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Sri Lanka, Bangladesh mull FTA, bilateral trade up 80%

Nov 30 (FT) Sri Lanka-Bangladesh bilateral trade is on an upward trend. “In 2011 Lanka-Bangladesh bilateral trade rose to $ 22 m. This is an 83% increase from 2007 trade levels,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 28 November. Bathiudeen was addressing Mohammed Sufiur Rahman, new High Commissioner designate of Bangladesh in Sri Lanka who made a courtesy call on him at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Colombo. Rahman, an MBA from more..

Kahawatte to be fully electrified

Nov 30 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry has taken measures to supply electricity to the entire Kahawatte area which witnessed a number of murders during the recent past, Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara said. He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the electricity project in Dimbulwala, Kahawatte. "The wave of recent murders in this area brought fear to Kahawatte. The day to day activities, education and economic activities in this area were also badly affected more..

'Rajapaksa satellite to cost US$ 360M'

Nov 30 (CT) “The UNP will form 161 battalions during its annual Convention on 1 December to oust the Rajapaksa regime. The statement by the UNP on 1 December over the radical changes to be made with regard to bringing back the party to power will highlight the plans to form a just and equitable society entrenched with democratic rights,” UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday. Addressing party members at more..

‘Reconciliation through Technology and Research’ initiative next week

Nov 30 (FT) The Ministry of Technology and Research, under the guidance of Minister of Technology and Research Pavithra Wanniarachchi, will hold its ‘Reconciliation through Technology and Research’ initiative on 10 and 11 December 2012 at the Open University of Sri Lanka, Jaffna Regional Centre. This event is a follow-up to the Technology Marketplace (TM) held in 2011 in Colombo to link scientific research with Industry so as to forge partnerships that will ensure that more..

Let’s get ready for a massive working class struggle – Lal Kanthe

Nov 30 (LT) All trade unions should be prepared for a strong working class struggle during the first three months of next year says the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) K.D. Lal Kanthe adding that trade unions should stop fighting among themselves and rally for a common struggle. Speaking at the 15th Convention of the All Ceylon Health Services Union he further said, “Already dates have been fixed for agitations in institutions such as CEB, Sri Lanka Railways, education more..

Mahela 'disappointed' with defeat

Nov 30 (CI) Sri Lanka won their last home series against Sri Lanka 2-0 in 2009 and captain, Mahela Jayawardene, said his side were unsatisfied with the 1-1 result they had arrived at this time, after New Zealand won the second Test in Colombo. New Zealand dominated the Test from the second session of day one, and completed their 167-run victory on the fifth evening for their first Test win in Sri Lanka in 14 years. Sri Lanka had won more..

Police to get tough on three-passenger rule

Nov 30 (CT) Police are to strictly implement the three-passenger rule for three-wheelers, subsequent to the recent spate of accidents involving the ubiquitous mode of transport. According to the Safety Rules of the Department of Motor Traffic, apart from the driver in the front seat, only three passengers are allowed to travel in the back seat. Taking extra passengers is a punishable offence. There had been around 174 fatal accidents involving three-wheelers so far this year, more..

Refers to statement by Ranil

Nov 30 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, in his ruling against notices issued on him and the members of the select committee by the Court of Appeal, made particular reference to views expressed by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the course of his intervention on the legality of the matter. The minister raised a question of privilege, 15 members across the political divide expressed their views on the matter. The Speaker, in his ruling, said a broad more..

Colombo City to become racing circuit

Nov 29 (DM) Colombo City is to be transformed into a racing circuit for two days for the Colombo Night Races to be held on Dec 14 and 15. Close to 150,000 sandbags along with 5,000 tyres and 3,000 metres of chain link are being laid along the race track which spans from Hotel Galadari to York Street and back to the starting point. Organisers stated that extensive safety measures had been taken to ensure the safety more..

Agonizing three wheeler journey for dead child and parents

Nov 30 (DM) The parents of an 11-month old baby girl, who had died of an unidentified malady, are reported to have been asked to take the body from Metigahatenne Madulsima Hospital in a three -wheeler to the Badulla Hospital mortuary, a distance of 45 kilometers. Arriving at the hospital, the thoroughly exhausted and stressed out parents were in for a further shock when the Badulla Hospital authorities refused to accept the body to be kept at the mortuary. Thereafter the parents were more..

Quiz Murali: Send in your questions for Sri Lanka spin great

Nov 30 (News) Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, who will make his much-anticipated KFC T20 Big Bash League debut this year for Melbourne Renegades, is one of the genuine superstars of cricket. A record total of 800 Test wickets, including a whopping 22 10-wicket hauls, stamps Murali as one of the very best bowlers of all-time. Ahead of the off-spinner's special guest appearance on Inside Cricket on Monday night, we are giving you the chance to fire a question at more..

Sumathipala laments petitioners not allowed to observe PSC proceedings

Nov 30 (Island) UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala said that those who had signed an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake were deprived of an opportunity to at least observe the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedings. He asserted that it would be an infringement of their rights as members of parliament. The MP was speaking on behalf 117 MPs who signed the petition. more..

Mangala calls for strict discipline in UNP ranks to oust Government

Nov 30 (FT) The struggle to oust the ruling regime must be fought like a war and requires that Opposition parties must inculcate militaristic rigour and discipline within its ranks, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday. Addressing a news conference last morning, Samaraweera charged that this was a Government unwilling to go home in a hurry, so traditional methods cannot be relied upon to defeat the Rajapaksa administration. “This regime is consumed with power lust. more..

Cabinet approves Dr. Mahipala for DGHS post

Nov 30 (Island) Additional Health Secretary Dr. Palith Mahipala was appointed the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. A spokesman said that Dr. Mahipala’s name had been amongst those submitted to the Cabinet by the Health Minister and he had been given the appointment as he was the most qualified amongst those interviewed for the post. Dr. Mahipala is expected to take up the duties in his new post next week. more..

Ex-Sri Lankan president says inequality breeds 'terrorism'

Nov 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former president Chandrika Kumaratunga warned that inequality can fuel "terrorism" during a speech in Nigeria, a country grappling with a deadly Islamist insurgency. "Poverty, socio-political injustices cause frustration and anger among the marginalised groups," said the Sri Lankan leader, who led the south Asian nation from 1994 to 2005. "The continued existence of inequality gives more..

Ambassador Shavendra Silva not to be cross-posted to South Africa

Nov 30 (AT) Reports reveal that Govt has no intention of cross-posting Ambassador Shavendra Silva as the deputy high commissioner to South Africa. Shavendra Silva was the Commander army’s 58th division, which was one of the key divisions which fought during the final stages of the conflict against the LTTE in 2009. Imediately after the conclusion of the conflict, Brigadier Shavendra Silva was promoted as Major General and posted as Deputy Permanent Representative of more..

Peradeniya TH nurses in token strike demanding salary arrears

Nov 30 (Island) Nurses of the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital staged a token strike yesterday demanding the payment of salary arrears for 2012. Branch Union President of the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) Pradeep Nandage said that nurses serving under the Health Ministry, such as those in the Kandy Teaching Hospital and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital had been given the increments. Nandage said that 590 nurses had participated in the strike. more..

Parliament supreme, court cannot challenge impeachment motion – govt

Nov 30 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday told Parliament that there were no provisions in the Constitution or Standing Orders or any other law in the country to challenge the Parliamentary Select Committee, appointed to probe the charges against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranyake. Raising a privilege issue, he said: "A motion signed by 117 Members of Parliament, as per Article 107 (2) of the Constitution, more..

Wedaarachchi’s people deny ganja found in his vehicle

Nov 30 (Island) Sources close to Hambantota district UNP MP Dilip Vedaarachchi, who was recuperating at the Colombo National Hospital, yesterday dismissed claims by police that a parcel of ganja had been found in his vehicle following Tuesday’s accident. Vedaarachchi was transferred to the National Hospital, Colombo from the Matara General Hospital, where he had been rushed when he sustained injuries in the accident near Ranna. However, a senior police officer more..

TNA calls Nimal’s move mischievous

Nov 30 (Island) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran commenting on the privilege issue raised by minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said: When the 13h Amendment was introduced, Dinesh Gunawardena and Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike went to courts seeking a restraining order against the Speaker. The judiciary is performing the role that has been entrusted to it. The Constitution is supreme. Therefore, I think it is a mischievous act on the part of the minister to raise an issue of privilege.

Speaker deems court notices irrelevant

Nov 30 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday declared in Parliament that notices served on him and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the charges mentioned in the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake were a nullity and entailed no legal consequences. Delivering his ruling on the issue last evening the Speaker said: "On careful consideration of more..

Editorial: Save the world from self-destruction

Nov 30 (DM) More than 17 thousand delegates are in Doha for the crucial UN climate change talks. A snapshot of the current situation is like a page from the book of Apocalypse. The global average temperature has risen 0.74 degrees Celsius in the century to 2005, according to a benchmark 2007 report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The decade 2001-2010 was the hottest since records began in 1850, says the World Meteorological Organisation. more..

‘Development’ at Cross Roads?

Nov 30 (DM) During the past 100 years, the world has changed rapidly. Many things that we now consider ‘essential’, such as the mobile phone, airplanes, antibiotics, television and the internet, were invented within this relatively short period of human history. The world has also grown exponentially, both in terms of population and economies. In 1900, the planet supported 1.6 billion people, but this number has risen to 7 billion by 2011. According to a 2008 World Bank more..

Sri Lanka electricity generation falls for second month

Nov 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's electricity generation fell in absolute terms by 1.5% to 971 GigaWatt hours in September 2012 from a year earlier, declining two months in a row, pointing to a slowing economy. In August, power generation fell 3.6% from a year earlier to 977GWh, according to data published by Sri Lanka's central bank. In the nine months to September electricity generation grew 2.8% to 8.8 GWh, sharply down from a 7.5% more..

Meeting Buddha in Sri Lanka: Deep devotion and faith

Nov 30 (TH) As soon as my parents came to know that I was going for a short academic trip to Sri Lanka immediately after Dashain, their first reaction was, “OK….Then you are going to the country of Ravana. You are flying over the ocean like Hanuman…..” They were actually referring to the “Ramayana” (a Hindu epic). Actually, the three countries; Nepal, India and Lanka have been interconnected since ages (Treta Yuga as more..

They’ve come a long way

Nov 30 (CT) Three years ago, this was a day they wouldn’t have been able to envisage even in their wildest dreams. But last Friday, wedding bells rang for two rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres, ushering in a brand new chapter of life and love and happy prospects. Siththampalam Priyatharshani and Suntharalingam Sutharshan from Udayarkattu, in Mullaitivu, both ex-LTTE combatants who have completed the rehabilitation programme and more..

Supreme SAT-1 already oversubscribed

Nov 30 (GDI) Sri Lanka stepped into a new era with the launching of 'Supreme SAT 1' Satellite from the Xichang Satellite launching facility in China on Tuesday (27). Sri Lanka is the third South Asian nation after India and Pakistan and the 45th in the world to possess space technology and own a communication satellite. The Supreme Group of Sri Lanka in a joint venture with China Satellite Communications Company Limited will more..

RDA yet to implement cabinet decision

Nov 30 (SL) The Road Development Authority (RDA) has come under flak for failing to implement a key Cabinet decision reached on January 14, 2004. The COPE when probing the management and other areas of the RDA had raised the issue recently. Board Paper No. 795/2004 of 9.6.2004 of the RDA states that a Cabinet decision had been taken on January 14, 2004 to close down the Road Construction and Development more..

'MSD officers sans weapons tomorrow'

Nov 30 (DM) Several UNP Parliamentarians have raised a privilege issue in Parliament regarding a directive from the Police Chief to their personal security officers of the Ministerial Security Division barring them from carrying personal weapons tomorrow. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera who raised this matter in Parliament initially said the privilege for security has been breached by this move. more..

Northern fishermen protest against poaching

Nov 30 (MoD) Fishermen in North yesterday staged a protest in front of the Consulate General of India, in Jaffna demanding the Indian government to stop Indian trawlers poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. The protest was organized by the organizations of Jaffna district fishermen. Indian mission allowed five representatives of the fishermen to enter the premises to hand over a petition while more..

More bone fragments found

Nov 30 (CT) More skulls and human bone fragments were found in the Matale Hospital premises yesterday. Human bone fragments were first found at the same location on Monday. SSP Prishantha Jayakody, said excavation and investigation at the hospital premises are expected to be completed today. The hospital authorities were alerted of a large number of skeletal remains found on Monday, when a private firm used a more..

India grants Rs. 250Mn for Atchuveli Industrial Estate

Nov 30 (GDI) Minister Douglas Devananda has been taking a concerted effort since last year for recommencement of the Atchuveli Industrial Estate in Jaffna which had been completely destroyed due to the war fought. For recommencement of the "Estate" a sum of Rs. 25 million had been allocated in the budget 2011 by the Sri Lanka Govt and a grant of Rs. 173 extended by the Indian Govt to recommence the more..

Sri Lankan Army deserter gives ‘rare’ insider account of govt forces torturing civilians

Nov 30 (NP) An officer in the Sri Lanka Army, who fled to Canada and claimed he was ordered to plant explosives at the home of an outspoken opposition politician, is raising new questions about military abuses committed during the island nation’s long civil war. Captain Ravindra Watudura Bandanage, 38, deserted after flying to Toronto in October 2009. He has since told Canadian immigration officials he was more..

Editorial: Unbecoming sycophancy

Nov 30 (CT) Senior Minister, Athauda Seneviratne and several govt MPs have called for the resignation of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, against whom a probe is being conducted by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). Senior Minister, Athauda Seneviratne, of all people, should think twice before he chooses to abuse his parliamentary privileges to pre-judge a case, the legal validity and political legitimacy of which are being debated in many a circle in the country. more..

Integrity of the judiciary: Lawyers can decide which category they belong to

Nov 30 (CT) An institute to be held in esteem must function and follow the principles of ethics and the fundamentals of integrity of their profession. Members of the Judiciary, the Legislature or even the Executive to be regarded as icons of integrity must function with integrity, ethics and high moral standards. When they do not – there is conflict and when they cross each other’s turfs it aggravates the conflict. No institute becomes doyens of Integrity by default – it is the lawyers and judges more..

After the Tiger air attack Sri Lanka requested more surveillance assistance from US

Nov 30 (CT) “Reflecting on the recent Tamil Tiger air attack, he said that Sri Lanka has requested three additional radar units from India. He remarked that Sri Lanka required port and container security assistance, as the Tamil Tigers’ arms, plane parts, and drugs are being smuggled through Colombo’s port. Bogollagama also asked Boucher to follow up on a request for an additional coast guard cutter originally made to Assistant Secretary more..

Prabhakaran’s bodyguard remanded till 18th Dec.

Nov 30 (CT) Nadarasa Puwarasu, the personal bodyguard of LTTE Leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was remanded till 18 December, by Colombo Additional Magistrate, Kosala Senadeera. Director of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), Sarath Baddewala, informed the Court that further investigations have to be carried out on the suspect and advice should be sought from the Attorney General’s Department over future legal action. The TID Director also said the suspect was more..

Hambantota Port geared up for bunkering facilities

Nov 30 (GDI) The bunkering facilities at the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port in Southern Sri Lanka are now ready for commercial operations. Chief engineer of the Port Mr. A.H. Geeganage said that the bunkering facilities at the port constructed at a cost of US$ 76.5 million are ready and the tank farm has commenced operations. Construction of the tank farm and bunkering facilities were started in October 2009 and completed last year. more..

Kohana says peace in the Middle East elusive

Nov 30 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona, speaking at the UN as the Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, said peace in the Middle East had remained elusive for far too long and it was a sad commentary on humanity that it had failed in that pressing task. more..

War-torn Sri Lanka gets visit from county's doctors

Nov 30 (H&P) Two surgeons have returned from Sri Lanka where they performed surgery on victims of the country’s 25-year civil war. The pair operated on those who were left with facial injuries from the conflict and people who have cataracts. Consultant Ophthalmologist Maharatnam Logendran has carried out around 2,000 cataract operations since his first visit in 2002. On his latest trip to the country he was accompanied by Tristan McMullan, a consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in more..