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Video: Improvement of utilities and infrastructure a must: Gayantha

Dec 1 (DM) A series of improvements to the road system had been approved by Cabinet recently to be implemented in line with the Western Province Megapolis Project. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said, govt had expected that there would be a need for additional utility services such as transport, electricity, water, drainage and waste disposal with the implementation of the main potion of the Megapolis Project in Western Region. more..

It’s scorpion season – but don’t scream and squash them

Dec 1 (ST) Another rainy season has begun, bringing that unwelcome visitor, the scorpion. Known for the venomous sting at the tip of its tail, scorpions cause panic and the immediate reaction is to squash and kill them – but wait, say researchers at the University of Peradeniya – “The scorpion you kill can be a species that is rare and threatened”. Researcher Sanjeewa Jayaratne said a small scorpion found in his home last year was more..

Video: Gota rejects Mangala’s allegation on his son

Dec 1 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa rejected Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s allegation that a house in Angeles had been rented as the official residence of the SL Consul General in 2013 and it has used by the son of the former Defence Secretary. While posting a Tweeter message Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa said making such allegations is a cheap tactic to discredit him Mangala Samaraweera yesterday more..

State witness in Raviraj murder trial denies connection with Karuna faction

Dec 1 (DN) The state witness for the prosecution in the trial in connection with the murder of former TNA MP Nadaraja Raviraj informed the Colombo High Court that he did not divulge any information to his high-ranking officers on the fact that he closely associated with Karuna faction, an LTTE breakaway faction. Sanjaya Preethi Viraj, 39, a former PSD constable, who was made a state witness, for the Raviraj murder trial more..

Bimal duels with Kiriella on private univ.

Dec 1 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told parliament that if private medical colleges were given due recognition scholars who had left the country would return to draw better salaries, In answer to a question by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, Kiriella said many scholars working abroad had told him that they were ready to return if they were paid enough. Ratnayake said there was not a single foreign lecturer in SL private universities more..

'I lose one million monthly'

Dec 1 (DM) Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe PC had recently become a cynosure after he expressed his opinions on several controversial subjects. He shared the following views. Q: It is said that you are the first Presidents Counsel (PC) hailing from Hambantota? A: No, there had been a Queens’s Counsel by the name Vernon Wijetunga. Q: After Queens Counsel changing its name in the process, you must be the first person to have more..

Major power crises in the offing

Dec 1 (ST) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers (CEBEU) say constructing power plants and transmission line requires long term planning. “Going beyond such plans would end up in repercussions, where it is not easy to come out of the mess,” CEBEU Chief Athula Wanniarachchi said. He added: “In 2018/19, we are going to face major power crises as the govt failed to implement (Long Term Generation Expansion more..

Hatton Barber claims police tortured him

Dec 1 (DM) Kadireshan Ravishankar, a 34-year-old barber and father of four, alleges he was tortured by the Hatton HQI on Sept 23. He was working at his brother, Kadireshan Simson’ salon - CS Saloon - when he was called to give a haircut to the Hatton HQI. Grappling with abject poverty, Ravishankar has now been forced to battle against the added burden of social stigma after surviving police torture. “At around 7 p.m., two police officers in plain attire came to our salon and asked me to more..

Power to Fourth Estate with ethics & integrity

Dec 1 (DM) After the new govt took office in January last year with a commitment to restore good governance, democracy and a just society, media freedom also has been restored to a large extent. Yet a conflict if not a crisis situation appears to be arising now mainly because of alleged misdeeds by govt leaders or members and the alleged abuse of freedom by some journalists or sections of the media.   President in recent months has been strongly hitting out at sections of the media, more..

GMOA vows to continue strike Until their issues are addressed

Dec 1 (CT) The GMOA called a one-day islandwide strike yesterday to protest against several 2017 Budgetary proposals. GMOA brings out concerns relating to the new contributory pension scheme introduced by the govt, proposed taxation on the professionals, accepting aid from tobacco companies to fatten the President's Fund, privatization of the health services and permitting foreigners to render their services in SL. more..

SC postpones Namal Rajapaksa contempt proceedings for 16 Jan

Dec 1 (FT) Supreme Court postponed the contempt proceedings against MP Namal Rajapaksa for 16 Jan. The bench, comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Buwaneka Aluvihara, postponed the matter because Justice Priyasath Dep was not present. SC on 15 Sept directed the Bribery Commission to file charges against Rajapaksa on or before 3 Oct for the alleged offence of contempt of Bribery Commission. Court rejected preliminary objections raised by Rajapaksa. more..

Type of dye used for heart patients suspended

Dec 1 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has ordered the Health Ministry’s Medical Supplies Division to suspend the type of dye used for the four heart patients who died, Health Ministry sources said. According to sources, the use of the dye, (Non ionic contrast media for cardio angiography for adults 100 ML) will be temporarily halted in all hospitals. National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has commenced an investigation on the dye imported from European countries. more..

Private bus strike: Gemunu hums different tune; SLTB to deploy more buses

Dec 1 (Island) SLTB has said it will deploy more buses in view of today’s private bus strike. SLTB Chairman said normally around 5,300 state-owned buses operated countrywide, but the SLTB would have on standby 6,000 buses to meet any emergency. "Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva held a special discussion yesterday to discuss arrangement to overcome the difficulties in case of a private bus strike," he said, more..

Docs’ strike cripples hospitals countrywide

Dec 1 (Island) A doctors’ strike crippled the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) and clinics around the country yesterday despite Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s claim that his Ministry was prepared to meet any situation. National Hospital Deputy Director, Dr Cyril de Silva said doctors had attended to all emergencies and essential services of the hospital and patients had also been admitted. However, 15 to 20 clinics for follow-up patients had been cancelled. more..

TNA to Govt: You haven't fooled us

Dec 1 (DM) The Govt should not think it has fooled the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), MP M A Sumanthiran told Parliament yesterday. "Don't think you have fooled us just because we support you on constitutional reforms and vote in favour of the budget," he said. He said the government should expedite the process of devolving power and honour its promise to the international community. He urged the government to set up an office to probe disappearances. more..

Cabinet nod for new airline service

Dec 1 (DN) Cabinet approval was granted to set up a new airline service in partnership with Sri Lanka Airforce (SLAF). The project will be a public-private partnership with proposals being called for from private investors to commence the airline service. Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana said there was a need for capital investment in the domestic civil aviation field to expand the service to other parts of the country. more..

Pension scheme for migrant workers

Dec 1 (FT) The budget proposal to establish a pension scheme for Sri Lankan migrant workers and appointing of the select committee to establish voting rights for Sri Lankan migrant workers were commended yesterday in Parliament. Opposition lawmaker Sunil Handunnetti, who was keen to uphold the rights of migrant workers, upheld the contribution made in terms of foreign currency. “The domestic tax system helps to run the country, but the foreign currency required to pay the debt more..

Lanka IOC price revisions in two products

Dec 1 (Island) Lanka IOC making a price revision said that due to increase in Custom (LKR 6=00 per litre in Diesel) & Excise Import Duty (LKR 10=00 per in past months and changes in international prices, they have to make changes in RSP of two branded products being marketed by them , these are specialized branded fuels addressing the needs of niche customers, Infact earlier they had decreased the price of branded fuels w.e.f. 2nd March 2016 by Rs 4.00 per litre in XTRAPREMIUM Euro3 more..

Controversy brewing over Duminda's profiles

Dec 1 (DN) Controversy is brewing over five Facebook profiles operating in the name of former MP Duminda Silva, who is currently serving a death sentence for murder. As persons serving death sentences are not allowed communication with the outside world, the former MP’s Facebook profiles, which have been updated even after his incarceration, have thrown prison authorities into hot water. more..

SAARC-ADB meeting on cargo, passenger ferry service to kick off today

Dec 1 (DM) At the 16th SAARC Summit held in Thimphu, Bhutan, from April 28 to 29, 2010, the SAARC leaders called for collaborative efforts to achieve greater intra-regional connectivity and endorsed the recommendation to declare 2010-2020 as the Decade of Intra-regional Connectivity in SAARC. In line with the mandate given by the SAARC leaders, the fourth meeting of the SAARC Inter-Governmental Group on Transport held in New Delhi, India on Nov 22, 2010, considered more..

Nestle Lanka donates 5,000 hybrid plantlets to 1,000 coconut farmers

Dec 1 (DM) Directly engaging with the coconut farmers for the first time, Nestle Lanka donated 5,000 hybrid plantlets to 1,000 coconut farming families and initiated the development of a model coconut farm in Nikaweratiya recently. They will be initiating a similar project in Kebithigollewa as well donating 10,000 plantlets altogether across 150 acres. Minister Navin Dissanayake said their aim is to double the coconut production up to 5,000 mil in next 5-6 years which is 3,000 mil at present. more..

Govt planning to deport Gunaratnam: FSP

Dec 1 (CT) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) accused the govt of engaging in a conspiracy to deport their Politburo Member Kumar Gunaratnam, who had been imprisoned for almost a period of one year, once he completes his sentence. Gunaratnam was sentenced to one year in prison on 31 March last year by Magistrate of Kegalle, for the offence of violating Immigration and Emigration laws of this country. more..

'Majority of hotels not paying taxes'

Dec 1 (DM) According to Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, less than 30 hotels operating in the country pay taxes, which, if it is an accurate assessment, create concerns over leading hoteliers in the formal sector requesting the informal sector operators to pay taxes. “We have almost 500-600 hotels and of that maybe 25-30 that pay taxes. So making the taxation from 14 to 28% doesn’t affect anybody,” Karunanayake told a top tourism forum in Colombo this week.  more..

Maithri never left SFLP: Isuru Devapriya

Dec 1 (CT) Political stability of the SL Podu Jana Peramuna, under the leadership of G.L. Peris, is doubtful, stated Chief Minister for Western Province Isuru Devapriya. He said, the intention behind G L demanding to obtain membership of the SLFP at any instance that they appeal is to have a backup plan. CM further stated that the situation of the new party, under any circumstance cannot be compared to that of President Sirisena when he became the chairman of SLFP after Jan 8 Prez Election. more..

Revamp for Western Province

Dec 1 (FT) Cabinet this week has approved a major revamp and the development of essential utility services and infrastructure in the Western Province. Based on a proposal by Minister Champika Ranawaka, the Govt will develop utility services and extend the main road network of the region, in anticipation of the increased demand. The total cost for the improvements had not been estimated yet. more..

Sri Lanka look to halt Indian juggernaut in a must-win clash

Dec 1 (Sportal) After two comfortable wins on the trot against Nepal and Thailand, Sri Lanka now face an uphill task of beating defending champions India in the bid to keep their final hopes alive at the business end of the 2016 ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20 in Bangkok. Even though there remain a host of other possibilities, mathematically speaking, one wouldn’t bet their money on underdogs Nepal and Thailand staging an upset later against India and Pakistan respectively. more..

UniMAP, University Of Moratuwa plan to forge cooperation

Dec 1 (Bernama) Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and University of Moratuwa plan to establish cooperation in various fields of study, especially engineering. The two universities signed the letter of intent (LOI) when a delegation from UniMAP led by the Perlis Raja Muda, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail visited the university, located in a large suburb of Colombo city and regarded as the most sought-after technological university in Sri Lanka. more..

'Sugathadasa track tender: Rejected can appeal without blaming'

Dec 1 (DN) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said it is unfair to level allegations against Sports Ministry tender board by the rejected Tender holders of Sugathadasa synthetic running track restoration, as they can appeal to the Procurement Authority at first, if the Tender Board has acted partially. “I inquired into the matter after I saw news paper articles exposed the rejected contractors’ side of the story. I do not know whether the tender more..

‘Just set-up Sri Lanka – USA Business Council, key to promote bilateral trade’

Dec 1 (Island) Sri Lanka - USA Business Council, which has been just established, will help promote trade and investment between the two countries, whose bilateral relations are at an all time high, US ambassador to SL Atul Keshap said. "SL’s economy is set to grow strongly with the island ideally placed on the international sea routes across the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the US believes that these geographical advantages would help SL to become one of the prosperous nations in the region, more..

Sri Lanka to host 2nd South Asian Sepaktakraw Championship

Dec 1 (DN) The 2nd South Asian Sepaktakraw Championship will be hosted by Sri Lanka in January next year. The Amateur Sepaktakraw Association of Sri Lanka was selected to host the event at the second annual general meeting of the South Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (SASTAF), held in Hyderabad, India on June 23. SASTAF was established in 2011 in Bangkok with the participation of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. more..

Angelo Mathews bags top honor at Sri Lanka Cricket Awards 2016

Dec 1 (CC) Sri Lanka's Test and One-Day International (ODI) captain Angelo Mathews was honored by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) with the Cricketer of the Year award. In an star studded ceremony held in Colombo, Test and ODI captain Angelo Mathews was honored by SLC with the Cricketer of the Year 2015 award. Mathews has been missing in action from international cricket due to multiple injuries on the leg. more..

Budget headed in right direction: IMF

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s budget for 2017 is headed in the right direction, especially in terms of primary deficit reduction, Eteri Kvintradze, resident representative of IMF, said. Kvintradze was speaking at Economic & Business Climate Outlook 2017 which saw a full house of corporate leaders, researchers and academics. “Revenue based fiscal consolidation is a central reform issue in Sri Lanka. Revenue has been one of the major structural deficiencies in this economy,” she said. more..

Audit underway at Agalawatte Plantations

Dec 1 (ST) Amidst a partly-averted courtroom drama between siblings, the audit that the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board asked Browns Group, the new owners of Agalawatte Plantations, to do on Agalawatte will be completed by next month, sources said. This is in a bid to examine the statements of liabilities in the company, according to them. “They want to see the exact position in this company and quantify their assets and liabilities,” a source said. more..

Bring in new consolidated law to combat cyber violence against women: experts

Dec 1 (FT) Sri Lanka needs to consolidate its existing laws against harassment and computer crimes in order to introduce one single, all-encompassing law to fight cyber bullying and online harassment of women and children, as the Computer Crimes Act falls short on addressing cyber bullying or cyber violence, an expert panel declared yesterday. Speaking at a policy discussion on cyber security more..

Should our legislators’ remuneration be increased?

Dec 1 (Island) PM has recently spoken in Parliament of the need to substantially increase salaries of our legislators. He is of the view current salaries are grossly inadequate. PM believes higher salaries will reduce corruption and attract better talent to the legislature. As of today, an MP earns a salary of Rs 54,285. Allowances are paid based on Rs 1,000 for entertainment, Rs 3,500 for a chauffeur, Rs 2,000 for a mobile phone and Rs 500 for each time he or she attends parliamentary sittings. more..

A Citizen’s plea: Treat the root cause of issue through Electoral Reforms

Dec 1 (DM) Another bombshell in the form of a proposed pay hike for MPs has jolted the tax payer. more fittingly it could be called as bombshell because it is coming hot on the heels of the Govt. imposing a variety of indirect and direct taxes on the people through the recent budget and ubiquitous Gazette notifications. It adds insult to injury when Parliament itself is debating the issue of providing leased-out second vehicles to MPs who are doing so-called development work more..