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Video: No final decision on gas, milk powder price hikes: Ministry

Jan 8 (DM) Industry and Commerce Ministry said that it had not taken a final decision on the increase of prices of gas and milk powder. Secretary to the Ministry Ranjit Ashoka said the CAA was currently analysing the prices of gas and milk powder in the world market. “Gas suppliers always request to increase prices owing to the depreciation of the Rupee value against the US Dollar, but we cannot meet their demands on every occasion,” more..

Govt should be pushed for a poll this year: President

Jan 8 (DM) The President yesterday told a UPFA parliamentary group meeting that this government should be forced continuously within and outside parliament to hold an election this year. He said this would pave the way to establish a UPFA govt in this year. This meeting was held under the patronage of the President in the Parliamentary complex yesterday. He also said he was monitoring the incident that took place at the ITN premises and he was holding a special inquiry over more..

SWRD’s 120th birthday commemorated

Jan 8 (PMD) The 120th birth anniversary celebration of late Prime Minister and the founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, was held near his statue at the Galle Face Green, today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. President Sirisena paid floral tributes to the statue. General Secretary of the SLFP Dayasiri Jayasekara, Senior Members of the SLFP including Mahinda Amaraweera participated on this occasion. more..

SL’s youth unemployment remains high

Jan 8 (EN) Youth unemployment in Sri Lanka, which has suffered three insurgencies led by educated youth, remains high with almost one-fifth of those in the 15 – 24 year age group out of work, the latest labour force survey shows. “Youth unemployment rate corresponding to the third quarter 2018 is 19.6%, the highest reported unemployment rate among all age groups,” survey report by Census & Statistics Dept said. more..

Advocacy groups threaten action

Jan 8 (CT) The People’s Movement to Abolish the Executive Presidency claimed that they would commence street protests islandwide, demanding the abolition of the Executive Presidency, and the first protest will be held at Colombo Fort Railway Station, on 14 January. Speaking at a Media briefing in Colombo yesterday (7), a representative of the Movement, JVP Politburo Member K.D. Lalkantha noted that the Executive Presidency should be abolished by the Legislature. more..

AITP wants No-Faith Motion against Malik

Jan 8 (DM) The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) yesterday called for a No Confidence Motion to be moved against Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama in Parliament saying that the procedure he followed in signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore was flawed. AITP Secretary Lasantha Wickramasinghe told a news conference yesterday the FTA had been signed without proper Cabinet Approval. more..

Video: 28 parties to ally with SLPP: Yapa

Jan 8 (DM) UPFA MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said today 28 political parties have held discussions with the SLPP on forming a broader alliance. He said that their objective was to reduce the powers of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. "As a start, the SLFPers of the Moratuwa Municipal Council joined the SLPP which controls the Council. We request all progressive parties at SLPP-led councils to join the ruling party in order to more..

Shantha Bandara took oaths as a MP

Jan 8 (DN) SLFP Youth Wing President Shantha Bandara took oaths as a Member of Parliament today before Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri. He filled the vacancy created by the resignation of M L A M Hizbullah who was appointed the Eastern Province Governor by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday. Hizbullah’s resignation from the UPFA national list seat was officially communicated to the House by Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake. more..

Emil Ranjan further remanded till January 22

Jan 8 (DN) When the magisterial inquiry into the Welikada Prison riot in 2012 was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court, Attorney-at-law Senaka Perera appearing on behalf of the aggrieved party informed the court that defendant Former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa had threatened to Journalist Kasun Pussewela. Attorney-at-law Senaka Perera also stated that Kasun Puswella had lodged a complaint regarding this threatened incident to more..

Speaker accepts MR as opposition leader

Jan 8 (NR) Deputy Speaker of House Ananda Kumarasiri today informed Parliament that Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will remain as the Leader of the Opposition. Deputy Speaker informed the House today of the final decision by the Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya pertaining to the post. Speaker had claimed that he is not vested with powers under the Constitution or Parliament Standing Orders to suspend more..

Worldwide initiative launched to name dead from Lanka’s war

Jan 8 (Island) In advance of the tenth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009, two international NGO’s are appealing for help to collect the names of the conflict dead to estimate the final death toll, says a story published by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) urge groups inside and outside Sri Lanka to share existing casualty lists and go out and record new ones. more..

Video: Family narrowly escapes death by fire by throwing children out of burning building

Jan 8 (AM) A family of five narrowly escaped being burned to death this morning when the building they were caught fire sometime between 6.30 and 8 this morning. Kamanadan Ramaraja (36), threw his three children; Kamanadan Nisalan (8), Kamanadan Sathyajith (7) and 3 1/2-year-old Kamanadan Sahithyan out of the window of the burning building to the crowds below, before clambering out himself, together with his wife 32-year-old Thangavelu Radhika. more..

Witness claims Finance Ministry’s defender used for Ravi’s personal staff

Jan 8 (AD) Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar today heard the case filed against former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others over the alleged misappropriation of Rs 500 million in funds that belong to Litro Gas. The case was taken up before the Special High Court three-judge bench comprising Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne. more..

BOI signs agreement for USD1.8mn warehousing & logistic project in Malwana

Jan 8 (LBO) SL’s Board of Investment has signed an agreement with Skylift Container Depot and Logistics to set up a facility that would be engaged in warehousing and logistics services with a container depot. This project with a total value of US$ 1.83 million will be located at Walgama, Malwana and provide employment for 49 employees. The Agreement was signed on behalf of the BOI by Hemasiri Fernando, Chairman of the Board and Roshan Buthgama, Managing Director of more..

Paper qualifications not everything when choosing diplomats: Ajith. P Perera

Jan 8 (DM) There should be a shift in the process of selecting suitable persons for the diplomatic service, Non Cabinet Minister Ajith. P Perera told Parliament today. Mr. Perera said 90% of the marks given during an interview while selecting suitable persons for diplomatic posts is concentrated on their educational qualifications. This focus on paper qualifications alone tends to neglect other important aspects such as the personality of a person and their language skills. more..

Sri Lanka marks decade since journalist murder amid justice calls

Jan 8 (AFP) SL journalists Tuesday paid tribute to anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickrematunge 10 years after his murder by a suspected govt death squad that came to symbolise a deadly decade-long crackdown on the country's media. Just days before he was due to give evidence against the brother of the country's then strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse, two assailants on motorcycles blocked the car of more..

The importance of being Lasantha

Jan 8 (CT) Marwaan Macan-Markar spoke on Jan 8th, 2019, at the memorial event in Kanatte to mark the 10th anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge’s murder. The family and friends of Lasantha Wickrematunge have gathered on the morning of Jan 8th for the past 10 years to say a prayer and light candles by the side of his grave. It has also been an occasion to share memories, recall his contribution to SL journalism, and appeal to the govt that his murderers are brought to book. more..

Lasantha outfoxes the Censor

Jan 8 (CT) As a journalist and Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge was both gutsy and mischievous. Whether assigning a young male journalist to go dressed up as a woman to a women only event, sending a team of reporters to key establishments in the city with wires and batteries in their lunch boxes to test how security conscious these establishments were, or flouting a media censorship with an audacious plan, Lasantha constantly thought out of the box. more..

Number of commemorative events to mark Lasantha’s 10th death anniversary

Jan 8 (CT) A number of commemorative events have been organized to mark the 10th death anniversary of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge who was brutally assassinated on Jan 8, 2009. 10th anniversary of assassination of Lasantha will be marked with a service at his graveside. Family, friends, former colleagues and others, including those from political and diplomatic circles, will gather at Borella Kanatte more..

What they did to my father & why they did it

Jan 8 (CT) I first came to know of the MiG Deal in August 2007. I was living in Canada with family when my father called me from Colombo. He told me that The Sunday Leader had reported on a shady military contract involving Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the air force. My father had just watched a television interview in which Rajapaksa had denied having any involvement in this MiG deal. My father rambled on with details about tender procedure, inter-governmental contracts and credit letters, more..

International community should mind their own business

Jan 8 (CT) The foreign occupancy in Sri Lanka came to an end in 1945 and the citizens of the country were granted freedom. Thereupon, Sri Lanka became a Sovereign State and it is presently called the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. A Sovereign State is not subordinate to any foreign State or polity and is one that exercises de facto administrative control over itself. Post Independence, the rulers of the country, who were elected by the citizens, more..

Sri Lanka Deaf Cricket Team

That call to my father on 08.01.2009

Jan 8 (CT) The worst moment in my life was to call my parents in Canada on the 8th of January 2009 to share the dreadful news that their youngest son (my youngest brother) Lasantha was murdered. There was silence at the receiving end and I repeated what I had said in the mistaken belief that my father had not heard me. I heard you, he said and replaced the phone. A month later he stopped talking and was bedridden, never recovered till he passed away to join his youngest son. more..

Why followers follow bad leaders

Jan 8 (FT) Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe. We’ve had different leaders with the same unhappy results for decades. At the core of this country’s political gridlock and dysfunction is a failed leadership culture and not a few men jockeying for power. Our existing model of representative leadership and behavioural conduct urgently needs fixing, as does fast tracking the empowerment of a new generation of leaders in the UNP. more..

Sri Lanka’s 2019 budget targets 4.8% deficit

Jan 8 (EN) The SL govt’s budget for 2019 to be presented on March 5 is targeting a deficit of 4.8% of gross domestic product, up from 3.5% estimated earlier, the finance ministry said. The govt had agreed to a budget deficit of 3.6% of GDP in its talks with the IMF. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the appropriation bill for 2019 with annual expenditure at 4,470 billion rupees, the finance ministry statement said. more..

NZ beat SL in 3rd ODI to sweep series

Jan 8 (CT) The third ODI betweeen New Zealand and Sri Lanka was just like the two that had gone before, only more so. Sri Lanka won the toss and had made three changes to their side, but despite their best efforts, a familiar sequence of events unfolded in Nelson. New Zealand lost early wickets but recovered emphatically, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls hitting fine hundreds, while Kane Williamson made an effortless half-century. more..

Suraksha Insurance over to private company?

Jan 8 (CT) A Cabinet proposal has been submitted to handover the Suraksha insurance scheme to a private company instead of giving the scheme to the SL Insurance Corporation (SLIC), alleged UPFA MP Tharaka Balasuriya said. “Sources told us that there are certain people who are trying to get Cabinet approval for it. A circular from the Ministry of Finance clearly states that if it’s a Govt insurance policy, then it should more..

SLPP says statements on Lasantha’s death should be investigated

Jan 8 (FT) SLPP MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena said statements made by Dy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma about deceased Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, which triggered heated verbal battle between him & Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, should be investigated. “Dy Minister’s claims should not be taken lightly. He has made statements over abductions and assassinations linked to Lasantha. more..

SriLankan security used for electioneering

Jan 8 (Island) Kosala Kariyawasam, Security Manager – Security (Quality Assurance) at SriLankan had attempted to influence a junior officer to make trumped up charges against the former Security Manager – Cargo Security, Samantha Kalyanaratna in 2016, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka was informed, yesterday. more..

Drink-driving op nets thousands

Jan 8 (ST) Some 6,500 culprits have been netted by police targeting drunken drivers over the festive season from Dec 15 to Jan 3. DIG (Traffic) Ajith Rohana said 8,000 police were used in the special operation, with increased numbers deployed in Colombo, Matara, Galle and Kandy and also on main roads such as the A9, A1, and A2. “There has been no decrease in the number of drunk drivers & we have decided to continue more..

BASL to take up cudgels over Animal Welfare Bill

Jan 8 (CT) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, who previously introduced the Animal Welfare Bill in Parliament, as a Private Member’s Bill, said he would speak to President Sirisena to enact the Bill. When contacted, he claimed the Bill was initially introduced under the subject of Wildlife. When queried as to whether he would raise the matter in Parliament when sittings commence for the year, he added that he could do so. more..

PIU probes destruction of over 1000 valuable trees close to Sinharaja

Jan 8 (ST) The Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) has stepped in to investigate the destruction of over 1100 valuable trees in an area of nearly five acres of land adjoining the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. The trees had been destroyed by injecting a poisonous substance into them. The land, though privately owned, contained a large number of valuable trees comprising varieties which cannot be cut down without the permission of CEA, more..

Coach too should be blamed for doping: Darsha

Jan 8 (CT) Issues related to doping are on the rise in Sri Lanka, and is fast spreading among the schools’ sporting community, and sporting bodies are fighting to eradicate this menace from sports. SLADA (Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency) signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with ASADA (Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority) in June 2018 with the aim of improving the anti-doping movement in both countries. more..

Politicians who rule the roost and destroy education of nation’s children

Jan 8 (DM) Sri Lanka is not the only country that has seen a gradual decline in the quality of education over time; but this is one of the few such places which pride that deterioration as progress. Half-baked and insular scholarship that was produced over the decades actually tend to believe in this fallacy. The political class, majority of whose success was down to the bastardization of the overall polity, seems to consider it as more..

Today is Lasantha Wickramatunga’s Death Anniversary: Let us remember not to forget

Jan 8 (DM) The right of dissent, or the right to be wrong or the right to be different or in sum total unity in diversity are the bedrocks of a democratic society. On Jan 8 ten years ago Lasantha Wickramatunga, the founder editor of the Sunday Leader, was bludgeoned to death in broad daylight in the vicinity of a HSZ in Ratmalana. His killers have still not been identified and neither have law & order agencies identified the person or persons who wanted him murdered in such a brutal manner. more..

CV ridiculed the army and ridiculed himself

Jan 8 (DM) Former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran who always seeks popularity among Tamils in the North by provoking Sinhalese has again opened a can of worms by belittling the great service rendered by the security forces, especially the Army in rescuing and providing relief to the people of Wanni who were caught in the recent floods in the area. The once respected Supreme Court judge who was famous for his independence during his legal profession more..