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Security beefed up at Mahabodhi temple

Oct 15 (ANI) Police has beefed up security in and around the historic Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya city of Bihar following threats of a possible militant attack. Additional armed security teams were deployed at the temple entrance and were seen frisking devotees entering the temple premises. Armed security personnel have been patrolling in crowded market areas near the temple. "The security has been beefed up and additional forces have been deployed at the Mahabodhi more..

No to ‘sir’ with love

Oct 15 (Island) Public Health Inspectors are against calling doctors ‘Sir’ and have warned the government that if it does not step in and solve the problem faced by their colleagues, in the Polonnaruwa District, within a fortnight, they would launch a countrywide strike. President of the Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIUSL) Upul Rohana issued the warning to the Health Ministry and the Regional Director Health Services of the Polonnaruwa district yesterday. more..

Local govt taxation to be simplified

Oct 15 (ST) Sri Lanka’s local govt taxation, licensing and various approval rules are to be modernized and simplified under a 2013 National Budget Proposal to ensure balanced regional development and take economic development to less developed urban and rural areas. Furthermore on the directions of the President more finances will be allocated from the 2013 Budget to settle grievances of local govt employees. more..

Moonwalking the dream

Oct 15 (Hindu) Dushyant Weeraman’s artistry takes three different — and well-established — forms: singer; dancer; actor. The Sri Lankan, who was in India recently to promote a recent single, said over phone that he perhaps got into showbiz after a childhood obsession with Michael Jackson. “He’s my idol. I was very influenced by the guy as a kid; I’m in this profession because I’m so influenced by him.” The King of Pop’s not just been a background force for Dushyant: through his career, Dushyant more..

Ganja found in Div. Secy’s vehicle

Oct 15 (Island) The Hambegamuwa police, acting on a tip-off, yesterday arrested a person for transporting cannabis (ganja) in the official vehicle of the Thanamalwila Divisional Secretary. Police identified the suspect as an employee of the Thanamalwila Divisional Secretariat. At the time of the arrest, the suspect was transporting 23kgs of ganja neatly packed in two cardboard boxes. Asked whether the suspect had used a govt vehicle to transport ganja on earlier occasions, more..

Radhika Coomaraswamy named Laureate

Oct 15 (Island) Radhika Coomaraswamy, former Under Secretary General of the United Nations/Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, was chosen for the Special Jury Prize 2012 by the Foundation Chirac. The Foundation Chirac was created in 2008 by former President of France, Jacques Chirac, during his presidency. The foundation will also award Father Francisco De Roux the Prize for Conflict Prevention more..

Politics and judiciary ill matched - Reginald

Oct 15 (CT) The Minor Export Crop Promotion Minister, Reginald Cooray said politics must not intervene in the matters of Judiciary when carrying out justice, even though there are many invisible, hidden links connecting politics with the judiciary. He expressed these views in response to a query on whether he ever intervened in the judiciary’s decisions. He also said the three bodies of governance, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary are not independent bodies. more..

Fund in aid of rebuilding destroyed B’desh Buddhist shrines

Oct 15 (Island) A fund to assist the reconstruction of Buddhist places of worship in Bangladesh was launched in Kandy last Wednesday under the patronage of Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa. Mahanayake of Asgiriya Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera made the first contribution to the fund with a donation of Rs. 100,000. Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela informed that a contribution of one million more..

Sri Lanka hikes renewable energy tariffs by over 20%

Oct 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has hiked purchase tariffs for most renewable energy fuels by over 20% with a flat 20-year rate for new mini-hydro plants built in 2013, up 28% amid steep currency depreciation, a tariff decision by the regulator showed. Sri Lanka's Public Utilities Commission had used an exchange rate of 132.86 rupees to the US dollar convert the capital cost of new plants into rupees. Sri Lanka's exchange rate fell in the more..

Donations to new cancer hospital building misused?

Oct 15 (SL) The Health Ministry has received complaints that donations received for the new building affiliated with the Maharagama Cancer hospital have been misused. Assistant Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that he had asked the Director of the hospital to look into the complaints. The project was initiated by cricketers Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara but it was temporarily suspended in 2004 following the devastating tsunami as more..

Salley sheds tears over SLMC EPC members voting for Divineguma

Oct 15 (Island) Defeated SLMC PC polls candidate Azath Salley on Friday (12) faults seven SLMC members elected to Eastern Provincial Council of betraying the party by voting in favour of the Divineguma Bill. Salley, who contested from the Batticaloa District told a gathering at Kattankudy that SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali had requested the seven SLMC councillors, in the EPC, to vote against the Divineguma Bill, but they had gone against the party and voted for it. more..

A tree frog leaps into list of Endemic Amphibians

Oct 15 (ST) Researchers worry that the only known population of new endemic tree frogs Polypedates ranwellai, named in honour of Dr. Sanjeewa Ranwella, could soon become extinct. Sri Lanka, already known as an Amphibian hotspot, reveals another new frog at the Gilimale Forest of Peak Wilderness. Leading researcher Mendis Wickramasinghe of the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka, who, together with the late Dr. more..

Editorial: Screaming through an Indian loudspeaker

Oct 15 (DM) As much as one cannot forget India’s stony stance at the UNHRC sessions in March this year, in view of the upcoming sessions in November, the importance of being in the Big Brother’s good books cannot be left aside easily. Be it the enormity of the territory or the unmatchable political power that has brought the other South Asian states to their knees, India’s word count—in the region and outside of it. Perhaps, it is the sole reason why members of the TNA make more..

Executive-Judicial tensions should not be resolved by Choppe Aiya

Oct 15 CT) There is the executive. Then the legislative. And there is the judiciary. ‘Separation of powers’ refers to lines demarcating territory and jurisdiction. These are certainly not hard lines, but nevertheless the very existence of boundary makes for checks and balances. When the lines are soft and pliable, when they are porous, it means that anarchy of the worst kind is around the corner. Thankfully we are nowhere close to that. There are tensions, yes, and there always have been, more..

More military training for principals during school vacation

Oct 15 (LB) A principal who wished to comment in anonymity said that he will not be using the title of colonel in his day to day activities. “I am sure in other countries youth get similar military training before they take up jobs but we don’t have such practices. I don’t know if such a training is good or bad, but in my life, at a later stage to get this training, I consider it as an opportunity and an honour.” “I’m sure there will be more training more..

Terror-bombing The Judiciary

Oct 15 (SL) The attack on the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is an act of terrorism. Not all terrorists lurk in the shadows, hiding from the authorities. Some terrorists are the authorities. An insatiable appetite for absolute power/total control is a quality common to state and non-state terrorists. Both varieties (from Chancellor Hitler to Tiger Leader Pirapaharan) use ‘exemplary terror’ to frighten opponents into mindless compliance. more..

Rain brings relief, but danger lurks in lightning strikes

Oct 15 (ST) October 10 was International Day of Disaster Reduction. That same week lightning strikes claimed several lives in Sri Lanka. Although the drought appeared to be easing in some areas of the country with the onset of rains, it has come at a price with lightning strikes killing five people during the past few weeks. Two Korean tourists were among the first victims who were hit by lightning while they were enjoying more..

'Only with defeat of LTTE development work gets rooted in North'

Oct 15 (Island) Having visited Jaffna and Kilinochchi on Friday on a fact finding mission, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that that the govt had been able to intensify the development process in the Jaffna peninsula only after the liberation of the Vanni region. The military brought the entire Jaffna peninsula under govt control in late May 1996. But the Vanni remained in the hands of the LTTE until May 2009. more..

JVP breakaways want people to oppose new detention law

Oct 15 (Island) The Frontline Socialist Party yesterday called upon the people to rise up against the govt’s plan to bring in new laws in order to extend the period of detention of persons arrested without a warrant. The FSP politburo, in a statement, said that a draft bill had been presented to the Parliament by the govt on October 11, under the title ‘Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision) Bill’ to extend the detention period more..

Bodhi sapling to be relocated

Oct 15 (HT) The Mahabodhi plant brought from Sri Lanka and planted at Sanchi by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during inauguration of International University of Buddhist and Indic Studies will now be shifted from the university site after collector of Raisen expressed his inability to ensure security of the plant. As of now, the university site is being looked after by Raisen administration. The plant at Amkheda, 8 kms away from Sanchi, is protected by iron fencing. more..

'SL nuke scientists under threat'

Oct 15 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday charged that the ‘cooked up’ story of Pakistan- aided nuclear plants in Sri Lanka was part of a major conspiracy to put the lives of Sri Lankan nuclear scientists in danger. “This story fabricated by a group comprising Indians and Sri Lankans and an Indian media group, had twin purposes. One was to blacklist Sri Lanka internationally by creating a major suspicion on the country’s power plans. more..

'Borrowings high, should boost exports'

Oct 15 (DM) Sri Lanka must take steps to boost export competitiveness in order to maintain sustainable debt to GDP levels over the medium-long term, according to IMF Resident Representative, Dr Koshy Mathai. Whilst taking note of the country’s downward trend in debt to GDP over the last three years, he stated that Sri Lanka would find it challenging to indefinitely roll over debt without generating meaningful increases export earnings. “While it is completely natural for countries to more..

No buyers, thousands of cars to be re-exported

Oct 15 (DM) Cash- strapped car importers want to re- export more than 5,000 vehicles in a bid to minimise their losses. These cars had already arrived or were in ships headed for Colombo when the Govt slapped a massive 80% import tax. They paid the duty and cleared the cars but there are few buyers. Customs Director General Neville Gunewardena said permission had been granted to re-export these vehicles. He said only 90% of the duty paid by the importers would more..

Bigger intake might trigger outburst

Oct 15 (DM) With the decision to increase the intake of students, the university authorities are hard pressed to accommodate the new batch, due to insufficient hostel, canteen and lecture hall facilities, officials said. Under these circumstances, the Committee of Vice Chancellors stressed the need to accelerate the improvement of facilities in the university system within the next 3 months. Committee’s president, Prof. Susirith Mendis said that each university had been compelled to increase its intake by 500-600 more..

Lankan cab driver arrested after bag theft

Oct 15 (E24|7) A Sri Lankan taxi driver apparently could not resist the temptation of the large bag held by a Saudi woman when she hired him at Dubai’s airport. Just as she stepped out of the car near her rented apartment in Barsha, he sped away with the bag. The bag turned out to be big loot as it contained a laptop and an Ipad device worth more than Dh4,300, which he sent to his family in his home country. But the driver’s joy was short-lived as he had apparently did not realize that more..

'Japan - Lanka have always maintained healthy ties'

Oct 15 (DN) During the past 60 years, Japan and Sri Lanka have maintained the bonds of friendship on a firm foundation, Ambassador of Japan Nobuhito Hobo said addressing the fellowship dinner to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, hosted by the Lanka-Japan Friendship Society on Friday at Hotel Waters Edge, Battaramulla. He also said Japan - Sri Lanka Friendship Society has made yeomen more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

A tranquil boutique retreat in Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (GN) Beyond the obvious trials in renovating a 200-year-old property, living 1,000 miles away has brought its own set of complications for designer Niki Fairchild. "You can hear what’s going on, but don’t have any eyes with which to see – I end up calling way too much, saying ‘Have you done this? Is that taken care of?’." Residing in Poona, a three-hour drive from Mumbai, Niki is the owner of dainty boutique hotel Maya in Tangalle, Sri Lanka. Since it opened in 2010, the resort has appealed more..

Cabinet okays health workers serving in home stations for ten years

Oct 15 (Island) A Cabinet paper submitted by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena seeking to permit some categories of health workers to serve in their home districts has been approved by the Cabinet. Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said that it would be compulsory for nurses and those in the professions supplementary to medicine to serve in those areas for ten years.Dr. Jayathilaka said that under the programme, 30% of the nurses, undergoing more..

US, Norway planned to arm-twist SL over dual-citizenship of Rajapaksas and Fonseka

Oct 15 (CT) “Several times during the discussions with Williamson, different MFA interlocutors stated that after the fall of Kilinochchi, the safety and security of GOSL soldiers became more important to the GOSL than measures to protect civilian life, and this resulted in various reckless practices, such as shelling villages to terrify and evacuate civilians. Another issue raised more..

Korea ups Lankan job quota

Oct 15 (DN) South Korea enhanced the job quota offered to Sri Lankans by six percent under its Employment Permit System for foreign workers and also increased the salaries of the island’s migrant workers, as a reward for good performance. Minister Dilan Perera who inspected some centres where the 10th Korean Language Proficiency test was held yesterday, said that in addition to enhanced job opportunities, Sri Lankan workers in Korea earn salaries of over Rs 140,000 per month. more..

Slovakia seeks business with Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (LBO) Slovakia's envoy to India Marian Tomasik will make a presentation on opportunities in his country to Sri Lankan business at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Oct 17, the trade chamber said. Slovakia is a landlocked nation in Central Europe with a population of over five million and a gross domestic product of 95 bullion US dollars. It is uses Euros as the currency. The country had exported 65.5 billion US dollars of goods, and imported 63.4 billion worth of goods. more..

Universities open after three month strike

Oct 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's academics returned to work on Monday after a three-month strike that left the university system crippled and students at a dead end, an official said here. FUTA, the trade union of the academics, reluctantly agreed to a govt proposal last Thursday after over a dozen round of talks. They had been on strike since 4 July over eight key demands including a 20% pay increase and allocation of 6% more..

Couple to volunteer in Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (WG) A couple from Winsford are organising a fundraising drive to raise money for a volunteering trip to Sri Lanka. Will Wray and Amelia Sefton, will spend six weeks at Ruhuna’s orphanage, where they will work closely with the children, volunteering in both the orphanage and neighbouring community centre. Amelia, who works as an actress and runs educational workshops in and around Winsford, said: “At Ruhuna’s orphanage there are 65 children currently being homed. more..

'No security fear in Pakistan'

Oct 15 (TN) Sanath Jayasuriya was not a member of the Sri Lankan team which last toured Pakistan (2009) where the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka had been called off following the attack on the bus carrying the tourists' team in Lahore. Now the former Sri Lanka captain will lead the World XI in Pakistan. The match is scheduled to be played against the Pakistani team and both teams will have current as well as ‘not retired’ players. The Pakistani team for the two more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 15.10.2012

President visits Amarapura Mahanayake on his 100th birthday

Oct 15 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday wished the Mahanayake of the Amarapura Chapter, the Most Ven. Dr. Weligama Gnanarathana Nayake Thera long life after calling on him at the Rathmalana Mallikaramaya to mark the Prelate’s 100th birthday. The Prelate has sacrificed 85 years out of his 100 years for the betterment and well being of the Buddha Sasana, Sinhala nation and the country. more..

OIC demands sexual bribe from woman

Oct 15 (CT) The Officer-in-Charge (OIC) minor Offence branch of the Pulasthigama Police Station was remanded by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court for demanding a sexual favour as a bribe from a woman. The suspect was ordered to be remanded till 25 October when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate, Rashmi Singappuli by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC). The Bribery Commission in a “B” report informed Court the police officer more..

'Sri Lanka does not have match fixers'

Oct 15 (CT) Amidst allegations of international cricket umpires being involved in match fixing during the recently concluded T20 World Cup Series, Sports minister Aluthgamage refutes the involvement of Sri Lankan umpires or cricketers in any match fixing. He said the ICC was looking into the allegations raised last week about the T20 Finals and pledged to take stringent action against anyone, if found guilty. more..

Sri Lanka stocks closed down 1.47 pct

Oct 15 (LBO) Stocks closed down 1.47% Monday with most blue-chips trading below previous closing prices. Coco Lanka fell with investors giving thumbs down to a cash call to move into fast moving consumer goods retailing. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,653.80 down 84.44 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 42.56 points lower at 3055.86 down 1.37%. Turnover was 1,574 million rupees. Top contributors to the day's turnover were Keells Holdings with 785 million rupees, more..