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Sri Lanka graphite export firm given nod: BOI

Nov 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency said it had signed a deal with Plumbago Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, which will invest 78 million US dollars over four years to process and export graphite, the second such firm in as many months. A 25% stake in the venture will be held by Sri Lanka's Esna group, which will be represented on the board by chairman Eshana de Silva. A statement by the Board of Investment, quoted Chris Cowan director of Plumbago Lanka as saying that the firm more..

Prison officials probed

Nov 14 (CT) Prison authorities have appointed a special team to conduct an internal probe to determine whether prison officials had a hidden hand in assisting the Welikada Prison inmates in opening the prison armoury last Friday, which led to a riot and shootout. A senior prison official said the team of prison sleuths is expected to record statements from the prison officials, who were on duty at the time when the riot broke out. more..

Mathews fifth in the ODI all-rounders' table

Nov 14 (DM) Sri Lanka vice-captain Angelo Mathews has broken into the top five of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders in the latest rankings released on Tuesday, after his team's series against New Zealand. Mathews moved up a place to fifth and also achieved his career-best rating of 331 in the fourth ODI in Hambantota. The all-rounders’ table is still headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, with Mohammad Hafeez in second position, followed by Shane Watson in third more..

Editorial: Ranil an imminent danger to free media

Nov 14 (CT) The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe into the charges levelled in the Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, is now in place. The Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe has nominated John Amaratunge and Lakshman Kiriella from the UNP, while the TNA and JVP have named R. Sampanthan and Vijitha Herath respectively. The credentials of Sampanthan and Herath are beyond question. Both have made tremendous more..

Muralidaran eyes another battle with Warne

Nov 14 (Age) SPIN legend Muthiah Muralidaran reckons cricket fans still have cause to be excited by the looming duel between he and Shane Warne in next month's Big Bash League, despite both having passed their 40th birthdays. Muralidaran has not played in Australia since Sri Lanka's 2010 one-day series win, which included him hitting the winning boundary after Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga's record 132-run partnership for the ninth wicket at the MCG. more..

National Health Week in December

Nov 14 (DN) The Health Ministry has planned a National Health Week to be held from December 10 to 16 under the guidance of Minister Maitripala Sirisena. This is the second National Health Week to be held in Sri Lanka. The first one was held from September 3 to 9, 2011. The National Health Week aims at coordinating every sector in the country to cooperate to development the health sector. Special attention of this year's National Health Week create public awareness on Non Communicable more..

Discussions to begin on Friday

Nov 14 (CT) Despite claims by Education Minister, Bandula Gunawardena that he would not engage in discussions with the agitating teachers’ union, the minister has summoned teachers’ and principals’ unions for discussions at the ministry next Friday. Minister informed the media last October he would not participate in any meetings with teachers’ unions, and accused the unionists of being highly politicized. However, according to the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) and the Ceylon more..

'No drugs behind Kahawatte killings'

Nov 14 (DM) SSP Prishantha Jayakody said today there was no political pressure on the investigations into the Kahawatte killings and that all suspects alleged to have been involved in the 13 killings have been arrested and produced in the courts. “We have completely restored law and order in the area and there is no reason to panic about security. We have set up a police post in the area with 37 police more..

Two charged with Paris murder

Nov 14 (CG) Two Sri Lankan men were charged Tuesday with the murder of a former commander of Tamil Tigers rebel group in Paris, a French judicial source said. Nadarajah Mathinthiran was gunned down Thursday night as he was leaving the headquarters of the Tamil Coordination Committee in France (CCTF), an organisation regarded as a front for what remains of the Tigers. The two suspects, both born in Sri Lanka in 1979, were arrested Sunday and are being held in more..

Secretary Defence special guest at 'Airshow China-2012'

Nov 14 (GDI) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa was among the special invitees at the opening ceremony of the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai in South China's Guangdong Province today (13). Secretary Defence is attending the 'Airshow China' on a special invitation extended by China. He is currently in mainland China leading a delegation on an official visit. The inauguration ceremony was attended by a number of more..

'Impeachment is not for truth, justice or fair play'

Nov 14 (LT) “The institutions they themselves wanted us to believe as ‘supreme’ are being demolished by Rajapaksa regime. They are being belittled and slandered. The impeachment process is not carried out for truth, justice or fair play. If you can read between the lines you would be able to see what the real intention is. This is the real nature of Rajapaksa. All institutions they want to be cowed down are being more..

How about a third Republican Constitution?

Nov 15 (NS) I read with interest Laksiri Fernando’s avuncular response (‘Devolution Talk’) to a comment on the 13th Amendment I had written a few weeks ago. He’s asked me to ponder the 17th and 18th ‘syndrome’ of the Rajapaksa administration. So, first things first, I will respond to this suggestion. I have written dozens of articles on the 17th Amendment, from the time it was passed in 2001, pointing out its errors and lacunae and suggesting corrective measures. more..

Birth of coalition politics and nationalism

Nov 15 (NS) In the first part of the series, we discussed the circumstances and factors that motivated the conspirators; and politics of Ceylon in the post independence era. Today, we continue with an emphasis on effects of ethnic and religious sentiments of ’56 on the Defense forces and the Police hierarchy and other related matters. With the assassination of Prime Minister Bandaranaike, in September 1959, Ceylon as a nation faced confusion and instability. more..

'Reintegrating displaced persons into national economy, a success'

Nov 15 (SO) When three decades of conflict which displaced so many thousands of people in the Northern and the Eastern part of the country, the Govt of Sri Lanka, at the end of the humanitarian operation in May 2009, was entrusted with the task of resettling those people displaced by the conflict. The process which commenced just three months after the completion of the humanitarian operation saw a more..

Sivagurunathan of Ananda: He came from Jaffna

Nov 15 (DBS) The dust has settled not only on the humiliating defeat that Sri Lanka faced at the T-20 in October but also on the bitterness that fans felt over the loss. Just a few weeks before though at another cricket match, it did not matter who won or lost, but that a game was played, with strong bonds being forged for national unity and the promise of a continuing alliance to strengthen the north-south dialogue. A historic occasion it was when Ananda College, Colombo, met Hindu College, more..

Whither the 13th Amendment?

Nov 15 (DBS) It is now common knowledge as to the circumstances in which the 13th Amendment to the Constitution came into being. The fact that it was introduced under duress and was forced down our throats is not in dispute. Nor is the position that although India ostensibly displayed to Sri Lanka and the international community that its intentions were honourable in presenting it as a just and reasonable solution which could bring a lasting solution towards Tamil aspirations and a door towards peace, more..

Govt’s objective and political rag sheets

Nov 15 (DM) Clause 107 (2) of the Constitution indicates that “The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal” could be removed “by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President..” more..

Where is transparency at SLC?

Nov 15 (Island) Since the last elections of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Press in particular have focused attention on the eligibility of the Hony Secretary to continue to hold office vis a vis the Constitution of that Institution. In recent times those reservations have even led to allegations of a conflict of interest. This subject has also been debated in cricket and other social circles locally and attracted the attention of the international media as well. Surely is it not in the hands of SLC’s membership to clear more..

In the cross-hairs of Sri Lankan death sqauds

Nov 15 (CT) Maneenthiran also known as Parathi was shot dead on the night of the 8th of November as he exited the offices of the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) at 341 Rue Des Pyrenees in Paris. The timing of his execution was not coincidental. It was the evening on which diaspora organisations were hosting a banquet for members of parliament, including senior members of the DMK, who had travelled from all around the world to attend the World Tamil Conference; more..

Dinesh Chandrasena: A star among stars

Nov 15 (SL) Internationally renowned Sri Lankan fashion designer Dinesh Chandrasena, who has designed clothes for Hollywood Stars like Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford and more, says the fashion industry is a global power house, and for those like him who are involved, it is not just the “frocks and fabulousness”, but the ethical standards that need to be upheld, while nurturing the next generation of creative talents. more..

Editorial: From farce to tragedy

Nov 15 (Island) All attempts to dissuade the government from going ahead with the impeachment motion against Chief Justice (CJ) Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake have been in vain. The CJ has picked up the gauntlet. The die is cast. Everything is now in place for a legislative trial of the head of the judiciary. A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe charges against the CJ has now been constituted with seven members from the govt and four from the Opposition. more..

Fast descent into a constitutional dictatorship?

Nov 15 (CT) Sri Lanka is fast descending into a Constitutional Dictatorship. In a kingdom the powers of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary were exercised by the king. The king was sovereign. In a democracy the people are sovereign and their sovereignty is given expression through the executive, legislative and the judicial branches of Govt. The healthiest democracy is where the different arms of govt are independent of one another, and they exercise their powers in more..

Budget heaps burden on poor, rich get benefits - Senior Minister

Nov 15 (Island) Govt ally LSSP’s General Secretary and Minister Prof Tissa Vitharana said the UPFA’s taxation policy was very unfortunate and looked after the interests of the rich. "A very unfortunate feature of the UPFA’s taxation policy has been the progressive shift to placing the burden of development on the poor and giving more and more relief to the rich," Minister participating in the second reading stage of the budget debate said. more..

Aitken Spence 1H pre-tax profits up by 51%

Nov 15 (FT) Blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 2.1 billion for six months ended 30 Sept 2012, an increase of 51.5% from the corresponding period last year. The impressive half-year results released to the CSE yesterday show a rise of 40% in group revenue to Rs. 18.6 billion. Profit attributable to shareholders increased by 53.4% to Rs. 1.37 billion while earnings per share rose by 53.4% to Rs. 3.38 billion, over the corresponding period. more..

Sri Lanka cleared of earthquake threat

Nov 15 (DN) Only four earthquakes over seven in the Richter scale have been recorded during the last three decades. There is no immediate earthquake threat due to ocean plate formation in the South of Sri Lanka and it is premature to make it compulsory new building codes to withstand 'would be' earthquakes, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau chairman Dr N P Wijayananda said. He said the ocean plate formation south of Sri Lanka does not pose earthquake threat to Sri Lanka and more..

U.S. embassy helps strengthen education across southern Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (USE) On Nov 13, U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison visited several of the English language programs sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province. Ambassador Sison visited the Embassy-funded Access Center in Tangalle to observe how the micro-scholarship program has helped improve English language skills of young students, toured Ruhuna University in Matara to observe more..

Another high level Indian biz delegation arriving this Sunday

Nov 15 (Island) Yet another high level Indian biz delegation will arrive in Sri Lanka this weekend. "We are encouraged by strong interest shown by Indian corporate sector to invest in Sri Lanka. There is no doubt that the three day visit of top CII delegation beginning this weekend would enhance current business to business level links between the two countries," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 14 November. more..

Senior Minister Fowzie alleges Hajj pilgrims swindled

Nov 15 (DN) Senior Minister AHM Fowzie said an inquiry will be conducted into several malpractices connected to the Hajj pilgrimage. He said certain financially motivated tour operators had on several instances resorted to malpractices that impacted on Hajj pilgrims, such as, charging excess money, not providing the agreed facilities etc. He requested pilgrims who had been swindled to complain to him since he is one of the two coordinators of Hajj affairs. He added that 3,022 pilgrims more..

Is Govt. rejecting joint statements with UN, India: Ranil

Nov 15 (DM) The UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today asked the govt to clearly state its stance on the 13th Amendment. He also asked whether the Govt was rejecting the May 26, 2009 joint statement with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the May 17, 2011 joint statement with the Indian Govt where the Sri Lankan Govt underlines its commitment to the implementation of the 13th Amendment. He said a different tone more..

Sri Lanka to see its first-ever steel village

Nov 15 (CT) Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd., the pioneering steel manufacturer and the producer of award winning LANWA Brand, announced the company’s extensive investment plan and go-to market strategy to further strengthen the rapidly developing construction industry. Ceylon Steel Corporation Ltd. Chairman, Nandana Lokuwithana and other dignitaries of the company graced the media briefing held at Waters Edge Battaramulla. Introducing innovation and high calibre more..

PS Vice Chairman wants to sell timber

Nov 15 (Island) Timber stored at the State Timber Corporation stores in Dela in the Ratnapura District worth millions has been decaying. Sawn timber is expensive and arrangements should be made to sell the rest of the timber stock, the Vice Chairman of the Nivithigala Pradeshiya Sabha Ajith Malawi Gunaratne said, addressing the monthly meeting of the Pradeshiya Sabha. Somi Gunawardena (UPFA) said that the salaries of the Multi Purpose Cooperative Society had also not been paid more..

Bribery Commission follows Rs. 3 b donation from Germany

Nov 15 (FT) The Bribery Commission has started an inquiry in search of possible financial misappropriations involved in the controversial donation of Euro 5.9 million (Rs. 3,000 mil) received in 2005 from the Helmut Kohl Maternity Hospital Foundation in Germany to construct a maternity ward at the Galle General Hospital. “After 7 years, the construction is limited to a foundation and the funds have disappeared,” revealed UNP MP more..

Case on alleged Rs. 260 m misappropriation at LECO referred to AG

Nov 15 (FT) The CID yesterday informed Court that it has sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the case on alleged misappropriation of Rs. 260 million at Lanka Electricity Company (Private) Limited (LECO), and his advice over the matter is yet to be received. When the LECO case came up before Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne, the CID informed Court that extracts of investigations regarding the case had already been sent to the Attorney General. more..

SL has lost 50% of its forest cover during last century — expert

Nov 15 (Island) Sri Lanka was willing to exchange knowledge, expertise and experience with SAARC countries to conserve the forestry sector in the country, Environment Ministry Secretary B. M. U. D. Basnayake said. He made these remarks at the SAARC workshop on Stakeholder Engagement to enhance development and productivity of Trees outside Forests (TOF) and contribute to meeting market demands for forest products and increasing forest cover, jointly organized by more..

Call for Cameron to boycott Sri Lanka summit over human rights

Nov 15 (BBC) David Cameron is being urged by MPs to consider boycotting next year's Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka in protest at its human rights record. The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said it was wrong for Colombo to host the heads of govt meeting amid reports of continuing "serious abuses". The PM should not attend unless he had clear evidence of progress, it added. UK officials said it was too early to more..

Sports minister wants probe on fixing allegations

Nov 15 (PTI) Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage wants Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to probe the match-fixing allegations, involving Sri Lanka, by British journalist Ed Hawkins in his recent book. The ministry spokesman said that Aluthgamage wants the media stories probed and reported to him. However, the SLC chief executive officer Ajith Jayasekera said that revelations in the 'Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy by Hawkins was only a piece of work by an individual. more..

Deficit must come down 89.2%, capex on the chopping block

Nov 15 (Island) The fiscal numbers would have to undergo drastic adjustments if the government is to meet the 6.2% of GDP deficit target this year, such as curtailing capital expenditure by more than 30 percent year-on-year this quarter, a move not made since 2010, and brining down the deficit by 89.2%. "The fiscal situation in Sri Lanka will be seen far more positively, if the final deficit for 2012 comes in line with the estimated Fiscal Deficit of 6.2% of GDP given by the Treasury. more..

Businesslike Musaweni works Colombo’s corporate crowd

Nov 15 (AT) As the visiting Ugandan President Yoweri K. Musaweni called Sri Lanka to use African bloc COMESA’s trade facilities through his country, Sri Lanka, in turn, invited the Pearl of Africa to jointly explore African continent’s promising growth. “Uganda is an active member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMSA), the combined Africa Free Trade Zone (AFTZ) and East African more..

Sri Lankan delegation visits SSUET, discusses coop in academic sector

Nov 15 (PO) An eight-member Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Chairman, Puttalam Urban Council and Minister for Health, Indigenous Medicine, Sports and Youth Affairs, visited Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and exchanged views on matters of bilateral cooperation in the field of education. An official of SSUET said here on Wednesday that the delegation comprised K.A. Baiz, Mayor of Puttalam, Chief Govt Organizer for Puttalam Electorate, more..

Kahawatta OIC’s transfer cancelled following public protests

Nov 15 (Island) The controversial transfer of Officer in Charge of the Kahawatta police, Chief Inspector Neranjan Abeywardena, to the Police Field Force Headquarters on Tuesday, was cancelled with immediate effect yesterday in view of public protests. CI Abeywardena assumed duties in Kahawatta only a few months ago but has, according to the residents, improved policing in the area where 16 women have so far been killed under mysterious circumstances. At a meeting more..