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How to plan a Sri Lankan family vacation

Jan 18 (Roar) SL families going on vacation is no walk in a paddy field. There are just too many variables. It’s like going on a medieval quest of sorts. So, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips to make it easier! A typical SL family vacation consists of not just immediate family members, but the extended family as well! (Or as we call it, the whole jingbang). In addition to that, it often includes high-energy debates on politics & occasional drunk uncle. more..

Edtorial: NEC must grasp the nettle

Jan 18 (Island) National Election Commission (NEC) is reported to have written to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other political party leaders, urging them to sort out, in Parliament, the issues that have caused the postponement of the Provincial Council (PC) elections. It is doubtful whether the NEC’s paper missile attack, as it were, will yield the desired result. One may keep telling the govt to hold the PC polls until one is blue in the face, more..

Law’s delays affect the poor and the marginalised the most

Jan 18 (ST) Last week, civil society commemorated ten years since the brutal murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge. There is little doubt his death was due to his work in the media field and his forays into investigative journalism, which exposed the misdeeds of those in positions of authority. Lasantha’s death was originally attributed to gunshot injuries. A subsequent post mortem after exhumation of the body on an application by the CID revealed that he was in fact killed by more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

An unsolicited offer and its ramifications

Jan 18 (Island) Writer had strongly recommended in an article published in June 2018 in several newspapers that no more coal-powered power stations should be built in SL and that LNG should become the fuel of choice. Not only would environmental damage ‘be far less but there would be an added incentive to develop and utilize the gas reserves in the seas immediately surrounding the Island, thereby limiting our dependence on foreign sources of energy to a relatively short period more..

A Constitution for politician and not people

Jan 18 (Island) Do we need a new Constitution? Unquestionably yes! But the one that is being promoted at the moment is no better than our earlier Constitutions. Whilst there are many who are quibbling over the fine details of what has been published for public comment, it is imperative that we stop nit-picking and take a deeper look at the overall fundamentals. With few exceptions, the citizens of this country, on account of their almost congenital mental lethargy, have never given more..

Cost of fishing dispute between SL & India

Jan 18 (DN) SL’s Northern Provincial economy has been rising from the ashes of the civil war since 2010, and has, as per the latest data available, recorded the highest provincial economic growth rate annually from 2011 till 2015, amongst the nine provinces in the country. However, the growth of the fishing sub-sector has been stifled due to poaching (which is, by definition, illegal), by fisherpersons from India (particularly from TN more..

Rasiah, a forgotten artist

Jan 18 (DN) In 1975, A. Rasiah whilst working as an Art teacher at Royal College, Colombo, designed his first stamp; it was the portrait of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan on a 75 cent stamp. He was paid Rs. 500 for it at that time. This colourful and lifelike portrait of the late freedom fighter on a small postage stamp, now hidden away in a collector’s book, is all but forgotten, similar to the artist whose service has remained unrecognised and forgotten by the govt for the last 27 years. more..

Colombo’s Green lungs

Jan 18 (SO) Nature’s rhythms are amazing, sometimes disastrous. Sri Lanka is blessed with a diversity of habitats and vegetation areas. The Wet, Dry and Intermediate zones all have unique plant life. Sri Lanka’s trees are usually confined to one of these zones, although some species are spread more widely across the island. In the wet zone where the central highlands are located, a wide variety of trees and vegetation is based on the vertical contours of the landscape. more..

Path to solve human-elephant conflict

Jan 18 (DN) Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, Chairman of a NGO specialising in research and conservation in the country, recently spoke of the proposed Human-Elephant conflict (HEC) prevention programme of the Wildlife Conservation Department (DWC) and explained the would be the results of the venture on the basis of surveys conducted by his conservation and research institute. more..

Morals & ethics take a nosedive in Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka

Jan 18 (CT) As a Sri Lankan first, as a member of the predominant ethnic community – Sinhalese, as a follower of the Buddhist philosophy and as a grandmother, I have taken it upon myself to address the youth and young adults of SL, amongst them – the future leaders of SL – through this open letter, as I consider it incumbent upon those of us now in our 50s and beyond to advise and do our utmost, to guide those of you who have obviously been misguided and led astray by the unethical more..

Prevention is better than cure should apply to corruption as well – Part II

Jan 18 (CT) In Sri Lanka, since the enactment of the 1st Constitution and particularly after the 2nd, country’s democratic political culture has been drastically changed and it is in a severe crisis now. The proportional representation system too has been disastrous in the country, which reduced the responsiveness to the voter too. JRJ thereafter to get greater control of the elected members obtained undated letters of resignations prior to the referendum (1982) to strengthen more..

Germany arrests LTTE suspect over Lakshman Kadirgamar assassination

Jan 17 (AP) German authorities say they have arrested a suspected member of the Tamil Tigers alleged to have been involved in the 2005 assassination of Sri Lanka’s foreign minister. Federal prosecutors said Thursday that police arrested 39-year-old Navanithan G. in southwestern Germany Wednesday and searched his home. The man, whose surname wasn’t released because of Germany privacy laws, is accused of more..

Sri Lanka to receive $1 billion Bank of China loan this quarter

Jan 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will receive a loan of $1 billion from Bank of China before the end of the January-March quarter, the chief of the central bank said on Thursday, to help the country meet repayments in the coming months. Sri Lanka is struggling to repay its foreign loans, with a record $5.9 billion due this year including $2.6 billion in the first three months. Sri Lanka is a key battleground in the tussle for influence in South Asia between China and traditional regional power India. more..

CCTV not installed in UL cargo holds to prevent pilfering

Jan 17 (Island) Attempts by SriLankan Airlines management to minimise pilfering by installing CCTV cameras in the cargo holds of aircraft as lack of funds had prevented the airline from installing the cameras in all aircraft; the PCoI was informed. Mahesh Nanayakkara, Senior Manager- Groups Assurances and Advisory Services said that if CCTV cameras had been installed in all aircraft cargo holds, pilferage could have been minimized. "However, since some planes didn’t have more..

Plantation TUs urge protest in Colombo over wage hike issue

Jan 17 (CT) The Plantation Labour Rights Confederation (PLRF) called on all organizations, demanding for Rs 1,000 minimum wage increase for plantation workers, to unite for a protest on 19 January in Colombo. The Confederation also requested those who cannot come to Colombo to hold the protest on their relevant estates. Central Organizer of PLRF, E. Thambiah said, “Demanding the basic wage increase of more..

ADB to finance US$300mn Sri Lanka elevated port highway

Jan 17 (EN) Manila-based Asian Development Bank will help build an elevated access highway to Sri Lanka with financing of 300 million US dollars, and another US$ 145 million for human resource development, the President's office said. President Maithripala Sirisena is visiting the Philippines and had talks with ADB President Takehiko Nakao. The US$ 300 million financing for the port highway will come from South Asian Sub-region Economic Cooperation (SASEC) facility. more..

Over 260,000 Chinese tourists visit Sri Lanka in 2018

Jan 17 (Xinhua) Over 260,000 Chinese tourists travelled in Sri Lanka in 2018, and the govt hopes to attract a higher number this year. 18,283 Chinese tourists visited the island country in December alone, with the entire year recording 265,965 Chinese arrivals. "This year we want to attract a higher number of tourists especially from China and India. We hope to launch mega publicity campaigns in some key cities in these two countries," Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said. more..

National Physical Plan to be gazetted soon

Jan 17 (CT) Chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) Dr. Jagath Munasingha said that they were confident of gazetting the National Physical Plan (NPP) by the end of this month as its updating had already been completed. He said that the NPP will be submitted to the approval of the President Maithripala Sirisena during next week and that the UDA has also organised the final meeting of the NPP as well. more..

Kavan Ratnayaka new chairman of SLPA

Jan 17 (EN) Kavan Ratnayaka, former head of tourism development, has been appointed the new chairman of the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), a statement said. Minister of Port, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka said Ratnayaka brings experience in both public and private sectors to his new job. The port of Colombo has almost reached its capacity with collaborative teamwork between SLPA’s Jaya Container Terminal & private South Asia Gateway Terminals more..

SLMC to be made independent

Jan 17 (CT) Action will be taken to convert the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) into an independent medical council similar to the General Medical Council in the UK, Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne said. He was referring to the alleged politicisation of the SLMC due to two Members of the GMOA being in the Council. He also alleged that the SLMC does not take strict action against medical negligence and other wrongdoings committed by medical officers due to the same reason. more..

Political crisis threatens justice efforts; HRW

Jan 17 (HRW) Sri Lanka’s political upheaval undermined stalled processes aimed at providing truth and justice for abuses from the country’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019. The crisis subsided after the Supreme Court ruled on December 13 that the president’s dissolving of parliament was unconstitutional, and Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down as proclaimed PM. more..

Test picks falter as Patterson, Doran slam centuries against Sri Lankans

Jan 17 (CI) Given the pressure on Australia's selectors at the moment, perhaps it wasn't a surprise: the four batsmen picked in the Test squad against Sri Lanka made 40 runs between them and one overlooked batsman scored 157. Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne and Matt Renshaw all fell for single-digit scores, while Will Pucovski made 23, but Kurtis Patterson, the New South Wales left-hander, shone with an attractive and increasingly aggressive hundred and 22-year-old local Jake Doran more..

CMC, WPC vow to eradicate drug menace in Colombo city

Jan 17 (FT) Western Provincial Council (WPC) and Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will work together to chalk out a program to eradicate drugs and garbage problems and ease traffic congestion in Colombo city. The meeting to make Colombo a better city was held when Mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake paid a courtesy call on the Western Province Governor Azath Salley at the Governor’s Secretariat in Colombo on Monday. Speaking to the press following the meeting, more..

Change uni curriculum to produce industry-related manpower: PM

Jan 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would advise Higher Education and Southern Region Development Minister Rauff Hakeem to discuss with China Harbour and China Merchant Companies on changing the university curriculum to produce manpower needed for the industries coming up in areas such as Hambantota. PM said this during the inauguration of a new medical faculty at the Sabaragamuwa Uni. more..

Sri Lanka hope Mendis has escaped serious damage

Jan 17 (CI) Sri Lanka are hoping that Kusal Mendis has escaped without a broken finger after taking a fierce blow while fielding at short leg on the opening day of the tour game against the Cricket Australia XI in Hobart. A powerful sweep from Jake Doran hit Mendis during the middle session of the day-night match and he was in considerable pain, quickly leaving the field for treatment. He spent the rest of the day icing the injury to his right ring finger and will have an x-ray in the morning to confirm more..

Akkaraipattu MC Deputy Mayor arrested

Jan 17 (NR) Deputy Mayor of the Akkaraipattu Municipal Council Abdul Gafoor Azmeen has been arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division. A senior official attached to the TID said the Deputy Mayor was arrested this morning following a warrant issued by Court. Several investigations were conducted following complaints that claimed Deputy Mayor Abdul Gafoor Azmeen maintains connections with a terrorist group. The TID said the Akkaraipattu Magistrate’s Court issued an arrest warrant more..

SLC election postponed by two weeks

Jan 17 (AD) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election will be postponed by two weeks, the Ministry of Sports said. The SLC election was initially scheduled to be held on Feb 2, 2019. However, it has been postponed until February 21 (by two weeks) on the advice of the Attorney General based on existing legal necessities. The Minister of Sports has issued the relevant directive on Wednesday (16) under the powers vested in him by more..

Govt urged not to present new Constitution without Maha Sangha’s blessings

Jan 17 (DM) Buddha Sasana Karya Sadaka Mandalaya urged the Govt not to present in Parliament a Constitution without the blessings of the Maha Sangha and to appoint a Constitutional Making Committee comprising of Maha Sanga, if a new Constitution was required. They said in a statement that the interim reports, which had been released on Constitutional making so far had suggested alternative proposals to the 9th Clause in the Constitution, which gives priority to more..

State vehicles are not exempted from the carbon tax

Jan 17 (GDI) Carbon Tax, which came into effect from January this year, is applicable to all vehicles and the registered owners of every motor vehicle specified in the Act will have to pay this levy. Only the electric vehicles are exempted from the Carbon Tax, but all other vehicles including the State owned vehicles are liable for the carbon tax. Ministry of Finance wishes to emphasize that there is no truth in the news, reported in the media that all State owned vehicles are exempted from the carbon tax. more..

Video: Special HC to hear Gotabaya’s case from Jan 22

Jan 17 (AD) The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar has decided to hear the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case against the former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Jan 22. The case was taken up before the Special High Court three-judge bench comprising Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Rajaratne this morning. Complying with a notice issued by the Special High Court, more..

Video: UNP will put forward a candidate who can win presidential poll: Navin

Jan 17 (AD) The UNP will only put forward a candidate who can win the presidential election, says Minister Navin Dissanayake. Minister Dissanayake stated this addressing the media. Responding to the queries on UNP’s official presidential candidate, the Minister stated that they would present the best candidate who is able to win the election. He added that the party has not discussed the matter yet, however, a decision in this regard would be taken soon. more..

Sumanthiran says NewsFirst one of the worst offenders of misreporting

Jan 17 (CT) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that time had come to take the MTV/MBC media network, owned by controversial businessman R. Rajamahendran alias Killi Maharaja, to task. Speaking at an event in Jaffna, Sumanthiran said, “A few days ago they used one phrase I used in a speech out of context, and falsely reported that I had stated that with the new Constitution, a separate state would be a possibility. That is completely false and directly contradictory to what I said! more..

Vinya Aryararathne

Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Jan 17 (FT) Happy Pongal, Mr Sumanthiran! You and I are from two very different generations. In fact you belong to my uncle’s generation (sadly I don’t get along very well with my uncle). You are a child of the ’70s. I’m a child of the 90s. In a more textbook classification you are a Gen X and I’m a Millennial. You were born to the Dominion of Ceylon while the Queen still ruled supreme, while I was born to the free, sovereign and independent Republic of Sri Lanka. more..

Clearing Misconceptions

Jan 17 (CT) Former SL Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) Chairman, hotelier Sunil Dissanayake, speaking to this newspaper yesterday regarding an allegation made in a recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) report which said that a stigma attached to the tourism industry acted as a drawback for women to join this sector, however said that in his over 44 years’ of service in the industry, he had not heard of a single complaint of sexual harassment by a woman hotel more..