket has claimed in a video interview that exposing the scandal cost her job at SLC. Two other coaches, who were witnesses during an inquiry conducted by the Sports Ministry also had been sacked. more..

DCS kicks off first-ever survey on IT & BPM

Dec 5 (FT) Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) yesterday kicked off an Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Management (BPM) Services Survey to capture the real economic contribution of IT industry to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. The online survey system will be opened until 5 Jan 2020. DCS is the National Statistical Office in SL mainly responsible for compilation and dissemination of statistical data which cater the requirements of the country. more..

EC raises concerns to party officials

Dec 5 (DM) The Election Commission (EC) has raised its concerns over the change in the election system and discussed the several issues pertaining to the election system with the party secretaries today. The discussion was convened at 10.00 am yesterday at the Election Commission office with the attendance of EC officials, party delegates and EC permanent representatives. The meeting was mainly convened in order to request party officials to pass legislation in the next parliamentary session more..

EC asserts Paget Road bungalow for retired President not political bribe

Dec 5 (Island) Election Commission (EC) has declared that the then Prez Sirisena receiving Cabinet approval to retain the President’s House on Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (formerly Paget Road) following his retirement couldn’t be considered a political bribe. Assistant EC Chintaka Kularatne has told former Southern Provincial Council member attorney-at-law Maj. Ajith Prasanna that the move was acceptable as Sirisena, in spite of more..

Failure to remove WHT on dividends irks investors

Dec 5 (FT) Failure by the new Govt to remove tax on dividends despite pre-election promise of scrapping WHT has irked investors. In the stimulus package announced last week by the Cabinet, only interest income up to Rs. 250,000 per month was exempted from the Withholding Tax (WHT), with effect from 1 Jan 2020. However prior to election, prez aspirant announced WHT along with Economic Service Charge (ESC) will be scrapped. Only ESC of 0.5% has been proposed to be done away with. more..