NewsThe “world’s tallest Christmas tree” that Sri Lanka built last year under the aegis of the Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and which was entered initially into the wrong category to be evaluated by the Guinness World Records has received its certification. But work resumed after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe intervened with the Cardinal. A small ceremony was held whereby the certificate was handed over to the Prime Minister and the team in charge of building the tree were also awarded. The certificate reads that the fete of the largest artificial Christmas Tree was achieved by Arjuna Ranatunga of Social Services Sri Lanka, Colombo and dated December 24, 2016. See related stories :Tallest Christmas tree still on a gum treeConstruction of the ‘world’s largest Christmas Tree’ suspended

December 13, 2017 12:22 UTC

The tournament is being played at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) in Colombo. Taniya (15) and Kayla (14) did the girls proud by shooting excellent sub-par opening round to have the credit of the best score returned in Round 1 of the Prima Sunrise Junior Golf Championship. Duwarshan from Nuwara Eliya leads the Silver Division Boys with 82, by one stroke from T. Vikash. The Junior Golf Championship is played over three days, 54 holes for Gold and Silver categories, whilst the Bronze Division is over 42 holes and Copper Division is conducted through 27 holes. Shanal Binuksha70: M. Lidurshan (NEGC)75: Musa Shariff (VGCR)76: Pranav MuralidaranCopper Division (Boys and Girls 9 years and Under -- 9 Holes)42: Kaya Daluwatte43: KvahnTejwani45: ReshanAlgama, C. Dharaniyan48: Jacob Norton

December 13, 2017 10:30 UTC

NewsMalaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will undertake a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka starting from 17 December, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. Rejecting reports that the Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah was given a new assignment prior to the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister. He is due to take up an important assignment related to Malaysia’s chairmanship of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2020. Given the scale of CHOGM which will involve 52 countries, early preparations are essential for it to be a success,” said Wisma Putra, the official website of Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A high-level team from the Malaysian Foreign Ministry will arrive as an advance party to help in the visit by Najib, who will depart to Maldives after visiting Sri Lanka.

December 13, 2017 09:00 UTC

NewsIndia's Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, the Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Official Residence of the President. The President had a cordial discussion with Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa.

December 13, 2017 08:51 UTC

NewsRailway trade unions have called off their strike this morning after discussions with the four-member Ministerial Committee appointed to look into their grievances. The decision to call off the strike ends a trade union action that entered its seventh day today. The week-long strike paralyzed train services throughout the country, severely inconveniencing tens of thousands of railway commuters. President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (12) appointed a four-member ministerial committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama to look into the grievances of protesting railway workers. President Sirisena had earlier also appealed to the railway workers to end their strike in view of the GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) Examination which commenced yesterday.

December 13, 2017 06:11 UTC

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will undertake a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka starting from 17 December, the Malaysian Forei... Features & AnalysisMr.England title winner Jack Eyers visits the Adidas flagship storeHolder of the 2017/2018 Mr.England title, Jack Eyers recently visited the Adidas flagship store at the Racecours... In pictures : ‘Designer Wedding Show 2017’The ‘Designer Wedding Show 2017’, a much-looked-forward to event was presented by the Bride and Groom Mag... Fashion show with a differenceA fashion show for differently abled persons in keeping with 'disability day 2017' was organsied recently by ...Rockin-Holly-Jolly Christmas with the De Lanerolle BrothersThe De Lanerolle Brothers took to the mics with ther latest Christmas concert - A Rockin-Holly-Jolly Chris...

December 13, 2017 03:11 UTC

NewsMr. Siddi Mohamed Farook was appointed as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation with immediate effect by the Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera. Farook had his primary education at Royal College and has a BAA in International Trade from the Chu Hai College in Hong Kong. An entrepreneur specializing in the field of mobile telecommunications, he served as the Director/CEO of Pan Asian Power PLC from 2009-2017, the government news portal reported.

December 12, 2017 20:26 UTC

NewsA five-member ministerial committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama has been appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to look into the grievances of the protesting railway employees, Presidential Secretariat said. The other members of the committee are Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Ranjith Maduma Bandara. The railway strike which enters sixth day today, was launched by several trade unions with demands. Earlier today, the Railway Department said that those Railway workers who do not report to work today considered to be having vacated their posts.Meanwhile Sri Lanka Transport Board said that additional buses have been added to the service today due to the train strike.

December 12, 2017 08:15 UTC

NewsThree top leaders of National Freedom Front including Deputy leader Weerakumara Dissanayake, NFF National Organizer Piyasiri Wijeynayake and its member of North-Central Provincial Council P. B. Kumara joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday, Presidential Secretarait said. They received the letters of SLFP membership from President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. The three new SLFP members pledged their support to the programme carried out by the President to develop the country and ensured their support to the SLFP in the forthcoming elections.

December 12, 2017 07:52 UTC

NewsLord Naseby has hit back at the British High Commission in Colombo that tried to circumvent the evidence emanating from the despatches of its own Defence Attache' that rejected the highly inflated figures of civilian deaths in the last months of the anti-LTTE war. The British peer said the UK government was one of the initiators and a co-sponsor of the UNHRC Res 30/1. "The despatches by Col Anton Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission, constitutes an important element in the process of truth-seeking and should be of interest to all those who genuinely seek a clear picture of what happened during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. It is therefore disappointing that the British High Commission fails to acknowledge the importance of the despatches of its own former defence attaché and the insight that is provided by his communications with the British Government," Lord Naseby said in a come back that faulted the FCO and the British High Commission for burying vital information while the British Government supported highly condemnatory resolutions against Sri Lanka. - By Neville de Silva in London‚Äč

December 12, 2017 07:18 UTC

NewsPresident Maithripala Sirisena requested all train drivers and other railway staff who are on strike to report for duty taking into consideration the difficulties faced by school children who sit for exam and the general public. Urging the protesters to understand the mentality of the students who face a crucial examination of higher education, and fulfill their human responsibility, the President said that if there are unsolved issues of the strikers he would give an opportunity for a discussion in the future.

December 12, 2017 06:33 UTC

NewsTwenty-seven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters early today, an official said. The fishermen from Jegadapattinam and Kottaipattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested off Neduntheevu by the Lankan Navy and taken to Kangesanthurai port there along with five boats, Assistant Director of Fisheries department, Pudukottai, Kumaresan said. In another incident, nearly 3,000 fishermen who had ventured into the sea last evening in 500 boats from here were chased away by the Lankan Naval personnel while they were fishing near Katchatheevu islet, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President S Emerit said. The naval men came to the spot and opened fire in the air to drive off the large group of fishermen before damaging their fishing equipment, he said. On December 2, 20 fishermen from Nagapattinam district were arrested by the Lankan Navy on charges of fishing off Neduntheevu.

December 12, 2017 04:41 UTC

President Donald Trump announced last Wednesday the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of U.S. policy and international consensus that the city’s status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian talks. Netanyahu, on his first visit to EU headquarters in Brussels, said Trump’s move helped peace, “because recognizing reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace”. Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem after capturing it in a 1967 war, considers the entire city to be its capital. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini brief the media at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Francois LenoirBut even Israel’s closest European allies have rejected that logic and say recognizing Israel’s capital unilaterally risks inflaming violence and further wrecking the chance for peace.

December 12, 2017 04:41 UTC

NewsA recent study carried out to assess doctors' knowledge of diagnostic features and co-morbidities of childhood autism in a tertiary care hospital has found that around 50% of Sri Lankan doctors were unaware of some of the signs and symptoms of it, News Medical LifeSciences reported. Also, there is a poor awareness about autism in the community and services for children with autism in Sri Lanka are limited and centralized," she adds. The knowledge of medical professionals in identification of children with autism had not been assessed previously in Sri Lanka, the report claimed. In Sri Lanka, one in 93 children have been found to have autism, the report claimed. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health.

December 12, 2017 01:52 UTC

NewsEight railway unions which were on strike have decided to report back to work. He said despite all their efforts and the country’s most senior administrator, the Secretary to the President having held discussions with the unions twice, they had failed to arrive at a solution. The unions as well as the Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando were able to reach a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on several issues during their discussions on Sunday but discussions fell apart over the manner in which the final agreement was addressed. According to the union leader, they are prepared to call off the strike if the authorities can officially agree to implement the discussed agreement. Parliament in the meantime approved the Gazette to make the Railways an essential service yesterday.

December 12, 2017 01:41 UTC