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Video: Sampanthan ready to support good work of new govt

Nov 26 (AD) Leader of TNA R. Sampanthan says that he is willing to support the good work of the new govt. He pointed out that although he sits with the Opposition in the parliament, no one should think that he would work against the govt all the time. However, he would not support actions that are wrong, said Sampanthan. He said he is prepared to support the govt on the right things that are done on behalf of the people. more..

Video: New Crest Gem of Ruwanweliseya unveiled

Nov 26 (AD) The new Crest Gem of the historic Ruwanweliseya was unveiled in Anuradhapura, a short while ago. Chief Prelate of the Malwatu Chapter Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero placed the crest gem on the top of the stupa yesterday. Prior to the placing of the crest gem, it was made available to public viewing in Colombo and several other places from Nov 18 until 12 noon yesterday. more..

Herpetofauna in Jaffna faces threats

Nov 26 (Island) A scientific study on the biodiversity of Jaffna Peninsula reveals habitat alterations, killing, consumption over exploitation, and road mortality are the key threats encountered by herpetofauna in Jaffna, according to Dushantha Kandambi,a researchers. The team of research scientists consisted of Majintha Madawala, Thilina Surasinghe, Anslem de Silva, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue, Indika Peabotuwage, more..

Govt to revoke fuel price formula

Nov 26 (TM) The new Govt is hoping to revoke the fuel price formula introduced by the Yahapana govt. Minister of Passenger Transport, Power & Energy expressed these views to the media today. He said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had also expressed concerns over the price formula. The IMF had called for an automatic pricing mechanism to be formulated under its Extended Fund Facility programme. more..

Ball in EC's Court

Nov 26 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Election Commission (EC) will take action against six public institutions for violating election laws. The possible boldness of the EC to make this statement may be due to the empowerment and independence brought about to the EC under the 19A passed during the tenure of the immediately preceding regime. Those six public institutions that allegedly violated election laws when those alleged irregular acts were perpetrated, more..

Dilemma facing the mini hydro developers

Nov 26 (FT) A problem confronting the new mini hydro power developers hanging over a period of time since 2013 has come to rest as an impasse acrimoniously ignored by the authorities concerned. This is happening at a time when the attention of the entire country is focused on the energy sector and in particular about the new renewable energy sources that should be harnessed to supplement the much needed electrical energy. It is pathetic to note that a matter of national importance such as more..

Eran Wickramaratne

New state and deputy ministers to be sworn in tomorrow

Nov 26 (AD) The new State Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the interim govt are expected to be sworn in tomorrow (27). The state and deputy ministers are scheduled to take oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo at 9am tomorrow morning. Meanwhile the new Ministerial Secretaries are to receive their letters of appointment after the new state ministers and deputy ministers are sworn in. more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Robert Payas out of jail on parole

Nov 26 (PTI) Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Robert Payas walked out of the prison for the first time after 28 years on 30-day parole. Serving life term, he was released from the Puzhal Central Prison here based on a November 21 Madras High Court order granting him the relief for making arrangements for his son Tamilko's marriage, a senior prison official said. Incarcerated since August 16, 1991, Payas, a SL national had come to India the previous year along with more..

EC Chairman requests Speaker to legislate media guidelines

Nov 26 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to support in legislating Media guidelines in parliament so as to ensure free and fair elections. He made this request during a meeting with the Speaker today. Chairman said that the proposals with regards to the aforesaid would be submitted in Parliament in the near future. He also requested the Speaker’s support to adopt more..

New President's Media Director General

Nov 26 (GDI) Senior journalist Mohan Samaranayake has been appointed as the Director General of Presidential Media. He assumed office yesterday. With four decades of experience in the field of journalism, Samaranayake entered the journalism profession as an assistant writer of the Dawasa newspaper. Thereafter, he served as an Assistant Editor of the SLBC and held the position of News Director of the SL Rupavahini Corporation for nearly five years. more..

Namal permitted to travel abroad till 10 Feb

Nov 26 (RN) Having considered a motion filed by his lawyer in the alleged Gowers Corporate money-laundering case, Colombo High Court granted permission to MP Namal Rajapaksa today to travel abroad till 20 February next year. Permission was granted by Judge Pradeep Hettiarachchi after Rajapaksa’s attorney declared that his client had sought permission to travel abroad despite there not being a travel ban imposed on him by the court. The case was fixed for 10 February. more..

New state and deputy ministers to be sworn in tomorrow

Nov 26 (AD) The new State Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the interim govt are expected to be sworn in tomorrow. The state and dy ministers are scheduled to take oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Prez Secretariat in Colombo at 9am tomorrow morning. Meanwhile the new Ministerial Secretaries are to receive their letters of appointment after the new state ministers and dy ministers are sworn in. more..

Sri Lanka wins 3 gold awards and 8 merits at APICTA Awards in Vietnam

Nov 26 (FT) Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards is an international awards program organised by APICTA, which aims to increase ICT awareness in the community and assist in bridging the digital divide. APICTA brought together participation from across Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, SL, Thailand, Vietnam and Nepal at this year’s event in Halong, Vietnam held from 19 to 23 Nov. more..

Australian mineral sands firm increases Sri Lanka deposits with acquisition

Nov 26 (EN) Australian mineral sands miner Titanium Sands Ltd. will increase its resource base in Sri Lanka with shareholder approval to buy firms with mining rights for high-grade ilmenite deposits in the north-western Mannar Island. Titanium Sands Ltd. (TSL) has an agreement with Srinel Holdings Ltd. to acquire the rights to the deposits on Mannar Island in exchange for TSL shares. The acquisition, approved at a shareholder meeting Tuesday, means ISL will have increased its heavy mineral more..

Hold non-binding referendum with general elections: Moragoda

Nov 26 (DM) The founder of the Pathfinder Foundation Milinda Moragoda proposed that the govt should hold a non-binding referendum together with the general election. In a statement, he said the provision for such a move was available under Article 86 of the Constitution and proposed four issues to be taken up as questions for the referendum. The questions are: “Prefer a full-fledged Prez system or a Westminster-style more..

Police search newsroom

Nov 26 (RN) A Police team from the Mirihana Police searched the newsroom of this morning, investigating a complaint that there was material that could be classified as hate-speech SSP Ruwan Gunesekara said. Police had obtained a search warrant from the Nugegoda Magistrate and carried out the investigation. No incriminating material had been found, he said. Journalists present during the incident said that the police were polite and apologised for inconvenience before they left. more..

Monsoonal rains likely from tomorrow

Nov 26 (DM) Heavy showers exceeding 150 mm are expected during the next few days with the Northeast monsoonal conditions in full force from tomorrow, Dept of Meteorology said today. Heavy showers are expected in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and in the Polonnaruwa district during the next few days. Fairly heavy showers exceeding 100 mm are expected in some places in the Uva, Sabaragamuwa, and Central Provinces and in the Anuradhapura & Hambantota districts. more..

Schools uniforms instead of vouchers from January

Nov 26 (AD) Minister of Education Dullas Alahapperuma says that steps will be taken to provide school uniforms to all students by the beginning of the new term in 2020. He says that it is regrettable that the steps haven’t been taken to provide the school uniforms for 2020 despite the 2019 school term is coming to an end in three days. He pointed out that the complete responsibility of the matter falls on the Ministry of Education. more..

Conde Nast Traveler readers vote Sri Lanka 4th best to visit

Nov 26 (EN) Readers of the upmarket travel publication Conde Nast Traveler have voted SL the 4th best country to travel to in 2019 despite the Easter Sunday terror attacks which crippled the country’s tourism sector. The 32nd Reader’s Choice Awards of the Conde Nast Traveler published in Novermber showed SL coming in behind Indonesia, Thailand and Portugal. Saying that big things come in small packages, Conde Nast highlighted the variety of attractions Sri Lanka has to offer, more..

Teachers’ union accuses Akila of dereliction of duty

Nov 26 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) said that students would not receive school uniforms before the end of the third school term, November 29, due to dereliction of duty on the part of the then Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and ministry officials. It urged new Minister of Education, Dullas Alahapperuma to take remedial action. "The ministry officials had not called for tenders, either to provide uniform material or print vouchers. This is an annual fixture and more..

Won’t hesitate to take disciplinary action against wrongdoers: Army Chief

Nov 26 (AD) Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, says he would ensure the highest degree of discipline among all ranks in the organization and would not hesitate to take any disciplinary action against wrongdoers under any circumstances. He made this assertion during an interview with Editor-in-Chief of SNI Nitin Gokhale, who recently also interviewed new Prez Gotabaya Rajapkasa. more..

Hemasiri & Pujith file bail applications at HC

Nov 26 (NR) Former Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara who was sent on compulsory leave, have filed separate revision bail applications before the Colombo High Court. The motion filed by Hemasiri Fernando will be considered before Colombo HC Judge Aditya Patabendi, tomorrow. The duo is charged with alleged failure to take measures to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks in April, and or minimize the destruction caused, despite receiving prior more..

Rajapaksas' Lanka

Nov 26 (MP) In a major diplomatic move, which was both swift and intelligent, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar dashed to Colombo as soon as it was known that the new President of SL is now Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Gotabaya, 70, belonging to SLPP party triumphed securing well over 52% votes in the recently held Prez elections. Indian EAM, who had exposure to the SL politics being assigned as a junior diplomat, held talks of substance with the new incumbent and more..

Govt puts Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme on-hold for review

Nov 26 (RN) The Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development will review and reorganise the Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary interest rate loan scheme in order to bring it into line it with the policies of the new govt. In a media statement today the ministry said that the govt clearly recognizes that incentives for SMEs to continue to contribute to the national economy through concessionary interest rate loans more..

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise to begin in Pune from Dec 1

Nov 26 (HT) The seventh edition of the India – Sri Lanka joint training exercise, Mitra Shakti 2019, will be conducted at the Foreign Training Node (FTN) in Pune from December 1 to 14. The aim of this joint training exercise is to build and promote positive relations between Indian and Sri Lankan armies. The exercise will focus on sub-unit level training for counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in urban and rural environment under the United Nations mandate. more..

Minority Tamil political parties urged to stand united on issues faced by Tamils

Nov 26 (DD) In SL, the main political grouping of minority Tamils has called upon Tamil political parties to stand united on the issues faced by the Tamils. TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran called upon Tamil parties to not attempt to divide the Tamil community and join the alliance. He said that TNA is the main Tamil political alliance in the country so other parties must come under its wing to fight for the rights of Tamils. The MP also said that the TNA is prepared to have talks with Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

'In the past three years, 48 HIV women gave birth to healthy babies'

Nov 26 (CT) Deputy Director of the NSTD/AIDS Control Programme, Dr. Lilani Rajapaksha said that 48 women with HIV had delivered uninfected babies during the past three years. Briefing the Media, in view of the World AIDS Day commemoration on 1 Dec, Dr. Rajapaksha said, the statistics taken during the past 3 years showed that there had been 16 HIV positive mothers each year who had delivered babies free of infection. more..

Popularity is not a sufficient condition for reform

Nov 27 (CT) Sri Lanka has a new govt that has come to power with heightened popular expectation of reform that would take it in the direction of rapid development and a modern state. This is a throwback to the expectations that accompanied the election of the previous govt in 2015. At the base of popular expectations was that the new govt would root out corruption that they had come to believe had grown to horrendous proportions. There is a similar expectation on this occasion too, more..

New Prez faces the challenge of revamping the tax system and reviving the economy

Nov 27 (FT) Our country has been experiencing slow economic growth in the recent past. We have recorded one of the lowest growth rates in South Asia. The new President faces the inevitable challenge of finding the correct approaches to stimulate the economy and achieve high economic growth. Some countries have resorted to various forms of tax cuts to boost economies and attract investment. Even USA and India have done this in the recent past. more..

Local poultry farmers decry Govt importing eggs

Nov 27 (CT) Local poultry farmers were up in arms recently when the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs and Livestock Development (MAREALD) declared the Govt's plans to import eggs as means of controlling the price of eggs in the market. As a matter of fact there were areas, especially in towns, where a white egg cost the consumer between Rs 20 to Rs 22. During the previous Rajapaksa Govt, more..

Resurrecting the tea industry under new President

Nov 27 (ST) I would like to offer my humble suggestions to new Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to help the tea industry to add US$ 10 billion per annum to the national GDP. Ceylon Planters Society (of which I am a member) has given a basic plan to successive govts on this matter. The industry which had 300,000 employees in 1993 now has just 140,000 today. The reason for reduction is mainly due to job dissatisfaction. Employees are asking for a means of earning more & not higher wages. more..

The battle Royal for the post of leader of the opposition

Nov 27 (CT) The tussle between Sajith factor and Ranil factor in the Parliament vying for the Leader of Opposition post is intensified and assuming grim dimensions. So much so that many have started contemplating a breakaway situation as imminent. Whatever the parochial political inclinations of promoters of such a move are, it is a pity if the grand old party breaks into two groups at this stage. Unlike the historical events where leading personalities decided to break away & form new political more..

Team Sri Lanka for Bocuse d’Or - The Olympics of the Culinary World

Nov 27 (SO) After months of hard work, world class training and nail biting anticipation, the team that will represent SL at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition has been selected. Chef Hasitha Chaturanga and Commis Tharusha Dilshan from The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle were titled the Gold winners of Bocuse d’Or SL. These culinary ambassadors will now take forth the flavours of SL with revolutionary and more..

Colombo gold centre worth its weight in gold

Nov 27 (DN) Before 2009, Colombo city was dirty, scary and polluted. Visiting Colombo was unsafe then because no one knew at what time and where a bomb could go off killing hundreds of people while permanently disabling many others. This situation resulted in the city becoming dirty because cleanliness was given an insignificant place in the midst of security threats. Development and modernisation became less important in the middle of LTTE threats. But, after 2009, more..

Editorial: Strange creature - II

Nov 27 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is in a dilemma over the appointment of the next Opposition Leader. There are two contenders. UNP has officially written to him through its General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam that its choice for the post is none other than its leader and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. But the UNP dissidents have urged him to appoint former Minister Sajith Premadasa as the Opposition Leader; they say they have collected as many as 67 signatures more..

Ajith Prasanna

Students, academics and sports: The delicate balance

Nov 27 (DN) The govt spends a huge quantum supporting free education in this country. It does not mean all qualify and get through both O/Ls and A/Ls. In fact very many do not pass and do drop out. As students very many like naturally to indulge in sports. Some are gifted and do well. Others need extra coaching. The school curriculum is set by agencies allied to the Ministry of Education. Sports though guided by Education Ministry circulars is not administered by the Ministry. more..

Towards national reconciliation founded on the historical narrative

Nov 27 (Island) Reflections on the now defunct yahapalana regime expose a litany of derelictions of duty unmatched by any other past govt. Their failures due to inaction and incompetence extend to every aspect of statecraft including mismanagement of the economy, the ruin of national security and denigration of the cultural identity of the SL people. In short, the years 2015-2020 will go down in the annals of country’s history as the lost years. The disastrous record on national reconciliation, more..

UK Labour takes up cudgels for minority rights in SL in the wake of Gotabaya triumph

Nov 27 (Island) MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP, on Monday (25), assumed duties as the Foreign Minister. He succeeded Tilak Marapana, PC (Aug 2017-Nov 2019). Addressing the media, with Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinghe by his side, Gunawardena assured that foreign agreements, including the Geneva resolution, would be revisited. Reference was to the resolution co-sponsored by SL on Oct1,2015. more..