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Pope's visit: No response to Cardinal's letter

Oct 23 (CT) Confusion reigns heavy over next January's planned visit of Pope Francis, with the Catholic Church at crossroads, following the delay by the govt to confirm, whether the presidential election is likely to coincide with the Pope's visit. Catholic Church spokesman Rev, Cyril Gamini said that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has written to President Rajapaksa asking the latter to inform the church about the date of election, more..

Controversial Kaththi screened in Tamil Nadu

Oct 23 (CT) Tamil superstar Vijay's new film Kaththi (knife) was released amidst prolonged protests yesterday, Deepavali day, sans the controversial Lyca tag being displayed on the movie and posters in Tamil Nadu. Claiming that Lyca International has contacts with the Sri Lankan Govt and does business with it, students and several film industry groups protested over the release of the movie directed by A.R. Murugadoss, who became famous with his Oscar nominated movie Lagaan. more..

Green groccer’s body found with throat slit

Oct 23 (Island) On a call received by the police emergency unit, Mount Lavinia Police recovered the body of a 43-year-old vegetable trader with his throat slit inside his shop at the Bakery Junction at Attidiya yesterday morning. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the victim, W. Wasantha Kumara of Panadura, a father of two children, had been drinking with a friend of his on Tuesday night inside the shop after his wife had gone back home in the evening. more..

Shots fired inside Canada parliament

Oct 23 (Reuters) At least one gunman entered Canada's parliament buildings on Wednesday and many shots were fired just outside the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing a meeting of legislators. Harper was safely removed from the building but parliament was locked down. Eyewitnesses said at least 30 shots were fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital. more..

Access Engineering nears completion of Kandana Water Treatment Plant extension

Oct 23 (FT) The extension of the Kandana Water Treatment Plant under the Kalu Ganga Water Supply Project is implemented by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and funded by the Japan Bank for International Development (JBIC). Access Engineering PLC along with Salcon Engineering Berhad of Malaysia is proceeding with the construction works related to the expansion of present water treatment plant. Once completed, by the end of the first quarter 2015, more..

GMOA confident its proposals included in tomorrow’s budget

Oct 23 (Island) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that twelve proposals it had made to the govt had been included in the budget to be presented tomorrow. He said the proposals submitted would pave the way for a sustainable health care system if systematically implemented. The proposals submitted are: Initiating a mechanism to combat the onslaught of Non Communicable Diseases in a cost-effective manner as the current approach to prevent NCDs were ad-hoc; more..

IUSF to hold bigger protests

Oct 23 (CT) The IUSF, whilst accusing the govt of apathy, with regard to the students' struggles, and granting their demands, also charged that the State had approved the recent brutal attack on undergraduates. "In the coming weeks, we shall field a wide front comprising students, teachers, health officials, fishermen, farmers, workers and trade unions, and take to the streets to fight for our rights," IUSF Convener more..

Opportunities await Thai investors in SL

Oct 23 (BP) Since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the govt has been steadily rebuilding, with infrastructure development across the island from expressways to road and rail networks and deep-sea port expansion. As well, tourists are returning in large numbers and this has spurred demand for hotels including many new luxury properties. Another highly significant event took place last week when the rail link between Colombo and the battle-scarred northern city of Jaffna reopened for more..

Budget tomorrow

Oct 23 (CT) With a Presidential Election in sight, most likely in early January, President Rajapaksa will present Budget 2015 in the Parliament tomorrow. The Appropriation Bill, which is also referred to as the first reading of the Budget was presented to Parliament by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne recently. Accordingly, the second and third voting will be held on 30 Oct and 18 Nov. According to the Appropriation Bill, estimated govt expenditure is Rs 1.812 trillion for next year. more..

LTTE ban: SL to assist parties to the case

Oct 23 (DM) While claiming that it was surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by the LTTE in 2011 at the General Court of the European Union, Sri Lanka said it would continue to assist the parties to the case in their future course of action over the court decision. “The Ministry of External Affairs is surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by LTTE in 2011 more..

SL celebrates two years without Malaria

Oct 23 (UCSF) Sri Lanka has not reported a local case of malaria since October 2012, according to the Sri Lankan Anti-Malarial Campaign. If it can remain malaria-free for one more year, the country will be eligible to apply to the World Health Organization for malaria-free certification. This remarkable success was achieved rapidly and largely during a protracted civil war. As recently as the year 2000, Sri Lanka had over 100,000 cases of malaria. more..

Fishers demand justice for attack

Oct 23 (CT) Fishermen, who participated in the recent protest, opposite the Fisheries Ministry in Colombo, are demanding justice for the four fishermen who were injured in the protest, a spokesman for the protesting fishers said. All Island General Fisheries Federation (AIGFF) Convener, Ratna Gamage, explaining Tuesday's incident, which caused injuries to these fishers said, around 300 fishermen from Negombo were only carrying out a peaceful demonstration. more..

Close range firing of tear gas against international protocols says undergrads

Oct 23 (CT) Not heeding the international manufacturer Norinco's warnings on the metal tear gas canisters stating that they should never be fired at close range or directly at persons, police opened fire at close range at the unarmed students who protested in front of Parliament on Tuesday. SSP Ajith Rohana said, the police anti-riot squads and STF personnel fired tear gas at close range at students who were behaving in more..

Damaged Adikarigoda mosque restored to its former glory

Oct 23 (MoD) Cementing the existing religious amity further and setting an example for continuous harmonious living, the Army-renovated badly damaged Masjidun Noor Mosque alias Adikarigoda Mosque at Aluthgama was reopened and facilitated again for conduct of prayers during a simple ceremony Friday evening, giving pride of place for religious observances. In June this year, ethnic tensions that erupted in Beruwala-Aluthgama areas caused extensive damages to the mosque, more..

A’pura period Buddha’s footprint found at Kosgoda temple

Oct 23 (Island) Anuradhapura Period stone slab on which the Buddha’s footprint is carved has been found from Ganegodella Purana Rajamaha Vihara in Kosgoda. Director General of Department of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake told The Island that artifacts of early Anuradhapura Period were rare in the South. "Both feet of the Buddha have been carved on the surface of the stone slab and between them is a carving of chatra (an umbrella or parasol) indicating that it more..

Sri Lanka Army to assist Bangladesh Army to set up a women corps unit

Oct 23 (SLA) Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, currently in Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh’s Chief of Army Staff, General Iqbal Bhuiyan began his itinerary on Sunday by placing a floral wreath at the Shikha Anirban (Eternal Flame) memorial at Dhaka Cantonment in Bangladesh. Next, was his visit to the Senakunja, Station Headquarters, Dhaka Cantonment where a smart contingent of more..

Risky business of price controls and guaranteed prices

Oct 23 (DM) The anticipated national elections have spawned a spate of misguided and unaffordable claims and counter claims. There have been calls for price controls for ‘essential commodities’ and a higher guaranteed price for paddy farmers as well as the introduction of a guaranteed price for fish. When considering such requests, it is important to learn from the mistakes of the past. Repeating policies, which have undermined the development of the country and ultimately imposed more..

SLASSPA holds first-ever Private Security CEO forum

Oct 23 (FT) The Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLASSPA), together with representatives of around 200 private security firms, held its first-ever CEO forum on Tuesday to discuss several key issues pertaining to the security sector. Bren Security Country CEO and President of SLASSPA Major A.U.T. Aluvihare, in his opening address, stated that the forum was organised in order to build a unity amongst the private security firms in the country so that more..

Sri Lankan visas to Omanis up by 72%

Oct 23 (TOO) There has been about 72% growth in the number of Sri Lankan visas issued to Omanis from January 1 to September this year, said an official of the Sri Lankan embassy in Muscat. "In 2013, the number of Omanis who visited Sri Lanka was 7,643. This year till September the figure reached 10,772. Sri Lanka is becoming the most sought after destination for Omani tourists," N.L.A. Haleem, the charge d'affaires at more..

Remanded for posing as Namal’s secretary

Oct 23 (Island) The Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) on Tuesday (October 21) arrested a 37-year-old suspect, who had posed off as a secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son and cheated a person out of Rs. 240,000, promising approval for a restaurant with a permit to sell foreign liquor there. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said a complaint had been received by the SIU on Monday (October 20) and the arrest made on the same day. more..

Dumith-led consortium upbeat over Asia Securities buy

Oct 23 (FT) The former Credit Suisse Asia Pacific Managing Director and COO Dumith Fernando-led consortium is upbeat over the opportunity to lead Asia Securities Ltd. to the next level and finds exciting times ahead in Sri Lanka as a frontier market. Dumith, who will own 75% stake in Asia Securities along with three others, last week signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Asia Capital to acquire control of one of the top stock-broking firms in the country. more..

'SLC ruining our chances in World Cup'

Oct 23 (Island) World Cup winning former SL captain Arjuna Ranatunga has questioned the scheduling of the five match ODI series against India next month. Sri Lanka agreed to fill the void created by West Indies pulling out of Indian tour and Ranatunga fears the series could burn out the players. With the India series scheduled out of the blues, Sri Lanka will now play 19 ODIs ahead of the World Cup, which is 4 months away. more..

Banning killer chemicals

Oct 23 (Island) There are different schools of thought as regards the causes of the killer kidney disease that snuffs out at least a dozen lives daily in the North Central Province and some other parts of the country. Experts stick to their hypotheses and theories like limpets, refusing to budge, and it is not likely that they will ever see eye to eye and adopt a consensual approach. However, their concern about the poor patients and dedication to their research regardless of their conclusions more..

SL, vice chair, UNESCAP’s ICT committee

Oct 23 (Island) Sri Lanka was selected as a vice chair of the UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Information and Communication Technology Committee last week. The bearer of this great honour for Sri Lanka is the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura. Dewapura was unanimously selected by ESCAP as one of the two vice chairs of its ICT Committee. Dewapura’s selection for the next two years occurred at more..

War ends, love flourishes

Oct 23 (SL) In this day and age when everything is so superficial, rarely do we come across true love, but in spite of being disabled, Mahinda Premalal is one of the fortunate soldiers who found true love. Having met each other in 2006, Mahinda and Harshini’s love grew and it is strong enough to withstand every adversity, and reached the poruwa on the 15th of Oct consolidating their love. Young Mahinda joined the army on more..

Demutualization definitely delayed

Oct 23 (CT) The demutualization process of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will be further delayed by at least another three to six months with the 15 member broking community demanding time to study core structural issues. This was unanimously decided at a meeting last Friday where the 15 stock brokers were present at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting with the CSE where Chairman Vajira Kulatilleke and DG Rajeewa Bandaranayake were both in attendance. more..

Cast tax net on 'show-off society'

Oct 23 (CT) The govt needs to drag in high income earners to the tax earners and the informal coporate sector in order to balance the budget and create a fiscal regime conducive to sustainable growth, an economist said. "The share of income of top income earners has increased over the years, reflecting that there is a small segment in the society who earn a lot, and whose income grows at a faster rate, compared to others in society. So, this will lead to a conspicuous consumption that more..

Incumbent edge

Oct 23 (FT) Battle lines will be drawn this week when President Rajapaksa moves to present his Govt’s Budget for 2015, setting the stage for his re-election campaign, expected to kick off officially about six weeks from now. It is the country’s worst kept secret that the Budget presentation has been advanced by several weeks in order to facilitate President Rajapaksa’s preferred dates to announce a presidential election more..

'Post-war development should'nt bear imprint of conflict’

Oct 23 (Island) The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)’s 2014 Symposium on Post-War Development in Asia and Africa brought together a diverse group of scholars, researchers, activists and policy makers from Sri Lanka and abroad to engage in a dialogue about the key issues resulting from war and conflict. Each session was focused on analyzing a range of post-war development initiatives and concerns, It attempted to challenge dominant ways of thinking, address issues often ignored, more..

Sri Lanka Insurance shines at World Finance Awards

Oct 23 (FT) Sri Lanka Insurance once again shone at the recently-held World Finance Awards, when the company bagged the most prestigious coveted award as the Best Insurance Company in the General Insurance Sector competing with the best in the insurance industry. The World Finance Awards is organized by World Finance Magazine, a leading financial magazine, published by World News Media operating from its Headquarters in London, which reports on capital markets, more..

ISIS expansion in South Asia poses danger: Prof. Robert B. Lloyd

Oct 23 (CT) Q: What is the ISIS strategy at the moment in fighting the US and its Allies? A: The Islamic State seeks to seize territory, consolidate its control over this territory and its people, and then extend its control to new areas. Local and international opposition has affected the tactics of the Islamic State on this, but has not changed its objectives. Q: US President Barack Obama's envoys to Syria have said repeatedly, the collapse of more..

There is no room for truth in the world of sound bites...

Oct 23 (CT) I was most dismayed to read an article by my friend and colleague, Sulochana Ramiah Mohan, on the front page of Ceylon Today on Wednesday (15). Sulochana reported that Channel 4's No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka is one of four documentaries nominated for the International Emmy Awards 2014. This news comes at a time when I am considering making a submission to Sandra Beidas, at OHCHR. Her remit is "to coordinate work and activities and more..

It could happen in India but not in Lanka

Oct 23 (CT) Jayalalithaa's corruption sentence landed her in jail for four years with a massive fine to boot. Two lines from Gypsies Sunil Perera's popular song, 'It could happen in India but not in Lanka' went viral on electronic media since Jayalalithaa went to prison convicted of corruption charges. Anything even remotely like it could not happen in our own Sri Lanka. Walter Talgodapitiya Commission appointed in 1958 found four Ministers in the Bandaranaike Govt guilty of bribery. more..

Losing your mobile phone, no joke

Oct 23 (SO) Until last week I did not realise how disastrous it was to lose a mobile phone. Not merely being a handy portable instrument that you can make calls with but the smartphones that exists today acts like your personal assistant, handling almost everything. Losing this 'personal assistant' that you have relied on, with personal details, sensitive security data as well as pictorial proof of fond memories could be nothing short of more..

Thirteen-Plus: Good for all of Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans

Oct 23 (CT) The recent pre- and post- Uva election violence saw the police being mere spectators to horrific violence. Neither the police watching nor the cameras whirring, both in front of police stations in the presence of policemen, was a deterrent. Sinhalese are shocked. CT reported that “Senior legal professionals have condemned the attack on journalist Chandana Kuruppuarachchi that occurred a few days ago while expressing their regret over the law being made redundant.” more..

Buddhism, The lack of it and abuses by its flag bearers

Oct 23 (CT) Historians of Buddhism in Sri Lanka may or may not have interpreted historical scriptures based on facts or opinions… but none of it matter anymore since Buddhism has lost its value and its importance thanks largely to its ineffectiveness in matters concerning governance, rule of law and social justice. Bitter it may be to some to swallow, but Sri Lanka was never a Buddhist country. The need to look for alternative and effective sources of guidance in leading more..

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