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New Year determination for reconciliation and peace

Jan 1 (CT) If there is any major issue that should not be overlooked under the circumstances of the day-to-day controversies or disputes in Sri Lanka then that is ethnic reconciliation and peace in general. The fact that ethnic hostility or rivalry is not unique to Sri Lanka, is not an excuse to continue with that abhorrent practice. Although the causes or the origins of other problems, i.e. authoritarianism, corruption, nepotism or human rights violations, cannot be reduced to the ethnic conflict, more..

2016: Threats, Challenges, Tasks and Prospects

Jan 1 (CT) The year 2016 would undoubtedly bear formidable threats, bold new challenges and present new tasks of great historical and national importance. The need for this article is to try to penetrate the outer veil of appearance and illusion and the inner veils of self-delusion that blind us, so that we may grasp reality head-on, in the light of the momentous times we live in, and prepare to act on it. This is so we may grasp both the glorious prospects for human emancipation that more..

'Govt trying to weaken Security Forces'

Jan 1 (CT) Despite recent setbacks, members of the Joint Opposition are still undeterred in their attempts to oust the UNFGG. NFF MP and a convener of the Movement to Protect War Heroes, Jayantha Samaraweera, speaks to Ceylon Today about the actions of the govt which they perceive to be a great national security threat. Q: An organization named Movement to Protect War Heroes has been formed. more..

Debate on Capital Punishment

Jan 1 (NS) Last Monday, the organisation, Sri Lanka in 2050 hosted a seminar and panel discussion on Capital Punishment. I was invited as a speaker to address the forum comprising mostly the legal fraternity on the contentious and controversial topic. Today I take the liberty of presenting extracts of my address to the readers. The first thing we do, said the character in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, is kill all the lawyers. Few can deny the fact that criminality is bread & butter of most defence attorneys. more..

Down with bras !

Jan 1 (Island) Maithripala Sirisena, our dear leader, was walking up and down very angrily. Usually calm and compassionate, Sirisena was never in such a mood and his cohorts gave a mood by mood commentary. Sirisena then wore his crown, sat on the throne chair he reluctantly accepted and summoned his minister of textiles Gemunu Wijeratne or someone like that (sorry, we have lost count of the ministers and can’t remember all their names). more..

From ‘A’ team to National recognition

Jan 1 (CT) The passion to play started early while watching cricket matches on TV with his father, and it became a reality when he was gifted a bat by his grandfather. Having played well in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), he was invited to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) alongside international players in the calibre of Afridi, Tanvir and Bopara. He has now got the attention of National Selectors who have more..

Enhancing Public Confidence in Judiciary through Judicial Independence

Jan 1 (DM) Enhancing public confidence in the judiciary through judicial independence is the theme of this year’s conference. Paving the way for an independent judiciary so as to command the public confidence is a paramount duty not only of the judiciary but the executive and the Legislature as well. There is also a corresponding duty cast on every citizen of this country to preserve and protect the independence of the judiciary and its dignity. We live in a society in which more..

Shouldn’t those who abduct and kill be also whipped?

Jan 1 (DM) We were cruising along Baseline Road. All of a sudden, the driver lost his cool. Showing me two teenage girls walking along the pavement, he snarled: “Somebody should teach these sluts how to dress properly!” The two girls wore t-shirts and three-quarters, just as he was. Of course, he isn’t a slut because of his gender. I thought it would be wiser to steer the conversation back to stereo systems, and did so. I thought of this incident after hearing about the uproar over more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Revenue from tea exports, January to November 2015, declined by Rs 27.3 bn

Jan 1 (Island) John Keels, Tea Market Report, 22 December Sale, indicated declined revenue of Rs. 27.3 billion from tea from January to Nov 2015. Following declining crops and depressed market conditions, tea featured poorly in revenue projections this year. Early this year we consulted two brokers who correctly forecast declining tea prices. The alarming situations were real and required immediate attention. Middle East oil crisis and the Russian ruble were among causes more..

Patriotic Conspiracy

Jan 1 (NS) Ah! Citizen, another week has come and gone, and our esteemed Representatives still continue to entertain us with their shenanigans. However, I sometimes wonder dear Citizen whether our Representatives put on such unparalleled performances because WE continue to enjoy these shows of gross impropriety and infantile ranting, with only a token sniff of disdain levelled against the protagonists. I see our cavalier attitude towards the imbecilic repartee of our Representatives as more..

MegaPolis: Is it on Right Road?

Jan 1 (CT) Megapolis, the initiative of the National Unity Govt is a panacea to spur development to answer the socio-economic and political morass that fossilized the nation during the last three decades sounds relevant! There is a dire need for development people are yearning for. They want to make life comfortable, productive and sustainable to face the challenges of lack of development. more..

Whither engineering and technological education?

Jan 1 (Island) A new year is dawning new faculties of engineering and also technology are afoot. But, well established standards of qualty and traditions expected by professional and academic bodies should be maintained not only for benefit of the posterity but also to avoid unnecessary student crises and high costs for continuation of unplanned programmes. As the only Chartered Engineer in the Council of South Eastern University Oluvil at that time I called for caution but my concerns more..

Community rallies behind Sri Lanka family set to be deported

Jan 1 (KENS) As a deportation date nears for a San Antonio family with roots in Sri Lanka, friends in their local community came together to try to get the attention of their local congressman. Their message is a simple and clear one they hope Congressman Joaquin Castro will hear. “So we are trying to call on congressman Castro and other folks in the community to really step up and to see the support that the family has and to take action to make sure that they can stay here,” more..

Coming out is never easy. But in SL and much of surrounding SA it’s dangerous

Jan 1 (GT) Coming out is never easy. But in Sri Lanka and much of surrounding South Asia – where homosexual acts are outlawed – it’s dangerous. How can LGBTIQ people fight for their rights when homophobia begins at home? GT investigates… It was night time, and right the way down the street the lights had gone out. Power cuts are common in Colombo, but this wasn’t a power cut. more..

Greater focus urged on export-oriented sectors urged

Jan 1 (Island) Sri Lanka should focus more on export oriented sectors to earn foreign exchange for the country and to generate employment opportunities. This would enable Sri Lanka to integrate into the global production value chain, Minister Sarath Amunugama said. "Sri Lanka’s small and medium size enterprises (SME) could play a predominant role, which could become a part of the global value chain. If the SME sector integrates into the global value chain Sri Lanka could reduce more..

Editorial: Towards dystopia?

Jan 1 (Island) Every time ASP Ruwan Gunasekera trots out a lame excuse for not taking action against UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra over the recent abduction of a man by her security guards, his nose elongates. His predecessor who defended the Rajapaksa govt to the hilt in spite of its illegal operations was also affected by the Pinocchio syndrome, as it were. ASP insists that MP Premachandra’s statements to the media and the victim’s complaints are not admissible and, more..

Tough freshman year

Jan 1 (CI) The old middle-order stars now gone, 2015 was the year in which Sri Lanka's young men struck out on their own, traversing unfamiliar terrain, braving uncertain waters. The expedition has had a few setbacks. Kusal Perera was laid low by a poisonous weed. Tharindu Kaushal - Sri Lanka's next great spin hope - had his doosra bitten off. The fast bowlers seem to be on an iron-clad injury roster. more..

SL to partner with key airlines to tap tourism

Jan 1 (NS) While there is an uncertainty of Sri Lankan Airlines continuing to operate in Europe and several other destinations of choice, Sri Lanka Tourism said it hopes to enter into strategic partnerships with new and existing Airlines connecting the regions capitalising on the Open Sky policy of the govt of SL. “It is planned to develop strategic partnerships with all existing key airlines and work with new airlines like Austrian Air and Malindo Air and Air China who will have more..

Not a productive year on all fronts

Jan 1 (DN) The calendar year 2015 was undoubtedly not a productive one for Sri Lanka cricket with the national team undergoing a period of transition following the retirement of the last of the three batting icons Sangakkara. The previous two years had seen Dilshan (in 2013) and Mahela (in 2014) bowing out of international cricket after lengthy and successful careers. The last bastion Kumar Sangakkara bid goodbye to international cricket during the Indian Test series at home, more..

Video: 'Wimal will end up in a garbage dump'

Jan 1 (DM) Rejecting the hopper revolution remark made by MP Wimal Weerawansa, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that the former would end up in a garbage dump for bringing up rotten issues. “We have arrived at a point where appropriate measures need to be taken in order to resolve the issues faced by the country. We request MP Weerawansa to not attempt to pull back the country by selling the rotten piece of fish more..

The resolution to enact a new Constitution

Jan 1 (Island) A resolution to enact a new Constitution has been presented. Paragraph 2 of the Preamble of the Resolution states: "And WHEREAS it has become necessary to enact a new Constitution that inter alia, abolishes the Executive Presidency, ensures a fair and representative Electoral System which eliminates preferential voting, strengthens the democratic rights of all citizens, provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue…." more..

Influx at Company Registrar's office to escape increased fee

Jan 1 (DN) Department of Registrar of Companies saw an influx of over 150 fighting their way into the premises to avoid the increased registration fee to be imposed from today. Crowd gathered in a desperate attempt to avoid having to pay Rs.60,000 as company registration fee as opposed to the Rs.5000 fee that is charged upto Dec 31. This imposition created more alarm as the fee for cancellation or striking a company off the registry was increased to Rs.250,000 from Jan 1. more..

Brothers Ranatunga team up to stop Sumathipala's bid to return

Jan 1 (TT) The Ranatungas - Arjuna and the younger Nishantha - have come together to try and stop Thilanga Sumathipala from returning as president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). It's a position which means a lot in the island nation. But while the brothers in one prominent family have united, Sunday's elections will see the Dharmadasas - Jayantha and Upali - in opposite camps. Not absolutely openly, but those in the thick of more..

SL scientists target brain disease market

Jan 1 (EN) Sri Lankan scientists are seeking partnerships with foreign firms and research outfits to develop medicines using native herbs and plants to tackle neurological disorders, estimated to be a trillion dollar market. The potential to use natural products to treat or delay the onset of neurological degenerative disorders was big and growing, said Ranil de Silva, a professor at Sri J'pura University. “There’s no known cure for neurological degenerative diseases,” said de Silva, more..

Rohan de Silva appointed to SLT Board

Jan 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) announced the appointment of Rohan De Silva to its Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Rohan currently heads the McLarens Group as Chairman. He counts over 40 years of experience in management in the mercantile and govt sector. He specialises in shipping, marine and hotels business processes and management with wide knowledge in aviation services and management and an in depth understanding of complexities of aviation more..

New Year messages

Jan 1 (DN) We celebrate the dawn of this New Year with many hopes and aspirations in our hearts. With the important turning point of our nation witnessed in January last year, today we are in the threshold of a decisive era of speedy and sustainable development of our country that would be of importance not only to us but also to the future generations, President Maithripala Sirisena states in a New Year message. The message added: more..

Sri Lanka removes share trading levy

Jan 1 (EN) A share transaction levy of 0.3% from the buyer and seller on Sri Lanka’s stock exchange will be removed with effect from 1 January 2016, the Colombo stock exchange announced. The proposal was announced in the govt’s 2016 budget presented to parliament in November aimed at encouraging share market trading. The CSE said in a statement that under the new fee structure, total transaction fees on equities up to 50 million rupees would be 0.82% while the fees for trades over more..

Karapitiya cancer patients in jeopardy

Jan 1 (DN) Thousands of people and outdoor cancer patients who receive treatment at the Galle Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, have to undergo hardships as the Cobalt Treatment Machine at the hospital has been malfunctioning for several weeks. Karapitiya hospital is the only state medical institution in the Southern Province that has the facility for cobalt treatment for cancer. A technical officer had reported to the medical authorities about the condition of the machine 6 months ahead more..

'No one year cap on dormant accounts'

Jan 1 (DN) CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that they have not taken a decision to redirect dormant accounts to Central Bank or the Treasury after a period of one year. He said that only 90% of the dormant accounts are being redirected to CB and this would be after a period of 10 years. "It's definitely not after one year." When the rightful depositors claim the money it would be given back to them even with back interest. more..

SAFF: Afghanistan 5-0 Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (Goal) Afghanistan downed Sri Lanka 5-0 at the Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala to book their berth in the finals of the SAFF Championship where they shall face the Indian challenge. Goals from Mohammed Hashami, Kanischka Taher, Khaibar Amani, Ahmad Hatifie and Faysal Shayesteh were enough to continue their unbeaten run into the finals. Afghanistan coach Petr Segrt made as many as seven changes to the line-up which started against Maldives. more..

'Emission levy jolt SL’s clean air policy'

Jan 1 (DM) Imposing the proposed emission testing levy by the govt has created an adverse effect, negatively impacting the industry which does a yeoman service in maintaining Sri Lanka’s high environment performance ranking in South Asia, emission control industry experts say. The emission levy introduced in the Budget 2016 comes in a backdrop where Sri Lanka has been ranked highest in South East Asia in 2014’s Environment Performance Index (EPI) of Yale University. more..

SC allows five individuals to contest SLC elections

Jan 1 (DN) Supreme Court permitted five individuals including former vice president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) K. Mathivanan whose nominations had been rejected, to contest the upcoming SLC elections. Despite the SC having delivered this order on Dec 18 following a settlement reached by all parties concerned, SC had to make a clarification since then presiding Judge Eva Wanasundara did not put her signature on the judgment. more..

1,000 motorcyclists and pillion riders killed in 2015

Jan 1 (FT) Police says that a thousand motorcycle riders and pillion riders were killed in traffic accidents across the country this year. A majority of the accidents were the result of violating traffic lane laws, ASP Ruwan Ginasekara said. A total of 367 motorcycle riders and pillion riders have died from collision due to motorcyclists violating traffic lane laws. Meanwhile 334 motorcycle riders and pillion riders have died as a result of other vehicles violating traffic lane laws. more..

Sri Lanka Economic Forum on Jan 7

Jan 1 (DM) Sri Lanka Economic Forum in which the govt’s agenda for economic prosperity 2023 is to be discussed, will get off the ground on Jan 7 in Colombo with the participation of George Soros and Prof Joseph Stiglitz, the organizing committee said. Two-day forum which would be one of the major events in Colombo after the turn of the new year will be held under the theme Steering Sri Lanka towards Sustainable and inclusive development: PM Ranil Wickremeisnghe’s agenda for development. more..

Mixed fortunes for new year: CB

Jan 1 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economic fortunes will likely be mixed in 2016 with the Central Bank setting a growth target of 6.5% but considering turning to the IMF for assistance as early as Feb, in part to help refinance a chunk of $ 4.3 billion debt repayment. Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is confident Sri Lanka’s economy will remain steadfast in the new year, insisting any additional funds from the IMF will simply be to more..

2016 begins with a week of mega projects

Jan 1 (DM) As we move into 2016 today the focus will be on simple week-long celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the people’s silent revolution through which Maithripala Sirisena emerged virtually out of nowhere to be elected as the executive president of SL. Senior Minister Kabir Hashim said that in line with the national govt policies there would be no wasteful expenditure, luxuries or extravagance in the week-long celebrations to mark the January 8 revolution. more..

World in transition, Sri Lanka needs to be cautious in foreign policy

Jan 1 (DM) As we welcome 2016 today, two issues that will continue to dominate in the New Year are China’s rise and the war on terror. But beneath the brinkmanship of China and the US or the bloody events in the Middle East where terrorism is being further brutalised are the undercurrents of a global order in transition amid the global balance of power in disequilibrium. This has created uncertainties; and foreign policy decision-making has become a big gamble for developing countries more..

The stirring in devolution is getting brisker Power devolution

Jan 1 (DM) The formation of the Tamil People’s Council (TPC), backed by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, has perturbed the TNA leadership that views it as a move to undermine the party hierarchy. First, the move was seen as a precursor to yet another party splitting of the TNA. Wigneswaran and TNA leader Sampanthan did not see eye to on most issues as reported, and that gave rise to the speculation about a breakup. more..

AG urged to take unbiased decision on MP Hirunika

Jan 1 (Island) The People’s Collective Movement (Puravesi Ekamuthuwa) urged the Attorney General to take an unbiased decision as regard MP Hirunika Premachandra’s alleged involvement in the abduction of a man. Joint Convenor, Saman Ratnapruya said that as the MP’s security guards had been arrested and remanded for abducting a 34-year-old man using a Defender belonging to her, AG should also look into more..