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Hopes for boost in Indo-Lanka ties

Nov 29 (FT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who arrived in New Delhi last evening on his first State visit since assuming office, will push for more Indian investment and possibly wider financial support for Sri Lanka, while assuring its closest neighbour of continued friendly relations. Rajapaksa left the country last afternoon on the two-day State visit, accompanied by Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, more..

'SL to follow a non aligned foreign policy'

Nov 29 (DN) International Relations State Minister Susil Premajayantha said all steps will be taken by his ministry to safeguard Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty in a manner that would prevent any international interference in its domestic affairs. “Sri Lanka would follow a non aligned foreign policy while protecting its independence and sovereignty without leaving room for any foreign country to interfere in its domestic affairs,” Premajayantha said. Susil Premajayantha who emphasised that more..

Schools must be mosquito free when opening for 1st term in 2020

Nov 29 (DM) Education Ministry instructed its officials to conduct a countrywide dengue prevention campaign in schools prior to the commencement of the O/L exam and again before the reopening of schools for the first term in 2020. Ministry said the officials had been advised to conduct cleaning programmes even on Sundays without disturbing the exams. “Instructions have been given to the Provincial Education Directors, Zonal Education Directors, Principals of all Teachers’ Training more..

Alleged abduction: Swiss embassy denies Sri Lanka access to its employee

Nov 29 (Island) Swiss embassy in Colombo has declined to give Sri Lanka, conducting an investigation into an alleged abduction of one of its employees, access to the person concerned. Sources said that the CID had been denied an opportunity to record the alleged victim’s statement. Sources said that the investigations had been hampered by the failure on the part of the detectives to question the alleged victim. more..

Police Media operations to be brought under MCNS

Nov 29 (DN) The Police Media operations is scheduled to be brought under the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) with the aim of streamlining the Tri-Forces and Police Media operations. Police Media Division which operated under its Spokesman SSP Ruwan Gunasekara, had suspended its operations from last Wednesday. Mobile phone of the Police Media Spokesman and all telephones of the Police Media Unit have been disconnected since yesterday. more..

Tokyo gives additional grant for mine clearance

Nov 29 (Island) The Govt of Japan has provided an additional grant of US$ 635,420 (approx. Rs. 110 million) to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for humanitarian demining activities in Northern Sri Lanka. The grant contract was signed yesterday at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Japanese Ambassador Sugiyama Akira and Country Director of MAG Valentina Stivanello. The project will contribute to the efforts of the Govt of SL in ensuring that mine-contaminated areas are safe, more..

Govt should intervene to probe Shafi, Hisbullah cases

Nov 29 (DM) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the govt should intervene to investigate the incidents of Dr. Shafi Shahabdeen and the controversy involving Shariya University of former governor M.A.L.M. Hisbullah without any political involvement. The Thera said that he expected the govt would carry out its responsibility in dealing with these issues. “It is regrettable in the way the previous govt and more..

Petition against ex-President Sirisena for pardoning murderer before SC today

Nov 29 (Island) The fundamental rights violation petition filed against former Prez Sirisena for granting a presidential pardon to murder convict Jude Anthony Jayamaha of Royal Park will be supported in the Supreme Court today. The petition says that Jude Anthony Jayamaha was a drug addict, convicted of the brutal killing of Yvonne Jonsson in her Royal Park apartment, by beating her against the steps of her apartment. The killer convicted of murder on July 11, 2012, more..

Inter-school E-Sports Championship: Gateway College emerges champion

Nov 29 (Island) Gateway College Colombo emerged as the champions of the 4th annual Inter-school E-Sports Championships organized by and powered by SLT’s ultrafast broadband connectivity that offered an unmatched cyber game experience to the enthusiastic gamers. The grand finale took place between Gateway College Colombo and Nalanda College Colombo at Stein Studios, Ratmalana recently, amidst much excitement and the rush of adrenaline. more..

SAG Golden hope Nimali meets road accident

Nov 29 (CT) One of the brightest prospects at the forthcoming South Asian Games (SAG) Nimali Liyanarachchi's bid for three Gold medals was shattered by a careless driver as she met with a nasty accident yesterday. It left her with a fractured arm, and months of painful preparation were thrown to the wind. The incident occurred in the early morning while she was riding her motor scooter from Kottawa to Sugathadasa more..

Siddhalepa MD Asoka Hettigoda, honoured with Ayurveda Ratna in British Parliament

Nov 29 (DN) British Parliament took time to acknowledge and honour the work of the Hettigoda family and their services to Sri Lankan Ayurveda recently. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Indian Traditional Sciences of the House of Commons welcomed Asoka Hettigoda to address dignitaries and guests of the committee regarding Sri Lankan Ayurveda and work that his family has been devoted to for over 200 years. The SL High Commissioner to UK, along with more..

Lewke pats rugby chief Gunaratne over Japan vote

Nov 29 (SO) Former SL Rugby president Nimal Lewke has thrown his weight behind the sport’s incumbent head Lasitha Gunaratne who has been castigated for not voting in favour of the UAE candidate who won last week’s Asian Rugby election. Gunaratne was also on the list for the vice presidency and was authorized by SL Rugby to vote for the Japan candidate who eventually lost. “I think Lasitha (Gunaratne) did the right thing by supporting Japan at the election,” said Lewke more..

Kick-start LNG plant, solar power, EUA appeals to govt

Nov 29 (FT) Electricity Users’ Association (EUA) yesterday called on the new Govt to implement measures to improve Sri Lanka’s energy security, including kick-starting the Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant, and fast tracking solar plants that have been in the pipeline since 2016. The Association also criticised both the former officials of the Power and Energy Ministry as well as the CEB for failing to implement consistent more..

Central Bank seen keeping rates on hold under new govt

Nov 29 (Reuters) The Central Bank is likely to leave its key interest rates on hold at a policy review today, a Reuters poll indicated, while it waits for the new Govt’s economic policies after the election of a fresh President on 16 Nov. New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised to boost annual growth to 6.5% in his election manifesto. He swore in his elder brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, cementing the family’s political comeback. more..

Chambers hail rate cut

Nov 29 (DN) The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) Chairman Ruwan Edirisinghe, cheered the sharp cuts in tax rates for the construction industry. According to the Finance Ministry, it had been decided to reduce income tax on the construction industry from 28% 14%, while the VAT on condominium properties had also been abolished. Moreover, the tax free threshold for VAT has also been raised to Rs. 25 million turnover per month from the existing Rs.1 million. more..

'Protecting 19A important for democracy'

Nov 29 (FT) The UNP expressed concern that attempts to repeal the 19th Amendment by the current administration of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa could dismantle independent institutions, and reduce checks and balances that uphold democracy and the rule of law. UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara charged that individuals in Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration were attempting to repeal the 19th Amendment. more..

Offers up for grabs in SriLankan Airlines’ ‘Black Friday’ one-day sale

Nov 29 (FT) SriLankan Airlines is presenting the Black Friday exclusive one-day sale today (29), with amazing discounts on air tickets booked through its website to 37 exciting cities throughout its route network. Customers can choose to travel at any time between 1 Feb 2020 and 31 Dec 2020; 37 destinations all over the world are up for grabs for anyone who wishes to make use of this offer. More details on this offer can be found at more..

Super Provincial Women’s T20 Cricket: Team Dambulla champs

Nov 29 (CT) Team Dambulla emerged champions of the Super Provincial Women's T20 Cricket Tournament, beating Team Colombo by 7 wickets in the final played at SSC. Electing to bat after winning the toss, Team Colombo were bowled out for 98 runs in 18.4 overs. Oshadi Ranasinghe top scored with 23 runs, while Ama Kanchana (19), Hasini Perera (13) and Shereena Ravikumar (13) helped to build their inning. Sugandika Kumari took 3 wickets for 13 runs, while Hansima Karunarathne and more..

Thajudeen killing: Fmr cop alleges Sharnie et al, pressured him to implicate GR, Namal

Nov 29 (Island) Former Inspector Sumith Perera alleged that SP Sharnie Abeysekera of CID, the then Director, CID, Nagahamulla and ASPs Tissera and Weerasekera had pressured him to implicate former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa in the alleged killing of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen. Thajudeen was killed in May 2012 in the Narahenpita police area. Perera said that soon after the accident more..

Thulaib Hassen picked to lead Sri Lanka U19s

Nov 29 (Island) Singer Schools Rugby League winning Royal College captain Thulaib Hassen will lead SL U-19 Rugby team for the Asian Under 19 Rugby Championship 2019 – Division 1 which will be held from 11th to 14th December in China. Last year, SL lost all three of their matches against Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, and South Korea and were relegated to the Division 1 where they will play against the hosts, China, Philippines, and Thailand. The national selectors have picked more..

UNP says Sri Lanka seeing shrinking democratic space

Nov 29 (FT) UNP raised concerns about what they saw as shrinking democratic space in Sri Lanka citing raids on a media organisation, as well as the detention and questioning of an embassy official. UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara, and Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, addressing the press, raised concerns about the alleged detention and questioning of an embassy official by SL law enforcement personnel, and charged that such actions by the Govt sends an ominous message to diplomatic community, more..

Sri Lanka U-19 cricket tour of Caribbean in jeopardy after US visa rejection

Nov 29 (DN) The Sri Lanka under 19 cricketers tour to West Indies for the Under 19 tri-series with West Indies and England was placed in jeopardy of being cancelled after the US Embassy in Sri Lanka refused visas of seven of the cricketers picked for the tour. The team of 15 cricketers and nine officials were due to leave for the Caribbean today, but has been put off till the visa issue has been sorted out. Team was due to fly via USA more..

Sri Lanka secures 2nd place at Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2019

Nov 29 (Island) The SL delegation secured second place overall at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2019 held from 19th to 22nd Nov, 2019 at Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. APICTA is an alliance of national ICT organizations to build and enhance a mutually cooperative network to promote ICT across the Asia Pacific region with 16 permanent member countries. BCS Sri Lanka Section (BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section) and FITIS more..

No. 1 clothing brand Emerald produces two award winners at SLIM NASCO 2019

Nov 29 (DM) Menswear specialist and SL’s Number one clothing brand Emerald produced two of SLIM NASCO’s emerging superstars this year, as sales professionals Madura Premarathne and Jeewan Rathnayaka bagged two prestigious awards alongside other super achievers at the annual ceremony held at the BMICH. They credited Emerald’s supportive work culture for their success. Organized by the SL Institute of Marketing, SLIM NASCO (National Sales Congress) Awards more..

Sri Lankan banking sector feels the distress amidst rising NPLs

Nov 29 (ST) SL has undergone a financial beating, leaving the country’s banking sector in an insecure position although some of the leading commercial banks have found a balance between risk and growth, official sources disclosed. The banking sector’s gross non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio is set to reach 5% at the end of this year, highest rank since 2014 amid increased market lending rates & a sluggish economy, more..

Did Sri Lanka’s prez election bring back a polarising wartime figure?

Nov 29 (Island) The Economist proclaimed recently that Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the man who, as secretary of defense, presided over this horrifying episode (the final phase of Sri Lanka’s terrorist inspired internal conflict), has just been elected president of Sri Lanka. To Sinhalese Buddhists, about 70% of the population, he is a hero. After all, the militia he destroyed was appallingly cruel and bloodthirsty and had tormented Tamils as much as, if not more than, other Sri Lankans. more..

Editorial: A fervent hope

Nov 29 (Island) The past week has seen a number of key appointments including those of ministers and some vetters tasked with selecting the heads of corporations, etc. They are a foretaste of the govt’s future plans, we reckon. When it was announced that the caretaker Cabinet to be appointed would be limited to 15 members, even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forebear to cheer. Needless to say a jubilant Citizen Perera found himself dancing in the streets, singing hosannas. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Sama Samajists proved right

Nov 29 (CT) Election results prove what the Sama Samajists suggested is true. They campaigned for a fighting front against pro-Gota camp and it is correct. Pro-Gota forces barely got 52 % of the total votes. Divided democracy camp was dispersed. 42% of vote went for NDF, 3% for JVP for and 3% for small socialist and Tamil Muslim Radical parties. If they formed a unity by joining with the NDF and common candidate Sajith they could have, with hard work, defeated the pro-Gota forces and, more..

Kacha Kacha is back

Nov 29 (SO) The first ‘Kacha Kacha’ was hosted by Imaad Majeed as part of Colomboscope in August 2015, conceived with co-curator Radhika Hettiarachchi, bringing together original rappers, poets and singer-songwriters, performing in Sinhala, Tamil and English for “a night of uncensored expression.” At its inception the evening was hosted at Castle Hotel, a colonial era building, regarded by many as a heritage building, that housed a bar that catered to the working class clientele of more..

Tamil politics in crisis need alternate programme

Nov 29 (DM) Reading Northern Tamil politics from Colombo, the presidential election seems to have proved Tamil political leaderships of all colour are caught in a serious dilemma. Much fractured TNA had to eventually compromise to announce Tamil people should vote to the lesser evil. TPC led by former Supreme Court Judge and former Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran asked the people to vote wisely. more..

Ringing in Christmas cheer with loads of laughter

Nov 29 (ST) Christmas has come early to Colombo as Silent Hands Productions stages the Yuletide farce, Sorry, Wrong Chimney, on November 29 and 30 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre at 7.30 p.m. Sorry, Wrong Chimney, originally written by Jack Sharley and produced and directed by Leo Sears, is the story of David Tuttle and his desperate attempt to get his wife the best possible Christmas present, and everything around him conspiring against his wish to do so. more..

R.I.T. Alles an educationist par excellence

Nov 29 (CT) I thought it would be apt to remember the services rendered by noted educationist late R.I.T. Alles who left this world six years ago, as I was able to nurture and grow under his stewardship receiving his guidance, instructions and advice for a period of 12 years. R.I.T. Alles was a disciplined teacher and led by example. He was also a distinguished school Principal. He was a noted administrator and a storehouse of knowledge. Bogoda Premaratna, having learned that more..

Remembering Ossie Abeyagoonasekera

Nov 29 (CT) 'Our nation was protected by the sacrifices made by our military, without them, democracy would have been long gone due to terrorism, remember this is the same reason we could hold election rallies at midnight and speak to more than one thousand participants who are gathered here.' - Ossie Abeyagoonasekera's final speech on 23 Oct 1994 before the LTTE suicide attack. Oct 24, 1994 was a dark day in SL political history. more..

Gota versus The Tamils & Muslims

Nov 29 (CT) Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won an immense landslide victory among the Sinhalese (72% of Sinhala Buddhist and nearly 60% of other Sinhalese – Catholic/Christian – voted for him). Equally stunning was his total rejection by Tamils and the Muslims. Never before has polarisation been so stark in our electoral history. However, that is all water under the bridge now. How to go forward? The spirit of this column is: 1) Let’s make proposals that are legitimate and feasible; more..

Pathetic plight of Muslim politics

Nov 29 (CT) When the 15 member caretaker cabinet was announced soon after Prez Gothabaya Rajapaksa assumed office, the Muslim community must have noted that it was the first time since cabinet govt was introduced in this country in 1947 that a Muslim name was absent from the list of ministers. Although it is not a constitutional requirement that every cabinet should reflect the pluralist makeup of the society, it became almost an unwritten conventional norm for PMs to more..