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Dish TV plans to invest Rs 700 mn in Sri Lankan subsidiary

Oct 18 (IT) Dish TV, India's largest direct-to-home (DTH) company, is eyeing expansion in neighbourhood countries and is preparing to capitalise its Sri Lanka subsidiary. Dish TV is planning to invest Rs 700 million in Dish TV Lanka, a joint venture company in which it holds 70 per cent stake while local partner Satnet Private Limited has the other 30%. Dish TV has got the shareholders’ approval to invest Rs 700 million in the more..

Pakistani, Thai and Iranian leaders call on President Rajapaksa at ACD Summit

Oct 18 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is attending the first ever Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Kuwait, held bilateral discussions with several Asian leaders on the sidelines of the Summit. Among the leaders, President met were Prime Minister of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. more..

'No party can ban members attending another meeting'

Oct 18 (Island) No person or political party leader could prevent anyone from attending any meeting organised by any person or group, Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayaka Thera of Asgiriya, told the United National Party Parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya yesterday (17). Jayasuriya, calling on the Mahanayaka Thera, said that he called on the prelate to obtain advice prior to attending the Hyde Park meeting of the Eksath Bhikshu Peramuna. more..

TNA briefs China on Tamils’ “concerns”

Oct 18 (Hindu) In an exercise aimed at reaching out to China, the TNA met Chinese Embassy officials here and apprised them of issues facing the northern and eastern Tamils. “We met Chinese Embassy officials on Monday and explained to them our concerns over Chinese help to the Sri Lankan Army in the north,” TNA leader Mavai Senathirajah said. TNA leaders said they told the Chinese diplomats that construction of permanent structures was coming up in lands owned by the Tamils. more..

Ban on SF rally: Ranil, Sajith see eye to eye”

Oct 18 (Island) The UNP Reformists, too, have been sharply divided over today’s launch of a movement calling for abolition of the executive presidency under the joint leadership of UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya and General Sarath Fonseka. UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, said that he wouldn’t participate at the Hyde Park meeting, though being invited by the organizers. He was responding to a query by more..

Editorial: Acrobats on Asia’s playground

Oct 18 (DM) Addressing the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) President Rajapaksa said that Asia should not be considered a playground of other forces who “seek our wealth, our assets of nature and human resources”. On the surface, it may seem like a sweeping statement that was meant to make headlines than to prick a few sleepyheads. Believe it or not, Asia has already become the playground of the west. Though, geographically tiny, Sri Lanka too feels the heat of it. more..

A cruel and senseless act

Oct 18 (DM) We are proud of our President and this government which has saved this country from being divided despite the efforts of certain western countries seeking to use the UN Security Council and the UNGA ‘Resolution R2P to save Prabhakaran and to continue the separatist war. The President has given us a peace which we have not enjoyed in thirty plus years in this country. Today his govt is engaged in the process of stabilization with the assistance of friendly countries. more..

State railways lose Rs28.2bn over 7-years

Oct 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state railway system had lost 28.2 billion rupees over the past seven years and 2,689 employees had been hired into the permanent cadre, data tabled in Sri Lanka's parliament showed. Minister Rohana Dissanaya had said that Sri Lanka railways had 16,704 permanent employees by June 30, 2012. He denied that there were temporary workers also on the railways payroll, when more..

A cause without a rebel

Oct 18 (SL) After more than a hundred days of union action, the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) on Friday called off their strike. The decision was made after a series of meetings with Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was appointed as a special envoy by the President, his brother Mahinda. Prior to that, talks between FUTA and the Minister S.B. Dissanayake had come to an impasse. more..

One year since death, but justice yet to be served

Oct 18 (LB) Last week was the first death anniversary of late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and many ministers were present at his alms giving. Despite the lapse of time since his death, his murder is still being looked into as a summary offence at the Magistrate Court of Colombo. On October 2 attorney-at-law Upul Kumarapperum, appearing for late Mr. Premachandra said in Court that more..

Drought hits northern rice farmers

Oct 18 (IRIN) Officials in northern Sri Lanka’s Vavuniya District say 60 percent of the rice harvest could be lost if the dry weather continues. “In Mannar District [in the north] we have records indicating that between 5,000 to 6,000 paddy hectares of the cultivated 10,000 are lost,” Ravi Vinanithambi, an environment officer for the North East Reawakening Programme (NERP), told IRIN. Residents report no significant rain in the region for over 8 months. more..

Despite bold statements UNP rebels leave Fonseka in the lurch

Oct 18 (Island) Despite bold statements by many UNPers that they would defy the party whip and attend today’s Sarath Fonseka rally, intended to re-launch the former army commander’s political career, several desertions were reported by late last night. The latest additions to those who have decided not to attend the meeting include UNP MP’s Dayasiri Jayaskera, Harin Fernando, Wasantha Aluvihare and Ven. Dabare Amila more..

Sri Lanka could be in path of world’s longest insect migration

Oct 18 (ST) Last year same period: Waves of Dragonflies were reported from the west coast and other areas. The world’s longest insect migration was documented from India-Maldives-Africa and this observation hints Sri Lanka too could be a hub in its path. Public support is sought this year to unravel this mystery. On October 20 last year a large swarm of dragonflies were spotted in Sri Lanka’s west coast by a bird watcher Nashath Hafi. more..

‘Divi Neguma Act will benefit thousands’

Oct 18 (DN) The Divi Neguma Act will benefit 1.5 million Samurdhi beneficiaries and 27,000 Samurdhi officials, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday. The minister was addressing the media at the Information Department. He said the government is in no hurry in getting the approval for the Act. But the Samurdhi Authority unions, Samurdhi officials and beneficiaries expect an immediate answer their request. more..

UGC to discuss cancellation of circulars

Oct 18 (Island) The UGC would today hold discussion on some of the earlier issued circulars, which Minister Basil Rajapaksa had promised the FUTA would be cancelled. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake told The Island that the commission would meet today at the UGC boardroom to discuss the issue. Commenting on FUTA’s claim that although the secretary to the higher education ministry had sent a letter asking the UGC to more..

Sri Lankan 'pirates' seize trawler seeking asylum in Australia

Oct 18 (AAP) A group of asylum-seekers is believed to have hijacked a boat off the Sri Lankan coast with the aim of heading to Australia. Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, said the missing fishing trawler, Theja, was a known people-smuggling vessel that was being used by six crew for fishing when it was apparently taken. A boatload of up to 12 people came alongside the Theja and an argument reportedly broke out. more..

Canada seeks terror-related deportation order for Sri Lankan refugee allegedly linked to Tamil Tigers

Oct 18 (NP) Canadian immigration officials are trying to deport an alleged member of the World Tamil Movement, which the RCMP has labeled a “front organization” for Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers rebels. The Canada Border Services Agency said it had asked the Immigration and Refugee Board to issue a terrorism-related deportation order against the Sri Lankan refugee, who has lived in Canada for the past 15 years. more..

Sri Lanka, a top emerging hotel and resort market in Asia

Oct 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka has been noted as a top emerging hotel and resort market in Asia at a premier hotel investment conference held recently in Hong Kong. At a general session on 'Investment Outlook' of the 23rd Annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific held in Hong Kong from October 10-12, panelists have identified Sri Lanka and Myanmar as the top emerging hotel and resort markets in Asia. According to the panelists Sri Lanka is gaining momentum after more..

President returns after a successful visit to ACD Summit

Oct 18 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the country this morning after taking part in the first ever Asia Cooperation Dialogue Heads of State Summit held in Kuwait on October 16-17. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said that the President was seen off at the airport by the head of the accompanying mission of honor, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yaqoub Yousef Al-Ateeqi. Kuwaiti sources said that Heads of State who attended the Summit were much impressed more..

WikiLeaks: 'Govt. and LTTE not interested in diplomatic niceties'

Oct 18 (CT) “Norwegian Minister of International Development Erik Solheim described the government and the Tigers as “two entities not interested in diplomatic niceties,” who are not responding to Norway’s messages.” the US Embassy Oslo informed Washington. A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated July 24, 2007, recounts the details of a meeting the representatives of the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs more..

Rs. 50 Billion spent for fertilizer subsidy

Oct 18 (GDI) A conference to explore solution for food nutrition security in Sri Lanka was held yesterday under the patronage of Minister Mr. Basil Rajapaksa at the Water’s Edge. The National Conference in commemoration of World Food Day which fell on 16 October was jointed organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and CIC Agri Business. It has been estimated that rising food prices have pushed 44 million people across the world into extreme poverty more..

'Sri Lanka advocates negotiations'

Oct 18 (CG) Sri Lanka says it advocates negotiations to settle internal and global disputes through negotiations, mediation and other peaceful means. The Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palith Kohona, said that Countries must be allowed to create their own local mechanisms to consolidate peace, encourage reconciliation and strengthen democratic institutions. He was speaking during a full day debate at the UN on the Security Council and the more..

Sanath goes for the culinary drive with Qbaa

Oct 18 (ST) Whether playing his trademark cut shot over point, bowling his slow left-arm spin or grooving to eastern beats, Sri Lanka’s ace cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, has a knack for adding a magic touch to whatever he does. This time around the Master Blaster has taken guard for a different innings – one of the culinary kind. He launched “Qbaa” – a fine dining restaurant in Colombo 5 while T20 excitement was at more..

Dons told not to fall prey to NGO agenda

Oct 18 (Island) The Patriotic University Teachers’ Alliance called upon academics not to fall prey to the agendas of several NGO-type university lecturers canvassing for the Oct. 18 Hyde Park rally of Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Convener of the PUTA senior lecturer Nemsiri Jayathilake said that there were two groups of university dons in the recently suspended trade union action. There was a group of lecturers who were with the NGO clique during the war in support of the Tigers’ cause. more..

De Lanerolle Brothers and Sanga team up for charity

Oct 18 (CG) Kumar Sangakkara & The De Lanerolle Brothers will come together on the 14th of November to support each otherfs charities at a concert which will feature 60s 70s 80s and 90s music. While the De Lanerolle Brothers support Sanga's eBikes for Lifef programme Sanga will support the Brothers ongoing charity with the School for the Deaf and Blind. It's Indeed an honour to have two great singers The De Lanerolle Brothers who are highly respected, helping me more..

'No faith in legal draftswoman'

Oct 18 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena took a swipe at the Legal Draftswoman on Tuesday and said he was not in a position to disclose the exact day on which the much anticipated National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) would be presented in Parliament as he had no confidence at all in the Legal Draftsman’s Department. He charged that all governments in the last 15 years had attempted to implement the NMDP but the drug mafia prevented it more..

Sports medicine gets official website

Oct 18 (DM) The ICC has applauded the Institute of Medicine for its duties, said Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Addressing the Media at the opening ceremony of the refurbished auditorium and the launch of the official website of the Institute of the Sports Medicine, he said that the former Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council Haroon Lorgat has mentioned that the ICC will obtain the service of the Doctors at the Institute of Medicine for more..

Ranil planning to suspend rebels to appoint his own

Oct 18 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s plan to suspend all party members who attend today’s massive anti-govt rally, at Hyde Park, is to prevent those UNP politicians from attending the illegal Party convention scheduled for December 1 at Sirikotha, UNP reformists said yesterday. Lal Perera of the Movement to Protect the UNP and its Trade Unions, said that the anti-govt rally, organized by the National Bhikku Front (NBF), more..

Sri Lanka frees Tiger leader wanted by India

Oct 18 (AFP) The last leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, who is wanted by India over the assassination of former premier Rajiv Gandhi, has been freed from military custody, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who was arrested in August 2009, was no longer in detention and was free to carry out work for a charity he had formed, said Lakshman Hulugalle, the head of the defence ministry's more..

Central Bank to sell down Treasury bill stock: Governor

Oct 18 (LBO) Central Bank will gradually sell down its Treasury bill stock, as they come up for maturity, Governor Nivard Cabraal said, in a move which can strengthen the island's rupee peg and increase foreign reserves. Central Bank has a little over 200 billion rupees in Treasuries it acquired during a balance of payments crisis in 2011 and 2012 when it printed money sterilize liquidity shortages stemming from foreign exchange sales. more..

Karu sidesteps

Oct 18 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that he would not participate in the rally to be held today at Hyde park. In a statement issued to the media the MP said that he took this decision after a great deal of thought. “I will ultimately bow to the majority will of the party, as exercised through the UNP Working Committee. Most importantly, I cannot in good conscience take a step that will almost certainly further divide and weaken my party. Therefore after a great deal of thought I have decided not to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 18.10.2012

Calls from 600,000 telephones to be checked: An attempt to mark time say lawyers

Oct 18 (LT) When the case regarding the attack on the Secretary to the Judiciary Service Commission Manjula Tillekeratne was called before Mt. Lavinia Chief Magistrate Ms. Nirosha Fernando yesterday the Court was informed that 600,000 telephone numbers will have to be checked in an effort to trace the suspects involved in the attack. ASP Dharmadasa Pathirana of CCD forwarding a report to Court stated a large number of onymous more..

SF says Alles will not attend rally

Oct 18 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says Secretary of the Democratic Party parliamentarian Tiran Alles, will not participate in the rally organised by the Bhikku Front tomorrow. Speaking to the Colombo Gazette, Fonseka said that Alles usually does not take part in political rallies and so will not be a participant at the mass rally in which Fonseka and other members of the Democratic Party will as well as some UNP members will be attending. more..

US concerned over rushed resettlement

Oct 18 (CG) The United States (US) has expressed concerns over the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp. A statement by the US Embassy in Colombo today said that US welcomes the work by the Govt of Sri Lanka to quickly resettle the large number of IDPs following the 26-year conflict. “However, we remain concerned about the rushed resettlement of the final IDPs to close the Menik Farm camp. more..

Sri Lanka stocks rebound on bargain hunting

Oct 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks ended firmer on Thursday, snapping a three-day losing streak to lift the market off a more-than five-week low as institutional investors sought bargains among blue chips. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index gained 0.7 percent, or 38.92 points, to 5,625.32, from its lowest level since Sept. 10. "Investors bottom-fished in select blue chips as those stocks were seen as attractive after the market came down," one stockbroker said. more..

Sri Lanka completes line-up for Hong Kong Sixes

Oct 18 (Xinhua) Jehan Mubarak has been appointed as skipper of the Sri Lanka squad, hence finalizing the line-up for the forthcoming Hong Kong Sixes, a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket said here on Thursday. The Hong Kong sixes will be held in Kawloon Cricket Ground from Oct 25- 29. The squad includes four players who had represented Sri Lanka at top level and three from the development squad. Channa Weerakkody has been appointed as the manager of the side. more..

Indian Navy to hold exercises with Lanka away from southern states

Oct 18 (PTI) With political parties in Tamil Nadu vehemently opposing military ties with Sri Lanka, the Defence Ministry has asked the Indian Navy to hold joint exercises with Sri Lanka in future away from four southern states. The Navy has so far held two exercises under code name 'SLINEX' and the last edition was held along the coast of Trincomalee in September, 2011 after the first in 2005. "The Defence Ministry has advised us more..

High Level road bus strike called off

Oct 18 (AD) The strike action implemented by the private bus operators on the 138 route on High Level Road have decided to call off their strike action, the Private Bus Operators Association President Gemunu Wijeyratne stated. The strike action was called today (October 18) due to certain irregularities in issuing route permits. Due to the strike many people including school children were caused great inconvenience, an Ada Derana correspondent reported. However, President of the PBOA Gemunu Wijeyratne told more..

Mozambique national arrested for forging currency

Oct 18 (AD) A Mozambique national was arrested by the CID in Bambalapitiya over a financial fraud of Rs.12 million. The suspect was arrested after the CID had received a complaint regarding his illegal activities. The Mozambique national was involved in a racket in which he was forging currency. The suspect was alleged to have used a particular chemical and green paper in order to forge US Dollars. Police stated that 20 US$100 bills, three US$1 bills, more..