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President cleaning up a Royal legacy

Nov 26 (ST) After the so-called yahapalana govt came to power and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNP began to create slots in the cabinet and elsewhere for cronies and contemporaries from the state-run institution called Royal College, some humorous wag coined an abbreviation that was singularly apt. He called it FRCS. If some in the medical profession took umbrage at this new formulation it was with good reason. The new appellation stood for Former Royal College more..

The rising risk of rat fever

Nov 26 (CT) Leptospirosis, commonly known as rat fever, is a disease that has been on the rise in Sri Lanka, with its worst outbreak being in 2008, when over 7,000 suspect cases were reported. If not addressed with due diligence, the disease can prove more deadly than dengue. In SL, Leptospirosis is most commonly spread through the urine of rodents affected by the leptospira bacteria. This contagious strain affects humans more..

Remittances and Sri Lanka’s migrant workers

Nov 26 (DN) Remittances are an important contributor to the economy and the most import source of export earnings. In 2018, despite experiencing a decline for the second consecutive year, the country received remittances of over USD 7 billion, accounting for 7.9% of the GDP; well ahead of apparel (USD 5 bn), tourism (USD 4.4 bn) and agricultural exports (USD 2.7bn of which tea was USD 1.5bn). A new study shows that 8.76% of all households (one in 12) receive remittances. more..

Editorial: Straightening up public sector

Nov 26 (Island) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to set up a three-member committee to handle appointments to key positions in state institutions such as corporations is most welcome. It is a radical departure from the despicable practice of catapulting stooges of the powers that be to those high posts. This move may not find favour with some politicians in the ruling coalition, for obvious reasons, but it has gone down well with the public. What really matters, in the final analysis, more..

Face the Nation

Diyatha Uyana: Serenity amid bustling boulevards

Nov 26 (DN) Diyatha Uyana, which epitomises the path-breaking creative urban renewal projects launched and completed before 2015, is located in Battaramulla, near the Waters Edge Hotel. The park has been constructed on a marshy land on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya. It sits between the Parliamentary Complex and the Diyawanna Oya at the Polduwa Junction. Diyatha Uyana was opened on Sept 15, 2012. It was set up under the guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, more..

3rd Colombo Supercross next Sunday at Welisara

Nov 26 (ST) The third edition of the popular Colombo Supercross motorsport event, will be held next Sunday, December 1, at the Navy Motorcross Gravel Track in Welisara. The Colombo Supercross 2019 will be the final gravel motorsport event to be held for the year, and will be part of Hutch-SLARDAR Championship Series. Over 200 drivers and riders are expected to compete at this year’s Colombo Supercross, which was initially scheduled to be held during the mid of 2019. more..

Ceramic sector wants Govt. to cut mining red tape

Nov 26 (TM) Sri Lanka’s ceramic industry has its fingers crossed for lesser regulation of mining practices under the new Government in order to improve productivity and reduce imports. Speaking on the sidelines of the 16th annual general meeting (AGM) of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council (SLCGC), the Council’s newly elected President Anura Warnakulasooriya stated that the industry is facing problems with mining more..

Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi

Nov 26 (Island) According to media, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) has accepted an invitation extended by the Indian PM Narendra Modi for him to visit New Delhi, and he is due to make the visit on 29th Nov. It may be recalled that soon after the former Prez Maithripala Sirisena assumed office in Jan 2015, PM Modi extended an invitation to him also and Prez Sirisena visited New Delhi in February 2015. This time around, PM Modi has gone a step further and has sent an emissary, more..

Silence on a moonlit lagoon

Nov 26 (Island) I was born and lived at Batticaloa most of my memorable life. Our house is literally a few hundred yards from the lagoon. Puliyanthivu / Island of Tamarinds, the administrative centre of Batticaloa, as the name denotes, is an island, where every inhabitant is somewhat a few minutes away from the sight, sound and smell of the lagoon. When growing up, the excitement of catching fish by the overflowing lagoon during December rainy season by homemade rod and reel is immeasurable. more..

Litro to spend Rs. 1.7 b on gas cylinders to create buffer stock

Nov 26 (FT) In a bid to create a buffer stock for the upcoming Dec and April festive seasons, Litro Gas has begun the purchase of over 200,000 LPG cylinders worth close to Rs. 1.7 billion, with officials giving assurances of the transparency of the transaction, which was approved just days before the Prez Election. The purchase was also made with a focus on bridging the supply gap that was seen recently when more..

Oman’s SalamAir to fly to Colombo four times a week

Nov 26 (AD) Oman's first low-cost carrier, SalamAir landed at the BIA today (25) to commence flight operations between Muscat and Colombo. The Muscat-Colombo direct route marks SalamAir’s first entry into the Sri Lankan market. SalamAir is scheduled to operate four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Colombo at 08:10 local time and arriving in Muscat at 02:40 local time. The flight will depart Muscat at 12:10 local time arriving in Colombo at 9:10 local time. more..

SL Rugby rolls out Blue Card for Club rugby season

Nov 26 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has decided to introduce a Blue Card for the 2019-2020 Inter-club Rugby season, in addition to the red and yellow cards, when the season kicks off this weekend with eight 'A' division clubs in action. SL will become the third Asian country to introduce the Blue Card after Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Blue Card has been specifically introduced to send off players who suffer from concussion during play. Concussion is now becoming a major problem, more..

Sri Lanka to make laws to clear state workers from prosecution: PM

Nov 26 (EN) SL will make new laws to clear state workers from the wrongdoing or lapses committed by taking decisions made in good faith to carry out govt policy, PM and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. “In the recent times state officials were brought before the FCID and Bribery Commission,” Rajapaksa has said after taking over duties as finance minister. “As a result officials were reluctant to take decisions.” more..

Removing the burden of SOEs on our people

Nov 26 (Island) No-one seems to know precisely how many business enterprises the govt owns. Official govt figures suggest 55 businesses, but these are only those which are considered to be strategic. The Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report - 2019 issued by the Minister of Finance suggests that there are 422 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), while the a research based on data obtained under Freedom of Information Act undertaken by a think tank found that there could be as many 527. more..

Fitch affirms CEB at AA+; outlook stable

Nov 26 (LBO) Fitch Ratings has affirmed CEB National Long-Term Rating at ‘AA+(lka)’ with a stable outlook. The rating on CEB, which is 100% state-owned, is equalised with that of the SL sovereign (B/Stable), reflecting strong linkages with the parent, in line with Fitch’s Parent and Subsidiary Rating Linkage criteria. The equalisation takes into consideration CEB’s strategic importance to Sri Lanka in ensuring power security and supply of affordable electricity to the public. more..

BBS says no plan to protest against the NWP Governor

Nov 26 (DM) While condemning a letter circulating on social media requesting to gather in front of North-Western Province Governor's Office against the assumption of duties of A.J.M. Muzammil as the governor, BBS said that they had nothing to do with the letter. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said a letterhead of BBS had been used in the letter which requested all Buddhist monks to gather in front of NWP Governor's Office more..

Minister Ranatunga confident of revival of exports, investments and tourism

Nov 26 (FT) New Industrial Export, Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday expressed confidence of a proper revival of sectors under his purview especially post-Easter Sunday setback. He made these remarks, while formally assuming duties yesterday at the Industrial Export and Investment Promotion Ministry at WTC in Colombo. “It is definitely a challenging task ahead of us. The tourism industry had the biggest drawback more..

Foundation stone-laying ceremony for 2nd phase of improved gravity fed water systems

Nov 26 (Island) As part of the Assisting Communities in Creating Environmental & Nutritional Development (ACCEND) Project, 20 improved gravity fed water systems (IGFWS) will be constructed in 20 estate divisions of Ambagamuwa Division in Nuwara Eliya District. Through this intervention, the project focuses on providing safe drinking water throughout the whole water system, from the source to the individual homes of the tea estate communities. more..

Govt to revisit UNHRC resolution as priority, says FM

Nov 26 (FT) Indicating that the UNHRC resolution was a priority for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration, Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the key agreement would soon be revisited. Speaking after formally assuming duties, Gunawardena said that they were focused on revisiting agreements signed under the previous Govt. He also noted that they would work to stabilise the nation’s political and economic climate. more..

SLNF to conduct Major Netball events

Nov 26 (CT) Victoria Lakshmi, President of SL Netball Federation (SLNF), held a media briefing on Friday to explain future plans to uplift the sport in the country. 36 teams have confirmed their participation at the Junior National Netball Championship scheduled to take centre stage from 30 November-2 December at the Torrington Stadium, Colombo. In addition, the National Netball Championship is scheduled to take place from 14-15 Dec at A'pura Public Ground & indoor stadium. more..

Women's Chamber congratulates Prez

Nov 26 (Island) The Women's Chamber of Industry and Commerce, as the leading chamber for women entrepreneurs and professionals congratulated Gotabaya Rajapakse upon taking office as the 7th Executive Prez. On behalf of the Chamber, the President Chathuri Ranasinge stated " We are committed to support your mandated agenda in providing a steady, yet rapid, well structured growth plan for our nation. As the premier organization representing women entrepreneursand more..

Dissolve Parliament forthwith: SLPP

Nov 26 (DM) The SLPP said yesterday Parliament should be dissolved immediately by calling for a snap general election. SLPP Chairman Prof G.L. Peiris said a new Parliament should be elected to reflect the mandate of people and to ensure the smooth functioning between the executive and legislature. “The incumbent Parliament does not reflect the people’s mandate today. more..

INS Nireekshak arrives at Trinco harbour

Nov 26 (SLN) The Indian Naval Ship Nireekshak arrived at the port of Trincomalee on a training visit today (25th). The ship was warmly welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval tradition. Upon her arrival, the Commanding Officer of the vessel, Commander BK Prashant called on Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Merril Wickramasinghe. They held a cordial discussion and mementoes were also exchanged to mark the importance of the occasion. more..

Use of offensive terms: Estate workers protest against Athaulla

Nov 26 (Island) A series of protests will be held in the hill country against former MP A.L.M. Athaulla who had used a derogatory term against estate workers during a popular Tamil language TV talk show on Sunday, MP Mano Ganesan said. This follows a heated argument between Athaulla and Ganesan, which ended with Ganesan throwing water on Athaulla. "During the talk show, he used a derogatory term against estate workers. I asked him to apologize repeatedly and he refused. more..

2020 general election: SLPP in two minds over symbol

Nov 26 (Island) A section of the SLPP believes that regardless of an agreement with over a dozen political parties, including the SLFP signed in the run-up to the Nov 16, 2019 prez poll to contest under the chair symbol; the party should field candidates on the SLPP ticket under its lotus bud sign. SLPP member Rohitha Abeygunawardena said, the party could secure a two-thirds majority-or 150 seats at the next parliamentary poll more..

SL’s 1st Wide Area Network LEARN turns 30

Nov 26 (DN) LEARN, SL’s National Research and Education Network marked three decades of innovation in connectivity, heralding a new era of connectivity, whilst supporting the needs of research and education community through a high-speed backbone network. At an event held at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, Former Prez Sirisena, graced the momentous occasion signaling the appreciation & acknowledgement of dedicated and unmatched innovation in service offered by LEARN. more..

Video: British & Saudi envoys call on Prez

Nov 26 (AD) British High Commissioner to SL Sarah Hulton and the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in SL Abdul Nasser Al-Hathi called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat. British High Commissioner was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner Mr. Tom Burn. According to a release from Prez’s Office, in a cordial conversation, they congratulated the new President on behalf of the British Govt and laid the groundwork for embarking on a new journey with new govt. more..

Turnaround time for economy: MR

Nov 26 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured policy consistency, competent leadership and economic stimulus to turnaround SL's economy in the shortest possible time, when assuming duties as the Finance Minister. Speaking at the Finance Ministry, PM Rajapaksa spoke extensively on what he termed the shortcomings of the previous administration. He insisted that due to their numerous shortcomings, more..

900 PSD personnel removed

Nov 26 (DM) Some 900 officers of Prez Security Division (PSD) have been moved to other police divisions on a directive by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to trim PSD numbers. Accordingly, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne informed the former PSD officers to name two divisions where they would be willing to work. IGP had ordered to move the 900 PSD officers with immediate effect on Nov 24 and had later adjusted the order allowing the officers to name two divisions where they would be willing to work. more..

Showery condition to enhance further from tomorrow

Nov 26 (AD) Meteorology Dept says that the prevailing showery condition over the island, particularly in the N&E parts of the country, is likely to enhance further from tomorrow. Northeast monsoon condition is gradually establishing over the country and is expected to be fully established by Nov 27. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Northern, North-central, Eastern and Uva provinces and Hambanthota district. Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places more..

More than 700 CID officers barred from leaving country

Nov 26 (Island) A list containing the names of 704 CID officers was submitted to the Immigration and Emigration Department yesterday morning barring them from travelling overseas. The Immigration and Emigration Department sources said it was in the process of computerisng the data pertaining to the officers on the list submitted by the CID. CID Chief Inspector Nishantha Silva left for Switzerland with his family from the BIA more..

One in 3 women or girls experiences physical or sexual violence

Nov 26 (DM) In the United States this year there have been hundreds of cases where husbands have killed their wives for various reasons. The CNN - world’s first 24/7 cable television channel started by the legendary Ted Turner who is known as captain planet for his work in saving the world from an environmental catastrophe—reported on Sunday that in the latest case of violence against women a man had murdered his wife, packed her body in a suitcase and dumped it into a river. more..

Gota’s rise: A global perspective

Nov 26 (DM) The new President-elect of SL, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a week into his administration has already hit the turbo and is on full throttle. He expects everyone in his governance mechanism, including his elder siblings irrespective of the fact that one was a two-term President and the other the eldest brother in the family to deliver results at the pace he is cruising. Sri Lanka is experiencing an unprecedented political transformation many Sri Lankans were yearning for at the backdrop of more..

Post elections Social media hate speech spikes up!

Nov 26 (DM) Any Sri Lankan social media user would have noted the rise in post election hate speech since the results of the Presidential Election was announced. The post election hate speech mainly revolved on two groups of voters; the voters of the Negombo electorate and the voters in the electorates of the North and the East. In these electorates, the majority voted in favour of the NDF candidate, Sajith Premadasa. more..

After peaceful poll, it’s free for all for some victors and vanquished

Nov 26 (ST) Attacks on rival party supporters, houses and business premises and throwing fire crackers at political opponents were among a string of violent incidents reported in the aftermath of the prez election, in contrast to the relative calm on prez polling day and during the run-up to the election. One of the serious incidents was last Sunday night’s attacks on seven houses and its occupants at the Ganepalla rubber estate more..

Enter the Speaker; Karu trying to bring peace to UNP

Nov 26 (RN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is stepping in to try and end the civil war in UNP. Source close to Jayasuriya said he is “trying to bring Sajith Premadasa and Ranil Wickremesinghe together, and that meeting will happen today or tomorrow.” Party is still struggling with the issue of who will lead the party’s campaign in the upcoming Parliamentary Elections with factions supporting Wickremesinghe and Premadasa still locking horns. more..

TISL launches, a politically exposed persons’ online database

Nov 26 (RN) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) launched an online database today with information on politically exposed persons (PEPs) in Sri Lanka. The database can be accessed at According to TISL, PEPs are individuals that are or have been entrusted with a prominent public function and are in positions that can be potentially abused for the purpose of corruption or bribery. more..

MCC compact to be launched soon in Sri Lanka: Alice Wells

Nov 26 (RN) The controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact will be launched in SL soon, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells said. Speaking at a discussion at the Wilson Centre in Washington DC on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor last week, Wells said she is proud of the kind of thoughtful development carried out by the MCC in Nepal more..

More girls in STEM-classes could bridge Sri Lanka gender digital divide

Nov 26 (EN) Sri Lanka should make extra efforts to get more girls educated in STEM or science-based subjects to eliminate gender discrimination in the emerging fourth industrial revolution that’s changing employment prospects, a new report said. “The impact of structural change in the labour market on women due to the 4IR will be particularly appalling,” the State of the Economy report by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). more..