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Editorial: Deadly rates in private health sector

Oct 9 (DM) A law to regulate the work and charges at private hospitals was passed some years ago, but it appears that the law is not being implemented for obvious reasons, and most private hospitals have become big business operations with some of them imposing five-star charges. The privatisation of the health sector began in a small way about 40 years ago, when the Govt allowed channel practice. At that time when a patient wished to more..

LG Elections Bill: Need for amendments

Oct 9 (DM) On October 10th 2012, the Govt is expected to put forward a bill in Parliament to amend the existing Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill. While there is a general consensus among political parties that changes to the existing electoral system are required, there are also concerns, including from within the UPFA Coalition, that the Govt will put forward a bill that is problematic. The Govt attempted to pass a bill on Local Govt electoral reform in late 2010 more..

Govt. navigates judicial challenge

Oct 9 (LB) Throughout the last week, the govt has been successfully navigating a judicial challenge issued vis-à-vis the Divineguma Bill. The govt machinery had been working overtime to pass the disputed bill in provincial councils as per the Supreme Court ruling. By the end of the week, the bill has been passed by eight out of nine provincial councils. At the Cabinet meeting, the president also turned down a proposition made by Minister more..

Dambulla farmers in a dilemma

Oct 9 (SL) Onion farmers in Dambulla say that they have no other option but to commit suicide as they are forced to sell their crop at Rs.32 a kilogram when the actual production cost is Rs.40 per kilo. They are of the view that committing suicide would be the ultimate solution to overcome their debts. The price of a kilo of onions in Colombo is Rs. 80. “Whatever the little jewellery we had, have been pawned and we are not in a position to more..

Lack of equipment hampering Govt. relief effort in NCP

Oct 9 (ST) The lack of bowsers is hampering a Govt initiated programme to provide drinking water to thousands of families in the drought-hit Polonnaruwa District. Upul Nanayakkara who heads the DMC office in the district said the number of families seeking Govt assistance has increased to over 40,000 over the past week and the shortage of bowsers was an impediment to sending them adequate supplies of water. more..

ICC to investigate spot-fixing charges against umpires

Oct 9 (Reuters) The ICC has launched an investigation into match-fixing allegations made by an Indian television channel against international umpires. Footage screened on India TV on Monday and seen by Reuters appeared to show umpires from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka negotiating deals with under-cover reporters to spot-fix matches. The channel showed footage of Pakistan's Nadeem Ghauri, Nadir Shah more..

SLN to boost offshore capability with five more OPVs

Oct 9 (Island) Navy Chief Vice Admiral (VA) Jayanath Colombage said that the government was in the process of working out modalities to enhance the SLN’s offshore patrolling/surveillance capability. VA Colombage said that the SLN intended to acquire five Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). "We are having discussions with relevant parties to the transaction. Of the five vessels, two will be acquired from one source and more..

Serious crisis in TNA surfaces

Oct 9 (Island) A serious crisis in the TNA has surfaced with a majority of parties in the Alliance firing a missive to its Leader, R. Sambandan, voicing their displeasure over lack of democracy within the organisation. TULF Leader V. Anandasangari, TELO Leader, MP Selvam Adaikalanathan, EPRLF Leader, MP Suresh Premachandran and PLOTE Leader Dharmalingam Sithadthan, in their letter to Sambandan last week, urged that the ITAK, under which it contested the last polls, should more..

'Now university professors branded as traitors'

Oct 9 (Island) Having failed to resolve the crisis in the universities, which has dragged on for more than 100 days, the govt has found an easy way out, by branding senior professors, who were in the forefront of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidential campaign, as traitors, the UNP said. "The Rajapaksa regime’s philosophy is very simple. Those who play ball are patriots and anyone who takes up issues not to its liking are branded more..

Sri Lanka lifts travel advisory on Tamil Nadu

Oct 9 (Hindu) The Government of Sri Lanka has lifted the travel advisory it had issued on travel to Tamil Nadu. “The Govt of Sri Lanka is pleased that the Govt of India, in close consultation with the concerned state governments, has taken and will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of Sri Lankan dignitaries and visitors to all parts of India including Tamil Nadu,” said a statement from Sri Lankan Foreign office. Referring to a speech made by Tamil Nadu more..

FUTA strike to end on Thursday

Oct 9 (DM) The months-long trade union action launched by university lecturers is likely to end with the lecturers deciding to call off their strike by Thursday. FUTA President Dr. Ranjith Dewasiri said they decided to call off the strike by Thursday following successful discussions with Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundare last evening. He said both parties reached consensus on the salary issues and the Treasury Secretary had pledged to give them written assurances on the matter more..

Sri Lankan umpires in fixing controversy

Oct 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) backed the three beleaguered umpires who are at the centre of a major match-fixing controversy connected to the just concluded ICC World Twenty20 event and said it was the responsibility of the ICC to investigate the allegations. “We have the highest confidence in our officials and it is not correct to comment on allegations without a proper inquiry and facts,” said SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. more..

Hit and run Sub Inspector remanded

Oct 9 (Island) A sub inspector of the Thalawa police, who had sped away after the car he was driving had knocked down a motor bike, seriously injuring the rider on October 3, was remanded till October 15 by the Anuradhapura Magistrate yesterday. In his statement to the police SI S. Ratnayake had claimed that he did not know that his vehicle was involved in an accident. A senior police officer, in the district, said that if the SI, as a responsible officer, had stopped and attended to the due procedure, more..

Soldier arrested for digging up his own house!

Oct 9 (Island) An army sergeant who had been produced before court for having unlawfully dug a 20 foot deep pit inside his house to exorcise a demon his wife was supposed to have been possessed by, has been remanded till the 10th on the orders of the Kantale magistrate. The suspect has said that the kattadiya’s instructions to drive away the demon was to bathe his possessed wife with 7 pots of water drawn from a well dug inside the house. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Indian and his Sri Lankan girlfriend in liquor peddling

Oct 9 (AT) An Indian expatriate and a Sri Lankan woman, both lovers, were arrested by officers from Khaitan Police Station for peddling in local and imported liquor. This followed information security operatives received about their activities. Sources said a team was formed to follow up their activities and an undercover agent sealed a deal with the suspects to deliver an unspecified quantity of local and imported gin. They were arrested during the delivery of the more..

Sri Lanka festival at Higashiyama zoo in Nagoya

Oct 9 (GDI) The Higashiyama zoo in Nagoya organized a special Sri Lanka Festival to mark the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic ties between Japan and Sri Lanka on Saturday, 6th October in Nagoya, Japan. A large gathering of invitees graced the occasion with Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda in special attendance as the Chief Guest. The longstanding ties between the Higashiyama zoo and the Dehiwela zoo in Sri Lanka dates back to the time when more..

'This govt is afraid of intelligent people'

Oct 9 (DM) Q: The Universities have now been closed for over three months, in which areas has the govt fallen short when dealing with this crisis? A: I really don’t think the govt understands the problem and neither does it have the political will to resolve this problem. The govt doesn’t understand the demands of the FUTA, they are merely looking at it as a struggle for higher wages, but the struggle has now taken on a wider significance, simply because more..

T T Warsaw 2012 - 20th Int'l Travel Show

Oct 9 (GDI) Sri Lanka took part at the T T Warsaw Travel Show, held from 27th- 29th September 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. On behalf of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Poland took an active role in Sri Lanka’s participation at this annual event which drew large crowds of Polish nationals. Over 70 countries displayed and promoted their respective countries. The show was declared open by President of TT Warsaw Ms Urszula Potega and more..

Malini replaces Malini!

Oct 9 (LT) Ms. Malini Fonseka who resigned from the Parliamentary seat of the UPFA national list is scheduled to be sworn in again as an MP today. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa had requested Ms. Malini Fonseka to resign from her national list Parliamentary seat to get Mr. Berty Premalal Dissanayake appointed to Parliament so that the crisis in the North – Central PC could be solved. However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa opposed the move and refused to accept the resignation tendered by Ms. Fonseka. more..

WikiLeaks: US – Norway talks on Sri Lanka’s war crimes

Oct 9 (CT) “Norwegian govt officials shared interesting insights into the motivations of the parties to the conflict as well as developments since its end. However they had no specific evidence of atrocities beyond what has been already been shared with the USG. The two NGOs however, did provide useful information from contacts on the ground who communicated with their offices via satellite phone.” the US Embassy Oslo more..

Lankan umpire Dissanayaka rubbishes fixing allegations

Oct 9 (PTI) Gamini Dissanayaka, one of three local umpires implicated by an Indian TV channel over a match-fixing inquiry outrightly rejected the accusation. "I reject all allegations. This is an attack on the entire Sri Lankan umpiring fraternity by an external force," Dissanayaka told reporters. He said that he had already written to local cricket authorities and is open to thorough investigation in order to prove his innocence. 'India TV' news channel named Dissanayaka and two of his colleagues more..

‘Colombo wicket backfired on Lanka’

Oct 9 (ESPN) It was poetic justice at the end of the day as a spin-friendly wicket at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium proved counterproductive for Sri Lanka in the ICC World T20 final against West Indies on Sunday night. Sri Lanka had entered the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup based on their incisive bowling and solid top-order batting. Not content with just that, they wanted additional help from the wickets in the grand finale. It worked in the semis versus Pakistan but as fate would more..

COREX banned

Oct 9 (DM) Minister Maithripala Sirisena today instructed National Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Authority Chairman Dr. Hemantha Benaragama to make arrangements to prohibit the production, distribution and sale of cough syrups under the COREX label. These instructions came after five people, who had consumed excessive doses of COREX for the purpose of getting a ‘Kick’ out of it, had died and one man was admitted more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.24 pct

Oct 9 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.24% Tuesday with indices seeing sharp gains earlier in the day on news that the regulator has loosened credit and broker stock sales restrictions, brokers said Some blue-chips stocks gained ground. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,833.32 down 13.85 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 19.39 points higher at 5,384.44 up 0.36%. Turnover was 528 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were JKH with 54 million rupees, more..

Japan extended a US$ 737,575 grant for demining in the North

Oct 9 (GDI) The Govt of Japan has extended an additional Rs. 96 million grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North through Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony Sri Lanka (DASH), a Sri Lankan Mine Action NGO, to expedite the efforts of the Govt of Sri Lanka to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka. Japan has been a major donor supporting mine clearance in Sri Lanka to accelerate the return and resettlement of IDPs and to facilitate more..

'Sri Lankans missing taste of good tea'

Oct 9 (LBO) Mlesna, a top Sri Lankan tea brand, has begun advertising using displays on a new taxi service, aiming to popularise the island's best known export among local consumers. Mlesna Tea founder Anselm Perera said he wants to make tea drinking more popular among local consumers and raise awareness about the quality of the brew that is much appreciated by tea connoisseurs around the world. "The ordinary people of this country drink a more..

TNA to file contempt charges if governor endorses bill

Oct 9 (DM) The TNA said yesterday it would file contempt charges against Northern Governor G.A. Chandrasiri if he had endorsed the controversial Divi Neguma Bill before the Supreme Court announced its determination on it. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Daily Mirror he had learnt that the government would present the Bill in Parliament tomorrow on the basis it had been endorsed by the nine provincial councils including the endorsement by the Northern Governor. more..

UAE gearing up for big investments in Sri Lanka

Oct 9 (CT) The UAE, the largest foreign direct investor in Sri Lanka among GCC economies and world’s fourth largest oil exporter, is mulling even more investments in Sri Lanka — and this time, on a large scale. “Sri Lanka’s security and stability is attractive for private investors of UAE. We are keen to expand our investment profile in Sri Lanka beyond current levels,” revealed the newly appointed Ambassador for UAE to Sri Lanka, Abdul Hamid Abdul Fattah more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.10.2012

Army Chief inspects second wellness resort

Oct 9 (GDI) Construction of the second wellness resort, ‘Abimansala-2’ at Wilpitawatte, Kamburupitiya, meant exclusively for dependent War Heroes in the South, is fast nearing completion, thanks to the enormous significance, attached to the prioritized need by both Commander of the Army himself and the fund-raising, ‘Brave Hearts’ project. More than 50 South-based War Heroes, who actively contributed to bring peace to the country during 'Humanitarian Operations', more..

Judges back to work from tomorrow

Oct 9 (ST) The District Court Judges and the Magistrates who stayed away from courts yesterday and today, decided to resume court sittings from tomorrow, a media release issued by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) said. Extraordinary General Meeting of the JSC held at the Colombo District Court today took the decision in view of the inconvenience underwent by litigants, the statement said. JSA unanimously decided to condemn the attack on the JSC Secretary Manjula more..

Sri Lanka plans 26% rise in defence, urban development spending

Oct 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to increase spending on defence and urban development by 25.9% to 289.5 billion rupees in 2013, a budget appropriation bill presented to parliament showed on Tuesday. The total maximum borrowing for 2013 has been increased by 12.6% year-on-year to 1.3 trillion rupees, while the total expenditure is forecast at 2.52 trillion rupees compared to this year's estimated 2.22 trillion rupees. more..

Champions League Twenty20: Yorkshire beat Uva

Oct 9 (CI) Yorkshire were presented with a homely welcome for their opening game of the Champions League T20 qualifier against Uva, the Sri Lankan champions. Cloudy skies, following rain earlier in the day, and a green pitch were as close to Headingley as they could have wished for in an overseas tournament. But it was Yorkshire's South African overseas player, David Miller, who got them over the line in a chase that should have been more straightforward than more..

Govt. to initiate legal action against former hardcore LTTE cadres

Oct 9 (Island) The govt is to initiate legal action soon against some former hardcore LTTE cadres. A committee of legal council appointed to look into the pending cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) announced that it has finalized the prosecution process. Additional Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath said that the govt would file cases against 60 former LTTE cadres in the next few weeks. The Committee had reportedly checked out some 300 files of LTTE detainees and more..

Karunanidhi opposes training to Lankan militarymen

Oct 9 (CO) The DMK, the second largest constituent of the Congress-led UPA, today urged the Centre to take 'good decision' on the issue of providing training to Sri Lankan Defence personnel in India, especially in Tamil Nadu, which was strongly opposed by various political parties in the State. DMK President M Karunanidhi said the general demand of the entire people of Tamil Nadu was that no training should be imparted to more..

And 6% is the new word for ‘No’…

Oct 10 (NS) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri has already claimed victory. The President of the FUTA says that the issue of education and especially allocations for the sector is now a matter of public concern and has been recognized as such by the people. This, he says, is a significant victory. It remains to be seen whether such ‘recognition’ is all that FUTA extracts after several months of agitation. As things stand, it is likely that both FUTA and the Govt will reach some kind of compromise. In the very least more..

Jaffna leans on Agriculture and fishing

Oct 10 (NS) Agriculture and fisheries sectors have brought in the highest income for almost 90% of the families in the North for years. Livelihood of almost all the families in Jaffna revolves around this sector. While most of the families indulge in cultivation, several hundreds also indulge in deep sea and inland fishing. Both sectors are slowly picking up after the end of the war, which has paved the path for development. When it comes to agriculture and farming, the farmers were faced with more..

'Lanka’s mobile penetration higher than global average'

Oct 10 (SO) The 12th Global Symposium for Regulators concluded last week after successful three-day-sessions. International regulators from the telecommunication sector as well as blue chip companies met face to face to set up rules of the game for fair play. “I can tell you that worldwide we have managed to ensure that every country places telecommunication and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the more..

Impasse in peace process should worry friends

Oct 10 (DBS) The current impasse in the peace process in Sri Lanka should worry friends of the nation, including India. Starting haltingly in the post-war months, the negotiations between the Govt and the TNA has been deadlocked, so to say, with neither side wanting to go the other’s way as far as the process are concerned. The problems and solutions would have to wait. The fact however is that the deadlocked processes, if they have to be still known that way, is dangerously drifting more..