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Budget 2013: PBJ tells banks: 'Show what you’ve got'

Nov 14 (ST) Treasury Secretary Dr P B Jayasundera urged commercial banks to make use of their balance sheets which they claim to be so good and source foreign funds. He said: “The banks who say that they have good balance sheets should do a bit more in terms of funding small and medium enterprises (SME). If those balance sheets are strong, then they should be able to use their balance sheets and raise funds from (outside) foreign countries. They should be able to borrow more..

Sri Lanka Indian Oil Corp unit profits up 300%

Nov 14 (LBO) Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation said profits in the September 2012 quarter rose 327% from a year earlier, partly helped by foreign exchange gains. The firm reported earnings of 2.22 rupees per share. In the six months to September the firm reported earnings of 2.58 per share on total profits of 1.37 billion rupees in interim accounts filed with the CSE. Revenues grew 58% to 20.1 billion rupees, expenses grew 18.6% to 56.3 billion rupees and gross profits grew 93% more..

IATA global aviation human capital summit takes off today

Nov 14 (FT) Asserting that Sri Lanka is a “wonderful place and a great platform” to host the second edition of the IATA Global Aviation Human Capital Summit, IATA Vice President Human Capital Dr. Guido Gianasco yesterday commended SriLankan Airlines for putting together a thought-provoking program for “sparkling, vivid, and frank discussions” on the human capital requirements of the growing industry. The two-day summit, more..

SLTB offered running of private buses

Nov 14 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said that LPBOA had decided to request the govt to operate 20,500 private buses under the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) administration, as the National Transport Commission (NTC) and Road Passenger Transport Authorities were unable to manage the private bus industry properly. Wijeratne said he would meet Minister Kumara Welgama next week to discuss the matter. more..

More lands for sugarcane cultivation

Nov 14 (DN) The President has allocated 130,000 hectares for sugarcane cultivation through budget 2013 to increase local sugar production which is only five percent of the total demand. With the new sugarcane cultivation project local sugar production is expected to increase upto 35% of the total demand by 2016 Minister Reginald Cooray said. He was addressing a meeting after laying the foundation stone for a sugarcane seed propagation centre at Ensalwatte, Deniyaya recently. more..

MoU signed to declare Puttalam, Karachi sister cities

Nov 14 (PT) Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Muhammad Haroon Agar appreciated the proposed initiative of Sister-City Arrangements between Karachi and Puttalam of North Western Province. Speaking with a delegation from Sri Lanka headed by, Chairman of Puttalam Urban Council, Abdul Baiz he emphasized the need to explore new avenues for bilateral economic and commercial cooperation. more..

Commonwealth criticised for holding Sri Lanka meeting

Nov 14 (Politics) The Commonwealth’s decision to hold a heads of govt meeting in Colombo was wrong, according to a new report. A foreign affairs committee report today looked at evidence of serious human rights abuses in the country, whose capital is to hold the 2013 Commonwealth heads of govt meeting. The committee urged the prime minister to publically refuse to attend the meeting unless he receives “convincing and independently-verified evidence of substantial and more..

More newborns with HIV

Nov 14 (DN) The number of children who had contracted HIV/AIDS at birth from HIV/AIDS affected mothers have exceeded that of last year, a Health Ministry Official said yesterday. Already 52 new born babies have been identified as having contracted HIV/AIDS from affected mothers. Around 90 new HIV/AIDS cases have been reported during the first 10 months this year and 52 among them are cases where HIV/AIDS has been contracted by new borns from their mothers. more..

Is Ban's legacy tarnished by Sri Lanka?

Nov 14 (FP) Ban Ki-moon added his voice today to the rising chorus of world leaders denouncing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brutal repression of civilians and his failure to listen to his people's demands for democratic change. "I am gravely concerned about Syria," Ban said in speech this afternoon at Yale University. "Each day in Syria brings new reports of appalling violations of human rights and tragic suffering." Throughout the more..

Another fuel line leak near Kelanitissa

Nov 14 (Island) A pipeline used for pumping diesel from the Colombo Port to the Kolonnawa Oil storage terminal sprung a leak near the Kelanitissa power plant yesterday morning. This was the third time that a fuel pipeline burst during the past three weeks. Spokesman for the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd, Nissanka Jayawardena said that the pipe was not pumping diesel at the time the leak was discovered."Our workers repaired the pipe by 11.30 am as it was a minor leak," he said. more..

28 maids in Saudi refugee camp

Nov 14 (CT) 28 displaced Sri Lankan women who have been languishing in the Olivian refugee camp in Saudi Arabia have been subject to various acts of harassment, torture and abuse. A Sri Lankan woman said on condition of anonymity that out of the 248 Sri Lankan women staying in the refugee camp 13 are pregnant and they don’t receive adequate food and sanitary facilities. Another woman said they are not in a position to contact their kith and kin back in Sri Lanka due to non availability of more..

Count on Uganda’s continuing support

Nov 14 (DN) Sri Lanka and Uganda look forward to enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries, with potential for a significant increase in many sectors. During bilateral discussions with Ugandan President Gen. Yoveri Kaguta Museveni at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out the need to significantly enhance trade between the two countries. Sri Lanka has a more..

Pangolin scales smuggler nabbed at BIA

Nov 14 (Island) The Sri Lanka Customs, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, on Monday night nabbed an Indian national attempting to smuggle out a package of Pangolin scales to Chennai. This was the first time anyone was detected attempting to smuggle out the scales of Pangolins popularly known as ant eaters. He had tried to smuggle out around two kilos of scales. Custom had fined him Rs. 50,000 and confiscated the scales. Trade in Pangolin or its parts was illegal under more..

Isolate prison’s hardcore from the rest - HRCSL

Nov 14 (DN) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) reiterated the necessity to separate drug addicts and hardcore criminals in prisons to avoid repetition of unfortunate incidents as that of the recent Welikada prison riot. The separation of hard core criminals and drug addicts would also address the overcrowding in remand prisons, HRCSL Commissioner Dr Prathiba Mahanama Hewa said yesterday. He added about half of the remand prisoners are drug addicts. more..

13A : UNP agreeable to ‘practical’ amendments

Nov 14 (Island) The UNP was opposed to the abolition of the 13th Amendment, but if the govt wanted to make any changes, it should ensure a proper alternative to the Provincial Councils system, the UNP said yesterday. As the 13th Amendment was rushed through parliament, following the 1987 Indo–Lanka Accord, certain shortcomings had crept in and they needed to be rectified. But, the Amendment as a whole should not be repealed, UNP more..

Editorial: 'I was in prison, you set me free'

Nov 14 (DM) The virtual war at the Welikada jail on Friday and the unanswered questions as to who did what and why need to focus attention on related issues that led to such mayhem. The Welikada jail has more than 3,500 prisoners -- heavily in excess of the space available, and overloading has caused major problems. The Prison Reforms Ministry is working out plans to move hundreds of drug addicts out of the Welikada jail where they are often drawn into deeper addiction because the more..

Over 1000 students in Gampola hospitalized

Nov 14 (DM) Over 1000 students in Gampola Jinaraja Balika Vidyalaya were hospitalized this morning, as a result of an alleged allergic reaction. The students had complained of nausea and skin irritation and had been immediately hospitalized after their condition turned severe. Gampola Hospital Director Sarath Weerabandara said they suspect the allergic reaction could have been caused by asbestos particles that disseminated off a building that is currently under more..

DWC double standards continue

Nov 14 (SL) The decision to de-gazette a gazette notification in order to demarcate more than 4, 000 acres of land in the Elahera-Girithale sanctuary to distribute amongst the villagers has raised concern among environmentalists. The Elahera-Girithale reserve was declared a sanctuary on January 13, 2000 through a gazette notification No: 1114/15. This sanctuary which is 54.2 square miles in extent is the main elephant corridor more..

Striking while the iron is hot

Nov 14 (ST) Names such as Mullivaikal, Puthumathalan and Ampalavan Pokkanai would be unknown to most but for the fact that they were scenes of battle in 2009, during the last phase of the war. The three villages are in the northern district of Mullaitivu. When the war ended, the residents of these villages were taken to govt welfare centres. It was only recently that they were permitted to return and resume life in the more..

With rhetoric on Lanka, Karunanidhi charts poll course

Nov 14 (TOI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi has once again hardened his stance on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue — as he has done on many an occasion in the past — insisting that India prevail upon the United Nations to hold a referendum on the right to Tamils' self-determination in the island nation. Though Karunanidhi has made it conditional for his party's continued support to the UPA, political analysts see it as a ploy on his part to get a more..

Govt. pooh-poohs attempt to blame Paris killing on SL agent

Nov 14 (Island) Highly placed govt sources alleged that an attempt was being made by the LTTE to involve Sri Lankan agents in the assassination of Nadarasa Mahenthiran aka Paridi (49) opposite the office of the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) in Paris on the night of Nov 8. A top govt official said that in the immediate aftermath of the killing, LTTE operatives had begun working closely with a section of more..

Needs outstrip housing construction in North

Nov 14 (IRIN) Rajina Mary, a 38-year-old widow and mother of four looks at her new home in Sri Lanka’s northern former conflict zone as if admiring a long-lost relative. But in reality, the home’s mostly unplastered walls bruise anyone who leans on them too hard, and there are large holes in the walls for non-existent windows and doors; the floor is cemented only in the living area. No one wants to stay indoors between more..

Sajith highlights plight of the poor

Nov 14 (CT) UNP Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa, said the 2013 Budget was unfair and harmful to the working class people of the country. At a media briefing held at Narahenpita yesterday, Premadasa carried out a ‘Budget Analysis’ in order to point out its many defects. “When considering State finance management, we must talk of income and expenditure, and direct and indirect tax. The speciality of this budget is more..

Anura Priyadarshana appointed Chairman of PSC on CJ

Nov 14 (AD) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was appointed the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee for the impeachment of the Chief Justice. The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice was handed over to the Speaker by MPs Arundika Fernando, L. Alagiyawanna and Shanth Bandara with the signatures of 117 MPs on November 1. Eleven members have been appointed for the PSC more..

Sri Lanka visit by World Bank managing director

Nov 14 (LBO) World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati will visit Sri Lanka from November 15 to 19, to discuss the climate for private sector investment and seek ways for the to support the country further, the multilateral lender said. "Sri Lanka has made great strides in overcoming poverty as it transitions from a lower income to a middle income country," Indrawati said in a statement. "Sri Lanka is working more..

Teachers, principals to strike on Dec. 4

Nov 14 (Island) Principals and teachers of govt schools announced that they would stage a token strike on Dec. 4 if the education ministry failed to grant their demands immediately. Spokesman for the Principals and Teachers Trade Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they had taken the decision to strike at a special convention held at the Public Library in Colombo with the participation of teachers and principals countrywide. more..

Sri Lanka denies intimidating UN workers

Nov 14 (BBC) The Sri Lankan govt has denied allegations that it intimidated UN staff at the end of the civil war. The claims were made in a UN report leaked to the BBC, in which the UN accused itself of failing the civilian Tamil population in the final stages of the conflict in 2009. The Sri Lankan UN ambassador said it was "absolute nonsense" to say a "small country" could intimidate the UN. Palitha Kohona said his country had more..

SB’s brother leaves hospital

Nov 14 (Island) Central Provincial Council Chairman Saliya Bandara Dissanayake, who was undergoing treatment at the Kandy General Hospital following an alleged suicide attempt was discharged yesterday. Dissanayake was admitted to the hospital on Saturday (10) after a case of poisoning. He was treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Hospital sources disclosed that Dissanayake was discharged as his condition had improved. Saliya is a brother of Higher Education more..

Teenager stabbed to death by friend

Nov 14 (Island) A 15-year-old was stabbed to death by his 16-year-old friend on Monday night at Urubokka in Ginnaliya, following a dispute. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that the incident occurred around 8.45 p.m. at Miriswatte junction. The victim had been identified as Pattalage Isuru Sampath, who had been living in Uswatte with his father. Urubokka police sources said that the victim had been stabbed only once on the chest, below the heart and had succumbed to more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Indian officials visit riot-hit Lankan prison

Nov 14 (PTI) Indian officials have visited Welikada prison to inquire about the welfare of Indian prisoners after last week's riot that left 27 inmates dead and over 40 injured. "Our consular officials on Monday visited the Indian prisoners," an Indian High Commission spokesperson said. He said that 33 convicted and five under trial Indian prisoners were present at Welikada jail at the time of violence on Friday. In the riot, 27 inmates were killed and 42 others, including prison officials and troops, more..

Learn from Pakistan’s struggle for democracy

Nov 14 (CT) The govt’s plan to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake appears to be running into unforeseen problems. The indications are now that the govt’s charge sheet against the Chief Justice is not as watertight as the proponents of the impeachment motion had believed. In addition, opposition to the impeachment has come from an unexpected quarter. The four chief priests of the Buddhist Sangha have expressed their displeasure in a written statement. more..

WikiLeaks: ‘Who knows? Mahinda will never say what he believes’

Nov 14 (CT) “The Prime Minister’s gratuitous decision to defy the President by signing electoral pacts with the JHU and JVP–especially when he did not need to do so to gain their support–had only exacerbated tensions, Rajapakse observed. ‘It was very foolish of him,’ she commented. When asked why he chose to sign the pacts, Rajapakse replied that he had calculated that it was more important to snag JVP votes–and pre-empt more..

Bank of Ceylon debenture demand strong: officials

Nov 14 (LBO) A sale of 5-year debenture of up to 6.0 billion rupees by state-run Bank of Ceylon, due to open on November 15 has seen strong demand and is expected to close quickly. P A Lionel, deputy general manager treasury and investments of Bank of Ceylon said there had been discussion with foreign banks about investments by their clients, but the bank expected strong local demand for the debentures. Bank of Ceylon is Sri Lanka's largest commercial bank based on assets and more..

Fishermen pushing for a north-south alliance to save environment and resources

Nov 14 (AN) Northern Province Fisher People's Alliance (NPFPA) leaders have proposed an alliance between northern and southern fishermen to protect the country's fishing resources and preserve its small coastal communities against Indian encroachment. The proposal was made during the NPFPA general assembly held on Sunday in Vavuniya. "Indian trawlers encroach on ours waters every week without difficulties," NPFPA president S. Thavaratnam said. "The Coast Guard and more..

AIADMK govt to construct 2500 houses for Lankan Tamils

Nov 14 (PTI) Amid DMK pitching for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, the ruling AIADMK govt today stepped up welfare measures by announcing construction of 2,500 durable houses for them at various camps in Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had announced several measures for them in the past, ordered construction of 2,500 durable houses at the rate of Rs one lakh each and earmarked Rs 25 crore for the purpose. more..

Large numbers throng to commemorate November Heroes

Nov 14 (LT) A large number of members thronged to the 23rd Commemoration of November Heroes held at Viharmahadevi Open Air theater today (13). Delivering the commemorative speech the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe said it is a time that the doctrine of the founder of the JVP Rohana Wijeweera should be minutely studied and followed. The launching of the book ‘The History of the JVP’ also took place during the ceremony. Two books were presented to two members of more..

New DG for Sri Lanka Tea Board

Nov 14 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tea Board which is the Apex body for regulation, promotion and development of the tea industry under the Ministry of Plantation Industries has appointed Damitha Narangoda as the new Director General recently. Narangoda was a former Director Supervision at the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka which is the Regulator of the Insurance Industry. He counts over twenty years experience in the fields of regulatory affairs of insurance supervision, more..

Nurses on 24-hour strike

Nov 14 (CT) The All Ceylon Nurses’ Union (ACNU), announcing a 24-hour trade union action tomorrow, warned the govt not to mislead the people through State media by saying that the problems of the nurses will be resolved soon. President of the ACNU, H.M.S.B. Madiwatte said the govt has neglected to hold discussions with the nurses. Therefore, a 24-hour trade union action will be staged islandwide, commencing at 7 a.m more..

Not a total loss for New Zealand

Nov 14 (CI) New Zealand made two competitive scores in three attempts, against a good attack in tough conditions. Considering their recent results, that is not a poor return, and that mindset needs to stay for now. With the two new balls that keep swinging around for longer, yet stay hard and hittable through to the end of the innings, and the new rule that rewards aggression through the middle overs, New Zealand may have struck upon a batting strategy that others may seek to emulate, more..