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Nat. drug policy could halve budgetary allocation

Nov 5 (Island) If the National Drug Policy was implemented, the allocation of money in the annual budget could be halved. Due to the inadequate funds allocated to the State Sector, people were forced to seek medical attention at the private hospitals. Instead of the free health care service provided to the people the govt had privatised the health services, because drugs, medical equipment, laboratory investigation facilities and even expensive Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or more..

Nearly half a million cataract patients in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (DN) There are nearly 500,000 cataract patients in Sri Lanka and between 100,000 and 150,000 patients have cataract in both eyes, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palitha Maheepala said. Around 150,000 of cataract patients are senior citizens and end up blind eventually. 50% among them have been reported from under developed rural areas from low income families, he said. Dr Maheepala said around 160,000 Sri Lankan children suffer from various defects in their vision. more..

Sri Lanka told: Behave or face consequences

Nov 5 (Island) Sri Lanka came under heavy fire by the British at the recently concluded Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 14th session of the UNHRC. While noting that Sri Lankans were now free from what the British govt called scourges of terrorism and war, the permanent mission for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Geneva, accused the govt of attacks and intimidation of journalists, human rights defenders and legal professionals. more..

Sapugaskanda refinery to restart this week

Nov 5 (Island) The refinery in Sapugaskanda will re–start this week after being shut down on October. 26 due to the non-availability of crude oil, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said. CPC Managing Director Susantha Silva said that the country would receive a shipment of 80,000 tonnes of crude oil between Nov. 8 and 10 and another shipment of 135,000 tonnes between Nov. 13 and 15. Silva said those two shipments will be followed by 135,000 tonnes cargo in December. more..

'Many income generating proposals in new budget'

Nov 5 (Island) The Budget proposals for 2013, which will be tabled in parliament, would silence those who shout slogans demanding price reductions in commodities, because it would contain many income generating proposals, observed Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Sarath Amunugama. He was speaking at the peoplisation of the Girihagama Rural Water Project, recently. The rural water supply project was commissioned by the minister for Water Supply and Drainage Dinesh Gunawardana. more..

GL slams US, Germany for denouncing plan for CJ’s impeachment

Nov 5 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris has lambasted the United States, Germany and several organisations for criticizing his govt’s plans to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. Prof. Peiris said: "Several countries and organisations have denounced the Chief Justice’s proposed impeachment without knowing much about the issue. "This is to be regretted. more..

Editorial: Budget 2013 -luxury Vs frugality

Nov 5 (DM) The annual budget for the year 2013 will be presented in Parliament this week. From the fourth budget after the conclusion of war, people still expect the reliefs promised long ago by the govt. However, their eagerness in anticipating such comforts has long died down; with the way things are going, their disillusionment is hardly unexpected. In fact, with the obstinacy from the part of the govt, which willfully ignores the cries of its people, the citizenry have lost faith in more..

The price “good men” pay

Nov 5 (DM) Thus we speak on this present interference with the judiciary, which began with the so called “unknown attack” on the Secretary of the JSC, followed now by a more “known” attack on the head of the Judiciary herself. We do so, not to hold a candle to anyone; indeed those of us who regularly appeared before Her Ladyship, as for instance in the 18 amendment matter or the University Entrance (compulsory training) matter would recall that, even with our unified and vociferous arguments more..

Aftermath of a week of gale and floods

Nov 5 (LB) Sri Lanka’s week of disaster began drawing to a close Friday last, when the rains began fizzling out, duty meteorologist, Department of Meteorology, Merille Mendis said. Cyclone Neelam caused the unusually high rainfall beginning October 29 and swept through 17 districts across the country. On being questioned if the inter-monsoonal rain could return, Mendis said, “highly unlikely.” Cyclone Neelam which swept more..

Tisaranee’s censored and uncensored columns: Hell hath no fury….

Nov 5 (SL) Hell hath no fury like a govt thwarted. All those who opposed the interests, whims and fancies of them in the past know the hellfire of their fury. Students, workers, civilians, farmers, journalists, military personnel, Negombo fishermen and Colombo poor, all know that to resist them is a career-destroying, life-eviscerating, and at times lethal, business. Now it is the turn of the highest court in the land to experience, at more..

VAT scams galore at Tax Department

Nov 5 (ST) The Rs.180 million VAT (Value Added Tax) fraud busted by vigilant officials at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) last week was not an isolated one; similar frauds had been going on in the department for years, IRD officials said yesterday. They alleged that several such frauds at the department had been covered up by officials with the support of previous Commissioners General of the IRD. more..

Rules for Housemaids for U.A.E. tightened

Nov 5 (GDI) Sri Lankan Embassy in the United Arab Emirates has introduced new and strict rules for hiring housemaids from Sri Lanka. These rules include a fixed minimum wage Dh800 per month, provision of food, a return ticket, medical insurance and separate sleeping quarters. A security deposit of US$1,000 is also required. The First Secretary to Labour Affairs at the Sri Lanka Embassy in the U.A.E. capital Abu Dhabi, more..

SL accountability issues: Norway alleges lack of progress

Nov 5 (Island) Norway has advised Sri Lanka to increase the representation of women in national, provincial and local govt in line with National Human Rights Action Plan. The one-time controversial peace facilitator in Sri Lanka said that Oslo was concerned about the low number of elected women in politics. The Scandinavian country called for all Sri Lankan political parties to allocate 30% of nominations at all levels to women. more..

Treasury Official Says: Too Much Transparency

Nov 5 (DM) Addressing a forum and panel discussion on the topic of ‘Capital Markets, Integrity and Development’ organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Dr Batagoda voiced his opinion on the right of information in Sri Lanka. “In my view there is too much information available to the public. Whenever any information is necessitated it is available for public scrutiny. However when the govt is in more..

Not party to CJ’s impeachment – LSSP

Nov 5 (CT) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) has decided not to be a part of the impeachment attempt against Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, which was handed over to the Speaker recently. The decision was taken when the Political Committee of the LSSP held an urgent meeting recently and the Speaker was informed in writing of the decision, a committee member of the party said. He said the Kegalle District member of the more..

Democracy in peril, warns JVP

Nov 5 (Island) Democracy was in peril as the executive was making use of the legislature to attack the judiciary, National Coordinator of the People’s Movement for Democracy and JVP MP Vijitha Herath said yesterday. "All persons and parties that wish to safeguard democracy in Sri Lanka must come together and fight against the executive’s march towards dictatorship," Herath told a press conference at the National Library Auditorium more..

International conference on India-Sri Lanka relations at Osmania University

Nov 5 (Hindu) The ways and means to promote an environment of peace, security, mutual cooperation and coordination of the SAARC region through the India - Sri Lanka canvas will be discussed at the two-day international conference being held by the Centre for Indian Ocean Studies (CIOS), Osmania University on Nov 8 and 9. The conference on ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations: Strengthening SAARC’ will review the role more..

Impeachment against CJ: UNP wants int’l observers

Nov 5 (DM) The UNP stressed that international and local legal experts should be allowed to observers the proceedings of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, also calling for a live telecast of the hearing. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told journalists that observers from the International Bar Association, International Commission of Jurists and representatives of BASL and local Judges Association should be more..

'Api Wenuwen Api' cafeteria opened for public today

Nov 5 (GDI) The new 'Api Wenuwen Api' cafeteria built at Madiwela, Colombo was declared open for the public by Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa today. The cafeteria will cater for high quality food prepared under strict hygienic conditions for general public especially at an affordable price. It will provide an opportunity for the co-operate sector and general public to contribute to the 'Api Wenuwen Api' project, the funds of which will be utilized for more..

MillenniumIT stock trading system in Botswana

Nov 5 (LBO) MillenniumIT, a Sri Lanka based unit of the London Stock Exchange group said its automated trading system (ATS) has replaced a manual open outcry system at the stock exchange in Botswana. Tony Weeresinghe, director of global development of the London Stock Exchange group and chief executive of MillenniumIT said the trading system will allow the Botswana stock exchange to be more efficient and give better service to its customers. MillenniumIT software has been more..

Editor Frederica Jansz flees Sri Lanka; ‘Finally I feel safe’ says Jansz

Nov 5 (CT) Frederica Jansz, who was sacked from her post as Editor in Chief at The Sunday Leader in September this year is learnt to have left Sri Lanka together with her two sons having been granted refuge by a powerful nation currently pushing to hold the Sri Lankan govt accountable for possible war crimes and other human right abuses including abuses of media freedoms and stifling the press. Jansz was sacked in September this more..

Baseball: Sri Lanka to compete in Pakistan

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Baseball team captained by Madushan Perera will leave for Pakistan on Tuesday to take part in the Punjab International Baseball Festival 2012 to be held in Lahore. The tournament hosted by the Pakistan Federation Baseball will be held from November 7 to 15 with the participation of six international teams. Among the teams taking part are hosts Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Nepal, Afghanistan and doubtful participants India. This will be the second and final international more..

Stocks close 0.13% higher

Nov 5 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.13% Monday posting a low turnover. The Colombo All Share Index closed 6.99 points higher at 5,539.31 up 0.13% and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 7.80 points higher at 3005.75 up 0.26%. The day's turnover was a low 161 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were JKH with 46 million rupees, HNB with 15 million rupees and Lion Brewery with 5 million rupees. Aitken Spence Holdings PLC slipped 1.40 rupees to close at 70.10 rupees down 1.96%. more..

Chinese 'diamond' swallower fined

Nov 5 (AFP) A Chinese man who swallowed a fake stone in a daring bluff that allowed an accomplice to get away with a real diamond pleaded guilty Monday to aiding theft and was given a fine and two-year suspended jail term. Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappuli ordered the 32-year-old man to pay 100,000 rupees (US$770) over the incident in September when he swallowed the fake stone at an annual gem exhibition. more..

Another oil leak reported

Nov 5 (AD) A leak has been reported from an oil pipe supplying oil from the Colombo Harbour to the Kolonnawa Oil Refinery. The leak has reportedly occurred in a location behind the paddy storage complex in Vihara Mawatha, Meetotamulla. Residents in the area say oil has been leaking from the pipe since around 8.00pm last night. Spokesman of the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited, Nissanka Jayawardena stated that repairs have already begun to seal a small fracture in more..

Colombo Dance Platform kicks off today

Nov 5 (ST) The Goethe Institut, in collaboration with the Contemporary Dance Forum of Sri Lanka, presents the second Colombo Dance Platform, curated by Ong Ken Sen, a world renowned Artistic Director from Singapore. The focus of this year’s platform is on a multidisciplinary approach and will consist of three completely different evenings of triple bills showcasing works involving theatre, music, puppetry, architecture, and film. The curated artists and their collaborators have each more..

Meeting on alleged rights violations by Sri Lanka in London

Nov 5 (PTI) An international conference on Tamils, co-hosted by a British Parliamentary Group, will kick off in London tomorrow during which political leaders would discuss alleged rights violations by Sri Lankan Army in the last phase of the civil war. CPI National Secretary D Raja and chief of CPI's Tamil Nadu unit D Pandian will be taking part in the four-day conference in London that is being hosted by All more..

New vehicle registrations slump 39% in August

Nov 5 (DM) New motor vehicle registration during the month of August fell 38.7% Year-on-Year (YoY) to 27,766 amidst import duty increase on motor vehicles, the data showed. During August the importation of motor cars fell as sharply as 62.8% YoY to 1,880 while importation of three wheelers and motor cycles also fell 38.7% and 36.6% YoY, respectively. The importation of buses too slowed down 38.7% YoY to 27,766 while dual purpose vehicle importation saw a 45.5% YoY drop more..

Await - a massive mudslinging campaign against CJ!

Nov 5 (LT) A massive mudslinging campaign is to be carried out by eh govt against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Banadaranayake reveal very reliable sources. A discussion for this has been held with the participation of the highest in the govt. Accordingly, the govt is preparing to unleash this massive mudslinging campaign during the period the impeachment against the Chief Justice is debated in Parliament. It is also said that the government intends using the media to more..

Sri Lankan govt keen on political reconciliation

Nov 5 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Monday said it was keen to continue the political reconciliation process in the country through the most democratic means available. A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said that the govt was keen to work with all parties including the TNA in a Parliamentary Select Committee, as early as possible. The TNA is the main minority Tamil party in Sri Lanka and political talks between the more..

Former U.S Ambassador to Sri Lanka dies

Nov 5 (NYT) John H. Reed, who served as governor of Maine from 1959 to 1966, died Wednesday in Washington. He was 91. While governor, Mr. Reed, a Republican, was instrumental in starting educational television in Maine and oversaw the creation of a network of University of Maine colleges, now known as the University of Maine System. After leaving office, he was appointed to the National Transportation Safety Board in 1967 and was ambassador to Sri Lanka. more..

Taylor, Ellis treated for stomach bug

Nov 5 (CI) New Zealand captain Ross Taylor and allrounder Andrew Ellis will receive rehydration treatment at a local hospital, after suffering from gastroenteritis during the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Pallekele. Both men will return to the team hotel after being treated, and Taylor is expected to be passed fit for the third ODI on Tuesday, while Ellis' fitness is less certain. Taylor made 72 from 62 balls to propel New Zealand to 250, and remained on the field for the duration of more..

Exports, imports fall, trade gap shrinks

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell 6.6% to 801.5 million US dollars in September 2012 from a year earlier while imports fell at a faster 25.4% to 1.31 billion US dollars, official data showed. Apparel, the country's main industrial export fell 9.2% to 303.0 million US dollars due to declining external demand and also lower cotton prices. Rubber products exports fell 19.4% 57.2 million US dollars. Imports fell 25.4% to 1.31 billion US dollars more..

Drought in Sri Lanka no freak phenomenon

Nov 5 (OW) A spell of drought in the picturesque Indian Ocean island has prompted a press release from the International Federation of Red Cross to qualifying the dryness as a drought due to climate change. A series of stubborn droughts have led farmers in Sri Lanka to the brink of starvation. And as officials and planners alike look for a solution, the Metrological Department of Sri Lanka has opined that rainfall on the island has been declining over the last 30 to 40 years. more..

Over 10,000 persons given industrial training

Nov 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises has trained over 10,000 persons and provided them modern technology, equipment and bank loans for establishment of small and medium scale industrial projects. They will engage in their entrepreneur activities under the 4th stage of Divi Neguma. The Ministry of Economic Development is establishing 81,000 sustainable Cottage Industrial Economic Units under the 4th Stage of the Divi Neguma more..

Sri Lanka's judiciary: Of limits overstepped

Nov 5 (Economist) Sri Lanka’s ruling party has submitted a motion to impeach the chief justice. The move came on November 1st, after weeks of public discord between the president and Shirani Bandaranayake, the country’s most senior judge and the first female head of its Supreme Court. The next day America’s state department used the opportunity to worry aloud about the independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary. more..

Lorry driver in custody over ex-Dy Minister's son's death

Nov 5 (ST) The lorry driver involved in the accident which claimed the life of former Deputy Minister Hussain Baila's son, Mohammed Nadeen, 43 has been arrested. The ex-deputy Minister's son was riding a motorcycle and had collided with a lorry travelling in the opposite direction in the Polonnaruwa area late Sunday night. The accident took place near the 85th kilometer post on the Batticaloa - Manampitiya road. The driver of the lorry is due to be produced in courts today. more..

Reconsider impeachment motion:Prelates tell MR

Nov 5 (DM) The Mahanayake Theras of the three main Nikayas have requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reconsider the need for the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake that had been handed over to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa by ruling party MPs on Thursday. Mawatte Chapter Mahanayake the Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sumangala Thera, Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake the Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera, Amarapura more..

Sri Lankans protest move to impeach chief justice

Nov 5 (AP) Hundreds of Sri Lankans marched Monday to demand the government halt a plan to impeach the country's chief justice and condemning what they say is intimidation of the judiciary. Nearly 1,000 demonstrators, including opposition lawmakers and rights activists, marched through the capital, shouting slogans and displaying banners that read "Hands off the judiciary" and "End of judiciary - End of fair play." more..

Kuwait recommends Sri Lanka further boost human rights

Nov 5 (KUNA) Kuwait, at the UNHRC Monday, recommended that Sri Lankan government pursue special efforts to implement a national plan to boost human rights. Kuwait, represented by advisor of the permanent mission at the UN in Geneve, Saud Al-Saeedi, requested Sri Lanka present the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to the council to advance Millennium Development Goals (MDG). However, he praised Sri Lanka's govt for efforts for enhancing human rights at the national level. more..