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Sri Lankan govt must decide what needs upgrading: Wells

Jan 16 (DM) A top US official who held talks with govt leaders here said it was the prerogative of the SL govt to clarify the areas under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that needs upgrading after the parliamentary elections. Deputy Principal Assistant Secretary for South & Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said, on completing her visit to SL, that nothing was discussed about SOFA during her meetings with SL govt leaders. more..

New buildings for 5 schools in Northern Province built under Indian Grant Assistance

Jan 16 (Island) A special event was held on January 15, at St. Henry’s College, Ilavalai in Jaffna during which new school buildings constructed with Indian assistance in 5 schools in Northern Province were simultaneously handed over to the people of Sri Lanka. At the event which coincided with the Thai Pongal festival, Governor of the Northern Province Ms. P.S.M. Charles and the Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Vinod K. Jacob jointly inaugurated the new buildings. more..

Video: PM assures justice for victims of political revenge

Jan 16 (AD) Justice will be served for those who were victimized by acts of political revenge, says PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. PM stated this, during a meeting held with the trade union members of SLFP & SLPP. Meeting took place at the Temple Trees. Trade union leaders who attended the meeting have voiced out the inconveniences faced by their colleagues during the administration of the previous govt due to various political reprisals such as arbitrary suspension of work, transfer, more..

Sri Lankan passport queues introduced at Katunayake Airport

Jan 16 (EN) SL’s Immigration Department has introduced time-bound separate queues for Sri Lankan passport holders at the BIA in Katunayake to manage passenger flows at the arrivals terminal. The new initiative has been implemented for two weeks. The priority queues for SL passport holders become active depending on the composition of passengers in a group of flights which arrive in close succession, more..

Office on Missing Persons concerned over govt move to amend Act

Jan 16 (TM) Office of Missing Persons (OMP) has raised concerns over the govt’s move to amend the OMP Act No 14 of 2016. OMP said recent media reports have claimed that the govt plans to review the OMP Act with the view of amending it. “OMP was created in recognition of long standing demands of the families of the missing and disappeared and with a view to addressing the recommendations as well as the failings of past state mechanisms that sought to address issues related to missing and more..

Sri Lanka to hike fuel prices in line with global market

Jan 16 (EN) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will raise fuel prices in line with global trends, Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. “If import prices are up fuel prices will have to be adjusted,” Minister Gunewardene told reporters. “Some products are already sold at a loss. He said Lanka IOC, the second oil distributor in the country had already raised prices. Gunewardne said an adjustment will be made to fuel prices to reflect costs & it was not necessarily on a price formula. more..

National program to provide essential food items to low-income families

Jan 16 (AD) Cabinet has approved the proposal for implementation of a national program to eliminate poverty from the country. This decision was taken during the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (14). The proposal, tabled by Prez Rajapaksa, seeks the implementation of several programs on priority basis: Implementation of programs to ensure food security by providing essential food items to low income people Program of providing more..

Sri Lankan farmers have an ingenious way to deter wild elephants

Jan 16 (TH) Sri Lankans have a complicated relationship with the majestic wild elephants that roam their island. The animals are viewed as a national and religious symbol, but for subsistence farmers living in rural areas, the arrival of an elephant can spell devastation. It takes an elephant mere minutes to undo months of careful farming and inflict hunger onto an already poor family. Human-elephant conflict results when farmers defend their crops from the elephants, who are also trying more..

‘Sri Lanka far away from achieving milk self-sufficiency’

Jan 16 (DN) SL is far away from been self-sufficient in milk as the country only supplies less than 50% of the local demand said, Managing Director of Fonterra Brands SL and the Indian Subcontinent, Sunil Sethi. He said that SL producers only around 42% of liquid milk of the total annual demand which forces companies to import milk powder from overseas. The productivity of local cows too is low as they give around 3.5 liters of fresh milk as against around 7 liters of Indian cows. more..

There’s more to reveal: Ranjan

Jan 16 (TM) The Sunday Morning caught up with the man of the hour – actor-turned-politician, United National Party (UNP) MP Ranjan Ramanayake. He was in the midst of a shoot for his upcoming movie when he met with us to discuss the recent revelations that were made as a result of his recorded telephone conversations being leaked through social media, thereby stirring up major controversy. more..

Spurned army deserter guns down his ex-lover, causes serious injuries to...

Jan 16 (Island) An army deserter who stormed a house in Ganegama, Warakapola on Tuesday shot dead a 22-year-old woman and caused serious gun shot injuries to her mother. The deceased was Nirosha Nimalshantha. The suspect a father of two had had an illicit affair with the victim, who had broken off with. The suspect had been engaged in distilling moonshine after deserting the army. The victim had complained to the Warakapola police about the disputes she had with ex-soldier more..

Micro Cars to invest USD 300 mn in buses and light railway projects

Jan 16 (DN) A consortium of investors from Europe, Korea and China will combine with Micro Cars Sri Lanka to invest USD 300 million to build state-of-the-art city buses, luxury coaches and also get involved in light railway project. Chairman Micro Cars, Dr. Lawrence Perera said that these vehicles would be environmentally friendly and built to EU standards and will open a new chapter in public transport. “We will invest another additional USD 200 million for the second phase of this project.” more..

Sri Lanka begins internal consultations

Jan 16 (DM) The govt has begun internal consultations by inviting several ministries and leading experts to express their views on the 30/1 UNHRC resolution which Sri Lanka co-sponsored in 2015, sources close to Prez Rajapaksa said. Last month the DM reported that the govt would review the resolution and look at making a fresh presentation to the UNHRC when it begins its sessions in Feb-March. more..

Badminton Nationals continue

Jan 16 (DN) The 67th National Badminton Championships 2019 and the 2020 Junior Nationals kicked off on Monday at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo. The six-day tournament which sees hundreds of top shuttlers from all over the country hunting for the coveted National Champion titles, offers a total of Rs. 1 million in prize money. The two most important tournaments in the country’s badminton calendar, are being organised by Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) with the support of more..

Hela Clothing recognised as Most Inclusive Employer of the Year in Ethiopia

Jan 16 (ST) Hela Clothing, a global apparel manufacturer with factories across Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the Most Inclusive Employer of the Year by the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) at the Inclusive Employers Forum. This award was in recognition of Hela’s efforts to nurture a culture of inclusivity within their workforce that is further exhibited in their hiring, promoting and retention policies. more..

Cabinet approves debt relief package to boost economy via SMEs

Jan 16 (FT) Cabinet this week approved the substantial debt relief package to boost the economy via SMEs, with licensed commercial banks and licensed specialised banks issued with guidelines on giving effect to the proposed scheme. Minister Bandula Gunawardana said that the scheme includes a relief package to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are struggling to pay back loans due to the downturn more..

‘New policy for textile and clothing must emerge’

Jan 16 (SO) Sri Lanka should create a new policy for textile and clothing aiming to attract more investments, create new jobs and add value to the apparel industry value chain, a leading professional said. “A policy must emerge soon and steps must be taken to implement the policy decision and at the same time, all stakeholders should come together to make the change and carry it forward,” said Chairman, Textile Institute SL Section of Dept of Textile & Clothing Tech, Uni of Moratuwa, more..

Baseball Awareness Programme held for 11 schools in Southern Province

Jan 16 (ST) Baseball in Sri Lanka has rapidly grown in the past year or so with Sri Lanka winning the West Asia Baseball Cup for the second consecutive year. This win helped Sri Lanka qualify for the Asian Championships where they played alongside Baseball heavyweights such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. These superb performances were rewarded as the Sri Lanka Baseball team was recognised at the 5th SLT Silk Sports Awards ceremony winning the Best Team Award. more..

Leaked audio clips: Negative impact on judiciary

Jan 16 (TM) The leaked audio clips of MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s alleged phone calls, or Ranjangate, has caused an upheaval in society with many questioning the ethics and motives of the actor-turned-politician for carrying out his controversial operations, which he claims were on behalf of the masses. However, some charge that his tampering with the judiciary crossed a line, possibly weakening the credibility of our entire legal system in more..

Contraction of Democratic Structures after 1977

Jan 16 (Island) The erosion of hegemony of the ruling historic bloc, and the crisis of the state and democratic institutional decay reached a new phase after 1977. After gaining a landslide victory with a 5/6ths majority at the 1977 elections, UNP govt under J.R. Jayewardene initiated a new policy regime identified as the Open Economic Package. Corollary to the policy of trade liberalization and deregulation of the economy after 1977, the state withdrew from its direct role in day-to-day more..

Thai Pongal: The harvest festival to honour the Sun

Jan 16 (DN) Thai Pongal is one of the first Hindu festivals of the year which is celebrated by Tamils across the world. The multi-day harvest festival of South India is observed during the second week of January. It is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya). Farmers worship the Sun and celebrate the harvest for the whole year. The festival is largely celebrated in India for four days and it includes Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Mattu Pongal. Sri Lankans generally celebrate Thai Pongal for two days more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: Arresting arrest culture

Jan 16 (Island) Ancient Roman leaders knew how to pull the wool over the eyes of the frustrated plebeians and prevent popular uprisings. Juvenal, the poet, derisively called their modus operandi bread and circus. Romans, at least, had panem or paan, but Sri Lankans have had to settle for circus sans any bread. Hulftsdorp has become our Circus Maximus, as it were. It looks as if arrests had become a form of entertainment. What we are witnessing may be dubbed arrest perahera. more..

A journey towards developed status

Jan 16 (DN) It was just two months ago that nearly 7 million voters gave a mandate to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to put the country on the correct track. Since then, Prez Rajapaksa has taken a series of measures that have earned him plaudits and public trust. His approach to governance was elaborated on in his Policy Statement delivered in parliament on Jan 3. The most obvious feature of his presidency is his hands-on approach. Never one to oversee things from an air-conditioned room more..

'Lost public confidence in the judiciary must be restored'

Jan 16 (SO) Commenting on the controversial revelations by UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s audio clips, Chief Govt Whip and Minister Johnston Fernando said the UNP has almost damaged the country’s judicial sector but the blame cannot be just passed on only to Ranjan Ramanayake. UNP and the entire Yahapalana Govt should be held responsible for it. Minister said the attempt by the former Yahapalana Govt to more..

Too much law & order leads to insecurity when the Police are communal gangsters

Jan 16 (CT) As a Tamil I take the position that I am better off without the police because I get more harassment than protection from them. The video of an IGP assaulting an employee in a lift bears testimony to how committed the police are to law & order. I have dealt in my writings with how hazardous driving on the A9 is. I have been driven by my Sinhalese drivers at 110 km/hr. When stopped they make friendly small talk and move on. My Tamil drivers give their licence with Rs. 300 and more..

Why protesting undergrads have clout

Jan 16 (DM) Govt’s call to protesting undergraduates to chose the peaceful path of negotiating might not go well with university students. Though the path to negotiating is the preferred way in a civilised society, university students have got used to making demands and doing so from a position of strength. However aggressive the regime is, lawmakers are cautious when dealing with undergraduates because handling campus students and their issues are more..

A tribute to Dr Jayalath Manorathne

Jan 16 (CT) The majority of theatre theatergoers in Sri Lanka were saddened by the news circulated on social and print media that veteran actor, playwright and a director Jayalath Manorathne has passed away in the early hours of 12th Jan 2020. Many Facebook notes and obituaries started being shared on the net. After a few hours, the news was verified by some of is close acquaintances confirming Manorathne has passed away. more..

Let's practise kindness

Jan 16 (DM) Kindness is very important in life – no matter who or what you are, demonstrating kindness in all walks of life is important!!! In order to show kindness to others, we need to have a level of vulnerability ourselves!!! We need to be capable of opening up to the emotional, physical, psychological, sociological or religious needs of people whenever we are called upon to do so!!! We expect to be treated kindly but are sometimes afraid, hesitant to treat others kindly, perhaps because more..

The JVP & The Sinhala Voter

Jan 16 (CT) The JVP is a Sinhalese party; that is its composition and the makeup of its leading committees. There is no denying that it is also leftist and strives as best as it dare to take a progressive attitude to minority (Ceylon Tamil and Muslim) issues. Historically though this is not true, especially during Wijeweera’s period in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Rohana was not progressive in his thinking on the national question and hostile to plantation Tamils. more..

Video: Ranjan Ramanayake remanded

Jan 15 (AD) Prisons Commissioner has been ordered by the court to produce MP Ranjan Ramanayake before the Govt’s Analyst for a voice test on the 23rd of Jan. UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who was arrested over the recordings of controversial telephone conversations, has been remanded until the 29th of January. He was produced before Nugegoda magistrate by the officers of CCD this afternoon. more..

Sri Lanka: Human Rights gains in grave peril

Jan 15 (HRW) Respect for fundamental human rights in Sri Lanka is in serious jeopardy following Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as president in Nov 2019, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2020. Rajapaksa, along with his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was named PM, were implicated in numerous human rights violations during their previous years in power from 2005 to 2015, more..

Cabinet nod for new Act to grant impunity to Intelligence Officers

Jan 15 (RN) Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to draft a Bill called the National Intelligence Act to protect the duties, responsibilities, provide impunity and legal powers to State Intelligence Officers. According to Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, the decision was taken by the cabinet to protect Intelligence officers being targets of political vendettas. He said that there were instances during the Yahapalana govt’s rule more..

Govt to recruit 2500 Civil Defence officers to tackle human-elephant conflicts

Jan 15 (FT) Department of Wildlife Conservation has taken steps to recruit 2,500 Civil Defence personnel as part of a solution to resolve the human-elephant conflict. The Cabinet approval has been granted for the proposal to recruit the Civil Defence personnel as a measure to resolve the long-term issue affecting people’s lives and livelihoods. It is reported that around 80 human lives and 250 lives of elephants are lost annually more..

SLFP concedes as secondary party in coalition with SLPP

Jan 15 (FT) SLFP yesterday conceded that they were a secondary party in the coalition between the SLFP and SLPP. SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said that they expect to work together as the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna at future elections. “In alliances we have formed so far, it was the SLFP that was the main party,” he said, explaining that the main party usually overpowers the secondary parties. more..

Activists oppose firearms distribution to combat wild elephant threat

Jan 15 (RN) Environmental Activist Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thero says it is a ridiculous decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to provide AK-47 automatic rifles to Civil Defence Forces to chase away Wild Elephants invading the villages. Speaking to media at a protest held this morning (14) in front of the Wild Life Department in Battaramulla against the distribution of firearms, the thero said despite many studies done and more..

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