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People robbed of season’s Joy

Dec 25 (CT) In these perilous times, with the country beset with 12 crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, unsafe cylinders of LPG, high cost of living, shortages, rationing, rising poverty levels, exchange and import controls, queues, a black market and the resultant bribery and corruption that go with thus, Sri Lankan Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, their saviour from sin, on Saturday, 25 December. While the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be blamed on the Govt of SL (GoSL) alone, more..

Festival of life and human fraternity

Dec 25 (Island) Christmas is the story about a newborn baby, the unique Jewish child of Bethlehem who saw the light of day during a night lit by a star of wonder that hovered over the city of King David in modern day Palestine. Birthdays are celebrated in appreciation of the gift and blessing of life as well as in thanksgiving to the creator who makes all prospective mothers become sanctuaries of new throbbing life. Each newborn infant is a miracle of nature & wonder to behold, a cosmic symbol, more..

තිරුපති ගිය ජංගිහොරා...

Some insights into the NMSJ’s proposed constitutional reforms

Dec 25 (FT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) has unveiled a series of reforms for the proposed new constitution. The shadow of the 19th Amendment can be easily identified in it. But, contrary to the vision of the 19th Amendment, it has proposed a parliamentary form of govt as against the current system of executive presidency. According to the proposal made by the NMSJ, the Legislature, in addition to the Parliament, shall have a second chamber consisting of 45 members, more..

Editorial: Christmas amidst doom and gloom

Dec 25 (Island) A blessed day dawns today, when the birth of a messenger of peace is celebrated the world over. The prevailing global health emergency has caused celebrations to be low-keyed again, but the spirit and meaning of the holy occasion remain undiminished. There is much more to Christmas than heavily commercialised festivity. Christmas is about giving and sharing. A line from a beautiful poem on Christmas spirit by the late Fr. Marcelline Jayakody, OMI, comes to mind: more..

Consumers sore, as prices soar

Dec 25 (CT) The sudden price hike in vegetables and fuel, gas and wheat flour shortages have caused the already unbearable cost of living to rise to further heights. All these rapid changes have affected the public directly or indirectly and the worst hit is the bakery and restaurant trade, bringing it to a critical stage, where they claim that 50% of the restaurants and bakeries were unable to continue and are on the verge of closure. more..

Subramaniam recounts his tenure as President of NOCSL

Dec 25 (CT) The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) has taken prime importance among election of office bearers in local sports circles, considering the number of persons who had put forward their nominations to contest its various posts. In fact, it would be safe to say that the AGM of the NOC is currently followed with renewed vigour by those in the local sporting sphere akin to the election of office bearers of Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Rahul, Savitha win titles as Susal, Sanudula earn most points for hosts

Dec 25 (Island) India’s V.S. Rahul and Women’s International Master Shri Savitha won the respective titles while Susal de Silva and Sanudula Dahamdi were the players to gain highest FIDE rating points among SL players as the Asian Junior Chess Championships 2021 concluded at Citrus Hotel, Waskaduwa on Thursday. V.S. Rahul who led from day one concluded the championship with 7 ½ points to win the gold in the open category as he scored a draw against Orini Gholami of Iran more..

Indian trawlers vacuum up Sri Lankan fish stocks after wrecking their own

Dec 25 (ST) Valvettithurai, Jaffna: Ever since he was a teenager, Kathiramalai Kamalanathan, 56, has been fishing to support his family of five. Even after his children were married off and settled down in nearby villages, he prefers not to depend on anyone and still goes out to sea. The only difference is that, now, he needs to go beyond at least six nautical miles from the coast to get a decent catch. more..

Matara District Sports Complex to be a Gymnastics Training Centre

Dec 25 (DN) The Matara District Sports Complex was given to the Sri Lanka Gymnastic Association through an agreement to use it as a Asian Region Gymnastic Training Centre The MoU was signed between Sports Director General Amal Edirisooriya and Gymnastic Association Secretary Kapila Jeewantha at the Sports Ministry Auditorium yesterday. The sport Development Dept always makes their activities to promote the game while giving infrastructure facilities to players more..

Pandemic worsens plight of female -headed SMEs

Dec 25 (CT) Shirani, a single mother of two children provides for her family by engaging in a small apparel business. Having escaped an abusive marriage and a months-long legal battle to get a divorce and legal custody of the children, she was hoping for a better future together with the children when the pandemic hit the Sri Lankan economy hard. “Since childhood, I was interested in dress-making and I am quite good at it. more..

Video: GMOA strike action suspended

Dec 25 (DM) Central Committee of GMOA has decided to suspend the ongoing strike action with immediate effect considering three factors, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Samantha Ananda said. He said that they had received a letter from the Health Ministry where they had admitted that something wrong had taken place from their side. However, Health Ministry had not taken measures to rectify those mistakes as yet. more..

Threat of power crisis looming large: Engineer

Dec 25 (Island) Senior officials in the CEB and Ministry of Power were trying to sabotage investigations into the countrywide power outage earlier this month, Senior Engineers Association Spokesman, Eng. Nandika Pathirage said. Pathirage, himself a former President of the powerful CEB Engineers’ Union claimed those officials had even been attempting to discourage investigators from proceeding with the probe. He said that Sri Lanka was on the verge of a power crisis. more..

Police issue statement on viral video of cop assaulting a man

Dec 25 (AD) The police have issued a media statement on the video clip of a police officer assaulting a man, which was widely circulated on social media. The incident has taken place in the area of Kegalle on Thursday (23). The man who was being attacked is a drug addict. Preliminary probes carried out after his arrest revealed that he had assaulted a woman with an iron rod on the same day. The police said the suspect had been previously remanded on several occasions more..

News බුල ටිං: අපි හිතුව තිස්ස කුට්ටිආරච්චිට...

Four including father, mother, sister arrested over murder of 12-year old

Dec 25 (DM) Police who conducted investigations into the murder of 12-year old girl have arrested four suspects including the victim's father, mother, sister and brother-in-law in connection with the murder. Police launched investigations on a complaint received by Puthukudiyiruppu Police that a 12-year-old girl had gone missing at Udayarkattu in Puthukudiyiruppu on Dec 15. Later, girl's body was found in a jungle area near her house on Dec 18 and post-mortem examination revealed that more..

Video: 7 passengers held at BIA over attempt to smuggle foreign currency

Dec 25 (AD) Foreign currently valued at over Rs. 65 million in total have been seized from 7 airline passengers who had arrived at the BIA in Katunayake. SL Customs says the suspects had attempted to smuggle the foreign currency out of the country without declaring them with customs. Customs officers had discovered the currency, including US dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling and estimated to be worth over Rs. 65 million in total, cleverly concealed within the luggage more..

EC Chief says not informed of LG polls postponement

Dec 25 (Island) Election Commission Chairman Nimal Punchihewa, said that in spite of recent media reports as regards the controversial govt decision to put off scheduled Local Govt polls, the EC hadn’t been informed so far. Attorney-at-law Punchihewa said so in response to The Island query whether the EC had suspended ongoing preparations for LG polls scheduled to be conducted before 20 March, 2022. more..

Chinese begin foray into North

Dec 25 (DM) A foreign envoy’s visiting any part of the country is a routine affair as it is part of his/her duty. Heads of foreign missions resident in Colombo, regularly undertake visit to cities such as Kandy, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Galle. The recent visit of Chinese Ambassador Qi Zenghong to the North and his engagement with some leaders over there are nothing unusual. However, given the context of the visit, it is viewed from a geopolitical angle because of rivalry between China and India more..

Christmas Brings Joy and Peace: President

Dec 25 (CT) Christmas, signifying the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a noble religious feast that rejoices, bringing love and peace not only for Christians in SL and across the world, but for all mankind, said Prez Rajapaksa. In his Christmas message, Prez said the spiritual essence of Christmas is the redemption of all by serving for the good of the society. Christianity shows the way for a lifestyle of goodness liberated from the darkness of sin by eliminating misconceptions through more..

Video: PM offers prayers at Tirupati

Dec 25 (AD) PM Rajapaksa, who is on a two-day spiritual visit to India, on Friday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala in India’s Andhra Pradesh along with his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa. PM Rajapaksa came to India on Thursday to pay his visit to the temple city of Tirupati. He was accorded a warm welcome by the joint executive officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) more..

Don’t close down Cyprus Consulate: JVP

Dec 25 (CT) JVP urged the Govt to reconsider its decision to close down the SL Consulate in Cyprus, claiming that SL migrant workers in Cyprus would face difficulties due to the decision. JVP Politburo member Sunil Handunnetti made this known in a letter sent to Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris on 24 Dec. He was responding to a 16 Dec media report which stated the Govt had decided to close three embassies/consulates in 3 foreign countries to save money. They are Cyprus, Nigeria & Frankfurt more..

May Christmas be a moment of sharing joy that comes from giving: Archbishop

Dec 25 (CT) Be more conscious of responsibilities towards the poor when celebrating Christmas this year, requested Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. In his Christmas message this year, Cardinal Ranjith stressed on the importance of remembering that every Christmas celebration was a celebration of humbleness and closeness to the poor. Specially, in today’s circumstances and especially in Sri Lanka, there are many people affected by all types of difficulties. more..

Sri Lanka extends parallel exchange rate for expat workers

Dec 25 (EN) Central Bank is extending a parallel exchange rate 10 rupees above the official rate for expat worker remittances and will also bear the fee charged for sending money home, the central bank said. Banks now buy dollars for around 197.50 or 198.00 rupees. The parallel exchange rate was raised from 2.00 to 10.00 rupees till the end of December. “The decision to continue this additional incentive of Rs.10 per USD more..

Sajith: All parties have responsibility to find truth about Easter carnage

Dec 25 (Island) It was the responsibility of all political parties to ensure that the truth about the Easter Sunday attacks was revealed, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday at a Christmas event at his office in Colombo. “On Easter Sunday in 2019, a great tragedy occurred. Hundreds of Christians were killed and many more wounded when terrorists blew themselves up in several locations around the country. Christian community acted with great restraint. more..

Three officers killed in shooting inside police station

Dec 25 (AD) A policeman has reportedly opened fire inside the Thirukkovil Police Station last night, killing three fellow police officers and injuring two others. The officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Thirukkovil Police Station is among the injured police officers, who have been admitted to Thirukkovil and Akkaraipattu hospitals for treatment. The police officer who carried out the shooting had subsequently surrendered to Ethimale Police with two T56 assault rifles and 19 rounds of ammunition. more..

Agro sector mess: SJB says sacked Ministry Secy one of the culprits

Dec 25 (Island) SJB lawmaker Rohini Kaviratne has questioned the rationale behind sacked Agriculture Secretary Senior Prof. Udith K. Jayasinghe’s warning of a serious food shortage in April after having caused the crisis. MP pointed out that Prof. Jayasinghe was one of the culprits though he now pretended as if he didn’t have a hand in the disastrous agriculture policy adopted by the current dispensation. more..

Rajco recruits another Sri Lankan to late Priyantha’s post

Dec 25 (CT) In a bold move, Rajco Industries, located in Sialkot, Pakistan, has hired another Sri Lankan to the post held by the late Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, who was lynched by a mob in early Dec 2021. Prime ministerial representative Hafiz Ashrafi disclosed this after a visit to the SL High Commission in Islamabad to express condolences over the lynching of the factory’s manager. Ashrafi said later, “The administration has also given a job to a SL citizen in the factory. more..

Agri. Minister assures there will not be a food shortage

Dec 25 (TM) Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage has assured that there would not be a food shortage in the country next year. He says certain statements warning about a looming food shortage cannot be accepted as 90-95% of paddy fields in each district have already been cultivated now. The minister’s remarks came after a statement made by Udith K. Jayasinghe, the former Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry sparked controversy. Mr. Jayasinghe was subsequently removed more..

'Sri Lanka needs support, not excessive interference'

Dec 25 (CT) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has told a group of newly-appointed foreign envoys that SL objects to excessive interference into its internal affairs. He met 17 new High Commissioners and ambassadors at his Ministry on 22 Dec. The purpose of setting up a special mechanism by the UN was to collect data to use against SL, Prof. Peiris charged. “There was no way of knowing what the data was and more..

2022: Quo Vadis the ship of state?

Dec 26 (ST) If 2020 was a horrible year due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 triggering a downturn in the world economy, 2021 turned out to be worse for SL. The combo of factors from the second and third waves of the virus, and a multiplicity of avoidable mistakes, not least the fertiliser ban topped with paying for the sins of foreign borrowings in the past, has now made 2022 look even bleaker than 2020 and 2021. It seems only the Central Bank and its Governor are confident the country more..

Devil dancing before an abyss!

Dec 26 (CT) We are all concerned of the yawning abyss before us threatening us with many challenges needed to overcome to avoid falling into the crevasse. Some factors are beyond our control and others have fairly possible leeway to bypass with careful maneuvering. There are all kinds of players lining up in this situation each with his or her own game plans. Some are trying to fish in troubled waters, while there are others with interests of guarding against impending punishments more..

Going to the IMF: Waiting for Basil; waiting for Godot

Dec 26 (ST) One of the taboo subjects to be taken up for discussion in the Cabinet these days is whether to go – or not to go to the IMF as the country is facing a bleak future with the acute forex crisis and mounting debt service commitments in the coming year. For a second time, the topic was taken up for debate and the ministers exchanged strong opinions against the IMF bailout, suggesting that handing over the country’s economy related more..

NGOs go NATO (no action, talk only) on SL’s Right To Information commission

Dec 26 (CT) Despite nine prominent Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Colombo issuing a statement dated 17th Dec 2021 calling for minority representation on the RTI Commission of SL, Colombo Telegraph learns that several have failed to make nominations of suitable Commissioners representing the minorities to the Parliamentary Council in the first instance! Nominations by civil society are specifically provided for by Section 12 (1) of SL’s globally hailed more..

Santa, can you hear us?

Dec 26 (ST) My dear Santa Claus, I though of writing to you this week even though Christmas would be over by the time you read this. That is in the hope of giving you some suggestions for gifts for those of us in Paradise who have been beset not only by the Covid pandemic, like the rest of the world, but by many other disasters as well. When you were doing your visits to Paradise around this time last year, the hottest item on our wish list would have been vaccines even though more..

'Fuel price hike and bus fare: Govt will not put entire burden on public'

Dec 26 (SO) Govt is not attempting to put the entire burden of the recent fuel price hike on passengers, said State Minister Dilum Amunugama. He said, however, the bus fares will have to be revised due to the hardships faced by private bus operators. He said they are discussing with private bus associations representatives, spare part dealers and the Finance Ministry to assess the kind of concession that can be given to more..

Dealing with natural disasters

Dec 26 (SO) Natural calamities are an inescapable fact of life, wherever we live in the world. The frequency of these natural disasters has increased due to climate change. Hence the world is experiencing a plethora of natural disasters, from wildfires in Australia to floods in Europe. This year’s weather showed us what it looks like to live in a world that has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius. And it is likely to heat up by another 1.5 degrees to 2 degrees Celsius if immediate measures more..

Litro issue: Shame on govt officials

Dec 26 (FT) Let’s accept it. In the last two decades, the most poorly governed administration of this country is undoubtedly the current one. In my view the key challenge of this country is not the debt issue or the global economic crisis. The logic being many countries is in this emphasis. The real problem is the poor decision-making that has been played. If we track back from the sugar scam of Lanka Sathosa to the fertiliser policy in the agriculture sector to the more recent, more..

වත්මන් දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය | සටන

Tennis: Kusal Goonewardena going places Down Under

Dec 26 (ST) Earlier last year, the name Kusal Goonewardena popped up in the news for reasons that are beyond remarkable. Goonawardena, 46, a Sri Lankan living in Melbourne, Australia, was in the limelight for his connection in the Australian Open (AO) tennis championship. The APA-titled physiotherapy expert, led the Medical team of Germany’s tennis star Laura Siegemund, then ranked 51st in the world. This was significant, not only to Goonawardena, more..