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Very soon masses might lose protection from the judiciary – PMD

Nov 4 (LT) This is an instance of wrongfully using the legal provisions to bring in an impeachment and arbitrarily removing judges from their positions would deny the protection masses get from the judiciary states People’s Movement for Democracy. This was stated at a media conference organized by People’s Movement for Democracy today to apprise the media regarding pressure brought upon the judiciary by the govt. more..

Budget to focus on local industries

Nov 4 (SO) This year’s budget proposals will incorporate some of the recommendations put forward by the National Chamber of Commerce (NCCSL) to alleviate the difficulties of the SME sector. The SMEs which comprises 80 percent of the country’s producers have long being neglected, a top NCCSL official said. The thrust will be on helping the agricultural sector and local industries. The problems of the agricultural sector which have not achieved targets due to the lack of facilities will be addressed. more..

The Sunday Leader apologizes to Central Bank govenor

Nov 4 (SL) The Sunday Leader deeply regrets the several reports and articles that have been published on various dates in 2006 wherein it referred to links of Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank and his family members to pyramid schemes allegedly operated by Gold Quest. In this regard, the Sunday Leader wishes to state that there has been no evidence linking Mr. Cabraal to any such scheme, and therefore wishes to retract such stories and more..

'I would have walked away with the throne too'

Nov 4 (ST) The man who carried out the sensational robbery at the Colombo National Museum in March this year, has claimed that if he had the wherewithal, he would have carried away Sri Wickrama Rajasinha’s throne, along with the other items he removed in the heist. The suspect CID officials arrested last week, while he was loitering on the beach in Negombo, has confessed to being a heroin addict driven to rob the Museum, more..

Tony Greig still awaiting test results to determine extent of cancer

Nov 4 (IC) Q: Can you give us an update on your fellow commentator Tony Greig’s condition? He said he was checking into hospital for more tests to determine how series his lung cancer was. A: Tony spent two weeks in hospital and was back home and sounding very positive when I spoke to him a couple days ago. He was still waiting on the results of his tests to determine where exactly he stood. He is a strong man. His wife and family have been a rock to him. He is taking stock of things more..

Sexually transmitted diseases to be kept at bay

Nov 5 (SO) With the gradual rise of HIV positive persons in the island (Approximately 1544 as at 30th June 2012) the National STD and AIDS Control Program (NSACP) and the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPA) conducted workshops to enlighten selected media personnel in the Galle and Matara districts last week. The three day workshop was funded by the European Union. It was in 1987 that the first Sri Lankan was diagnosed as HIV positive and 25 years later we have more..

200,000 hit hard by tropical cyclone Nilam

Nov 4 (ST) While hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on the East Coast of the US, tropical cyclone Nilam was hitting Sri Lanka hard with torrential rains and gale-force winds, claiming lives and destroying property. Eight people were killed and more than 200,000 persons affected islandwide. Deaths by drowning, lightning, electrocution, falling trees and earthslips were reported from Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Kegalle, Kalutara and more..

More accident wards to be set up

Nov 4 (SO) The Health Ministry which focused attention on 80,000 road and other sudden accidents reported from all parts of the country every year has decided to set up fully equipped accident wards countrywide in addition to the main accident ward at the Colombo National Hospital. The objective of setting up these wards which come under the purview of the Colombo National Hospital is to provide prompt professional health care treatment for victims in their areas rather than more..

Lankan expert trains coastal communities in Pakistan

Nov 4 (PO) Renowned biologist and agriculturist Dr. Ranjith Mahindapala from Sri Lanka conducted a two day workshop for local coastal communities to help them in learning proper management and sustainable growth of mangroves, a main of their livelihood. The workshop organized by Mangroves for the Future Programme was participated by 32 representatives of different community based organizations that are actively working along the coasts of Sindh and Balochistan. more..

SL v NZ 1 ODI: Sri Lanka win by 14 runs under D/L

Nov 5 (CI) Ross Taylor took off from the base BJ Watling and Rob Nicol provided to take New Zealand to their highest ODI score against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. In the first ODI played under the latest revised conditions, which allow only four fielders outside the inner circle in non-Powerplay overs, New Zealand batted the old-fashioned way, preserving wickets for a late charge, which yielded 76 off the final nine overs. more..

The current mess and ‘Dependency Syndrome’

Nov 5 (DBS) They all come to power promising heaven and earth; populist appeals have delivered many an election since 1956 in Sri Lanka. Yet, they never seem to run out of such election-themes, which on their face value, appear to be unreservedly attractive and vote-catching. However, when one looks deep into the validity of those promises and pledges, they have always proven to be decisively damaging to the abiding interests of the country and her people. more..

Tentative suggestions for further constitutional reform

Nov 5 (DBS) I have now served two and a half years in Parliament. This would have been half the term in the old days before the United Front govt of 1970 extended its own term by two years, and added one year to all future terms. This began the rot of Parliament expanding its own powers and privileges, which the Jayewardene govt of 1977 took even further, extending its term to over 11 long and woeful years. These terms, it should be noted, are not fixed, and the govt in power has the right to have more..

‘We maintain cordial relationship with UPFA’

Nov 5 (SO) The Provincial Council system was introduced to Sri Lanka during J.R. Jayewardene's presidency in 1987 under the 13th Amendment amidst objections from various parties including some of his own party stalwarts. The main reason for setting up PCs was to find a solution to the North and East problem which had been dragging for years. It is doubtful whether this purpose was served by the then merged North East provincial more..

A commonsense approach to 13A

Nov 5 (CT) Bigotry and prejudice are common to the human condition in all lands; perhaps it afflicts a majority in both Sinhalese and Tamil communities (the Muslims seem to be a trifle better), but if not a majority, a sizable portion are racist and averse to pluralism. Such is my unflattering perception of my countrymen. The Thirteenth Amendment is a case in point. The revulsion of most Sinhalese is visceral and stems from two readings; it is seen as an imposition by loathed India, more..

The proper study of mankind

Nov 5 (CT) Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Physiological Society of Sri Lanka. “What a piece of work is a man…, the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals…” marvelled Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For me, a man, a fortiori a woman, is not only the beauty of the world, but also the perpetual wonder of the world. At the heart of this wonder is the human brain, the quintessence of living, organized dust. Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), the universally acknowledged father of modern more..

Manju gambles on comeback to rid shame

Nov 5 (SL) Given thecircumstances in which Manju Wanniarachchi retired from boxing in 2010, a comeback didn’t seem possible. At the time of quitting, the undefeated National bantam weight champion was 30, an age when a boxer contemplates retirement anyway. He might probably have pushed his career for two more years, but to stage a comeback at the widely accepted age of retirement just doesn’t make sense. more..

Economic policies for export growth

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s poor performance in exports has led to persistent large trade deficits that have in turn led to balance of payments problems and dependence on foreign borrowing. The consequent increase in foreign debt is itself a balance of payments concern as foreign debt servicing costs are a significant proportion of export proceeds. Both last year, and in the first eight months of this year, there have been massive trade deficits. Imports have been about twice the export earnings. more..

Paramour kills estate woman over suspicion

Nov 5 (SO) The killing of a 37-year-old woman in the Upper Balangoda estate allegedly by her jealous lover was on everybody's lips in the estate and the town last week following the arrest of the suspect who took refuge in the sprawling estate. The victim was a mother of four children who eked out a living by working as a labourer in the same estate. What shocked people in a relatively peaceful up country area was the manner in which she had been killed. She had been killed while she was asleep more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nov 5 (ST) The United States, desperately in need of troops for its overseas military adventures, has been more than willing to recruit non-American legal residents who come from Asia, Africa and Latin America. In return for their services in the military — be it in Iraq or Afghanistan – these expatriates are on a fast track to become naturalised American citizens armed with US passports. Those fighting, and in some more..

Editorial: Give rapprochement a chance

Nov 5 (Island) The Speaker's decision on the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake will be announced tomorrow when Parliament meets. It is not difficult to guess what it will be. The govt is all out to perpetuate its power by removing any obstacle, perceived or real, in its path regardless of the consequences of its action. Foes of the Rajapaksa govt are equally determined to sacrifice anyone or anything in their efforts to regain power, sail into public funds more..

What is a Budget?

Nov 5 (Island) Head of the Finances, Minister of Finance has announced the D-Day. This would be the Forth Budget of the present regime. Every one is anxious about what it may bring forth. Why the hushed voices. Why the apprehension. A budget, in simple terms for a layman, is a financial record with a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, a plan for borrowing and another plan for spending. It should show how each area of saving, spending, and borrowing, more..

CSE in disarray

Nov 5 (Island) The country’s capital market is in disarray with investors stuck in a casino mentality with too much focus on making a quick buck, where related party transactions siphon off capital and assets of public listed companies to private companies, and the regulator now functioning under the whims of an influential few in the industry. The administrators of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) too are failing to publish its annual more..

Focus on development say tourism stakeholders

Nov 5 (NS) Sri Lanka’s tourism stakeholders have urged the govt to put more focus on developing infrastructure in the upcoming 2013 Budget to be presented in Parliament next week. The latest figures released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) show that the number of visitors to Sri Lanka from Jan to Sept 2012 has grown 16% to 693,772 compared to 598,006 this time last year. But in the view of players in the industry, the optimism over more..

Over Rs. 113 m allocated to promote carbonic fertilizer

Nov 5 (DN) The govt will increase the use of carbonic fertilizer, while discouraging farmers to use chemical substances. Over Rs. 113 million has been allocated to promote carbonic fertilizer in the country, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry Secretary Udeni Wickramasinghe said. He the govt's fertilizer subsidy programme which is line with the Mahinda Chinthana policy frame work has been implemented for the 15th consecutive time. Fertilizer varieties, such as, Urea, TSP and MOP more..

Cricket, weddings and honeymoons push by Sri Lanka at WTM London

Nov 5 (FT) World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event of the travel and tourism trade, is scheduled to kick off today at Excel Exhibition Hall, London. Having foreseen the unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a renowned destination in world travel, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has taken steps to participate in the event, along with 53 partners of the industry. The delegation, comprising industry partners and more..

Bank forecasts six-fold growth for Islamic banking in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (BN) Amana Bank, Sri Lanka’s only full-fledged Islamic lender, plans to double its branches by expanding in rural areas, forecasting a six-fold growth in demand. The company, which started in August 2011, will add five outlets this year to its existing 14 and nine in 2013, Colombo-based chief executive officer Faizal Salieh said in an October 17 interview. Sri Lankan Islamic banking assets could reach $1.5bn from $250mn now, he added, without specifying a timeframe. more..

First lady urges children to excel in arts

Nov 5 (DN) “Directing the child generation to the subject of arts will help build a righteous society in Sri Lanka. Hence all parents, teachers, schools and the whole adult generation has a responsibility to line up the children to accept the new country which is being built for them, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa said. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ended the war which prevailed in the country over three decades and he has gifted a free country to the next generation as well. more..

Permanent govt jobs for 51,420 graduates

Nov 5 (DN) The govt will grant 51,420 graduates, undergoing training in the state sector, permanent appointments next year in accordance with regulations pertaining to development service officers. Arrangements have been made to assign them to ministries and departments by Nov 30. This was revealed at a conference of secretaries ministries, heads of departments and govt agents presided over more..

Health Secy. blasts nurses’ union

Nov 5 (Island) Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka dismissed the allegations levelled against the Ministry by what he called a certain nurses’ union in the State health sector. He warned the unnamed union not to mislead the people by spreading false information. The particular union had said that the Health Ministry had delegated the responsibility of recruiting and training nurses to the provincial councils, Dr. Jayathilaka said. The second allegation levelled by that union was that more..

Town Hall facelift puts SL into further debt

Nov 5 (Island) The Town Hall premises of the Colombo Municipal Council are being given a facelift by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development with a World Bank loan to the tune of Rs. 400 million. The Army moved in on Friday and removed the fences round the Town Hall. The grass, too, was being removed in one section for a new car park to be constructed. Spokesman for the Opposition UPFA Group in the CMC Riza Zarook said that the UDA had taken over the project. more..


Nov 5 (CT) A recently relocated group of former IDPs have resisted a govt move to acquire their deeds of ownership to properties situated in Keppapilavu in the Mullaitivu District. The one time IDPs were housed until 24 September at Menik Farm, the world’s largest internment camp during its existence. The final group of IDPs, a total of 346 persons were relocated to Seeniyamottai despite resistance over a month ago. The relocated more..

CID recovers artefacts from museum robbery

Nov 5 (CT) The Criminal Investigations Department has recovered some artefacts stolen from the Colombo Museum recently, in a jewellery shop in Galewela. It is revealed that there were ancient silver coins, jewellery, and a carved handle removed from an ancient sword. According to a higher official of the police these stolen artefacts had been sold after having broken them into pieces. The shop owner had given a statement to the police officers who interrogated him, claiming that he was more..

Malinga shows steel and skill

Nov 5 (CI) Four Sundays ago, the second ball of Lasith Malinga's second over was thumped off the pads over midwicket for six. It was the violent beginning to Marlon Samuels' World Twenty20 final rampage and the delivery upon which the trophy pivoted. For the remainder of the over, Malinga tried sticking to yorkers; the delivery he had worshipped as a teenager before becoming its foremost disciple as a cricketer. He had himself turned matches with that ball; reaped sensational success more..

Govt’s crisis of its own making: UNP

Nov 5 (FT) Assisting the repeal of the 17th Amendment that set up independent commissions and sought to de-politicise State services has placed members of the Judiciary back in the vice grip of politicians, the UNP charged. “It was one thing to remove the term limits of the President. When the 18th Amendment issue came before the courts, they should have acted to safeguard the independent commissions established more..

New Zealand blueprint cheated by rain

Nov 5 (CI) New Zealand have been frustrated by the rain since they arrived in Sri Lanka, but having lost the second ODI to Sri Lanka by 14 runs via Duckworth-Lewis, they will now feel somewhat cheated by it. Sri Lanka were not struggling by any means - in fact for most of their innings, they were cruising - but the pitch had begun to slow down markedly, and New Zealand were two wickets away from exposing a middle order that has at times proven brittle. They will feel particularly more..

Sept. earnings surprisingly strong

Nov 5 (FT) Initial numbers coming out from corporates in the Sept. earnings season have been surprisingly strong given the challenging economic and business conditions, whilst with that of select blue chips pending from this week onwards, analysts expect overall performance to be robust. By last week, around 30 companies have reported earnings for the Sept. quarter and, the cumulative earnings for the Sept. quarter of 29 companies were Rs. 10.37 billion, up by 64.3% more..

Nishantha crowns as Carrom World Champion

Nov 5 (DM) Nishantha Fernando from Moratuwa beat Bharathidasan of India to crown himself as the World Carrom Champion at Galadari Hotel, Colombo on Sunday. In the men's individual finals of the 6th World Carrom Championship, Nisahantha beat Bharathidasan in straight sets with 25-04 and 25-10 points. Brarathidasan beat long time world champion Yogesh Pardeshi in the semi-finals before meeting Nishantha in the final. more..

Colombo, Gampaha take brunt of bad weather spell

Nov 5 (DN) Notwithstanding the end to the bad weather spell, nearly 15,203 persons comprising 3,615 families are still being accommodated in 99 temporary shelters countrywide. Nine people died and 15 were injured while one person was missing during the period of the inclement weather, the Disaster Management Centre said yesterday. The total affected are 206,799, comprising 49,358 families while 4,781 houses were partially damaged and 342 houses fully damaged. more..

Seychelles help for Lanka's fisheries industry

Nov 5 (DN) Seychelles is ready to assist Sri Lanka develop its fisheries industry, Seychelles President James A Michel told Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. Michel met Dr Senaratne who was on an official tour to Seychelles recently. "Sri Lanka's fisheries industry is developing rapidly with the end of the war. We have the opportunity to develop the fisheries industry with Sri Lanka's support. We are always ready to grant our fullest cooperation for the development of Sri Lanka," more..

'I am not a murderer'

Nov 5 (CT) Leader of the EPDP and Minister Douglas Devananda rubbished his involvement in a murder case in Tamil Nadu saying it was an attempt to tarnish his name. While applauding the proposed Divi Neguma Bill he opined it is unfortunate that, the very people, for whom the 13th Amendment was introduced for, were not given a chance to enjoy it. Devananda while accusing the TNA for encouraging communalism did not more..