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As nesting season begins, Sri Lanka’s olive ridley turtles face myriad threats

Dec 5 (MB) SL Navy has rescued 32 sea turtles that were likely being reared for their flesh, highlighting just one of the key threats to turtles migrating through this Indian Ocean island at this time of year. A naval patrol on Nov. 24 in the Gulf of Mannar, which separates Sri Lanka from India, initially identified a turtle trapped in a shrimping net. A team of sailors deployed to rescue the animal discovered more turtles trapped in the net. more..

Speaker accepts UNP’s request to appoint Sajith as Opposition Leader

Dec 5 (AD) UNP today directed a letter to Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya requesting the appointment of MP Sajith Premadasa as the Opposition Leader. Speaker has accordingly accepted the letter addressed by the UNP’s General Secretary, MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam on behalf of the party. The UNP’s parliamentary group met at Sirikotha premises this evening to reach a final decision on the matter and former Minister Sajith Premadasa’s name was nominated for more..

Cabinet approval to issue school uniform vouchers for 2020

Dec 5 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal for Education Ministry to continue issuing vouchers for uniforms to school children for the year 2020. Cabinet Spokesperson Ramesh Pathirana stated this during the media briefing to announce Cabinet decisions. Commenting further, the Minister said extra provisions will be allocated for the students in Advanced Level classes when issuing the vouchers. Minister of Education Dullas Alahapperuma had previously mentioned more..

Sri Lanka, Maldives up for free and open Indian Ocean

Dec 5 (AD) Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid called on Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon. Minister Shahid extended warm greetings, on his and the Maldivian Prez Mohamed Solih’s behalf, to Prez Rajapaksa on his election to the office of the Prez of SL. While expressing satisfaction over the status of relations between the two nations, Maldivian Minister stressed more..

Governor Indrajit’s stewardship: Hiding forensic audits & other issues

Nov 6 (CT) The media reports that Central Bank (CBSL) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy will be ‘resigning’ with effect from 20 December. Being held in high esteem by the intelligentsia and elite circles of this country, much was expected from him after he was appointed Governor on 3 July 2016. This was particularly so after the controversial exit of Arjuna Mahendran in the aftermath of the egregious Treasury bond scam in the context of the CBSL being the issuing agency. more..

Open letter to Dr Deepika Udagama, Chairperson, HRCSL

Nov 6 (CT) Conduct a Thorough and Impartial Investigation – Are you Serious? Do you recall the helpless 11year old who was subjected to corporal punishment in school, isolated, called a buffalo, refused an eraser, refused a toilet break, refused participation in class activities resulting in mental breakdown? No….? How about the 11year old girl whose case file was taken home by Mrs Kusum Jayawardena, staff member at Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), more..

Reflecting on post-election violence

Nov 6 (DM) The above saying by the German poet reminds us that violence can spread rapidly and ultimately cost human lives. Similarly, the recently concluded presidential election recorded instances of violence. Violence began to emerge on Nov 16; election day itself. It started when unidentified gunmen in Thanthirimale opened fire on a bus convoy carrying Muslim voters from Puttalam to Mannar. “No casualties were reported,” more..

Prudent Diplomacy

Nov 6 (DN) The decision of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to visit India on an official visit barely two weeks in to his tenure as President highlights the significance his administration has attached to relations with New Delhi and indications are that the response he received has been positive in his first exercise in foreign relations, a domain that has kept him quite busy in his first few days in office. It will be recalled that the previous Rajapaksa administration, when present PM Rajapaksa was President, more..

Indo-Lanka ties: Defence cooperation takes centre stage 13th Amd takes a backseat

Nov 6 (DM) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s trip to India has set the stage for a new chapter in bilateral ties in the changing strategic and economic environment. The President led a small delegation comprising officials to New Delhi as his first official overseas visit. That India’s focus is more on economic and strategic interests became apparent even during the term of the last Govt since it was less and less assertive on power devolution based on the provincial council system introduced under more..

Path of Erudite (Viyathmaga) should begin now!

Nov 6 (CT) Prez Election is over. The new Prez and his Cabinet have already assumed duties. Now, it is the time to begin the Path of Erudite. I like this word erudite, which simply means intellectually superb. I prefer, if the total governance is going to be intellectually superb with high priority for the economic governance. Interestingly, the Prez has appointed a veteran economist, who is a former Treasury Secretary, as the Secretary to Prez. more..

Tamils hopeful as Modi raises 13A

Nov 6 (TM) Tamils have raised hopes after India had on Friday noted the importance of reconciliation and ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka during talks with Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Indian PM Narendra Modi had on Friday said that he was confident the SL Govt will pursue the process of reconciliation to fulfil the aspirations of Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect. More importantly, he said the process should also include the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Floating Market Awaits Revival

Nov 6 (DN) The floating ‘heaven’ was opened in 2014 in the heart of Colombo giving a new life to many people under the guidance of then Defence and Urban Development Secretary and the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Within five years, the ‘efforts’ of the ‘Good Governance’ had resulted in a floating hell, putting people’s lives at risk. Today, the situation of the Pettah Floating Market is very pathetic. The place is dilapidated, deserted and abandoned. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: Festina lente

Dec 6 (Island) The caretaker govt is apparently in the abolition mode, so to speak. Besides abolishing some taxes much to the relief of the public, it has done away with permits for transporting sand, soil and granite. One is not sure of the advisability of this move, but it will go down well with the suppliers of those materials, constructors & ordinary public. Mining, according to environmental scientists, is essentially a destructive development activity which causes ecology to suffer at altar of economy. more..

New questions

Dec 6 (Island) What is the line in the sand? How is it drawn and by whom? What happens if I cross it? Is the line this week the same as it will be next week? What are the words I can and cannot use? What are the triggers and metaphors that pass muster, and if they do one week, is it a guarantee of use in the weeks to come? How will words used be perceived, independent of intent? And perceived in whatever manner by the powers above, below or beyond, how will they be acted upon? more..

The Shani Abeysekera tragedy

Dec 6 (Island) I write this piece in great sadness. But I must because if I do not, I feel I would failing in my duty as an former policeman. I am sad for the independence of the Police, Independent Police Commission and the newly elected Prez Rajapaksa. We were watching his first steps as Prez with great admiration which even won the appreciation of many of his adversaries too. I am sad for him because this move appears to be more..

Eshan steps up to Carrera Cup Asia

Dec 6 (CT) Eshan Pieris will remain within the Absolute Racing team for the 2020 season. The Sri-Lankan driver came fifth in the F3 Asian series last year with the team, and will graduate up to the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia next season. The 21-year-old Colombo-native becomes the first driver to be announced for the team and will line up on the grid in April for the first round of the 2020 season in Vietnam. Pieris is Sri Lanka's number one motor racing prospect and has already established more..

Middle Eastern ambassadors call on PM

Dec 6 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (05) has had an audience with Middle Eastern ambassadors in Sri Lanka. The cordial meeting took place at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Temple Trees, last morning. The envoys assured the Prime Minister that their respective countries expect to render utmost support for Sri Lanka in economic and cultural aspects. The ambassadors from Oman, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia and the UAE joined yesterday’s discussion. more..

Talent is what really attracted me: Arthur

Dec 6 (DN) The exciting cricketing talent that is available in SL is what attracted Mickey Arthur to accept a two-year contract with SLC as head coach of the country’s national cricket team. Arthur replaces Chandika Hathurusingha whose services SLC terminated at the end of the home ODI series against Bangladesh in June. In his inaugural press conference with the SL media, 51-year-old South African Arthur said, more..

Ape Smart innovates to conserve energy

Dec 6 (ST) In total control of the home, Ape SmartLink is a new innovation that ensures energy is stored and used in a controlled manner according to each householder’s requirements and made accessible via the Internet. Mr.Jeremy Fernando is an innovator, having established the Innovative Smart Solutions Ltd, who has patent rights to the Smart Plug Socket and the Smart Touch Switch that could be used in his latest creation the SmartLINK system that would ensure storing of energy more..

Minister calls for fresh tenders in BIA upgrade work

Dec 6 (FT) Aviation Services Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has directed the officials to call for fresh tenders to complete modernisation work connected to the third phase of BIA in Katunayake within the next six months. The move follows the Minister making an inspection visit, and finding long delays and unsatisfactory work thus far. He observed that the expansion work of the BIA has not been concluded, despite the contract had been awarded in 2017 with a nine month deadline. more..

SAG 2019: Golden haul of nine lifts Sri Lanka to third position

Dec 6 (CT) After two slow days in the Gold medal count, the athletics team produced four stunning Gold medals on day three of athletics yesterday. Hurdler Lakshika Sugandhi produced the first Gold medal of the day, winning the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.68 secs. This was the first Gold medal in the 100m Hurdles since Shriyani Kulawansa won some years back. This was Sugandhi's second medal in the Games as more..

O/L candidate in remote Beraliya bitten by snake while trekking to exam centre

Dec 6 (Island) A female student who was on her way to her GCE OL examination centre at Arawa Vidyalaya, Mahiyanganaya was bitten by a snake and was admitted to hospital yesterday morning. The victim is a student of Dikyaya Vidyalaya, Ridimaliyadda, one of the poorest areas in the country. She lives in Beraliya, which is one of the most remote areas of Ridimaliyadda. Students in Beraliya have to trek three kilometres to come to the main road, through a foot path. more..

StrEdge paves the way for operational excellence

Dec 6 (Island) A unique training programme under the banner, Champion in Managing Operations by StrEdge was recently held at the Galadari Hotel. The training which was open to corporates and SMEs was a successful All Sold Out event which entailed a 94% exceptional rating on training delivery by the participants. The training was facilitated by Ranmore Van Dort of StrEdge, who is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt holder and an expert in spurring operational excellence. more..

'Tax reductions to stimulate economic growth'

Dec 6 (CT) Hefty tax reductions introduced by the present govt are expected to stimulate growth and increase tax revenue in the long term as a result of increased consumer spending and investments, according to the Department of Inland Revenue (IRD). IRD Commissioner General, Nadun Guruge said that the Dept was pleased with the Govt's move to reduce taxes and increase its threshold, in addition to moving towards a simplified taxation system. more..

Control of Sinhaputhra Finance changes hands

Dec 6 (FT) The control of Sinhaputhra Finance PLC (SFL), the popular but capital-requiring Kandy-based finance company, changed hands yesterday for Rs. 301 million. Major shareholder Ravana Wijeyeratne, who is also the Managing Director and CEO and the son of the founder, sold a 50.31% stake. The shareholding amounting to 31.675 million shares was sold at Rs. 9.50 each to Singhe Capital Investments Ltd., a southern-based company. The transaction was concluded following the approval of the Central Bank. more..

15 caught attempting to migrate to Australia

Dec 6 (SLN) In a joint operation carried out today (5), Navy along with Police were able to foil a human smuggling attempt and apprehend the suspects. As a result of Navy’s vigilance and dedication towards countering human smuggling from the country, the joint raid was carried out at dawn around Negombo area, where the suspects were identified while travelling towards Negombo in a van in an attempt to migrate to NZ via sea, illegally. 16 suspects along with the driver of the van were arrested. more..

Climate Risk Index: SL sixth most vulnerable

Dec 6 (CT) Sri Lanka was Wednesday (4) ranked the sixth most vulnerable country in the Climate Risk Index 2020 by environmental think-tank Germanwatch. Ranking in the first, second and third places were Japan, the Philippines and Germany with death tolls of 1,282, 455 and 1,246 respectively, owing to climate related disasters. While Sri Lanka has been downgraded by four positions from last year's second most more..

Cabinet to review decision after expert committee report

Dec 6 (DM) The suspension of the law to obtain a licence for the transportation of sand, stones and soil, by the cabinet on Tuesday would be effective only for a week and an expert committee report is expected on the matter at the next cabinet meeting, Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said yesterday. The Cabinet would take a permanent decision whether to continue it, lift it or implement with amendments based on the recommendations of the expert committee, Minister added. more..

HRC official in Vavuniya complains of death threats

Dec 6 (Island) An investigations officer attached to the Human Rights Commission in Vavuniya, Rohitha Priyadharshana lodged a complaint with the Vavuniya Police that he had received death threats. Priyadharshana has received a letter accusing him of not taking any action regarding the kovil in Gurukanda although a large number of people had lodged complaints with the Commission. The person who had written the letter has accused Priyadharshana of allowing a Buddhist monk more..

Sampanthan – Teplitz discuss post-prez poll developments

Dec 6 (Island) The US has reiterated its continuous constructive engagement with the govt of Sri Lanka, in talks between US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz and TNA leader R. Sampanthan, yesterday. The Ambassador also affirmed the US govt’s commitments towards achieving lasting peace, justice and equality among the communities in Sri Lanka. The following is the text of a statement issued by the TNA: more..

Andhra Pradesh home for Sri Lanka’s nowhere people

Dec 6 (DC) While hardliner SL Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksha was assuring Indian media of the development of Tamils in north SL, a group of Tamils from Jaffna was celebrating the forty-ninth birthday of Veeraswamy Karunanidhi on a foggy evening in RV Nagar close to Lammasinghi, which otherwise is known as the coldest place in Andhra Pradesh. Karunanidhi was a 10 year-old child when his parents, along with hundreds of others, were repatriated to Chintapalle in 1981. more..

Good Market Now in Battaramulla

Dec 6 (DM) Good Market is officially opened in Battaramulla on Thursday (28). The new shop at 137 Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla includes fresh organic fruits and vegetables, natural food, body, home, and garden products from more than 130 Good Market approved enterprises, home delivery services, a space for community meetups and events, and the Farm Gate Café, a juice, coffee, and snack bar operated by a Good Market community member. more..

FM unaware of 10 m Pound investment in SL

Dec 6 (Island) Mystery surrounds the UK claim that over 10 mn pounds in fresh funding had been allocated for the implementation of projects meant to ensure long term stability in SL. British High Commission in Colombo recently announced that funding had been made available through high profile Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF). According to the CSSF annual report 2018/2019, the fund was aimed at more..

FR challenging granting of Paget Road residence to MS postponed till Feb.

Dec 6 (FT) Fundamental Rights application challenging the decision of the then-Cabinet of Ministers to allow former Prez Maithripala Sirisena the continuous use of his official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (Paget Road), even after retirement, was taken up for support before the Supreme Court yesterday, but was postponed for 11 February 2020, due to the need to amend the Petition to reflect the new Cabinet of Ministers. CPA and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy more..

Port City to light up skies, as it becomes part of Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (DN) Celebrating the momentous occasion of adding 269 hectares to the land of SL as a valuable extension to the Colombo Central Business District, a commemorative stamp and first day cover is to be issued under the patronage of the PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Chinese Ambassador to SL Cheng Xueyuan tomorrow. This event will be followed by a grand fireworks display engineered by a renowned Chinese fireworks team. Port City Colombo invites all Sri Lankans to gather more..

Govt sets plans for prosperity in motion

Dec 6 (FT) Cabinet gave its approval to an ambitious economic national policy framework on Wednesday, which the Govt plans to implement over the next five years in a bid to guide the country towards a prosperous future. The framework, titled Vistas of prosperity and splendor will give effect to the economic policies laid down in the election manifesto of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said. more..

Magistrate reminds AG of Malaka’s case

Dec 6 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Shalini Perera sent a reminder to the Attorney General with regard to the case filed against Malaka Silva, son of former Minister Mervyn Silva, when the case was taken up before court yesterday. The case involves an incident where Malaka Silva, son of former Minister Mervyn Silva, had allegedly assaulted a Scottish couple at a nightclub in Colombo. Police told court that they were yet to receive the AG’s advice regarding the incident. more..

'BOI needs to become a one-stop-shop'

Dec 6 (DN) State Minister for Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella said that BOI needs to be made more efficient and be brought to its former state of glory, which the govt has started to do, adding that investors can no longer be sent from pillar to post anymore. He lamented that nearly 50 individuals would come to him daily to complain of red tape and bureaucracy. “Institutions such as the BOI had come to a point where they weren’t keen on securing investments or welcoming foreign more..

President plans revamp of education sector

Dec 6 (DN) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that swift action should be taken to develop the education sector which was a priority in his election manifesto. Prez made these observations during a discussion with Education and Higher Education Ministers and officials held yesterday Prez’s Media communiqué quoted Prez Rajapaksa as saying that there is a need to move fast towards an education system capable of providing more..