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US wraps up GSP
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
• US congress declines to reauthorise preferential tariff system, ends on 31 Dec. for 120 countries including SL • US GSP does not cover major exports such as apparel and tea but $173m worth of manufacturing could be hit by tougher competition • SL could negotiate for renewed access under TIFA, says Ceylon Chamber economist • Govt. assures impact would be minimal; SL exports to US topped $2.8 b in 2016
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Culture of corruption in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 30/12/2017 (Saturday)
Corruption has been rampant in Sri Lanka since the 1970s' owing to the political system. People elected the Yahapalanaya Government to eradicate corruption and establish good governance. They, too, have gone back on their promises. The Bond Commission has revealed startling evidence about involvement of key politicians. The Bond Scam is considered to be the biggest fraud since independence. It is a very serious 'white collar' crime committed by greedy politicians. Due to this reason, it is time that we named the corrupt politicians 'thieves of the State." They rob public money 24/7, take commissions, bribes, and resort to various corrupt practices in order to earn billions for their election campaigns and their kith and kin.
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On a forgotten Memorandum
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
There is a popular belief that Sri Lankans have short memories. We were reminded of it when in perusing some past documentation our attention was drawn by chance to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which rightfully claimed to be of historic significance. Judging by the contents of the MoU we observed that some of those who were bound by it have forgotten what it prescribed. Let us take some examples. According to the MoU signed on August 21, 2015 the two parties agreed to form a
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Sri Lanka President asserts authority after warning Ranil
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed newly sworn-in legislator Piyasena Gamage as state minister for law and order in a move that sought to reduce the authority of a very close ally of the prime minister. Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) gave the influential portfolio to Gamage, a member of the Sirisena-faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
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UPFA launch ‘Pledge for Freedom’ with 31 political parties
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
The launching ceremony of the ‘Nidahase Sammuthiya’ (Pledge for Freedom) with the participation of leaders and representatives of 31 political parties affiliated to the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) for the upcoming elections was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH today (28). The ‘Pledge for Freedom’ for good governance free of fraud and corruption was presented to the Maha Sangha including others religious leaders by the President.
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EC at a loss to work out modalities at polling centres
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
The Election Commission is at a loss to work out modalities for providing security to vote counting at the polling stations at the local government polls, it is learnt. The Commission had a meeting with the representatives of the political parties yesterday in this regard. The present law, governing local government elections, provide for vote counting at polling centres. Commission’s Chairman Mahinda Desapriya is reported to have said that he is yet to determine how best security could be ensured.
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Outstation students carry away top honours at A/L Results of 205 candidates suspended
Published Date: 29/12/2017 (Friday)
Outstation students have emerged the best performers at the GCE A/L examination 2017, according to the results released by the Examinations Department yesterday.A Buddhist monk has come fist in the Arts stream. Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha said Dilini Sandunika Palihakkara of Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, had obtained the best results in the Bio Science Stream while Sridaran Duwarakan of Hartley College Jaffna had secured the top position in Mathematics stream.
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Is it too much for ask for emotionally intelligent mindful leaders for the 21st Century?
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Dwight D. Eisenhower said “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.” Many politicians stand in the way of peace for their own vested interests, or from a sheer lack of self-awareness, care and emotional control. This makes them blind to the impact their words and action have on millions of people. In an interconnected, transparent world, our political leaders are under scrutiny unlike any
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Modi accused of failing in foreign policy towards Sri Lanka
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
India’s Congress party says the Narendra Modi Government has failed in its foreign policy towards Sri Lanka. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that China’s involvement in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern for India. “The new Government in Nepal is not tilted towards India, China’s involvement in Sri Lanka is a matter of concern for India, Maldives signed a free-trade agreement with China without informing India, in Doklam China has set up permanent structures,” he said, adding that India “has been isolated because of the wrong policies of the Modi Government,” IANS quoted Tewari as saying.
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12 years on, no justice for Christmas Eve assassination of Tamil MP
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Yesterday marked the 12th death anniversary of the late Tamil politician Joseph Pararajasingham, who was shot dead on Christmas Eve by armed government paramilitary men in 2005. Despite the present government's pledge of accountability and almost two years passing since the UNP-SLFP coalition came to power, no one has been held accountable for his death. Mr. Pararajasingham, who was a senior Tamil National Alliance (TNA) figure, and the MP
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Northern politicians have faith in Sinhala cops-NP Governor
Published Date: 27/12/2017 (Wednesday)
Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has said that northern politicians are reluctant to be guarded by Tamil policemen and, therefore, they had been provided security by Sinhala police officers. Governor Cooray asserted that Tamil politicians had faith in Sinhala police officers.
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Local Government election dynamics in the North and East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Despite the year end holiday season, the political focus is on the upcoming local government elections scheduled for February 10th next year. With nominations closing by end December, January will witness the campaigning by the candidates and the political parties for the sovereign Sri Lankan people’s vote. The election has clear ramifications beyond the local bodies, as nationally there is a redrawing of political lines as the government and opposition factions of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), led by President Sirisena and by former President Rajapakse contest the elections separately for the first time.
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Sri Lanka President hints at ditching UNP-dominated govt
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP), has strongly hinted at a possible split of their coalition mid-way of its five-year term. The President told his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyalists that he has decided to carry out the "second stage" of his daring political bravery of defecting from the then strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in November 2014. A rank outsider, Sirisena quit his Health ministry portfolio and challenged his former boss at the snap presidential election of January 2015. He won spectacularly with the support of a UNP-led rainbow
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Who will protect us?
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
We are held hostage to a group of greedy politicians and corrupt businessmen willing to sacrifice our health and our heritage to the purveyors of energy addiction. It is universally accepted that Coal is one of the most toxic sources of power and contributes volumes of climate changing Carbon Dioxide gas. On all International Platforms the dangers of using Coal for energy generation has been made patently clear. The negative impact of of Coal on human health, to biodiversity and to
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Educational assistance to school children in the East
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
A group deserving children from low income families, in Malvila, Sandunpitiya and Namalgama areas in and around Welikanda and Vakarai were provided with school accessories and educational instruments during a programme facilitated by Sri Lanka Army troops in the East, recently. Gift packs were presented to 150 school children in the region under this initiative. The Buddhist Society of the People's Bank had sponsored the donation.
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Two-minute silence to be observed tomorrow
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Disaster Management Centre says commemoration events have been organized across the country in line with the National Safety Day. Sri Lanka will celebrate the National Safety Day tomorrow, which has been commemorated for ten years continuously since 2006, on the anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 230 thousand people with Sri Lanka suffering over 35 thousand deaths. The Tsunami which battered Sri Lanka in 2004 had a catastrophic impact on the southern, western, eastern and Northern provinces of the country.
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Commander of the Navy visits Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command in Kochi
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe visited the Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command in Kochi from 20 to 23 December, as part of his official four-day-tour to India to attend the Silver Jubilee Seminar on Operational Sea Training and Safety On board. The Navy Commander was accompanied by the Captain Sea Training and the Principal of Merchant Marine Training School, Captain Pradeep Rathnayake who also delivered an informative speech on the Sea Training of the Sri Lanka Navy.
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Two schoolboys drowned attempting to take selfie in river in northern Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Two schoolboys were drowned in a river on Monday in the area called Puthukuduiruppu in northern Sri Lanka when they tried to take a selfie in the river, the local police said on Monday. The police told Xinhua that seven schoolboys had reached the river for a picnic bath. Two of them, aged 17, got into the middle of the river to take a selfie.
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Sri Lanka the latest victim of China’s debt-trap diplomacy Beijing has been given a 99-year lease on Hambantota port as part of a debt-reduction deal, amid talk of creditor imperialism following China's buy-up of strategic ports in
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which President Xi Jinping calls the “project of the century” – and proof of just how effective China’s debt-trap diplomacy can be. Unlike International Monetary Fund and World Bank lending, Chinese loans are collateralized by strategically important natural assets with high long-term value (even if they lack short-term commercial viability). Hambantota, for example, straddles Indian Ocean trade routes linking Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to Asia. In exchange for financing and
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Dhinakaran meets Lankan Tamil leader
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
On the eve of his R.K. Nagar byelection victory, T.T.V. Dhinakaran had a chance meeting with Sri Lankan Tamil leader M.A. Sumanthiran, when he enquired about the current situation of Sri Lankan Tamils in the island’s war-battered north and east. The Tamil politicians from either side of the Palk Bay met in Kanyakumari on Friday, ahead of the ‘Arumanai Christmas Vizha’, an annual celebration held in the southern district that has a near-50 per cent Christian population.
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Russia lifts restrictions on Lankan tea supplies Following suspension of ban on asbestos
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Following Sri Lanka’s decision to suspend its ban on asbestos, Russia yesterday decided to lift its restrictions on tea imports from here from December 30 Sri Lankan Ambassador in Moscow Dr. Saman Weerasinghe told The Island that Russian authorities had conveyed their decision to a Sri Lankan delegation during a discussion in Moscow yesterday. Russia placed temporary restrictions on imports of tea and all other agricultural products from Sri Lanka from Dec. 18 after a Khapra beetle was found in a tea consignment sent from
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UN Resolution:US bullying didn’t deter Sri Lanka
Published Date: 26/12/2017 (Tuesday)
Will Sri Lanka joining 127 other countries in supporting the UN Resolution against America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, in the General Assembly Emergency Session’s vote on 21 December 2017 be a real test of her foreign policy in the wake of new power politics in the world as practised by the US? President Trump threatened to cut off US financial aid to those countries which voted in favour of the resolution, but
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High-tech cheating still rampant at exams
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
In reference to the recent incident reported at this year’s Ordinary Level examination where two students were caught by the supervisor for using mobile phones during the Examinations, Chairman, National Education Commission (NEC), Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake spoke to the Sunday Observer on how to prevent students from using the technology in a negative way. He said, though mobile phones are strictly banned at examination centres, students still take their mobiles with them.
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My Christmas wish for Sinhala Buddhists
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
• This Christmas though very much late by generations nevertheless would be ideal for Sinhala Buddhists to join in and enjoy with a determined resolution to work towards an alternative approach that can lift their lives out of misery and poverty • They are all-inclusive innocent mindsets that should be promoted and nurtured Last weekend I read somewhere, the MEP that’s in tow with the flower bud (Pohottuwa) Party with Rajapaksa at its helm, has lost one of their strongest Urban Councils with nominations for the Maharagama UC among few others getting rejected.
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Are we ready to celebrate Christmas as a time for Peace and Reconciliation ?
Published Date: 25/12/2017 (Monday)
Christmas is universally celebrated as a festival of Peace. In fact, it is the birth anniversary commemoration of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. With the gift of Peace that He alone can give, he had brought to us with his historical birth, the blessings of unity and reconciliation, freedom from all bondage and liberation from all forms of slavery. Freedom and Joy are blessings that mankind had always been hungering for and sought in a manner that is ardent and relentless. In fact, one of the most unfortunate things today is that despite our highly advanced scientific achievement and unbelievable technological feats, we keep failing in the all important task and duty of uniting nations and binding the hearts in close rapport.
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