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Non - payment of employees’ EPF and ETF unlawful - DSG

Aug 10 (DN) The non- payment of both EPF and ETF to employees of X news and SL Mirror websites and their non - business registration are unlawful, Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando said when the Fundamental Rights petition against the raid on the two website offices by the CID was taken up by a three judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday. The petitioner is UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice K Sri Pavan and more..

Sri Lanka and Poland to boost bilateral economic ties

Aug 10 (FT) Sri Lanka and Poland have agreed to boost bilateral ties including an exchange delegation and special promotion at the upcoming Warsaw Fair 2012. New measures and strong existing ties came up for discussion when the visiting Polish Under Secretary of State for Oriental Policy Jerzy Pomianowski paid a courtesy call on Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday in Colombo. “Both parties agreed to exchange trade and investment delegation in order to revive the more..

Lanka seeks Arabic teachers from Iraq

Aug 10 (DN) Sri Lanka and Iraq are exploring ways of obtaining assistance of volunteer teachers from Iraq to teach Arabic in Sri Lankan schools, getting Iraqi assistance for curricular amendment and obtaining co-operation for the country's examination procedure. This was discussed during a meeting between Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Iraqi ambassador to Sri Lanka Kahtan Taha Khalaf on Wednesday. The discussion also focused on carrying out bilateral agreements at more..

‘Govt aware of problems in education sector’

Aug 10 (DN) The chain of problems in the education sphere in recent times has been the focus of attention at the highest political level, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Addressing the Cabinet press briefing at the ministry yesterday, the minister said the government is of the view that students and parents should not be subject to any injustice and inconvenience due to the recent problems such as the Z score issue, lecturers’ strike and errors in A-L question papers. more..

President directs Sathosa to sell select food items cheaper

Aug 10 (DN) Lanka Sathosa yesterday reduced the prices of a range of essential commodities to provide maximum relief to consumers on a special directive from President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to Internal Trade and Cooperative Minister Johnston Fernando, prices of sprats, sugar, canned fish, Samba rice, white raw rice, Nadu rice, red Nadu and lentil will be reduced in all Lak Sathosa outlets islandwide from today. more..

GMOA opposes SAARC trade pact

Aug 10 (Island) The GMOA yesterday warned the govt against implementing the SAARC Agreement on Trade in Sri Lanka (SATISL), which was a part of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), claiming that it would adversely affect the country’s health sector. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne said that bi-lateral agreements signed between Sri Lanka and India, to provide medical care to the citizens of SAARC member states would violate the rights of Sri Lankan health professionals, especially doctors. more..

Poultry farmers demand chicken price increased by Rs. 80 per kilo

Aug 10 (Island) The poultry farmers are demanding that the price of chicken be increased by Rs. 100 per kilo from Rs. 350 to Rs. 430 in view of rising production costs. The poultry industry was going through a very critical period due to various reasons and the All-Island Poultry Association (AIPA) has not even been consulted by the Treasury on proposals being prepared for the next budget although a group of large scale poultry industrialists had been given an audience, more..

Narayanasamy faults Lanka stand on TESO meet; Cong not attending

Aug 10 (PTI) Union Minister of State in PMO V Narayansamy today said it was "not proper" for Sri Lanka to take exception to the pro-Eelam TESO conference scheduled on August 12 here under the leadership of DMK chief M Karunanidhi but said Congress will not participate in it. Answering reporters' queries about Sri Lanka's reported apprehensions with a Minister saying those participating in the meet from his country more..

University non-academic staff TU rebuffs strike assertions

Aug 10 (DN) University Non-Academic Staff Trade Union yesterday categorically rebuffed assertions that they have threatened to begin an islandwide strike action against the govt over their salary anomalies issue. The University Non-Academic Staff Federation President R M Chandrapala yesterday said they have not decided to take any trade union action against their salary anomalies issue as the problem is now before the govt. more..

FUTA on The Island report

Aug 10 (Island) Apropos our page 3 story captioned ‘FUTA in new partnership with JVP to win demands’ in Thursday’s issue of The Island, Prof. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri has sent us the following clarification: "At the press conference held after a meeting between the FUTA and JVP, I did not say that I met Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, MP, at the Parliament and I have actually never done so though there is nothing wrong even if I had met him in parliament. What I referred to was more..

City folks got richer in 2011

Aug 10 (FT) Their share in GDP may be shrinking but people in the Western Province got richer last year, whilst the post-war rebounding north clocked the highest growth in nominal terms. The per capita income of the Western Province amounted to Rs. 491,000 in 2011, up by near 15% from Rs. 428,000 whilst its overall GDP grew by 15.6% as against 13.4% in 2010. However, its share in country’s GDP continued to dip, though marginally from 44.8% to 44.4% last year. more..

‘Vast potential exists to enhance Pak-Lanka trade’

Aug 10 (DT) Consul General of Sri Lanka D W Jinadasa said efforts were being made to improve bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. There is vast potential to enhance trade ties between the two countries, he said at an iftar dinner hosted by the president of Pak-Sri Lanka Business Forum, Tarek Khan. We are planning to have interactive promotion sessions with the Pakistani business community, investors, traders, industrialists to let them aware of what is available in more..

Editorial: Deliver or Depart

Aug 10 (Island) Perhaps, we have the biggest Cabinet in the world. Speculation is rife in political circles that with some more crossovers expected from the Opposition after the upcoming PC polls, the number of ministers is likely to increase further. It looks as if we were moving towards a Parliament of Ministers. There is a minister virtually for everything. At this rate we will even have a minister in charge of each and every culvert in the country. But, strangely, nothing gets done without presidential interventions! The so-called plastic crate law more..

Govt. plans extra spending despite deficit woes

Aug 10 (FT) The Govt, already struggling to keep its budget deficit to a size agreed on with the IMF, presented a plan for more spending this year, a Parliament document showed on Thursday. It submitted to Parliament a supplementary budget of Rs. 14.09 billion and wants 26% of the funds allocated to the Defence Ministry and 23% for fertiliser subsidies. The supplementary budget is certain to be approved, as the Govt has more..

'SLN has contributed to stability of ASEAN region'

Aug 10 (Island) The Sri Lanka Navy is making a contribution of distinct value in preserving peace and tranquility in the seas around the ASEAN area, Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said in Colombo on Wednesday. He was Chief Guest at the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN, celebrated at Hotel Taj Samudra. Minister Peiris said that people smuggling is an activity which has the potential to inflict grave damage on the economy of ASEAN countries and to disrupt their social structures. more..

Perumal a nuisance; Delhi residents want him evicted

Aug 10 (CT) The residents in the affluent Sarvodaya Enclave in New Delhi have on 8 August filed a petition at the New Delhi High Court, asking for the removal of former Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s North-Eastern Provincial Council, Annamalai Varatharajaperumal and his 25 men-strong security contingent from the enclave, as they have become a nuisance, interrupting the day-to-day lives of the residents. The residents in their Petition have said the presence of Varatharajaperumal more..

Inquiry against SLMC over alleged anti-Govt. policy

Aug 10 (Island) An inquiry is to be conducted into allegations that the SLMC has taken a stand contrary to the UPFA govt’s policy on national issues, during the ongoing campaign for the EPC Election. Minster Keheliya Rambukwella said that the SLMC, despite being a constituent member of the govt, was making statements violating the principle of collective responsibility and the allegation would be inquired into. more..

DPF will not participate in TESO

Aug 10 (DM) The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) has decided against participating in Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) in Chennai, DPF leader Mano Ganesan said today. Mr. Ganesan said the decision was made at the party’s politburo meeting last evening. He said the purpose of this conclave was not clear to the DPF and his party did not want to get involved in Tamil Nadu’s local politics. Mr. Ganesan said there should be a conclave in India on Lankan issues which would support an honourable power sharing more..

Sports Minister takes swipe at Sri Lanka Cricket

Aug 10 (Island) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that both he and the govt were not happy or satisfied with the performance of the Sri Lanka Cricket as it had adopted a policy of entertaining clubs rather than improving the game. While denouncing the behaviour and conduct of SLC officials in the recent past, the Minister said that the SLC at the moment was playing about 800 players in the country. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake more..

Harry J demands thorough probe into CPC deals

Aug 10 (Island) Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena, now under heavy fire over alleged irregularities in the crisis hit Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) yesterday called for an investigation into all transactions conducted during his tenure as the Chairman of the loss making public enterprise. Now that Minister Susil Premjayanth had requested the Auditor General to conduct a probe into all spot purchases made during more..

Chaos due to non-implementation of SC directive on Z-Score – Karu J

Aug 10 (Island) The non-implementation of the Supreme Court directive on resolving the Z-score issue had led to chaos and uncertainty in the lives of students, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said. Those who had passed the last GCE A/L exam were being kept in suspense about university admission, while the Education and Higher Education Ministers were making hilarious and contradictory statements from time to time, exposing their inability to more..

Writ against EPC dissolution dismissed

Aug 10 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the Writ Application filed by Rasiah Thurairatnam, the Provincial Council Member of the TNA for the Eastern Province. The Court refused to issue notice on the respondents, the Chief Minister, the Governor, the Board of Ministers and Daya Gamage, the group leader of the UNP, all of the same Provincial Council. The judgment explained that the Chief Minister had commended the support of the Board of Ministers and more..

Ban slapped on mackerel shark fishing

Aug 10 (ST) The over-fished Thresher Shark, or mackerel shark, has come under special protection with a Government ban on the exploitation of the endangered animal. The ban came into effect with a July 25 amendment to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act. The ban states that“no person shall catch Thresher Shark species of the family Alopiidae when engaged in any fishing operation, recreational or sport fishing,” and that “no owner or skipper of a fishing boat shall retain onboard, transship, land, store, sell or more..

Ranil wants Basil to reveal how to solve dons’ problem

Aug 10 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday in Parliament demanded to know how the Minister Basil Rajapaksa intended to settle the university teachers’ strike, which had taken a turn for the worse with the possibility of GCE A/L answer script evaluation being affected by the on-going trade union action. Wickremesinghe said, according to media reports President had detailed Minister Basil Rajapaksa to find a solution to the dons’ strike. more..

Dengue can now be detected in an hour

Aug 10 (Island) Sri Lanka is now equipped to diagnose dengue patients within one hour. A spokesman for the Health Ministry said that the South Korean govt had donated medical equipment worth Rs. 2.5 million to the Dengue Surveillance Project (DSP) conducted by the Epidemiology Unit. The equipment known as the Dengue Combo Test Machine was capable of testing antigens and antibodies simultaneously. Earlier, doctors had to order a full blood count test to more..

Toronto grandmother, 70, deported to Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (CBC) A 70-year-old Toronto grandmother was deported on Thursday, despite having no family members remaining in her native Sri Lanka. Gunapoosany Kandasamy, a Sri Lankan Tamil, boarded a flight to her old home at about 10 p.m., accompanied by another deportee, a Canadian Border Services Agency officer and a nurse who will accompany her for the flight. Her Canadian daughter and granddaughter say they were given more..

Z-Score imbroglio: Another 382 students petition SC

Aug 10 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with a further batch of 382 petitions, filed by a group of students who had sat the GCE A/L Exam in August 2011 under the old syllabus. The Counsel for the UGC once again gave the undertaking to Court that no admissions would be made to the Universities for the academic year, beginning October 2012, until the dispute in respect of the Z-scores was amicably settled through more..

Ceypetco restarts refinery after planned shutdown

Aug 10 (Reuters) Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) restarted production at its sole 50,000-barrel-per-day Sapugaskanda refinery on the outskirts of Colombo on Wednesday, industry sources said on Friday. The refinery was shut on July 2 for planned maintenance, prompting the company to seek additional oil products to plug the supply shortfall. A few of the refinery's secondary units are still in the process of being re-started, more..

TUs going on strike similar to sabotage: CEB Chief

Aug 10 (DM) Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Wimalachandra Abeywickrame yesterday called on all Sri Lankans to condemn the actions of a group of employees who had resorted to trade union action at a time the country was experiencing a drought and when the GCE A/L exams and PC polls were also being held. He said that following discussions that were held between the top management of the CEB and more..

N’cholai gathering rust due to low quality equipment – CEB

Aug 10 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday said the China Mechanical Engineering Corporation, which built the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant, had used substandard equipment and some parts of the power station were corroded. CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala said that the plant had not been designed to be installed in a coastal environment and as a result it had rusted in some places. more..

Sri Lanka seeks fair assessment of its human rights record

Aug 10 (Xinhua) The govt on Friday said it will seek a fair assessment of its human rights record when the UNHRC holds the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November. Sri Lanka's human rights record and the measures it has taken to address some concerns will be assessed during the November meeting. Govt Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that at the UPR Sri Lanka will share the progress it has made in addressing human rights issues following more..

Troubled CPC board replaced

Aug 10 (CG) The chairman and board of directors of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) have been replaced, the Petroleum Resources Ministry said today. The new appointment of the new board comes amidst the CPC facing controversy over the supply of substandard fuel on at least two occasions. According to the Petroleum Resources Ministry, Tilak Collure has been appointed as the new chairman while the board of directors include Susantha Silva, Hans Wijeysuriya and Nalin Patikirikorala. more..

Editorial: Blank cheques for high-level crooks

Aug 10 (DM) Like a malignant cancer, unchecked and unprecedented corruption is killing the country. For instance, the CPC, which plays a crucial role in the national economy, burns with corruption. Again last week hundreds of trains, buses, cranes and private vehicles were crippled by engine problems apparently due to sub-standard diesel supplied to them. Thousands of people were inconvenienced, and the damage caused to the vehicles was estimated at millions. more..

Construct Exhibition 2012 begins today in Colombo

Aug 10 (CGI) Sri Lanka’s leading and compressive construction industry related exhibition “Construct Exhibition 2012” organized by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) begins today for the 12th consecutive year in the premises of the BMICH. The three day exhibition will be held under the theme “Empowering the Construction Industry” and will showcase products such as building materials, building services and construction equipment and others. more..

South Africa offers support for Sri Lanka's peace initiatives

Aug 10 (Xinhua) South Africa has offered assistance and advice to Sri Lanka in its effort to reach a political solution following the end of 30 years of war. The assistance was offered by a South African government delegation which met with External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris in Colombo on Friday. South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim and former Minister of Constitutional Affairs Roelf Meyer met more..

Karaliyadda suggest death penalty for child abusers, rapists

Aug 10 (Island) Minister Tissa Karaliyadda yesterday told re Parliament that he had made representations to the Justice Ministry to impose the death penalty on those found guilty for child abuse and rape. The Minister, in a reply during an adjournment debate on the increasing incidents of child abuse and crimes against children said that the Govt was mulling the re-enactment of capital punishment. Necessary initiatives had already been taken in this respect. more..

Stocks edge up on foreign buying

Aug 10 (Reuters) Stocks edged up on Friday ending five straight losing sessions as foreign investors bought blue chips, though local investors stayed on the sidelines keeping volumes thin, dealers said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index gained 0.05 percent, or 2.34 points, to end at 4,854.22. "There is no liquidity in the market as high interest rates have kept local investors away," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity. The day's turnover was 168.9 million rupees, more..

Swamy’s prescription for reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (Hindu) It will be much easier to fight Sri Lanka’s enemies abroad, if there is some devolution of powers to the Tamils areas in the near future, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said in Colombo on Friday. Calling upon Tamils to recognise the victory over the Tamil Tigers as their victory, he said that the victory achieved in May 2009, should not be diluted by distractions. Condemning the many moves to impose more..

UNP rebels to take to streets against Ranil

Aug 10 (Island) The Movement to Protect the UNP and Trade Unions would enlist the support of 4.7 million party supporters, after the Provincial Council elections on September 8, to take to the streets in all parts of the country to demand the resignation of UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, Spokesman of the Movement, Lal Perera said. The UNP’s future was bleak under Wickremesinghe’s leadership and he had to resign paving the way for a new leader more..

Eston Park Academy pupils visit school in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (GL) Academy students got a lesson in cultural differences when they travelled more than 6,000 miles to a school in Sri Lanka. The 13 Year 11 students from Eston Park Academy, along with teachers Kathryn Meyer and Glenn Dawkins, plus four mentors from the Sixth Form Experience and Teesside University visited the Sri Punyakami School in Mount Lavinia, near Colombo, which caters for the people of the deprived more..