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JVP opposes appointment of Rajapaksas to Diyagama stadium directorate

Dec 6 (Island) Several individuals of the Rajapaksa Foundation would be appointed to the Director Board of Diyagama International Cricket stadium as they had invested money in its construction, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He made this comment in reply to a query by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake during the Committee Stage debate of the Budget when Finance Head of Sports Ministry was taken up in Parliament. more..

‘US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in 2017 to affect Sri Lanka’

Dec 6 (Island) US Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco will increase bank interest rates in 2017 under the new Donald Trump administration, which will have a negative impact on countries like Sri Lanka, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said he supports an  interest-rate increase in 2017 and will likely aim at Fed’s 2% goal, reports said earlier. "To face the challenge Sri Lanka has placed the macro economic consolidation more..

October tourist earnings and remittances up

Dec 6 (DM) The earnings from tourism arrivals recording US $ 249.3 million in October while the 10-month earnings peaked to US $ 2.75 billion as the arrivals rose by 14.6% to 1.66 million.    This is in comparison to the earnings of US $ 2.4 billion recorded for the same period last year. Meanwhile, the workers repatriated earnings of US $ 607.5 million in October, an increase of paltry 0.4% YoY while the worker remittances for the 10-month period increased by 3.5% YoY to US $ 5.99 billion.  more..

Jayalalithaa no more

Dec 6 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is no more. Seventy-four days after being admitted to hospital here, the general secretary of the AIADMK passed away at 11.30 p.m. on Monday. She did not respond to emergency life support treatment administered after she suffered a cardiac arrest a day earlier. She was 68. Late in the night, her body was being taken to Veda Nilayam, her residence in Poes Garden in Chennai. more..

Three killed in Balapitiya shooting

Dec 6 (DM) At least three members of the same family including a four-year-old child were shot dead following a shooting incident in Balapitiya this evening, police said. The victims were identified as 31-year-old man, his 28 year-old wife and five year-old child. They were in front of a garment factory in the area, when a gunman opened fire at them. Soon after the incident, the critically injured victims were admitted to Balapitiya hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. more..

No funding cuts for Provincial Councils: Ravi

Dec 6 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake stressed that funds allocated to provincial councils by the Central Govt through its Budget 2017 had not been reduced. In a statement released by his office, Minister claimed that there was no basis for the charges made by certain provincial council chief ministers that Budget 2017 had curtailed the amount of money allocated to provincial councils compared to previous budgets. Minister’s statement however highlighted that system of allocating more..

SLC to focus more on coaching

Dec 6 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has taken the initiative to pitch an advance coaching plan and vision to develop knowledge right through to grass root level of their coaches when they conducted their first coaches' conference headed by National Coaches, High Performance Manager Simon Wills, Chairman of Cricket Committee Aravinda de Silva and COO of SLC Jerome Jayaratne at the Sports Ministry yesterday. more..

SL tourism could do better: Russian envoy

Dec 6 (FT) Russia’s Ambassador Alexander Karchava asserted that Sri Lanka could do a lot better to lure tourists from his country. Karchava said Sri Lanka had been unable to attract Russian tourists despite two destinations that are favoured by them, Turkey and Egypt, becoming less attractive propositions of late. Sri Lanka, which remains a preferred destination among Russians, has not been able to capitalise on the current global political status quo, he claimed.  more..

No more players’ influence when hiring Coaches

Dec 6 (CT) Influence by senior National players when it comes to selecting national coaches was no secret during the past era of SLC, where some top ex-national players turned coaches had to give up their posts due to strong objection by certain national players. But the present Cricket Committee Chairman, Aravinda de Silva, assured coaches that era is over, and SLC is fully backing coaches to do the right thing. "One thing we can assure coaches is if they do the right thing we will be back them. more..

Newly formed Sri Lankan Marine Corps gets 241 years of experience in under a week

Dec 6 (Marines) Marines and Sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, embarked aboard the USS Somerset (LPD 25), participated in a Theater Security Cooperation exchange, training side-by-side with the recently inaugurated SL Marine Corps Nov 22-25 at SL Naval Base, Trincomalee. SL Marine Corps, still in its infancy, capitalized on the time they had with their U.S. counterparts more..

Ten Years: On populism and counterfeit democracy

Dec 6 (GV) Ten years surviving a tempestuous period of contemporary Sri Lankan political, economic and social change, as an English language electronic platform introducing the most modern forms of communication is surely an accomplishment to be proud of. Greater still is the achievement of contributing substantively to the discourse on the issues and helping mould public opinion across a broad swathe. My warmest congratulations go out to Sanjana Hattotuwa more..

Proper structuring a must for domestic cricket

Dec 6 (CT) The much looked forward to domestic tournament is just kicking off after a week's postponement. The tournament is bound to lose its sheen somewhat with the national cricketers being away on tour to South Africa, and then briefly to Australia. With the void left by sixteen cricketers, the expected competition is bound to suffer, though one has to look at it as an opportunity for the next rung of players to stake a claim in the bigger stage. The current year sees an enhanced number of more..

Yahapalanaya in SL: Remains of the Day

Dec 6 (GV) Groundviews is celebrating its tenth anniversary at a time when there is little else to celebrate in SL. Particularly sad is the ways in which President and PM are ruining whatever little that remains in the political potential of their yahapalanaya (good governance) regime. President Sirisena is doing it with a little loyalty to the constituencies that enabled him to win the presidential election in Jan 2015. more..

Don’t dis the ability of the largest minority

Dec 6 (DM) Govt in the 2016 budget proposed to promote all people to open bank accounts for their salaries and pensions, and due to increasing security threats, discourage transportation of cash and increase the use of ATM Machines. However, like most of the essential day-to-day needs and facilities - including ATMs in residential areas - marginalisation, discrimination and denial of rights for education and employment is escalating for the majority of 20% of population experiencing more..

JR’s trenchant remark on the non-aligned movement

Dec 6 (ST) The death of Fidel Castro marked the last of the Mohicans, the last towering figure of 20th century revolutionaries. The sad but not unexpected news of the death late last month of the ailing Castro brought to mind a little known anecdote, little known because only three persons were privy to it. The other two have passed on to the great beyond. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his tribute to Fidel Castro makes reference to the friendship that developed between ‘JR’ as he was popularly called more..

Face the Nation

Is it time SL sheds its religious identity?

Dec 6 (GV) SL is on the cusp of history, in several months it will be presenting to the people its third constitution in the space of four decades. Abolition of Executive Presidency, devolution of power to the provinces, independence of judiciary and the ensuring of good governance and human rights have been central in the discussions. With interest slowly growing amongst the people, one topic which has been conspicuously absent has been that of religion and its role in the future constitution. more..

Donoughmore experience

Dec 6 (Island) The Donoughmore proposals of September 1928, sought to replace the Legislative Council, elected under limited franchise with a State Council elected under universal adult franchise, conferring on it shared executive power. It was a salutary measure, which was an opportunity to prepare ourselves for full independence. Instead they began a curious saga ending with independence where the ominous signs were masked by the ceremony of the British exit. more..

'Rs 25,000 fine will lead to more corruption'

Dec 6 (CT) UPFA MP Vidura Wickremenayake noted that the fine worth Rs 25,000 for seven selected traffic offences will only lead to more corruption. He emphasised that Police Department is always within the top five of govt departments that are identified as the most corrupt of State institutions, each year. He also said that Rs 25,000 is another tax imposition on the people and that govt's aim is to get more money by more..

Editorial: Polls, dysentery and loincloth

Dec 6 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) has taken the govt to task for a right royal bath some of its MPs had near Parliament on Saturday. They were meeting a group of former local govt members engaged in a protest march, demanding that the LG polls be held without further delay when the police trained their water cannon on them and liberally fired teargas. There is nothing wrong with the JO MPs getting a shower free of charge once in away. When people asked for water they got bullets and more..

That call to IGP and the undermining of law

Dec 6 (ST) For close to ten years, Sri Lanka was ruled by a Presidency under which calls were openly given by politicians to heads of the judiciary, the police and hapless public servants ordering them to act or not to act as the case may be. This is not to say that such gross misrule started with the Rajapaksas. Before that, we had our peccadilloes, when political pressure was exerted by Heads of State on judicial and public officials in particular circumstances. more..

Discipline: Make it part of school curricula

Dec 6 (SO) Discipline is a vital deterrent to stop children being naughty, people from missing work, and people from commiting crimes. If parents did not discipline their children when naughty, the children would not grow up knowing right from wrong, or become productive members of society who contribute to the system. Similarly, school teachers need to punish children who do not behave properly. more..

MMDA: Personal laws at the expense of fundamental rights?

Dec 6 (CT) Given the division within the Muslim community with regard to reforming the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951 (MMDA), I thought I’d put down something as well to add to the discussion and also specifically after having listened to a few ladies share their experiences in the jury of a particular Quazi court (in the capacity of counselors of sorts). They had served under two Quazis, the first was quite accommodative, second however was not so and they had to more..

Decentralisation of power to provinces is a democratic right

Dec 6 (CT) More powers to determine public affairs by the elected representatives in Provinces and Local Govt areas should be viewed as a democratic right to be gained by the people living in these areas rather than diluting the powers that the Central Govt in Colombo wields at present. Central Govt and its decision-making processes are far removed from the people living in far-flung Provinces and the grass roots level. Though people elect representatives to the parliament and some of them become more..

Sufficient Budget allocations for Ministry: Justice Minister

Dec 5 (NR) Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa says the Ministry of Justice has received sufficient fund allocations through the 2017 Budget. Minister said Finance Minister has provided the budgetary allocation which was requested by the Justice Ministry for the next year. However, the Justice Minister said the allocation for some ministries has reduced due to the decision to increase funds for Education & Health sector. more..

Link found between El Niño and Sri Lankan dengue epidemics

Dec 5 (Cordis) The El Niño phenomenon is an irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes which has a number of important effects both across the Pacific region and throughout the world. These include the appearance of unusually warm, nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador, typically in late Dec, the reversal of wind patterns across the Pacific, drought in Australasia, and unseasonal heavy rain in South America. Now researchers from the EU-funded more..

President to meet religious leaders following tensions

Dec 5 (CG) President is to meet religious leaders tomorrow to seek unity among all religions following the recent tensions which arose in some parts of the country. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the Ministers in charge of all religions will also attend the meeting. He said that talks were already held with religious leaders on a lover level and now the discussion will be held on a higher level with the participation of President. A large number of people had attempted to enter Batticaloa more..

MS requests specialist doctors & nurses to stay in Sri Lanka

Dec 5 (NR) President Sirisena today requested specialist doctors and health sector workers to remain in the country and serve the masses. Addressing Parliament during the Committee Stage Debate of Budget, he said international organisations have recognised Sri Lanka’s free education and free health sector policy adding it has room for further improvement. Prez added over 15,000 doctors have left more..

Gulf Air rolls out Colombo schedule

Dec 5 (TA) Gulf Air, Bahrain's national carrier, has rolled out its Colombo flight timetable following a recent announcement of the addition of the Sri Lankan capital to its destination network. According to the new schedule, the carrier will fly five times a week between Bahrain Int'l Airport and BIA, starting from Jan 19, 2017. Commenting on the airline’s schedule, Yahya Ali Buali, Gulf Air director of sales and marketing, said: “Gulf Air’s five weekly service between Colombo and Bahrain affords more..

Daya Master's inquiry concluded

Dec 5 (DM) The case against former LTTE Spokesman Daya Master was concluded by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya on the instructions of the Attorney General today. CID informed court that the AG had already filed a case against Daya Master in Vavuniya High Court over detaining civilians in the LTTE custody as hostages during the last stages of the war, therefore asked to finish the Magisterial inquiry. The Magisterial inquiry was initiated by the CID against Daya Master more..

Russia, Sri Lanka to strengthen trade, economic ties: ambassador

Dec 5 (Xinhua) Russia on Monday said it will increase trade and economic ties with Sri Lanka as the two countries celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. Russia's Ambassador to SL Alexander Karchava said in Colombo, that Sri Lanka and Russia have set up a joint committee on trade and economy and science and technology, and the first committee meeting took place in January this year. Second meeting will be held in Feb more..

Bus owners on abolishing of Rs. 25,000 minimum fine

Dec 5 (Island) Chairman of the All Ceylon Bus Owners’ Association Anjana Priyanjith yesterday said that the govt should abolish the proposed increase of the minimum traffic fine to Rs. 25,000 for overtaking a vehicle from left and high speed driving. He said Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya had held talks with them on Friday night and they had decided to call off the strike after meeting President Maithripala Sirisena the following day. President informed them that more..

Shares hit near 3-wk high; banks lead

Dec 5 (Reuters) Shares rose for a third straight session on Monday to close at a near three-week high as investors sought bargains in banking shares after the benchmark index fell to a near eight-month low last week. Colombo stock index gained 0.67% or 42.55 points to 6,368.12, its highest close since Nov. 15. The bourse gained 1.17% last week, recording its first weekly gain in four. The banking index rose 1.35% with Commercial Care Plc leading the gains to end 9.87% higher. more..

Prez opens Thriposha factory in Kandana

Dec 5 (PSL) President Sirisena declared open the modernized Thriposha factory situated in Kandana, today. Govt has allocated 500 million rupees from Budget 2016 for the renovation works of the Thriposha factory in Kandana, which is now a full govt owned company of Ministry of Health. In Budget 2015, the annual allocation was 200 million rupees only. Production capacity will increase with the installation of more..

Malaysian delegation visits tea plantation

Dec 5 (Bernama) A Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) delegation on a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka visited a tea plantation today in this town nestled in the Central Highlands. The delegation, led by the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, who is also UniMAP Chancellor, visited the Blue Field Tea Gardens PVT and was briefed on the technology employed to cultivate and process tea. The delegation, also comprising UniMAP Vice-Chancellor more..

Nishantha - Aruna settle

Dec 5 (DM) The case filed against former Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Nishantha Ranatunga for posing death threats to Colombo Cricket Association Secretary Aruna Wijaya de Silva during an election at the SLC on Dec 18, 2015, was concluded today after both parties came to a settlement. Subsequently, Colombo Chief Magistrate warned the suspect before the case was concluded. Cinnamon Garden police conducted the inquiry upon a complaint lodged by victim Aruna de Silva. more..