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'Inventors are like artists – we must celebrate and nurture them!'

Oct 2 (GV) For over two decades, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi made a name for himself as an innovative Chartered Marketer and Management Development Consultant. While holding top executive positions in leading companies, he also excelled as a corporate trainer and author on entrepreneurship, especially in Sinhala language. He has been a pioneer in taking business knowledge to the grassroots, more..

Editorial: The President's dilemma

Oct 2 (Island) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne is receiving treatment in the US, and according to reports reaching Colombo there has been no noticeable improvement in his condition. It is being speculated in political circles that the govt will be constrained to look for a successor. While wishing the affable PM speedy recovery, we take a look at the void created by his prolonged absence and the options available to the govt as regards a replacement. The post of prime minister under a presidential system is widely considered more..

Marked increase in Japanese investments

Oct 2 (DN) Economic and political relations between Japan and Sri Lanka improved markedly in recent years with more Japanese investments coming to the country, including a plant to make solar panels, Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Japan, Admiral (Rtd) Wasantha Karannagoda said. Major Japanese companies like Marubeni, Sumitomo, Sagawa and Kajima Corporation will set up trading activities and joint ventures or are already working in Sri Lanka, he said. Karannagoda said Bansei Securities, more..

Not without my cobra

Oct 2 (CT) The twist and turns of the unusual story of the exotic dancer and her highly venomous pet cobra, has taken another intriguing coil, with the dancer, Nirosha Wimalaratne of Danthure, vowing hissy vengeance, if her slithery pet is not returned to her. Both the snake and the dancer were taken into police custody recently, and while the dancer was released on bail her unusual companion was retained by the police. more..

German grant for drought relief work in Muttur

Oct 2 (DN) The German embassy in Colombo gave Rs 2.9 million as humanitarian assistance to drought affected families in Muttur. The project is implemented by the Coordinating Centre for Community Development (3CD), a community based organisation that has undertaken safe drinking-water projects to serve displaced communities since 2007. The project focuses on constructing water tanks in schools and villages in Muttur where the wells have either dried up more..

Washing dirty linen …

Oct 2 (Island) What transpired about the Judicial Service Commission and its Secretary at the recent media conference with the President is disturbing. It is significant that all protagonists connected with the topic are lawyers. Hence the legal fraternity has a duty to analyse what had been said from the point of view of judicial independence and safeguard the interests of their profession. This is an attempt to get to the bottom of the matter objectively. It all began with a news release by the Secretary, JSC, about an invitation to meet the President and more..

Govt. debt off target

Oct 2 (Island) Public debt management has gone awry with the govt seeking to increase foreign borrowings above the budgeted targets while domestic debt remains sluggish, with much depending on whether the govt would meet the 6.2 percent of GDP budget deficit target this year. Total outstanding debt of the govt reached Rs. 6,161 billion as at end July 2012, the Central Bank said last week, growing by Rs. 1,027.6 billion during the seven month period this year. more..

Broad left to rue 'average' days

Oct 2 (CI) There probably was an England side that could have reached the World Twenty20 semi-finals, but it was not the one which lost three matches out of five and, by virtue of a 19-run defeat against Sri Lanka in Pallakele, crashed out of the competition at the Super Eights stage. Sri Lanka, unbeaten in five matches, have surely never entered a semi-final with more vigour since their breakthrough win in the World Cup 16 years ago. England, by contrast, never really found the way. The team that will never be tested (always an advantage) would more..

Who's captain?

Oct 2 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene conceded the captaincy to his team-mate and long-time buddy, Kumar Sangakkara, to general confusion. The assumption was that Jayawardene had captained Sri Lanka when they were penalised for a slow over rate and nobody wanted to risk the chance that he might err again and be suspended as a result. It was some captaincy by Sangakkara - he seemed to have Jayawardene on an invisible string as Jaywardene looked to be making all the decisions himself. more..

Mahela stands by captaincy switch

Oct 2 (CI) Sri Lanka resembled an engine purring assuredly on the starting grid, as they tuned up all their parts in another dominant victory to finish at the top of their Super 8s group. The openers provided a solid platform and critically, this time, the young middle order also delivered a good finish. Lasith Malinga returned to his penetrative best, Nuwan Kulasekara achieved quietly again, and Akila Dananjaya continued more..

Mamaduwa quits Sanasa Development Bank

Oct 2 (FT) Top professional Nimal Mamaduwa has resigned as General Manager and CEO of Sanasa Development Bank Plc (SDBL). The bank announced E.A.A.S. Ediriwickrama, the Assistant General Manager, Credit and Development Finance, has been made Acting General Manager. Mamaduwa joined SDBL in 2003 and has held the position of Chief Manager at Hatton National Bank PLC and possesses 36 years of experience in the banking sector. He has a Diploma in Bank Management from IBSL and a more..

‘ICT can help build meaningful relationships’

Oct 2 (DN) The role of ICT in reconciliation is a significant part of the global dialogue on reconciliation and it is a main aspect of bringing about reconciliation in a nation torn by decades of conflict. “ICTs can help build meaningful relationships between people who are geographically and culturally diverse as well as those who have been severed by mistrust and enmity; the more ICT applications on the ground, the better”, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. more..

Moragahakanda: Govt. opted for China as Japan delayed funding

Oct 2 (Island) Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala De Silva says that the govt opted for China for funding for the Moreagahakanda project as Japan was delaying the funding due to impacts of the Environment Impact Assessment. He said that that the program to rehabilitate over 80 irrigation tanks with World Bank funding will be completed before mid 2015 which are well on schedule more..

Desperate woman kills abusive husband

Oct 2 (Island) A 47-year-old woman, who allegedly killed her drunken husband by hitting him on the head with a mammoty, was remanded till October 10, when she was produced before Kantale Magistrate’s Court, by the Thambalagamuwa police. The wife of the deceased was the breadwinner of a family of four girls, due to her husband’s addiction to liquor. The husband was a labourer and had spent all his earnings on liquor. However, the woman had educated her two elder daughters, at an orphanage in Trincomalee, while more..

‘Rail track Sanjeewa’ abducted in Kataragama

Oct 2 (Island) An underworld criminal and drug peddler known as ‘Rail track Sanjeewa’, who made the Bloemendhal area of Kotahena his bastion, was abducted by an unknown gang in Kataragama on Sunday night. The notorious underworld character had been travelling by car at the time of the abduction, around 7.30 p.m. Police have information that Sanjeewa had been involved in killings, use of firearms and also dealing in drugs in collaboration with the notorious more..

LIOC ups diesel by Rs. 4 to recoup part of Rs. 350 mn loss

Oct 2 (Island) Lanka Indian Oil Corporation, the SL arm of the Indian Oil Corporation, increased its diesel price by Rs. 4 from midnight yesterday, claiming that it was still losing Rs. 13 per litre prior to the increase. "We are losing Rs. 13 per litre and what we have increased is a mere Rs. 4 in the context of the Rs. 350 million loss that we have incurred in the last parcel of 40,000 tonnes that we have imported," more..

Sri Lanka meets Ban Ki-moon, No Prageeth or Petrie Report, no accountability?

Oct 2 (ICP) It was on the final day of the week-long UN General Debate that Sri Lanka's G.L. Peiris spoke, along with North Korea, Belarus and Syria. Like these other three, Sri Lanka spoke out against any outside interference in its internal affairs. Unlike Syria, however, Sri Lanka has largely prevailed in this request. No one has been held accountable for the killing of civilians in 2009. Peiris bragged about redeveloping northern Sri Lanka, without more..

School van registration dilemma

Oct 2 (DM) Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayake said yesterday that a cabinet paper had been submitted to bring all school vans under the purview of the Ministry instead of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) which the Minister believed had exceeded its mandate by collecting funds from school vans. He said school vans should be registered under the National Transport Commission (NTC) and not the NCPA which he said had only the responsibility of ensuring the more..

FUTA takes their case to Mahanayakes

Oct 2 (Island) The most venerable Mahanayaka Theras of Malwatta and Asgiriya, who met a delegation form the FUTA, yesterday expressed their willingness to forward the striking dons’ demands to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Malwatte Mahanayake Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddharatha Sumangala asked the FUTA delegates to send the prelates a written request containing the demands that should be forwarded to the President. more..

'Providing a decent home for all, govt’s aim'

Oct 2 (DN) The govt is committed to providing opportunities for people to live in a decent home of their own in a clean and congenial environment said President Mahinda Rajapaksa presiding over a ceremony to mark World Habital Day at the Colombo Town Hall grounds yesterday. The ceremony was organized by the Construction, Engineering Services Housing and Common Amenities Ministry on the theme ‘Changing Cites, Building opportunities. more..

Court issues notice on Galle Mayor

Oct 2 (Island) The Galle Magistrate has issued notice on Galle Mayor Methsiri de Silva to appear before Court on October 24, 2012. Issuing the notice, the Magistrate warned that failure to appear in Court on the said date would result in an arrest warrant being issued, the GMOA said. The GMOA said that the charges framed against the Mayor were obstructing the duties of Galle Municipal Council MoH Dr. Venura Singarachchi, criminal intimidation, attempted assault and using abusive language on him. more..

Dons who helped MR become President led FUTA protest – UNP

Oct 2 (Island) University teachers who had publicly campaigned to elect Mahinda Rajapaksa President had been in the forefront of last week’s protest march from Galle to Colombo by the FUTA, the UNP said. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said that the academic community, which once believed and campaigned for the ‘Mahinda Chintana’ had walked over a 100 km from Galle to Colombo, to protest against the more..

Dambulla residents eviction order

Oct 2 (CT) All Muslim MPs are to meet and discuss the issue of the residents living within the scared zone of Dambulla being asked to vacate before the end of this month. Minister, A.H.M.Fowzie said, the residents of the area had complained to him regarding the eviction letter sent to them by the UDA requesting them to vacate their houses as the houses have been categorized under the Scared Area Development Act and the area will be used for development work. more..

Teachers demand pay hike

Oct 2 (CT) The Association of Educational Professionals (AEP) demanded yesterday, if university academics are given a salary increment, the teachers should also receive similar benefits. “Minister of Disaster Management, Mahinda Amaraweera, recently pointed out that if the lecturers’ salaries are increased, school teachers would also want their wages to be increased. That is true. We also want an increment,” President of AEP, Wasantha Dharmasiri claimed. more..

'Arbitrary intervention dilutes confidence in UN system'

Oct 2 (DM) While claiming that in the settlement of international disputes, action must be based on the fundamental principle of sovereign equality of states, Sri Lanka on Monday said that the ‘recent tendency to selectively and arbitrarily intervene in the internal affairs of states flies dilutes the confidence nurtured in the UN system.’ Addressing the General Debate of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, more..

Four killed on expressway under construction

Oct 2 (Island) Four persons, including two policemen and a Chinese national, died in the early hours of yesterday when the vehicle they were travelling in fell into crater full of water at the Thunandahena worksite in Athurugiriya, on the Kottawa-Kadawatha expressway under construction. The deceased were police constables Asanka and Dhanuka, a Chinese employee of the company constructing the expressway, Shahue Chun and A. Sumeda, the driver of the vehicle. According to the police, more..

OPA calls on the executive not to undermine judiciary

Oct 2 (Island) No country can survive for too long without respect for the rule of law, the Organization of Professional Associations Sri Lanka says. In a press release titled ‘Independence of Judiciary’ the OPA calls upon the Executive to act in a manner that would prevent any undermining of the independence of the judiciary. Full text of the OPA release: "The OPA is deeply concerned regarding reported attempts by the Executive to interfere with the Independence of the Judiciary. more..

FUTA denies SB’s claim dons are returning to work

Oct 2 (Island) Conflicting claims have been made by University teachers and Minister S.B. Dissanayake over the strike by the FUTA. While the striking dons maintain that no one has broken ranks, lured by Minister Dissanayake’s offer that their salaries for the past three months’ will be paid if they report for work immediately, the Higher Education Ministry said a number of lecturers had returned to their duties yesterday. more..

Editorial: Lanka needs independent education plan

Oct 2 (DM) The writing appears to be on the wall or the blackboard for education as university professors, lecturers and students in an unprecedented show of strength marched from Galle and Kandy to Colombo in support of their main demand that the annual budgetary allocation for education be increased. Among other demands, the FUTA is also calling for the resignation of the Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, more..

Challenging the critical fault line

Oct 2 (DM) The recently released film which ridicules Islam and depicts the Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant, has resulted in an international outcry. Every moderate in any part of the world would condemn such anti-religious propaganda. At the same time, the violence that was expressed in response to the release of the film was equally reprehensible, and must be condemned with equal vigour. What was heartening amid the more..

Villagers cry foul over “forced relocation”

Oct 2 (LB) Acontroversy is brewing in the North and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Just weeks before Sri Lanka’s human rights record is taken up for review at the UNHRC, Tamil parties have informed the international community that the govt is forcibly relocating displaced persons. In two widely circulated letters, former MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam is urging foreign governments to stop Sri Lanka from resettling the people of Keppapulavu “against their wishes.” more..

Can the judiciary resist the Rajapaksa-tide?

Oct 2 (SL) Separation of powers and power-devolution are alien to Rajapaksa thinking and inimical to the Dynastic Project. History’s watershed moments are generally identifiable only with hindsight. Sri Lanka might be experiencing an exception to this rule, as a government scheming to ‘overstep its proper powers’ is being resisted by a Judiciary trying to retain its constitutional role and democratic relevance. Gathering all reins of power into Familial hands is a central tenet in more..

No animal sacrifices this year despite being a daily feature to date

Oct 2 (ST) Head Priest of the Chilaw Bhadrakali Amman Temple said that temple authorities perform a symbolic sacrifice daily during poojas, whenever their devotees offer animals, but the kovil will not go ahead with the main ritual this year. The annual animal sacrifice ritual this year did not take place following a request by President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to hold it during the exposition of the Kapilavastu Buddha relics. more..

Sri Lanka tops T20 world rankings for first time

Oct 2 (DM) Sri Lankan cricketers created history on Sunday while negotiating the ICC World T20 challenge on home soil when they broke through to the top of world rankings for the first time in any form of cricket. Following their thumping of West Indies on Saturday in Pallekele in the World T20, Sri Lanka hit the summit of the world T20 rankings by securing a total of 124 points and ousted South Africa from the peak. This was according to more..

Small Hydro Power Association cries foul over PUCSL’s move

Oct 2 (FT) The Small Hydro Power Association (SHPA) cried foul over the sudden withdrawal of new tariff announced by the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) and warned the move by regulator had put 50 MW of renewable energy at stake. It said that developers and the investors of the renewable energy sector are hit by what SHPA described as “rather surprising and unprofessional” move by PUCSL when it withdrew the more..

'Sri Lanka mid-year fiscal report not responsive to law'

Oct 2 (LBO) An interim report on state finances presented to parliament is not responsive to Sri Lanka's fiscal management responsibility law and lacks key information, a legislator has said. Harsha de Silva, an opposition legislator who is an economist, has told parliament that in Sri Lanka's mid-year fiscal report covering fiscal operations of the first four months, only cash flows were presented according to the law. more..

'ICT should not sow hatred and intolerance'

Oct 2 (GDI) Strategists and regulators in telecommunications and ICT should think of ways to prevent this great technology being used to sow hatred and examine how to avoid the advances of instant communication being the source and cause of violence against faiths, cultures and traditions that need respect and protection, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "ICT must not be the tool of societies that pay homage to material values and pay no heed to the values of more..

25 Tamil families in Norway stage hunger strike

Oct 2 (CT) 25 Sri Lankan Tamil families in Norway began a death fast on Sunday, demanding the release of their children, who have been forced into foster care by the Norwegian welfare authorities. The families began their fast at the Dom Kirken Cathedral in Oslo. Several Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern and Iraqi families, whose children have also been forcibly taken away by the Norwegian authorities, were also present in more..

'India attaches top priority to resettlement of Tamils in Sri Lanka'

Oct 2 (PTI) India attaches "highest and most important priority" to the resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamil community in Sri Lanka and remains engaged with Colombo for achieving a "future" for them, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said. Conveying this to DMK chief M Karunanidhi who wrote to him on August 20 on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, Singh said the focus of New Delhi has been on the welfare and more..

Ban calls for political solution

Oct 2 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has called for a political solution to the underlying factors of Sri Lanka’s past conflict. The Secretary-General said this at a meeting with the Minister for External Affairs G. L. Peiris yesterday, the UN office in New York said. The press statement said that both the UN Chief and Minister Peiris exchanged views on the post-conflict situation in the Asian nation and cooperation with the United Nations. more..