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Mahapola Fund to resume scholarship payments

Oct 14 (SL) The Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund has decided to continue with the scholarship payment for students that was earlier suspended during the strike by University academics. Director of the Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund Ranjith Thenuwara said that the earlier decision to suspend payments was taken, as students were not attending classes for a considerable period of time. more..

'At least 75,000 of the 300,000 IDPs are still living in transit camps'

Oct 14 (Island) TNA Chief R Sampanthan today debunked the Sri Lankan govt's claim that all of the nearly 300,000 IDPs who vacated the Menik Farms have returned to their homes in the civil war-ravaged Northern and Eastern Provinces. "At least 75,000 of the nearly 300,000 Tamils who were displaced by the civil war and vacated the Menik Farms are living either in transit camps or with their friends and relatives in the North and East," Sampanthan said in an exclusive interview to the Sunday Island more..

Sangakkara hopeful of Deccan Chargers future

Oct 14 (Reuters) ICC cricketer of the year Kumar Sangakkara has backed the Indian cricket board to resolve the crisis surrounding the Deccan Chargers after the terminated Twenty20 franchise found new owners on Friday. The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) last month terminated the franchise for various defaults including failure to pay players on time, but the owners refused to accept the decision and issued a legal challenge, which the BCCI threw out. Deccan Chronicle Holdings, who paid more..

Motor Traffic Chief sounds out warning on noise pollution

Oct 14 (ST) Police will soon come down hard on you if you become a noise polluter by using multi-tone or musical horns to sell bread, ice-cream or other products or if your vehicle horn’s sound level goes beyond the limits set by new regulations. The warning came from the Motor Traffic Commissioner General S.H. Harischandra who said under the regulations passed recently motorists who contribute to noise pollution more..

Customs bust Rs. 300 million sugar racket, launch probe

Oct 14 (ST) Customs have busted a move to clear a Rs. 300 million consignment of sugar by producing documents not endorsed by the bank. Customs Director General Neville Gunawardena said that a senior officer has been appointed to investigate the racket. At least three people including one who acted as the importer, but was unable to read or write and another who helped to obtain the unapproved documents for the clearance of the stock sent by a Singapore-based company, more..

Sinhala, Tamil for administration in 12 new DS areas

Oct 14 (ST) Twelve new Divisional Secretariat areas in nine districts have been declared by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as areas where both the Sinhala and Tamil languages should as used as the languages of administration. The areas are Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia, Ganga Ihala Korale and the Kandy Four Gravets and Gangawata Korale, Matale, Lankapura and Welikanda in Polonnarwua, Ratnapura, Balangoda, Mawanella, Kekirawa, Vavuniya South and Dehiattakandiya. more..

‘Prabhakaran would have been alive today if he had listened to me’

Oct 14 (Island) Former Norwegian peacemaker Erick Solheim said that Prabhakaran, his cardres and the Tamil civilians killed during the final phase of the war would have been alive today if the LTTE leader had listened to him. Speaking at a book launch by former BBC correspondent Frances Harrison, Solheim said that although people blame the international community for not acting properly in 2009, more..

Commercial Bank takes English to rural Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (Island) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has embarked on a second national scale community initiative to take English language education to children in rural Sri Lanka, in a significant adjunct to the Bank’s country-wide IT education programme. The Bank has engaged the professional expertise of the Life English Academy (LEA), a leading English language training institution in Sri Lanka, to conduct this programme as an extra-curricular activity at selected schools across the country. more..

Allergic reaction to Anti-biotic kills child At Karapitiya

Oct 14 (SL) A 10-year old girl died following an allergic reaction to an anti-biotic drug in the Teaching Hospital in Karapitiya on Friday, hospital sources said. She was given a 1g dose of intravenous antibiotic Ceftriaxone, and subsequently went into cardiac arrest following anaphylactic shock, a tightening of blood vessels which results in a sudden drop in blood pressure. The girl died around 9:30 in the morning at the intensive care unit, and doctors initially suspected an adverse more..

‘Sri Lanka Designer Festival 2012’ includes Northern entrepreneurs

Oct 14 (Island) Sri Lanka design Festival that annually showcases design-craft integrations from all over the island, will use its 2012 global platform to also showcase the designer talent from Northern Sri Lanka that has catapulted to a GDP growth of 27% in the last year and now entering the mainstream economy of the country post a thirty year old war. Whilst most people in the Northern Province are returning to the more..

Wanni resettled people receive legal documents

Oct 14 (NS) Over 90% of the resettled people in the Wanni have been provided with legal documents, govt officials said. Kilinochchi Govt Agent Roopavathi Ketheeswaran said that the govt had expedited the process of providing legal documents to resettled people by conducting mobile services in rural villages. “We continue to provide mobile services as and when the need arises. Otherwise, people can follow the usual procedure of more..

Alleged gay brothel raided in Nugegoda

Oct 14 (DM) Police raided an alleged gay brothel in the Nugegoda area said to be run by a prominent businessman and arrested three males last night. A special police team from the Mirihana police conducted the raid following information that this particular businessman was running the business under the guise of ‘Salons’. Police also arrested 2 women sex workers along with 3 managers from the same location. Initial investigations revealed that the businessman under the guise of ‘Salons’. more..

Over 50% cosmetics unregistered

Oct 14 (NS) More than 50% cosmetics currently used by the Lankan public are illegal and are said to contain harmful chemicals, a Public Health official of the Cosmetics Devices & Drugs Authority (CDDA) said. “All cosmetics must be registered by the CDDA. Before registering a cosmetic we look into the country of origin to see if they are freely available without restrictions in those countries. After checking we have found that some are more..

Local pepper to be re-branded

Oct 14 (NS) Ministry of Minor Export Crop Promotion has taken initiatives to invest Rs.300 mn under the guidance of Minister Reginald Cooray to promote local pepper under the Brand name ‘Sri Lankan Pepper’ expecting to place Sri Lanka among the top three pepper exporting countries by 2016. Sri Lanka currently holds the fifth position among pepper exporting countries. “Sri Lanka has the most nutritious pepper which is rich with ingredients like Pepperine and Pepper oil more..

National Delimitation Committee to demarcate wards in LG areas

Oct 14 (SO) Local Govt and Provincial Councils Minister A.L.M. Athaullah will appoint a National Delimitation Committee to demarcate wards in local authority areas to implement the new Local Government elections procedure, Local Govt and Provincial Councils Secretary R.A.A.K. Ranawaka told the Sunday Observer. The Minister will appoint a National Delimitation Committee this month after inviting representations from all ethnicities to facilitate it”, the Secretary said. more..

3D ත්žරිමාණ - අධිකරණ පවුල් උපදේශන සේවාව

Unmemorable cup final, but Kandy SC won’t mind that

Oct 15 (SL) ON a day when the nation’s attention was undividedly focused on the T20 World Cup final, last Sunday’s Clifford Cup rugby final was destined to passby anonymously. And it did. The attendance at Bogambara of onlysome 2,000 was remotely adrift of the 6,000-plus that Cup finals are wont toattract. As well, a blanket of dark clouds that cloaked the hill capitalskies all day made watching the women’s T20 World Cup final on the more..

Chickens coming home to roost

Oct 15 (SL) I sit at my computer keyboard on a Friday afternoon to the accompaniment of the mini explosions of burning dry Guinea grass and the sight of huge lighted torches of burning trees. Fortunately for me and those living on and earning a living from the land that I still own, the beginnings of a breeze from the North East place us out of harm’s way insofar as this angry brush fire is concerned. Even though the boreal forest fires of Northern Canada that I’ve known make this more..

A new era begins in Kilinochchi

Oct 15 (SO) The Kilinochchi district was a business hub and meeting place for traders from the South and the North, with the longest bazaar extending four kilometres up to Paranthan. It was visited by thousands of villagers everyday and was bustling with life before it was ravaged and reduced to an abandoned ghost city under the LTTE terrorist regime. The LTTE, establishing its de facto headquarters there, running all agricultural, more..

Is a sovereign debt debacle looming?

Oct 15 (CT) Before getting to my subject, the public debt, I wish to comment on the topic of the month, the community clamour (no longer just a FUTA demand) that govt spending on education be increased. Combined govt outlay on education and higher education in 2012 is 1.9% of GDP and 6% of government budget and was deemed outrageously low and well below Asian and international norms; Lanka is the worst performer in all of South Asia. What do the 2013 budget proposals laid at more..

Manjula Thilakaratne attack, shocked middle class and the heroic deeds of Rajano

Oct 15 (CT) There was ample evidence to assume that the attack on Secretary to the Judicial Services Commission was done by pro government forces. How did such a situation developed? The behavior of the government reveals that they are sure of themselves. They are sure that their alliance with the Sinhala rural masses will continue for a long period. For the latter, - they are the heroes that defeated the Tamil terror, which was there for some time. Many failed in this task but Mahinda led more..

FUTA ended strike: What will happen to the 6% of GDP for education campaign?

Oct 15 (CT) After 100 days of continuous strike action during which FUTA was able to generate a tremendous public debate on education, the FUTA Executive Committee having met 11th Oct, decided to suspend its strike action as of 12th Oct, taking into consideration views expressed by a majority of sister unions. The government’s response to the 100 day FUTA trade union action has been in the form of a cabinet note, more..

Paradox of high reserves and continued foreign borrowing ?

Oct 15 (ST) The state of external finances of the country could be confusing. We are repeatedly told by the Central Bank, the custodian of our reserves, that the foreign reserves position is healthy. On the other hand, we are made to understand that the govt is seeking a credit facility of US$ 500 million from the IMF, and if that does not work out, then there would be another sovereign bond issue of US$ 500 million. Why we need to borrow when our more..

Boy's cold-blooded killing baffles police

Oct 15 (SO) Three killings were reported from different parts of the country making headlines in newspapers last week. Of the three killings two can be attributed to sudden provocation while the third was a premeditated killing, the Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told the Sunday Observer. However, the most gruesome killing was reported from Moneragala when a 16-year-old boy was hacked to death while he was fast asleep in the room where his mother slept. more..

When the dons were on strike

Oct 15 (CT) Finally, after a massive, nearly 100-day struggle that put the ‘Education Sector’ in the forefront of all debates in Sri Lanka, the FUTA temporarily suspended the strike, setting the stage for the resumption of academic activities in universities beginning Monday. The dons went on strike, demanding among other things increased funding, 6% of the GDP, for Education. This in fact was highlighted as the ‘core’ demand, more..

Editorial: Devolution sans reconciliation

Oct 15 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has called for the abolition of the 13th Amendment (13-A) to the Constitution in view of threats to national security from the pro-LTTE groups trying to secure a bridgehead on the political front. He has struck a responsive chord with the people averse to the provincial council system. He is likely to draw heavy flak from the defenders of the 13-A, which they consider a panacea for all our ethnic ills. But, anyone's right to either criticise more..

The President and Sri Lanka’s judiciary

Oct 15 (DBS) The attack on the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) last Sunday, which some have read justifiably as an attempted abduction, is certainly quite unprecedented in the history of this country. We may have had tensions between the judiciary and the executive before. But the level of impunity with which this attack was carried out is both shocking and shameless in its audacity. Public confidence that due and proper investigations into the attack and more..

Mining profit

Oct 15 (FT) Aiming to profit from all things that shine, Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery industry is aiming to earn a record US$ 600 million this year and build the country as a gem trading hub. National Gem and Jewellery Authority Chairman Prasad Galhena outlined ambitious plans for the industry at the launch of the Jewels Exhibition recently and insisted that there is capacity to reach US$ 1 billion by 2016. During the first half of more..

Conflict of interest galore at the bourse…

Oct 15 (Island) The new directives issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may promote conflict of interest and open doors to rampant market manipulations unless the regulator takes steps to put in place proper safeguards, such making it mandatory for stock brokers and related parties to disclose their transactions, good governance and minority shareholder rights activist K. C. Vignarajah says in a letter to the SEC. "The decisions taken and directives more..

Air-purifying wonder bulbs in SL market

Oct 15 (ST) Sri Lanka will soon have air purifying CFL energy saving bulbs that cleans and freshen the air and destroys harmful bacteria, pollen dust and cigarette smoke, an official said. Each bulb covers a wide area and emits 3.5million negative ions per centimetre through the use of an ion generator contained within the structure of the bulb. As a result a feeling of wellbeing is experienced, which may be of particular benefit to respiratory sufferers such as those with asthma, more..

Seven young men wanting a kick out of life go to early grave

Oct 15 (ST) Did a deadly cocktail of medicine and other substances send seven young men to an early grave, is the concern of health authorities, in the wake of which the sale of an often-prescribed cough syrup has been banned temporarily. With information indicating that several of the dead men, mainly between 20 and 30 years old, had ingested the cough syrup Corex or Corex-D, the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs more..

Curator defends World Cup wickets

Oct 15 (LB) The wickets that were used for the ICC World Twenty20 were ‘sporting ones’ says the official who was entrusted with preparing them. “The wickets were true ones and they were ideal for a major tournament like the T20 World Cup. The match officials and the commentators who provided the pitch reports before the start of matches commended the wickets,” said Anuruddha Polonowita, the national curator. The tournament was played at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota, Pallekele Stadium and more..

Late arrival was the cause or barring candidates sitting Korean test

Oct 15 (Island) Some candidates who were due to sit the Korean Language Proficiency Test were not allowed to face it as they had not arrived in time, Media Manager of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau W. Ramanyake said. Commenting on complaints that some candidates had missed the opportunity to sit the examination, he said that examination had been conducted by the Korean Human Resource Department with more..

Antibiotic withheld in hospitals

Oct 15 (CT) The health ministry said the antibiotic injection that caused a fatal allergic reaction in a 9 year-old girl in Galle has been temporarily withheld from use in all hospitals. Health Ministry Spokesman, W.A.D. Wanninayake, said that the National Drug Quality Assurance Lab (NDQL) is conducting investigations with regard to the drug Ceftriaxone, which is an antibiotic that was used on the child at the Karapitiya Hospital. more..

TRCSL launches new telecom journal

Oct 15 (DN) A new Telecommunication Journal, FutureTel was launched by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) on October 2 in Colombo at the opening of the 12th Global Symposium for Regulators, International Conference of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), hosted by TRCSL. The new journal is intended to be a valuable resource for academics, researchers, engineers, and other professionals in the telecommunication and ICT sectors. more..

Thirteen new records established

Oct 15 (ST) Thirteen new records were established as Western Province won the 2012 All Island Schools Athletics Championship at the D.A. Rajapaksa Stadium with 874 points yesterday. Central Province emerged runners up with 612 points. A.D.A. Fernando of Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa was adjudged the best male athlete of the meet for his performance of 7.43 meters in the Long Jump event while S.R.J.P. Senanayake of St. Joseph’s BMV Kegalle won the best female more..

Lanka king Ravana to be brought to life through 'designer outfit' in Chandigarh

Oct 15 (DM) This Dussehra, the mighty Lanka king Ravana will don a new "designer outfit" at Chandigarh's most popular Ramlila. The International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) in Chandigarh has prepared a new costume for the epic character as the person playing the part wanted a "change" in the way he dressed up onstage. Anuradha Thakur, a faculty member at the more..

Sri Lanka to bring down artificial rains

Oct 15 (DM) The govt is ready to seek Chinese assistance to generate artificial rains, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today. Addressing a meeting at the opening ceremony of a Rural Health Centre at Koggalla in Ambalantota, he said the govt had the courage to face any sort of challenge. “The drought is not a new experience to us. Temporary measures have been taken up in previous occasions to control the drought. But now we are ready not only to face the drought in advance but more..

Fuel price hike imminent - UNP

Oct 15 (CT) The UNP yesterday predicted a possible fuel price hike in the next few days. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the diesel and petrol prices will increase from Rs.10 in few days time. He challenged Minister Susil Premajayantha to make a statement saying that fuel prices will not increase. “The govt is increasing the local fuel prices when fuel prices in the World Market go up, but when the fuel price of international market goes down the govt does not reduce local fuel prices,” he alleged. more..

Shashindra urges president to give up Defence portfolio

Oct 15 (CT) Uva Chief Minister, Shashindra Rajapaksa, urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to give up the Ministry of Defence as the war has been over for more than three years. Addressing a meeting at Welimada, the Chief Minister said he requested this of the President at this essential hour of need. He also requested the President to take over the Ministries of Education and Higher Education. more..