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Governance is the foundation of sustainable prosperity

Nov 29 (CT) The veteran Civil Servant and Secretary to two former Presidents, K.H.J Wijayadasa has delivered a very strong message to contemporary Sri Lankans in his publication “Governance, Heritage and Sustainability” launched last week in Colombo before an audience of likeminded veterans belonging to his era. He has said that the “legitimacy of govt is measured by degree of democratisation, accountability of official and political elements of govt, transparency, more..

In step: From father to son

Nov 29 (ST) Ravibandu Vidyapathi dances alongside the ghost of his father. Their shadows follow the two dancers as they leap and twist and then fold into each other. A little later, when Somabandu Vidyapathi’s sketches are projected onto the large screen at the Punchi theatre, they fill the space with dancers dressed in glorious costumes, frozen as if in mid-performance. Finally, Ravibandu steps forward alone: he is his more..

New Zealand find reserves of resilience

Nov 29 (CI) "Reflection" has been the buzzword around the New Zealand camp since their loss in Galle. That is a strange concept in sport, because reflecting is something more often done after success. Rarely is the acceptance of a World Cup, a Grand Slam, a Major or Test Mace complete until some mention of allowing the moment to "sink in" has been made. Failure, meanwhile, elicits the desire to "move on". There may be some lip service to the idea of learning from mistakes, but more..

‘Vaas-phobia’ grips Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (Island) A prophet, the Bible says, is not welcome in his own country. No Sri Lankan cricketer has gone through the humiliations Chaminda Vaas has been forced to in recent times. In 2005, when he was appointed vice-captain of the national side, deservedly so after 11 years of toil for the national team, powerful player agent Charlie Austin accused Vaas of seeking political patronage for the vice-captain’s role. Three years ago, the selection panel headed by Ashantha de Mel hastened his more..

'NZ quicks using height well'

Nov 29 (CI) Height has been the key to the New Zealand fast bowlers' success at P Sara Oval, seamer Nuwan Kulasekara said, as his team faces a steep climb to prevent the visitors from leveling the two-Test series. NZ set a target of 363, and four wickets late on day four have ensured victory is all but impossible for Sri Lanka, and even a draw is unlikely. "They have the height and that's one reason they are able to get good bounce," more..

Chandran Rutnam makes ‘A common man’ as a Sri Lanka-Hollywood co-production

Nov 29 (DBS) A Common Man is an upcoming psychological thriller film by Sri Lankan film-maker Chandran Rutnam with Oscar Award winner Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross in the cast. The story is adapted from a concept conceived while Chandran was watching the Hindi movie A Wednesday. However, Rutnam has developed into a highly suspenseful thriller. The cast includes Ben Kingsley, Ben Cross, Patrick Rutnam, Mohamed Adamaly, Dushyanth Weeraman, Ashan Dias, more..

Japan supports Jaipur limb workshop improvement

Nov 29 (DN) The Japanese govt has extended Rs 3.7 million grant aid for a social welfare project to expand the supply capacity of artificial limbs by providing equipment to the workshops under its Grant Assistance for Grass roots Human Security Project (GGP). "The Project for Developing the Setting Workshops to Manufacture Artificial Limbs and Appliances in Colombo" implemented by the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society which has provided artificial limbs with rehabilitation at more..

Foreign funds’ craving for Sri Lankan stocks

Nov 29 (FT) Foreign funds’ craving for select Sri Lankan stocks continue unabated as the Bourse saw a net inflow of Rs. 400 million yesterday amidst dip in indices largely due to weak sentiments from local investors. Contrary to misconception among some that foreign inflows currently enjoyed by Colombo Bourse are from dubious parties, yesterday’s as well as recent foreign buying are largely by established funds. A fund linked to more..

Sirisena gets Migration Health Policy draft

Nov 29 (Island) The draft copy of the new National Migration Health Policy (NMHP) was handed to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said the policy was aimed at preventing diseases being transmitted within and outside the country. "We have a large number of young men and women migrating in search of employment within the country as well as those travelling abroad for employment. The number of tourists too has increased this year. more..

'UNP Convention will be held at Srikotha'

Nov 29 (Island) A special convention of the UNP scheduled for Dec. 1 would be held at the party headquarters Srikotha, Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga said yesterday. He said that the Ethul Kotte complex had ample space to accommodate the 6,000 odd invitees and the party’s most important year end meeting would be held at "home", which was the most appropriate place for such an event. Asked if a recent Working Committee decision to conduct leadership elections more..

'Fuel, electricity price increases inevitable'

Nov 29 (Island) Fuel and electricity price increases are inevitable as Sri Lanka comes face to face with reality that the huge losses made by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) can no longer be sustained, a think tank says, but warns the govt should accompany this necessary action with broader structural reforms so as to contain a sudden spike in inflation. "Recent media headlines have featured large losses incurred by SOEs. more..

X-ray machines at major prisons

Nov 29 (DN) The Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation Ministry will install X-ray machines at all major prisons to monitor visitors, a ministry official said. The X-ray machines will help detect persons entering prisons with firearms, communication equipment, narcotics etc. Those entering prisons, including visitors to see inmates and prison officials, will be checked, he said. "The X-ray machines are to be installed within one month at the entrance to prisons. Other prisons too will be equipped more..

'Lanka has steadfastly stood with Palestine'

Nov 29 (DN) The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people serves to remind the international community that the Palestinians are still denied their right to self-determination, independence and sovereignty and dispossessed of much of their land, President Rajapaksa said. The people of Sri Lanka have steadfastly stood with the Palestinian people in their decades long struggle for justice and the fulfillment of their inalienable rights and will continue to do so, he said. more..

India’s Trimax to build Knowledge and Tech Park in Hambantota

Nov 29 (FT) Trimax IT Infrastructure and Data Services Ltd., of India yesterday signed the official agreement with the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology, to set up what will be called the Saki Data Centre at the proposed Saki Knowledge and Technology Park in Hambantota. The official agreement was signed by Trimax Chairman Surya Madrecha and Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology more..

Courts to be removed from Galle Fort, World Heritage Site

Nov 29 (DN) The country's biggest court complex will be established at Beligaha Junction, Galle at an estimated cost of Rs. 850 million, said Justice minister Rauf Hakeem. He said so addressing the media when he visited the site of the proposed court complex on Tuesday. The minister said all magistrate, district and high courts, the Provincial High Court, Commercial High Court and Quasi Court presently located in the Galle Fort will be housed in the proposed court complex. more..

Respect religious leaders views, halt impeachment of CJ – Karu J

Nov 29 (Island) President Rajapaksa and his govt should respect calls by religious leaders including from the Mahanayake’s to halt the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said. He said that the executive, judiciary and legislature must work in harmony and not be fighting grudge battles. "The govt should listen to the views expressed by religious leaders including the Maha Nayake’s and call off the PSC proceedings more..

Faizer sends father Faiz to meet CJ and offer support

Nov 29 (CT) Faizer Mustapha, Deputy Minister, who is in the forefront of the impeachment process has got his father, Faiz Mustapha, senior President’s Counsel to meet the CJ Shirani Bandaranayake and offer her “all support” Hultsdorf sources said. According to sources, Faiz Mustapha has met the Chief Justice on 22 Nov in her chambers and offered to support any application that is filed against the impeachment. more..

Overseas employment: Men overtake women

Nov 29 (Island) More Sri Lankan men were now going overseas for employment than women, Minister of Foreign Employment Dilan Perera told Parliament yesterday. He said that in 2011, 52% of men went overseas for employment as opposed to 48 per cent of women. "During UNP govts 70% of women went for overseas employment. We have managed to bring this down," the Minister said. He said the govt was keen to send more Sri Lankans overseas for skilled employment than unskilled work.

Govt. has accepted 13A as law – Vasu

Nov 29 (CT) Although certain ministers in the govt are rallying against the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the govt has already accepted it as law, as it is already a part of the Constitution, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, pointed out. He said the 13th Amendment was annexed to the Constitution in the interest of the minorities and it should be updated further. He also said the govt has no intention of abolishing the amendment, and that the powers should be devolved further more..

CJ must resign-Athauda

Nov 29 (DM) A Senior Minister and several govt MPs today called for the resignation of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranyake against whom an impeachment motion is being probed by a special select committee in Parliament. Minister Athauda Seneviratne who was speaking during the committee stage debate on the budget in the House said the Chief Justice should resign if she respects ethics. He charged that the structure more..

810 political prisoners

Nov 29 (CT) The TNA reiterated the call for the early release of 810 political prisoners in the country."It has been more than three years since the war ended and there are still 810 political prisoners in several jails around the country. There have been promises that the cases against them would be expedited, but this has not happened," the MP, speaking during the votes of the Ministry of Prisons and Prison Reforms, said. He also said most of those in prison were involved in minor more..

Destination boards in all three languages, a must from next year

Nov 29 (DN) The destination should be displayed in all three languages in the front and rear of every bus by Dec 31, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. "Over 50% of private and CTB buses do not display name boards in all three languages. Only 20% of announcements at railway stations are made in accordance with the language policy," he said. The National Languages and Social Integration Ministry officials held discussion with representatives of the Passenger Transport Authority and more..

Horror killing of 15-yr-old girl by demon possessed woman

Nov 29 (Island) A woman who ran a Devalaya at her home yesterday got into a trance and caused the death a 15-year-old girl by shoving an arecunut cutter and a knife down the latter’s throat. A 9-year-old girl, who was a relative of the victim and a 19-year-old female, who suffered serious burn injuries at the hands of the woman in a trance, were admitted to the hospital. The police have arrested the woman and her husband in this more..

'More prisons will solve overcrowding problem, not increasing crime rate'

Nov 29 (Island) Prisons and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told Parliament yesterday that increasing the number of prisons in the country would solve only the problem of overcrowding and not the increase in the crime rate. "There are some 25,000 persons entering prisons annually, out of which 43 per cent are drug offenders. They are considered repeat offenders as they are in and out of prisons and that contributed to the overcrowding in prisons," he said participating in the more..

Kottawa Southern Expressway terminal work begins in Dec.

Nov 29 (Island) Construction of the terminal at the Kottawa end of Colombo-Galle Southern Expressway would commence in December. The Kottawa terminal will comprise five entry and eight exit points. The terminal also connects the Southern Expressway to the Colombo Outer Circle Expressway which is under construction. The Southern Expressway will be connected to other expressways, such as the Colombo-Kandy and Colombo-Katunayake Airport via the more..

Eran wants CB to disclose broker to NY purchase

Nov 29 (FT) UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne, who raised the matter in Parliament on Monday, issued the following statement yesterday: I have noted that the Central Bank has issued a statement defending its acquisition of a property in New York City in response to a legitimate question I asked the Deputy Minister of Finance in Parliament on Monday. The question was posed based on a report by the Advisory Audit more..

Lightning private bus strike leaves people stranded

Nov 29 (Island) More than 125 private buses, operating on the High Level road, launched a strike yesterday in protest against what they claimed the illegal issuance of route permits by Western Province Transport Minister Upali Kodikara. Hundreds of thousands of commuters were affected by the sudden strike. Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said that Minister Kodikara had issued four route permits to operate new buses on the routes, more..

NCPC members put aside differences for foreign junket

Nov 29 (Island) Members of the North-Central Provincial Council, except the lone JVPer, are preparing for an overseas tour at the taxpayers’ expense. They have submitted their names and passport numbers to the Provincial Secretary for a seven-day visit to Malaysia. All members of the Council had been on a tour of Malaysia this January. "This is not an official tour but an all expenses paid pleasure trip sponsored by the North Central Provincial Council using tax payers’ money," more..

Aussies fingerprint Mahela, Sanga et al: Tough visa regulations hurt SL cricketers

Nov 29 (Island) The new visa regulations introduced by the Australian High Commission in Colombo have inconvenienced Sri Lankan cricketers scheduled to leave for Australia on Dec 2 for an eight-week-long tour consisting of three Tests, five ODIs and two T-20s. The selectors should have waited till the ongoing Test series against New Zealand was over to name the squad for the cricket summer down under, but more..

Editorial: Keep the mud in the puddle

Nov 29 (DM) The puddle could be as large as the country’s highest administrative body or as tiny as the down-the-lane, gossipmongers’ AGM. Then there are mudslingers and the victims whose list ranges from the persons in the higher echelons to celebrities. Not every time a politician assassinates one of his fellow men’s character does it look humourous on the television screen. Yet, taking into account the dangerous impunity anonymity could grant, anyone who waves his/her dirty hands more..

Interesting indepth to Indo-Lanka issues

Nov 29 (DM) Salma Yusuf’s interview with Rashpal Malhotra was most interesting - I should first congratulate her on the ‘in depth’ questions she posed to Shri Malhotra. The interview was somewhat provocative and enlightening. The relationship between our two countries is indeed a blood relationship and one like no other. The relationship which is over two thousand years old has had its ups and downs particularly since our two countries received independence. more..

MPs highlight need for prison reforms, monitoring of migrant workers

Nov 29 (FT) Moving the debate, UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake highlighted the difficulties Sri Lankan migrant workers face in Middle East countries where Shari’ah law is strictly followed. “Foreign employees bring lot of income to Sri Lanka. According to statistics, migrant workers have remitted US$ 4.1 billion in 2010 and US$ 5.2 billion in 2011. If you quantify this, there are 1.8 million Sri Lankan workers in foreign lands, more..

CEB workers plan to fall sick in stages from Dec. 5

Nov 29 (Island) Employees of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have decided to obtain sick leave and participate in demonstrations in turns, at provincial level, beginning December 5. Making the announcement, the CEB Trade Union Coalition (TUC) sad that step was being taken as a token measure to protest against the government’s failure to resolve their problems. The sick note campaign is scheduled to be launched from the Southern more..

Vehicle registrations, container volumes dip

Nov 29 (DM) Vehicle registration in Sept fell 44.8% from a year earlier to 26,427, amidst registration of motor cars, goods and transport and dual purpose vehicles falling sharply, the data released by the Central Bank showed. The registration of motor cars fell 71.7 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 1,406, while registration of goods and transport vehicles fell 60.8% YoY to 634. The registration of dual purpose vehicles fell 54.9% YoY to 654. more..

'Ministers & MPs lie to get media publicity'

Nov 29 (LT) Ministers and MPs of the govt are lying to get media publicity says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. He said this when ‘Lankatruth’ inquired from him regarding the statement made by the Minister Dullas Alahapperuma at Ambalangoda that he was scheduled to visit JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe at the party’s head office to get views regarding a proposed youth policy of the govt. Speaking further Mr. Herath said, more..

Govt. told police not to salute CJ: TNA

Nov 29 (DM) The govt had even ordered police officers not to salute Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake when she came to the parliament complex last week to appear before the select committee probing 14 charges against her, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Parliament yesterday. Hesaid the order had come from the top. At this point Minister Lakshman Seneviratne tried to dispute what Mr. Sumanthiran said. more..

Health ministry fails the public

Nov 29 (SL) The delay in implementing Prof. Senaka Bibile’s Drug Policy by the Health Ministry has been attributed to the action of persons with vested interests. According to the Convener of the Senaka Bibile Foundation Dr. Jayantha Bandara, attempts to get the Drug Policy Bill passed in Parliament over the years in order to ensure quality medicine for the people has been hampered due to the ulterior motives of multinational drug more..

Would discovery of mass grave expose brutality of SLFP led UF & UNP?

Nov 29 (LT) A large number of decayed parts of human skeletons were found when a pit was dug for a bio-gas unit of Matale Hospital on the 26th and the Additional District Magistrate Mrs. Chathurika de Silva ordered Police to excavate the area to determine whether there were any more human bones. The excavations commenced on the 27th under Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Ajith Jayasena and a large number of parts of more..

MAS Holdings sets up US$70mn knitting plant

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's MAS Holdings, an apparel exporter is setting up a 70 million US dollar knit fabric plant at its own industrial park, the state investment promotion agency said. MAS Fabrics (Private) Ltd will be located in Thulhiriya, north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka's Board of Investment said in a statement. "We partner with those who identify with our own value proposition; we are focused on innovation, and are eager to invest in it," more..

Petition against PSC is a violation of parliamentary privileges

Nov 29 (AD) The petitions against the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to probe the impeachment charges against the Chief Justice is in violation of the parliamentary privileges of the MPs, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Parliament Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa today. He stated that the PSC was appointed in accordance with the constitution and the Parliament standing orders. The Minister said that more..