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Lankan sentenced to time served in Antigua

Oct 15 (AO) Two men convicted of passport fraud have been sentenced to the nine months already served on remand awaiting trial. Polish/Canadian national Krzysztof Kochanek and Sanjeew Rajendram, a Sri Lankan man who tried to pass himself off as his co-convict Kochanek using his passport information, are now awaiting deportation. Kochanek had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to utter the fake Canadian travel document while Rajendram admitted to presenting the same passport to more..

Piliyandala police surrounded by monks

Oct 15 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena organization staged a protest in front of the Piliyandala Police station this morning, urging the release of 2 individuals who were arrested by the Police. According to the Bodu Bala Sena, they had taken a person who was allegedly involved in coversions and handed over to the Police. They said that the person was taken into their custody after the parents of a youth in the area had more..

Five islands to receive solar and wind power

Oct 15 (GDI) The Ministry of Power and Energy will provide solar and wind power to the Delft, Nainathivu, Nagadeepa, Analathivu and Elivathivu islands from January next year. Initial work on these power projects has already commenced and will be completed by the end of next year. The power supply will benefit over 3,500 families in these islands. Minister Champika Ranwaka said that although the residents in these islands are more..

Sampath Bank to limit 16.5% debentures

Oct 15 (LBO) Sampath Bank which offered 1.5 billion rupees of debentures in three types coupons has said that applications for 16.5% fixed rate securities will only be partially filled. Investors who applied for fixed rate bonds paying 15% a year with monthly payments will be given all they asked for. A third type which pays 2% above the 6-month Treasury bill yield will also be fully accommodated. Applications for the 16.5% fixed rate bond more..

Kajima Corp. doing survey on prospects in Sri Lanka for Japanese firms

Oct 15 (FT) In a move to further bolster bilateral ties the Japanese Govt has enlisted a top corporation to do a survey on prospects for its companies and investors in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Japan Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said that construction industry specialist Kajima Corporation has been selected by the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Transport to do a study of prospects, more..

Sri Lanka has to pay more attention to pricing energy: officials

Oct 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has to take actions to diversify the country's energy mix and pay more attention to pricing energy and cut losses in state energy enterprises to keep the economy stable. Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera told an academic forum of the alumni of Colombo University that a recent drought has highlighted the need to diversify the energy mix and fix prices. "So actions to promote renewable energy, actions to promote energy conservation steps, more..

DMK satisfied with PM’s assurance on Sri Lankan Tamils

Oct 15 (MO) Key UPA constituent DMK today expressed satisfaction over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance that New Delhi stood for the "dignity and self-respect" of Sri Lankan Tamils. Party chief M Karunanidhi recalled that Singh's assurance had been conveyed to a visiting delegation of Sri Lankan Tamil MPs last week. "The Prime Minister had said India will not backtrack from its position that Tamils in Sri Lanka should lead a life of dignity and self respect in more..

President leaves for Kuwait to attend ACD Summit

Oct 15 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Kuwait today to attend the Summit of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue. Asian leaders are set to hold the first summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) beginning in Kuwait tomorrow to discuss way of enhancing cooperation to protect Asian countries from global economic crisis. The three-day summit of the 32-member ACD in the capital of Kuwait, will also focus on more..

The economy needs to be about its people

Oct 16 (LB) The Sri Lankan economy appears to be going through some tough times. The govt has referred to some issues and its opponents, constantly on the lookout for some issue that could potentially create a bit of fraction, have made it a point to harp on these issues. The govt, naturally, seems to make light of the issue and the opponents are predicting nothing but gloom and doom. All such discourse is taking place through jargon that is familiar to more..

Is supporting the West Indies an act of horror?

Oct 16 (LB) “It’s hard to believe: There are some Sri Lankans who are against Sri Lanka” claims the status of a Facebook friend while the Sri Lanka-West Indies T-20 final is already into its 10th over. Though perhaps a tad ambiguous, what my friend means by “Sri Lanka,” we can assume, is the Cricket team of the nation state by that name. His marvelling, therefore, is at the fact that there are Sri Lankans who prefer to support the West Indies Cricket team and not the more..

Sri Lankan skipper earns highest honour for bravery

Oct 16 (SO) It was February 2, 2012, around 12.00 noon. When the May Day alert came, Skipper Vimar Vidanagamage of cargo vessel MV Kwangtung was getting ready to set sail to Japan from the Port of Lae in the island state Papua New Guinea (PNG). They were preparing the bridge and the ship's radio communications were opened to take in the day's happenings. Immediately, a telex from the Australian Rescue Coordinating Centre (RCC) of the Australian Maritime more..

Wimps and the monolithic Basil Rajapakse empire

Oct 16 (CT) The Wimps have collapsed like a house of cards; and worse if the Divineguma Bill is enacted and Basil’s empire expands by Rs 80 billion the sharing out of the 2013 budget allocations between ministries will be as shown in the accompanying diagram. It may be argued that 80 billion is a worst case scenario and 60 billion is a more realistic estimate of the increase in Basil’s muscle; in that case his prospective empire shrinks to 14% and the crumbs left over for more..

No ‘ugly’ cheerleaders: Are Sri Lankans so superficial?

Oct 16 (CT) More disappointing than loosing the ICC World T 20 are the comments and responses of a Sri Lankan society who prove time and time again to be rather unfocussed and superficial. These remarks have been used widely by the international media and this is really an indictment on Sri Lanka rather than the cheerleaders. More grave, is the way we treat our women – as commodities. Spectators are a good representation of Sri Lankan Society, the case in point being the more..

'Country faces threat of anarchy'

Oct 16 (SL) The President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), MP Wijedasa Rajapakse says the entire country would suffer and the law and order situation would be affected if the executive and judiciary fail to maintain their balance. He noted that there would be a dictatorship or an anarchic situation if a balance is not maintained among the executive, judiciary and the legislature. “The executive must give a guarantee that the executive more..

Opposition cannot abdicate its role to judiciary

Oct 16 (CT) The crisis that is brewing between the executive and judiciary is a sign that the system of checks and balances continues to be functional. In the past eight years since President Rajapaksa became the Chief Executive the accumulation of power in the executive branch of govt has grown apace and appears to be an unstoppable march. It was thought to have reached its apogee with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution by the present Parliament with a 2/3 majority. more..

Who attacked the JSC Secretary?

Oct 16 (Island) There is a new pattern of argument by government spokesmen (no women!) denying the last Sunday (7) attack on the Secretary to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Manjula Tilakaratne. They in essence ask, ‘Could the govt be so foolish as to indulge in such attacks on the Judiciary when Sri Lanka is at the scrutiny of the UN Human Rights Council?" I am positive that the ‘argument’ was collected from Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, who roamed more..

'Academics must support SF’s cause'

Oct 16 (Island) Since July 04 this year, the day the university lecturers started their strike action, we have been seeing Dr Mahim Mendis’ face on TV news as the spokesman of the FUTA. He earned his doctorate on media sociology from the National University of Singapore and teaches sociology and mass communication at the Open University of Sri Lanka. "The FUTA strike now suspended, but the mission of the FUTA to create a just and more..

It’s all about the money, honey!

Oct 16 (SL) There is as we pointed out last week – to borrow from a Cilla Black catchphrase – ‘a lorra lorra’ black money floating around in Serendipity. In fact there is certainly a lot more than a ‘lorra lorra’ money out here on this Wondrous isle. A prison unlike an airport has more woe than anything else. Most of it is self-inflicted of course and many a liberal minded person is bound to say, ‘serve them right’. In essence if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. more..

Concerns for mental health of asylum seekers

Oct 16 (CT) There are concerns for the mental health of asylum seekers detained on Nauru’s processing centre, after three men harmed themselves in the facility in as many days. An Iranian man attempted self-harm on Thursday, while another two Iranians did the same on Saturday, an Immigration Department spokesman said. No further details were available due to privacy reasons. “Medical and mental health support is obviously available to all clients on that facility,” more..

In defence of the Department of Divi Neguma Development

Oct 16 (CT) A constructive dialogue on nationally important policies is imperative in any liberal democracy. Raising opposing views, no matter whether they are positive or negative in character opens up the opportunity to emerge correct ideologies and notions which may lead to good governance. The Divi Neguma Bill is being scrutinized these days as an important national topic and anybody can constructively criticize it with a view of making a more..

CIC eyes yoghurt market

Oct 16 (NS) CIC group is planning to cash in from the current shortage of quality yoghurt in the country by breaking into the market in a major way with Scandinavian technical assistance CIC Agri Business (Pvt) Ltd which is the group subsidiary carrying on agricultural related businesses has decided to put up a new Rs 600m dairy processing facility in Dambulla with the technical collaboration of Denmark’s Scanpro A/S. CEO Agri Technology, CIC Agri Business more..

How the match was lost

Oct 16 (SL) Double-Double (DD) our favourite waiter at the Water Hole was visibly agitated on Monday afternoon as he poured out the chilled waters of N’Eliya into a well-chilled mug. Eeyeh (yesterday), Ali keliyak (elephant confrontation) Ne? In Vain, he muttered. Was it the assault on the JSC Secretary down Mt. Lavinia way, GMOA on strike or Ranil and Sajith at each other’s jugulars? We queried. No it was at Premadasa. The World Cup, which was ours just, disappeared from sight. more..

Sri Lanka selectors ponder separate Twenty20 team

Oct 16 (CI) Sri Lanka chief selector Ashantha de Mel has said that the national selection committee may streamline the selection of teams, and have a separate Twenty20 squad, following Sri Lanka's 36-run loss to West Indies in the World Twenty20 final in Colombo. The changes are likely to be introduced in the one-off T20 international against New Zealand to be played at Pallekele on October 30. Vice captain Angelo Mathews is expected to take the reins more..

Editorial: When strange bedfellows fall out

Oct 16 (Island) The trouble-torn UNP is embroiled in another intraparty tussle over next Thursday's rally at Hyde Park to forge a common Opposition alliance with the goal of abolishing the executive presidency among other things. The UNP has decided against attending the event which it says is aimed at founding a political movement under former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka's leadership, and threatened stern action against its members including MPs who defy its decision. more..

Top 7 to get Business Excellence Awards

Oct 16 (FT) The Institute of Certified Professional Managers promoting the CPM qualification in Sri Lanka will today confer seven distinguished personalities with Business Excellence Awards. They are business leaders Aban Pestonjee, Dhammika Perera, Hemaka Amarasuriya, Merril J. Fernando, Sohlie Captain, Mineka Wickramasingha and S.P. Tao. The institute said these personalities have been able to make their vision a reality for their companies, driving growth, success and profitability. more..

Magistrate tells JVP MP to handover his laptop to Court

Oct 16 (Island) Kaduwela Magistrate and Additional District Judge Ms Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered JVP MP Vijitha Herath to hand over his lap top computer to the Court. She gave this order after an accused told Court that he was not guilty of breaking into the MP’s house at Pore, Kahantota, some two years ago and stealing a lap top computer and two mobile phones belonging to the MP. The police had arrested suspect Sumith Wijeweera of Neluwa, Galle and more..

Unawatuna Beach Resort payroll robbed

Oct 16 (Island) Two employees of Unawatuna Beach Resort (UBR), returning on a motorcycle from a bank in Galle, with Rs. 1.5 million, were robbed at gun point by two unidentified gunmen, near the Timber Corporation depot at Unawatuna yesterday. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that the robbers had followed the two employees of the UBR, who went to private bank to draw money to pay employees’ salaries. On their way back to the UBR, they had been robbed at gun point around 3.00 p.m. more..

Jaffna Uni. re-opens after three months

Oct 16 (Island) The Jaffna University has requested its Agriculture and Management Faculty students to report for lectures from tomorrow morning, Vice Chancellor Prof. Vasanthi Arasaratnam said. Meanwhile, students of the Arts Faculty reported for classes when the Campus reopened yesterday morning, following the closure of the university for a period of three months. A special meeting of the Jaffna Campus Senate has been summoned for today, at 2.00 p.m. to take a decision on more..

Investment in junk Greek Bonds: SC resumes hearing on 29 Nov.

Oct 16 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed to be resumed on 29 November the rights petition challenging the investment on the controversial Greek Bonds, which resulted in a loss of Rs. 2.14 billion of the public funds to the State. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Shirani A. Bandaranayake and Justices K. Sripavan and Chandra Ekanayake also directed that the matter be listed before the same Bench. The Supreme Court on 6 September ordered more..

I will attend rally even if I’m hanged: Range

Oct 16 (DM) UNP Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara said today he will attend Thursday’s rally organized by the United National Bikkhu Front (UNBF) with several others, even if it results in him being hanged. Mr. Range Bandara told the Daily Mirror that he would not go alone but take with him a host of party men to the rally. He said he did not intend to inform the party in writing of his decision as he had already voiced his opinion at the last working committee meeting. more..

Ex-Colombo mayor, five political parties seek SC determination

Oct 16 (FT) In the absence of the Northern Provincial Council, the controversial Divi Neguma Bill has not been approved by the Northern Provincial Council and the legislative power of the Provincial Councils cannot be executed by any other authority. So lament former Colombo Municipal Mayor Azath Sally and five political parties in their application filed yesterday (15) before the Supreme Court through Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarasha. more..

India keeping tab on Divi Neguma Bill: TNA

Oct 16 (DM) India is observing the developments with regard to the Divi Neguma Bill dubbed by many as an attempt by the government to take over powers devolved to the provincial councils under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the TNA said yesterday. The TNA delegation returned to Sri Lanka on Sunday night after talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. more..

PS member caught impersonating at Korean language test

Oct 16 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli yesterday granted bail to a member of the Ambalantota Pradeshiya Sabha and five other suspects, who were arrested by the police, for impersonating at the Korean language proficiency examination, held last weekend. They were ordered to be released on personal bail in Rs 500,000 each. A passport and an examination admission card, recovered from suspect Pradeshiya Sabha member, Walter Gamini, were also produced as evidence in the case. more..

UNP to hold annual summit

Oct 16 (CT) UNP is to hold its 2012 annual convention on 1 December at its party headquarters, Sirikotha. It is reported the UNP Pradeshiya Saba (PS) members are also allowed to participate in the convention. However some UNP PS members have expressed their reservations about the selection process as to who will be attending the convention. These PS members had asked why there should be a selection process since it is only UNP members who would attend the annual convention. more..

UNP reiterates warning to rebels on SF rally

Oct 16 (Island) Amidst some members of the UNP rebel faction publicly vowing to defy last Friday’s Working Committee decision to bar members from attending this week’s scheduled rally, intended to re-launch the political career of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, the UNP said that those defying collective decisions would have to face the consequences. The Working Committee took a unanimous decision not to attend the October 18 rally, more..

Two Lankans charged with overstaying in city deported

Oct 16 (TOI) Two Sri Lankan women, who arrived at the city airport on Sunday evening by an Air India flight, were deported to Colombo on Monday afternoon. Airport sources said the duo, Dharmarathinam, 26, and her younger sister Mohanapriya, 25, was sent back as they have been barred from entering the country for one year since February 2012. The duo, residents of Yazhpanam in northern Sri Lanka, was deported to Colombo in February when they were caught overstaying in the city. more..

Prisons Dept. yet to settle Rs. 60 to SF

Oct 16 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma yesterday claimed that the Prisons Department was yet to settle Rs. 60 to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. “When the former Army Chief was serving the prison term, he was assigned to work in the ‘Laundry party’ at the Welikada prison. When you work there, you are entitled to a certain amount of money for the work you do. But this prison authority had failed to pay some Rs. 60 due to Mr. Fonseka,” Mr. Thevarapperuma charged. more..

Net foreign inflow tops Rs. 33 b

Oct 16 (FT) Foreign buying into select blue chips continues unabated as net inflow crossed the Rs. 33 billion mark yesterday. Foreigners bought Rs. 1.35 billion worth of shares and their sales were only Rs. 0.5 billion, resulting in a net inflow of Rs. 813 million, bringing the total year-to-date figure to Rs. 33.4 billion. As of Friday it was Rs. 32.6 billion, according to Softlogic Stockbrokers. Last month net foreign inflow amounted to Rs. 3.06 billion, more..

Wimal wants Mangala’s statement probed

Oct 16 (DN) The Police should investigate UNP Media Spokesman Mangala Samaraweera’s statement in respect of the alleged attack on the Judicial Services Commission Secretary, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. Participating in a ceremony to handover a house to an underprivileged family in Athurugiriya under the Janasevana Kepakaru Housing Programme, Weerawansa questioned if there was an involvement of the UNP in the assault of the Secretary. “Mangala Samaraweera says more..

Second set of quintuplets born in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (DN) Dilini Rasangika Shyamanthi, the mother of the quintuplets said she and her husband considered the five babies as the greatest gift they had received. “They were not a burden during pregnancy and my husband and I would not consider them as a burden in the future too,” she said. “Dr Kapila Gunawardena informed me at the outset when I was one and half months pregnant that I will give birth to quintuplets. I was afraid. My husband gave me all the love and protection more..