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How a mother from Sri Lanka is helping Tamil-Canadians cope with disabilities

Dec 16 (CBC) When Vijitha Tharmalingam brought her family to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1992, she found herself in the same predicament as many immigrants — encountering problems with accessing resources and services in her mother tongue. But because her daughter Meera had disabilities, she found settling in this country even harder. Inspired by her own difficulties, and the experience of other people in Tamil more..

MEP condemns Sriyani's decision to join Govt

Dec 16 (DM) Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) denounced the decision taken by its MP Sriyani Wijewickrama in joining the anti-people govt led by the UNP. “Ms. Wijewickrama's decision to join the Unity Govt, which is in the process of plunging the sovereignty, freedom, democracy and economy of the country into a huge abyss can only be condemned," MEP said. It said her decision was prompted by the arbitrary and arrogant action of Digamdulla District MP Wimalaweera more..

Dept of Buddhist Affairs to submit report on Kataragama temple incident

Dec 16 (AD) Department of Buddhist Affairs stated that the documentation of statements from both parties involved in the altercation that occurred at the Kataragama temple in August has been completed. Officials from Department of Buddhist Affairs stated that the report complied on the incident will be submitted to Minister Gamini Wijayawickrama within the next two weeks. It was reported that the morning religious rites at the Kataragama Devalaya had been delayed on more..

FTA direction among issues to be discussed by Najib in Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (Bernama) The framework for the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is one of the main issues to be discussed in PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's three-day official visit to the country, beginning tomorrow. The charge d'affaires at the Malaysian High Commission in Sri Lanka, Zainal Izran Zahar said the P< would hold further discussions on the FTA in a meeting with SL President Maithripala Sirisena here. more..

Distribution of uniform vouchers: Action against errant principals

Dec 16 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam directed the officials to take stern disciplinary action against school principals who were having commercial motives in the process of distributing school uniform vouchers, without offering them to the students. Education Ministry Media Secretary Kalpa Gunaratne said that Minister had directed that action be taken against school principals who were intervening in this process, including giving school uniforms instead of vouchers. more..

1,100 complaints lodged in 2017: Police Commission

Dec 16 (NR) The National Police Commission says around 1,100 complaints have been lodged over the past year. The Secretary of the Commission, Ariyadasa Cooray said a majority of complaints were filed on the misconduct of Police Officers. The Commission said it received numerous complaints of biasness and misuse of power on the part of policemen. Ariyadasa Cooray stated the Commission was able to look into a majority of the complaints which were filed. more..

Acceptance of nominations for 248 LG institutions commences

Dec 16 (AD) The acceptance of nominations for 248 Local Govt institutions, under the second stage will commence on Dec 18. Nominations will be accepted from 8.30 am until 4.30 pm and the acceptance of nomination will conclude on Dec 21, the Election Commission announced. The acceptance of nominations for 93 local govt bodies came to an end at 12 noon Dec 14. Accepting nominations for those LG more..

Three Sri Lankan fishing trawlers released from Indian custody

Dec 16 (SLN) Three SL fishing trawlers arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for trespassing into the Indian territorial waters, were released form Indian custody yesterday (14). Signifying the goodwill between the two countries the trawlers were repatriated to SL, with the assistance of SL Coast Guard. The repatriation of trawlers took place at the IMBL north of Kankesanthurei. An Offshore Patrol Vessel of SL Coast Guard and Indian Coast Guard Ship Ameeya were deployed for this mission. more..

SLMC unauthorized to act against fake doctors

Dec 16 (NR) Sri Lanka Medical Council says the Council does not have the power to take action against individuals who portray themselves as doctors when complaints are lodged. Member of SLMC Dr. Upul Gunasekara said even though the previous govt directed their concerns towards identifying such individuals, it failed to enact the law against them. He added those who portray themselves as doctors are not registered under the Medical Council and do not possess a degree more..

Musthapha condemns racist attitude of two ministers

Dec 16 (DM) Minister Faizer Musthapha yesterday castigated two Muslim ministers for what he described as their racist attitude by not being present at the voting on the local govt electoral amendments. He said the two Muslim party leaders and ministers kept away because they did not have a guts to support or oppose the amendments. “They may tell their people that they did not vote for LG electoral amendments more..

Tsunami: A faded memory

Dec 16 (ST) In the aftermath of the tsunami which devastated the island’s coast in 2004, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) commenced putting up signboards in coastal areas marking evacuation routes and safe sites in the event a disaster strikes again. Over 5,000 signboards were put up in all three languages along the country’s entire coastline. Each signboard cost Rs. 15,000/-. Designed as a means of saving lives, these signboards today have become just another board. more..

Police to burn 300 kg of cocaine

Dec 16 (Island) Police have decided to destroy 300 kilos of cocaine with a street value of over Rs.30 million taken into custody by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). The consignment of cocaine was taken into custody from a vessel sailing to Europe via SL from Brazil. The PNB was unable to trace those responsible for smuggling the narcotic to SL. A senior officer of the PNB said the consignment of cocaine would be destroyed in the presence of a group of media personnel. more..

They are marine eels, not sea snakes

Dec 16 (ST) Reports that swarms of what were initially mistakenly identified as venomous sea snakes had got caught in fishing nets in the east coast, had many puzzled and others worried with rumours spreading of an impending tsunami. But scientists have categorically said they are not sea snakes but a species of marine eel. These creatures had got caught in areas including Batticaloa, Kalladi and Nawalady. more..

Vavuniya Campus temporarily closed

Dec 16 (AD) Vavuniya Campus affiliated to Jaffna University had been closed from yesterday due to an ongoing reconstruction, Rector of Vanuya Campus Dr. T. Mangaleswaran said. The faculties of the University of Jaffna, which were recently closed as a result of the class boycott carried out by students over Tamil political prisoners, were reopened on Nov 13. Academic activities at t Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Management Studies of the University of Jaffna more..

Two Bangladesh Coast Guard ships arrive

Dec 16 (SLN) Blangladesh Coast Guard ships Mansoor Ali and Kamaruzzaman arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today. They were warmly welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. The officials from the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka, were also present on the occasion. Both ships are 85m in length and 10.5m in width and bear displacement capacity of 1300 tons. A crew of 89 Naval personnel are onboard the ships. more..

Thalatha: JO will lose more MPs

Dec 16 (Island) Predicting that there would be several more crossovers from the Joint Opposition (JO) in coming weeks, Minister Thalatha Athukorala yesterday said that it was getting isolated as it was working hard to promote a single family. The Deputy Leader of the NFF Weerakumara Dissanayake, Digamadulla District MP Sriyani Wijewickreme, former National Organizer of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake and more..

Rejection of nomination lists: How can main parties manage local councils

Dec 16 (Island) The JVP asked yesterday how the main parties which had failed to propose their nominations lists properly could be expected to manage local govt instructions officials. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the preparing the nomination lists was the most important part of the election process, but both two factions of the SLFP had failed to do so and eight of their lists had been rejected by the Elections Commission due to errors. Time allocated for submitting nominations for more..

Siemens, Ceylex win electricity grid contracts

Dec 16 (EN) Siemens and Ceylex Engineering have won contracts from CEB to set up four grid substations to connect small hydro power plants to the main grid. Siemens won a contract for Rs297.2 million while Ceylex Engineering, earlier known as LTL Projects, has won a contract for Rs122.9 million. The proposal by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to award the contracts was approved by the Cabinet of ministers this week, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, said. more..

Sri Lanka's shot at first series win in India

Dec 16 (CI) Sri Lanka have won just five out of 27 completed ODIs this year. But if there's a way to turn around a disappointing year, it can't get better than ending it with their first-ever series win in India. Their bowlers skittled India for a little over 100 in Dharamsala. Then, in Mohali, they wilted as Rohit Sharma walloped a sensational third double-ton to take the series into a decider. For SL to stand a chance, they'll need their players more..

Turn Words To Deeds

Dec 16 (CT) Ceylon Today in its editorials of Tuesday and Thursday, highlighted the immediate need of the Govt to arrest the rising cost of living (CoL). This was in response to the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament last Friday (8) saying that the CoL will be treated next month and in February. Nonetheless, in response to our proddings, realization dawned on the Premier in regard to the urgency of the situation with the PM's Office, in a press release issued on more..

Sri Lanka moves up 14 places to No 67 in good country index

Dec 16 (CT) Sri Lanka has been ranked 67th in the Good Country Index, an improvement of 14 places from the 81st place the country had last time. The top three are the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark, on the index created using 35 separate indicators to rank the countries that contribute most to the greater good of humanity rather than for their own citizens. On SL’s rank dropped slightly from 26th last time to 24th on Int'l Peace & Security, Science & Technology (from 113th to 117th), more..

Almost 3 years of good governance..

Media freedom: The other side of democratic midnight

Dec 16 (FT) Last week I challenged the powers that be to walk the talk on media freedom. Because it had become increasingly obvious that only murder and mayhem separated the present dispensation from the previous regime. Once in power all politicians feel the sharp thorn of the Fourth Estate’s disrespect. It is the same independence of spirit they encouraged and endorsed when they were in opposition. There is only the signal difference that where once the military jackboot of a govt more..

Renowned Lankan-born Buddhist monk Ven. Galagedera Pannananda passes away

Dec 16 (ST) The last surviving Sri Lankan- born Buddhist monk, who administered the pancha seela to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, independent India’s first Law Minister and architect of the country’s Constitution, at a mass rally at Lucknow on October 14, 1954, the Most Venerable Galagedera Pannananda Thera has passed away in Lucknow. His funeral will take place next Sunday (17) with full State honours conferred by the Central Govt of India and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh in recognition more..

SriLankan Chairman says union claims contradictory

Dec 16 (DM) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said acommuniqué forwarded by the Alliance of Unions – SriLankan Airlines, was contradictory and not at all consistent with the assurances or the spirit of co-operation given at the awareness meeting, held between the airline and union representatives on Dec 6. In a letter to the 5 unions, he said that “…at the meeting your confirmation and assurance to make it a success more..

Plea of remanded Navy officer’s daughter to meet UN members turned down

Dec 16 (DM) Former Navy Spokesperson Commander D.K.P Dassanayake’s daughter told the media that her request to meet and lodge a complaint about her father’s detention by the SL law enforcement authority, to the visiting three-member UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, had been turned down, claiming it was not a case about the LTTE. She said she tried to explain the matter to the visiting UN member more..

EU welcomes Sri Lanka as 163rd State Party to mine ban convention

Dec 16 (SL) he European Union (EU) says it is pleased to welcome Sri Lanka as the 163rd State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. On 13 Dec 2017, Sri Lanka deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention of the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (commonly known as the Ottawa Convention). more..

Beware, your coconut oil is probably contaminated

Dec 16 (ST) Adulteration of coconut oil is widespread in the country today. Coconut Research Institute (CRI) Chairman Jayantha Jayewardene said the reason behind the adulteration of coconut oil was the shortfall in production which resulted in the inability to meet local demand. While SL required aproximately 160,000 metric tonnes of coconut oil, current production was a mere 90,000 metric tonnes. more..

Official reserves drop to US$ 7.3bn in Nov

Dec 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s official reserves have dropped to US$ 7,319.40 million in November from US$ 7,489.98 million in October. Foreign currency reserves were US$ 6,331.19 million and reserves in gold were US$ 917.07 million in November. Reserve position in the IMF was US$ 67.74 million. Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings were down from Rs. 42,561.04 million by end Oct to Rs. 20,255.06 million by end Nov. more..

Unable to send mass SMS alerts, says DMC

Dec 16 (ST) Is it appropriate in this modern age to continue to rely on urgent weather alerts conveyed by facsimile–particularly when the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has the ability to send out mass SMS alerts to all mobile phone subscribers? But this system also has limitations, argues Pradeep Kodippili, Deputy Director. DMC has been consulting the TRC for some time. “We face a hurdle in that mass SMS alerts more..

A weekend in SL with an Everest summiter

Dec 16 (GQ) On the night of May 20, 2016, a slight figure took one firm step after another up a mountain. Nine hours later, a Sherpa simply announced: This is it. Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala freed her eyes of their protective covering, but only for a moment. She couldn’t risk freezing her corneas. The sun was climbing up in the sky to join a brilliant full moon. Here she finally was: the first Sri Lankan to summit Everest. more..

Elephants in parades: Is it illegal?

Dec 16 (Roar) Discourse about protecting elephants have begin once again, what with two tuskers being killed for ivory in November and December—one of them being the iconic and blind Galgamuwa tusker. Elephants—and their tusks—have been used as a symbol of royalty and wealth since time immemorial, both in everyday life and in fictitious universes. When not hunted for ivory, they’re used for entertainment. more..

It’s festive time in Pettah: Shoppers and traders say things could be better

Dec 16 (ST) Christmas celebrations are round the corner and the streets are relatively busy with shoppers and the shops decked in festive decor. Amidst this festive air the CAA says it has stepped up checks and issued a gazette on Dec 6, under the CAA Act of 2003,to fix the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on four consumer items. Accordingly the MRP for mysore dhal is Rs.130 per kg, dried fish – Katta Rs.1,000 per kg, more..

Split in dravidian movement and the decline of Tamil separatism

Dec 16 (DM) India gained freedom from Britain at midnight on August 15th 1947. At the time of Indian independence there was a separatist movement in South India spearheaded by Dravidar Kazhagham (DK) or Dravidian Association led by Ramaswamy Naicker popularly known as Periyar (Great Person). As stated in an earlier article the DK demand was for a separate state in South India comprising areas where Dravidian languages more..

Will Wimal survive this time?

Dec 16 (DM) Even being a strong loyalist of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa has unusually taken a backseat at a time when his boss and mentor is going to face an election, the results of which might turn out to be a trendsetter. The reason is very clear. His party is facing a crisis situation as three key leaders of his party have defected to the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena and another one seems to follow suit. more..

Safe Migration in a World on the Move

Dec 16 (DM) Next Monday (18) is international Migrants Day with the theme this year being Safe Migration in a World on the Move and the UN in a statement has highlighted vital issues relating to migration. It says throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people who more..

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