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The govt must not deny the TNA

Jan 1 (CT) The dispute over the position of the Leader of the Opposition is not attracting much attention. It is taken for granted by most people that the Leader of the Opposition should be from the party in opposition that is largest, which is clearly the UPFA which has 95 MPs. During the recent political crisis, UPFA and its allies were able to consistently show as many as 103 MPs on their side. Therefore, it is not surprising that following the withdrawal of the UPFA from the govt alliance more..

Was Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran wrong?

Jan 1 (CT) For most of you, this could be stale news. But I thought of writing this piece even at a later time after Vijayakala Maheswaran’s controversial speech. My first hand experiences in the North since June this year made me write this piece. Being 6 months in the North on and off (at least 3 weeks per each month) won’t be enough for me to come to a right conclusion about the subject but I would report what I saw. I don’t speak Tamil but can manage with the little English I know more..

Constitutional crisis and international achievements: Sri Lanka In 2018

Jan 1 (Roar) An eventful year is coming to a close, and as we enter a new one, we think it is fortuitous to remember the old adage by which Confucius swore— Study the past if you would define the future. Political infighting resulted in a mega-crisis that shook the stability of the country; racial riots erupted in the Eastern and Central provinces, and several other matters of little consequence took up national headlines. more..

2018 in retrospect: An annus horribilis for Lankan economy?

Jan 1 (ST) The year that is coming to a close was one of political uncertainty and economic instability. The economy, which was showing some signs of recovery with exports growing at a rapid pace, tourism booming and prospects of increased foreign investment, was transformed into an unstable one. The political and constitutional crisis compounded the adverse impacts of the external shocks that the economy was facing at the time to create a critical period for the economy. more..

An annus that was very horribilis

Jan 1 (ST) At last! The year about to end is best forgotten. But it cannot be brushed away just like that. Politicians can easily forget, especially promises they have made and have not been fulfilled. But those the people have voted in as lawmakers and from whom they expect principled conduct cannot simply close their eyes and ears to the perversion and intemperance that marked the behaviour of some lawmakers turned lawbreakers. It is not only the Sri Lankan people still living more..

Flash floods in North

Jan 1 (CT) Last week was horrifying to the people in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu as they experienced flash floods. Many families from both districts were affected by the unpredicted rainfall (370mm). The most affected were the people in Kilinochchi; their houses, paddy lands and other belongings went under water. People and some agricultural organisations were of the opinion that the calamity occurred since the spill gates of more..

2018: Events that shaped the world

Jan 1 (DN) As the year draws to a close, we take a look at some of the key events that shaped our world in 2018. South Korea-North Korea friendship soars: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reached out to South Korean President Moon-Jae to meet for talks in Pyongyang. This eventually led to talks between Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June. The two Korean leaders have since met several times and just this week, work was started on physically linking the railway more..

Reflecting on 2018

Jan 1 (CT) Today is the last day of the year 2018. Exactly one year ago, that is on 31 Dec 2017, main news items that dominated the day and set the stage for 2018, were the shortage of fertilizer, bulging Cabinet, upcoming long awaited LG elections, Commission Report on CB Bond scams, massive salary increases and new allowances for Judges & State Law officers, plummeting Colombo Stock Market and our ever increasing dependence on the goodwill of foreign govts. more..

Dr. Harinda Vidanage

Edtorial: Education and high achievers

Jan 1 (Island) The GCE A/L (2018) results have been released and the best performers are in the limelight. The lucky candidates thank their parents and schoolteachers profusely. All of them should be congratulated, but, regrettably, those who provided the high achievers with supplementary tuition and enabled them to realise their dreams are not even mentioned. Private tutors are the unsung heroes or heroines. There are, of course, good schools whose dedicated teachers work tirelessly to prepare more..

Back to business with same old ways

Jan 1 (Island) Last week, I wrote about Back to business with same old faces. This week is about back to business with the same old ways by our worthy politicians and public servants, despite all that happened during the recent political crisis. The Supreme Court decreed President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament as unconstitutional. It resulted in the restoration of Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) to his previous post of PM. It was a triumph for democracy in Sri Lanka. more..

2018 in review

Jan 1 (DN) It's the stories that drive a year ahead. 2018 can stand as the most storied year with much uproar in the political hierarchy as well as disasters both manmade and natural. Teldeniya riots and the northern floods did make things tough for the govt. The year also rang the death knell for eminent personalities. The country’s art fraternity was busy attending the funerals of the junior and senior brethren. more..

Angelo Mathews: Scapegoat to Saviour

Jan 1 (Island) Once-upon-a-time, during the peak period of SL cricket a rookie broke in to the side. Having captained his alma-mater at Darley Road, he walked into the side as an all-rounder. Gained and grew in confidence, under the wings and wisdom of best-buddies; Kumar- Mahela. Luckily, he was one of the selected to gain exposure under the big names, though, SL is still unsettled in the transition process. The young blood broken into the unit, at the apt time, as good as an all-rounder was more..

SL’s travails in Test cricket set to continue

Jan 1 (CT) Sri Lanka, currently ranked sixth in the ICC Test Rankings, will face a litmus test during 2019 to progress further in the pecking order, as per the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) that has been drawn up from 2018 to 2023. Dinesh Chandimal’s bumbling side, having lost the second and final Test to NZ by a whopping 423-runs last Sunday, to lose the short two Test series 1-0, will face a tough tour of Australia later this month. SL is slated to lock horns with fifth ranked Australia more..

Another dark cloud in the horizon

Jan 1 (CT) A group of candidates for the forthcoming Sri Lanka Cricket election are urging the Sports Minister to uphold democracy by conducting the long overdue poll without delay. Sports Minister Harin Fernando will met ICC head Shashank Manohar in a desperate bid to convince the global body to allow more time for the election, despite dates having been fixed and nominations accepted. The poll is scheduled for Feb 7, more..

Cricket year 2018 in review

Jan 1 (CI) India: Begin the year as the No. 1 Test team and end that way. Win half your Tests despite playing predominantly away. Win a first ODI series in South Africa and also the Asia Cup. Win a T20 tournament and a series in England. Maintain a win-loss ratio of 3.5 in both limited-overs formats. Lose almost nothing in any format at home. End the year with a great chance to win your first series in Australia. This is the stuff dream years are made of, but 2018 will equally be defined by more..

Aquatic Sports Round-Up 2018

Jan 1 (CT) A round-up of the Sri Lankan Aquatic Sports arena is the base to plan the path of progress of the water-world athletes in all four disciplines: Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving and Water Polo. Swimming: Swimming is gaining popularity by the day at national and international level, with increased number of competitors as well as attendance, from the novices to the nationals and masters championships. Hitherto, SL has been a force to be reckoned with in South Asia, more..

The year that was in sports 2018

Jan 1 (ST) January 2: Chamari Atapattu became the first Sri Lanka women’s cricketer to earn an international signing at the Women’s Big Bash League. She was recruited by Melbourne Renegades following her epic 168 off 143 balls against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup. 3: Thisara Perera’s short stint as ODI skipper ended. 4: Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara revealed of launching an all purpose facility to improve more..

THASL eyes 2019 as recovery year

Jan 1 (FT) Hotels Association of SL (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte, in his year-end statement, said 2018 had been a challenging year with a series of internal issues which rocked the industry but expressed hope for a more productive 2019 that would see the industry recover and grow. Referring to the recent political issues in the country and the resulting travel advisories issued by foreign governments, Ukwatte said he is confident Sri Lanka is now steadily on the path of recovery. more..

Re-laying of Diyagama athletic track delays

Jan 1 (ST) The re-laying of a synthetic track at the Diyagama Training Centre will be delayed by at least three months due to a recent management change in the contracting company and failure to obtain Cabinet approval by the Sports Ministry for proposed additional work. The project was expected to be completed by Dec 31 this year but the contractor has said they will finish by April 2019. The scope of work includes re-laying of the 400m warm-up track, re-turfing of ground & several other works. more..

Fewer holidays this year

Jan 1 (DM) Sri Lanka will have a lesser number of non-working days this year with nine out of 23 public holidays falling on weekends. National New Year will fall on Saturday and Sunday in April while the two Wesak holidays will also fall on Saturday and Sunday. Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day in January will fall on a Saturday, while the Poson Full Moon Poya Day and the Vap Full Moon Poya and Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday and more..

Reshuffle of Governors in the offing

Jan 1 (CT) Prez Sirisena has allegedly requested for the resignation of the Governors of the Provinces. Western Province Governor and the Media Secretary of the Northern Province Governor however, said that a reshuffle of the Governors was imminent. Responding to Media reports that Prez has asked for the resignation of the Governors, Western Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara said, that nothing could be intimated to that effect other than an imminent reshuffle more..

Priyanjan and Tharanga to lead Sri Lanka ‘A’ against Ireland

Jan 1 (Island) Ireland ‘A’ will play two four day unofficial Tests and five one-dayers against Sri Lanka ‘A’. Following a two day warm-up game, Ireland ‘A’ take on SL ‘A’ in the first unofficial Test starting on the 5th January at SSC. The second unofficial Test will be played at Hambantota starting on the 13th January. The ODIs will be played at Hambantota, SSC and RPS. Ashan Priyanjan will lead the SL side in unofficial Tests while Upul Tharanga will lead the team in ODIs. more..

Port of Colombo handles record-breaking seven millionth TEU

Jan 1 (FT) Marking a major milestone, the Port of Colombo handled its seven millionth TEU yesterday (31). A special function was held at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to celebrate the handling of the seven million mark. The function was attended by Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayake and SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake. more..

Religious ceremony to invoke good health on Podi Hamuduruwo today

Jan 1 (DM) A religious ceremony to invoke good health on Ven. Dr. Galboda Gnanissara Thera, popularly known as 'Podi Hamuduruwo' of the Gangaramaya Temple, will be held at 4.00 pm today at the temple premises in Colombo. Some 500 Bhikkus will partake in the ‘Pinkama’ ceremony for the Thera, who is currently hospitalized. The Bhikkus will move in a procession from Seemamalakaya to Gangaramaya at 5.00 pm, followed by an Ashirvada Pooja. more..

SLADA imposes temporary ban on Kalinga Kumara

Jan 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA) imposed a temporary ban on Sri Lankas 400 and 200m athlete Kalinga Kumarage for having used banned substances Director General of the SLADA Dr Seewali Jayawickrema said that the medical tests were done in New Delhi, India after they had collected urine samples of athletes on a random basis. Initial medical tests had proved that Kalinga had used a banned substance called Anabolic-Androgenic steroid while competing in more..

'Sri Lanka cricket rated most corrupt by ICC'

Jan 1 (DN) Sri Lanka has been ranked as one of the top countries where sports corruption thrives by the ICC and in an effort to curb it the ICC has decided to set up a permanent Anti-Corruption Unit office in Sri Lanka, stated Sports Minister Harin Fernando. “The ACU office once established will probe into corruption allegations in Sri Lankan Cricket. The govt of SL shall assist the ICC in establishing this office,” he said. more..

14 SMEs granted ISO 14001 certifications

Jan 1 (DN) The Industrial Development Board of Ceylon along with the National Cleaner Production Centre successfully completed the project, Facilitating SMEs to obtain ISO 14001 certification through Cleaner Production practices on Dec 28. The project will reduce adverse environmental impact from 14 selected industries through changes in industrial behaviour and technology. National Cleaner Production Centre as the consultation body of the project provided options to optimise more..

A brave new world opens up for Young Tourism Ambassadors in Jaffna

Jan 1 (Island) The Jaffna edition of the Young Tourism Ambassadors Initiative ended successfully on December 11. 15 young men and women from the Jaffna area were exposed to everything from flambé cooking to waste management in this pilot programme held by the Private Sector Tourism Skills Committee (TSC) in partnership with Jetwing Hotels Jaffna and supported by YouLead, a project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). more..

Video: 2019 a year to work without corruption: President

Jan 1 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena visited the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic today (31) to pay homage to the sacred Tooth Relic and secure blessings for the New Year. Later, he had visited the Malwathu Maha Viharaya and called on the Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Maha Nayake Thero. During this meeting, the Nayake Thero, chanting Seth Pirith, invoked blessings on Prez for the New Year. more..

New Year will be a challenge for SL: PM

Jan 1 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year message states as 2019 dawns with new hopes and goals, it is his pleasure to wish all Sri Lankans a prosperous year ahead. The New Year will be a challenge for Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, the govt is committed to making a better society for our future generations, Premier states. “As 2019 dawns with new hopes and goals, it is my utmost pleasure to wish all Sri Lankans a prosperous year ahead. It was a real victory for all of us to ensure more..

New Year will usher in joy & prosperity: Prez

Jan 1 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena in his New Year message says that the year 2019 should be a broad future pathway with a clear perception to achieve discipline, reconciliation and prosperity. The President wishes that 2019 will bring prosperity and joy, fulfilling the wishes of the dear people of Sri Lanka. The message: “The dawn of the New Year is an occasion to recollect our achievements and failures as well as gains and losses in the year that ended. more..

Money Politics: Ranil likely to meet disgruntled MPs today

Jan 1 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely have a meeting with his MPs who are concerned about not getting ministerial portfolios, Ratnapura district UNP Hesha Withanage said yesterday. He said on Sunday that seven MPs including him would act independent of the party in Parliament when the expenditure head for the Ministry of International Trade is debated and taken up for voting during the committee stage of the upcoming Budget. more..

Sri Lanka stocks fall 5% in 2018, outperforms major markets

Jan 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's stocks have fallen 5% over 2018, outperforming major markets in the world which were battered amid Donald Trump's economic nationalism and Federal Reserve rate hikes. The Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 316 points to 6,052.37 at end of trading on Dec 31, from 6,369.26 at the last day of trading in 2017 while market capitalization fell by 60 billion rupees to 2.84 trillion rupees, based on data. The index peak of 6,598.73 was reached on Feb 21, more..

PM wouldn’t violate the Constitution: Rajitha

Jan 1 (AD) PM would not violate the Constitution even if President Maithripala Sirisena does so, says the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr Rajitha Senaratne. He stated this following an event held in Payagala today (31). An event, headed by Minister Rajitha Senaratne, was held to inaugurate a project to carpet Kajuduwa and Polwatta roads in Payagala with Rs 6.5 million and Rs 8 million, respectively, under the decentralized provisions from the Minister. more..

Police seize largest-ever haul of heroin

Jan 1 (FT) Two Bangladesh nationals were arrested by police yesterday for possession of 278 kg of heroin valued at Rs. 3.3 billion, which is believed to be the largest ever haul of heroin caught in Sri Lanka, officials said. Police Narcotics Bureau and STF had arrested two Bangladesh nationals at a housing complex in Mount Lavinia, where they found 9 kg of heroin hidden in cake boxes. more..

The year 2019

Jan 1 (DM) The year 2019 is being ushered in at a time when the country is attempting to emerge from a vicious political as well as a Constitutional crisis. Yet, the developments during the New Year would obviously be based on the year we left behind, 2018, as the future inevitably is built on the past. And also we have to look back in order to learn lessons from the past and identify our faults and mistakes. It was politically a tumultuous year that we have just left behind. more..

How 2019 would shape SL’s destiny

Jan 1 (DM) Any day is important, and some days are extra- special. However, the events that unfold on that special day would be fermented for over the years. Some years are extra-special too. The year 2019 is one such year. As the presidency enters into its fifth year, this would be the election year. This is also a crucial year on its own, rising from the ruins of the crumbled political alliance of Yahapalanaya and four years of economic stagnation. Causal effects of the not-yet-fully resolved more..

'I lift weights for the people of my country not for politicians or authorities'

Jan 1 (DM) Lucion Pushparaj, nicknamed as the Black Lion of Asia recently became the overall winner at the WBPF World Bodybuilding Championship held in Thailand. This is quite a victory for SL and the whole of Asia as his name is now being read alongside that of professional bodybuilder and Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzzeneger. Competing under the 100 kg category at the event, Lucion believes that more..

Dialog rings South Asia’s first 5G pilot transmission in Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (FT) Dialog Axiata announced a major step forward in Sri Lanka’s 5G journey with the commissioning of South Asia’s first fully-functional and standards-compliant 5G transmission using commercial grade base stations and end user devices. Dialog’s pre-commercial 5G transmission was enabled in collaboration with the TRC which has led the region in making available spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for the piloting of more..