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SL athletes stopped dead on track

Jan 17 (CT) Cabinet Paper submitted recently by Minister of Sports for the reconstruction of the Sugathadasa Stadium along with the name of the successful bidder has been rejected at the Cabinet meeting. According to minister money is available for the project but no action can be taken until Cabinet approval is received. Tender that was called had specific instructions about how the selection of the contractor should be made. more..

Unqualified volleyball coaches shortlisted

Jan 17 (CT) In a blind side move the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation has shortlisted coaches who have violated the Sports Law of the country to fill existing vacant national coaching positions. The Federation recently held interviews to select coaches for the Sri Lanka Senior, Junior and Youth Volleyball Training Pools, and the list of names of the coaches selected has been submitted to the Minister of Sports for his approval. However, former veteran volleyball player more..

Anura Tennekoon: A luminary of cricket

Jan 17 (DN) I had the privilege of meeting Anura Tennekoon at the local Mecca of cricket at the SCC, recently. He was my captain when Ceylon Schools played against the All India Schools, in Colombo in the mid sixties. Anura went on to captain Sri Lanka with distinction where as I went to UK looking for greener pastures. It is interesting to note that the Indian Schools team included players in the caliber of Eknath Solkar and Surinder Amarnath who went on to represent India. more..

GA determines Musaeus fire an act of arson

Jan 17 (Island) Govt Analyst had determined that the fire that broke out at the Musaeus College auditorium on Nov 4 in 2016 was caused by someone pouring kerosene on its stage and setting fire to it, Cinnamon Gardens police reported to Colombo Chief Magistrate. Submitting an additional report to Colombo Chief Magistrate, police said that as the Govt Analyst had said someone used kerosene to start the fire, they would more..

Can Sri Lanka turn it around in T20s?

Jan 17 (CT) After a humiliating 3-0 whitewash against South Africa, Sri Lanka can now only hope for better results in the shorter format, which can at least ease the pain a little of Sri Lankan fans as well as players. The first T20I of the series will be played at Centurion on the 20th followed by Johannesburg on 22nd and Cape Town on 23rd before move to the five match ODI series which will start on 28th from Port Elizabeth. No matter how great things are said and done about Test cricket, more..

Petronet keen on Sri Lanka LNG regasification facility

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is one of the countries where India's biggest gas importer Petronet LNG says it expects to invest in with plans for a regasification facility on the island within the next three years. The company has said it would spend up to $3 billion in the next five years to expand overseas. Petronet managing director Prabhat Singh told Reuters that over the next three years the company would be investing 100 billion rupees to set up LNG regasification capacities in Bangladesh, more..

President urged to appoint special task force on trade liberalisation of goods and services

Jan 17 (ST) The appointment of a Presidential Task Force to examine all issues pertaining to trade liberalisation in goods and services – vis-à-vis the debate over the import of labour – has been strongly urged by the Organisation of Professionals Association (OPA). It is also urging the Govt to ensure that Sri Lankan nationals own 100% national retail trade in goods and services. Request has been made by the OPA, more..

Ransika takes 4 wickets as SL U19 crush Zim

Jan 17 (Island) Sri Lanka U-19 cruised to an eight wickets victory over Zimbabwe U-19 after rattling the latter’s batting line up for 66 runs in the third match of the Tri National Youth tournament at Cape Town on Monday. Avishka Fernando scored an unbeaten 27 runs to see SL U-19 reach the target with 37 overs to spare. Deciding to bowl first pacemen led by P. de S. Kularatne’s Nipun Ransika delivered early blows to reduce Zimbabwe to 23 runs for five wickets in the first ten overs. more..

Rupees and Sense

Jan 17 (ST) Firstly I must confess that I am no fan of media colleague Daya Abeysekera’s long-running Rupees and Sense programme on ITN because of its pro-govt slant (no offence to you Daya!) though I have occasionally watched it. It may have changed under the Yahapalana regime. However,  I would like to borrow the title  which struck me as appropriate for today’s conversation on a simple lesson: Making people understand economics. Or to put it more bluntly, economics lessons where more..

The 58 preconditions to obtain GSP+

Jan 17 (Island) The govt has been ecstatic at being granted GSP+ again by the European Commission. It hasn’t however revealed the conditions it has agreed to in order to get this trade concession. In this context, two documents are of interest to us. The first of these is the Report on assessment of the application for GSP+ by Sri Lanka by European Commission dated 11 Jan 2016 (Staff Working Document 474) more..

Right to information on rainfall & food supply

Jan 17 (Island) Sri Lanka’s agriculture is almost exclusively rain dependent. Unlike in India, there is no thawing snow to feed the rivers or large volumes of ground water, except in Jaffna, to provide irrigation water. This makes rainfall a very important factor in SL agriculture. What we normally call irrigation water too is rain derived. In an average year by this time, Maha rains have tapered off, water reservoirs and the rivers are full or near full and the rice fields are in crop & approaching maturity. more..

Central Bank’s monetary and exchange rate management policies and its independence

Jan 17 (ST) The Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2017 and Beyond presented by Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on January 3rd was of special significance as it was an honest and realistic assessment of the economy, as it spelled out forward looking monetary and exchange rate policies and underscored the need for strengthening the Central Bank’s independence. Admittedly the issues with respect to monetary and financial policies envisaged, more..

Asanga Abeyagoonasekara

Oh justice where art thou?

Jan 17 (ST) That was great, simply great. That pretentious oracle in this miracle of Asia has spoken. Of course it might have been far better for the reputation of this nation had the Justice Minister taken a vow of silence. But then since Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe seems to make a rather heady mix of his two-prong portfolio I suppose it would be presumptuous to expect him to fulfill our earnest wishes. So Rajapakshe while seemingly upright in praising righteous turn the judiciary more..

Editorial: Towards a police state?

Jan 17 (Island) Rajapaksa govt stood accused of militarising society. Intoxicated with power it went so far as to order a military crackdown on a civilian protest against the contamination of groundwater by a factory in Rathupaswala in 2013. It looks as if the yahapalana administration, which came to power promising to demilitarise society, were trying to create a police state. It blatantly abuses the judicial process and the long arm of the law to suppress democratic dissent. more..

'People are sick of the same old faces'

Jan 17 (CT) Senior lawyer Gomin Dayasiri has been a vocal critic of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), especially regarding the manner in which the Constitutional Reform process is being conducted. Ceylon Today sat with Dayasiri to obtain his views on Constitutional Reform and the due process. Q: There is a lot of work going on regarding a new Constitution. Do you think we need a new more..

Defeating conspiracy against judges

Jan 17 (CT) There has been a concerted effort by the NGOs, both here and abroad, to scandalize our Judges and attack, in a most dastardly manner, the institution of the judiciary. When the attack began, we were ruled by a govt, which was considered anti-Western, pro-Russian and Left leaning. So, it was a Western agenda to destabilize the entire govt machinery, including the three pillars of democracy, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. There were enough and more reasons for more..

Large scale impunity

Jan 17 (CT) Sri Lankans have suffered serious set-backs for the past several decades due to impunity. It is becoming an increasingly difficult crisis beyond redemption. Government loses billions due to corruption, mismanagement and misappropriation of State funds. There is a conspicuous absence of investigation, justice or punishment. Robert Rothberg, a leading scholar of failed States had said that even when a State is weak, failing, failed or collapsed, more..

Resettlement in North

Jan 17 (CT) Muslims of Sri Lanka claim step-motherly treatment while resettling them in various parts of the country as well as in the northern peninsula adding that little has been done to rectify the issue due to the lack of infrastructure and adequate funds while the matter is also allowed to prolong further. Tamil speaking Northern Muslims as they are called, left their homes, lands & belongings and fled the area more..

GSP + may be restored but Sri Lanka has to act fast to harness its full benefits

Jan 17 (CT) A report published by the European Union or EU on 11 January 2017 has concluded that Sri Lanka has completed all the requirements needed for it to be granted GSP + status, known in full as EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus. This positive report on Sri Lanka has been filed by EU six years after the suspension of the facility to the country by that powerful economic bloc in 2010. Accordingly, European Commission or EC, the governing body of EU, has proposed that more..

Constitutional process gives SL a real chance

Jan 17 (CT) The year 2017 is a make or break year for the Unity govt and the Tamil people. In the history of Sri Lanka, an attempt is made for the third time after independence to enact a new constitution to resolve three major protracted issues facing the country. They are (1) devolution of power, (2) electoral reform, and (3) restructuring the executive presidential system. Undoubtedly, devolution of power is the critical and the fundamental element of the constitution making process.  more..

'Jealous India must rethink opposition to Chinese investment in Sri Lanka'

Jan 16 (PTI) India should rethink its opposition to Chinese investments in SL and join the port development in the island nation instead of feeling jealous, China’s state media said. “It is understandable that the cooperation has left some Asian countries vigilant as media reports suggest that an 80% share of the port, which sits on an important trade route, and land for an industrial zone will be leased to China for the next 99 years,” more..

Not enough elephants for this year’s perahera: Basnayake Nilame

Jan 16 (AD) We have found it difficult to find enough elephants for this year’s devala perahera, Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Maha Devalaya D.P Kumarage says. Kumarage pointed out this came after the Department of Wildlife’s move to transfer the domesticated elephants to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage recently. Kumarage made the observation during a press conference held with the participation of the members of Domesticated Elephant Owners’ Association. more..

No elections before May: EC

Jan 16 (NR) Elections Commission says the impending Local Govt polls cannot be conducted before the 30th of April even if the final report formulated by the National Delimitation Committee is submitted tomorrow. Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said the commission requires a minimum of 75 days to hold the election. Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya noted that preparatory work for the conduct of the Local Government Election is currently underway. more..

Video: I will retire soon: Nimal Siripala

Jan 16 (DM) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that he would soon retire from politics as he didn’t have an intention of hanging on to power like many other politicians. Speaking at a rally, he said that there was a need of new political culture without family political agendas. Emphasizing the need of youth participation in politics, he said that the country was desperately in need of young generation’s participation in politics. more..

Oshin here next month

Jan 16 (DN) Ayako Kobayashi, who played the role of Oshin in the tele drama Oshin the most famous Japanese TV show in history, will be in Colombo early next month, to open the first ever Japan Expo Premier Sri Lanka 2017, which will be held at the BMICH. Oshin is a household name in Sri Lanka. Oshin dubbed in Sinhala has been relaying in local TV stations for over two decades. Kobayashi played the much loved childhood character of Oshin. Japan Expo SL 2017 will be held from Feb 3 to 5. more..

Hospitals geared to handle AH1N1 cases

Jan 16 (DN) All major hospitals have a comprehensive pandemic response plan and are fully prepared to handle any local cases of AH1N1 influenza that requires hospitalisation, authorities said. Authorities however said patients with flu like symptoms should seek professional help without resorting to home remedies. Health officials said although 2 people died following AH1N1 influenza in Kandy, both were patients whose immune system had got weak due to their illnesses. more..

MR refused to pawn SL to regain GSP+: GL

Jan 16 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa had an opportunity of regaining the GSP+ facility during his tenure if he had agreed to the conditions laid down by the European Union (EU) at the risk of compromising the country’s sovereignty, SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris claimed today. He said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was only speaking a lot about GSP+ but not about the conditions laid down by the EU to grant more..

SC postpones contempt case against Namal

Jan 16 (NR) The case filed by the CIABOC against MP Namal Rajapaksa was taken up for hearing at Supreme Court today. The case was taken up before a three-bench supreme court panel headed by Chief Justice K Sri Pawan. The charge sheets against MP Rajapaksa were explained in detail during the hearing today. CIABOC filed the petition citing MP Rajapaksa failed to adhere to instructions issued by the Commission pertaining to investigations over misappropriation of funds more..

Aluthgamage predicts new faces at Nugegoda rally

Jan 16 (AD) Some people who conspired to topple the previous govt are overwhelmed with fear after realising that people are still with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP Keheliya Rambukwella says. He made the observation while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. “And they thought Mahinda would just stay in his home after the election defeat, but the opposite happened,” he said. Rambukwella also underlined that the Yahapalana govt assured more..

Changes cannot be made without referendum: TNA

Jan 16 (DN) TNA reiterated its position that it would not settle for any Constitutional Amendment that does not require a referendum, but for a new Constitution which ushers in fundamental changes including the abolition of executive Presidency. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, reminding that the mandate President Sirisena received from the people was to make significant changes to the Constitution, pointed out more..

Unidentified fly spreading across Ratmalana

Jan 16 (DM) Residents of Ratmalana are worried about an unidentified species of fly spreading fast in home gardens, in the beach and even in houses. Chief Medical Officer, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council said the swarms of flies posed a threat to public health. PHIs pointed out that the flies were found even under the grass in the beach and stung individuals walking along the beach. They said the unidentified creature was found on the walls, windows and furniture in houses. more..

Mangala to visit Sweden

Jan 16 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Sweden on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström, from 17 to 18 January 2017. Minister Samaraweera’s  discussions with his Swedish counterpart are expected to focus on the progress of bilateral activities initiated during Minister Wallström’s visit to Sri Lanka in April 2016 and  cooperation on shared interests at the United Nations and other international fora. more..

'Don't imprison soldiers for GSP+'

Jan 16 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that security forces personnel should not be imprisoned in connection with war crimes for the sake of regaining the GSP+ facility from the EU. After remaining politically silent for some time he told a media briefing that the govt had mentioned about a hybrid court as one of the conditions to regain this trade concession. “Do we have to imprison military personnel who defeated more..

Video: MP Weerakumara at FCID

Jan 16 (DM) Deputy Leader of the NFF, MP Weerakumara Dissanayake was summoned to the FCID this morning. He was called to record a statement with regard to investigations being carried out in connection with the misuse of vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat during the previous regime. A spokesman for the FCID said that MP is being questioned at this time. MP Wimal Weerawansa was arrested by the FCID last week in connection with the same allegation. more..

JKH files patent on energy storage nanomaterial

Jan 16 (LBO) John Keells Holdings filed its first patent jointly with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, in the area of energy storage materials. Patent application filed at an Indian patent office in Dec 2016 is related to a composite nanomaterial which could be used in energy storage. Composite nanomaterial can be synthesized with raw materials found in Sri Lanka and has biocompatibility and low cost per unit of power stored as major advantages more..