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The ugliest attack in Sri Lanka's history on the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice

Oct 30 (AHRC) The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has resorted to the ugliest attack in Sri Lankan judicial history on the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice this week by using the state media as a slander machine and through employing the state media to introduce deliberately manufactured slanderous letters to the parliament solely with the purpose of abusing parliamentary privilege for biased purposes. The govt has within its ranks, schemers of the lowest quality who have little scruple in more..

'Govt not willing to share power'

Oct 30 (CT) Parliamentarian and Spokesman for the TNA, Suresh Premachandran, in an interview with Ceylon Today opined, the attitude of the Rajapaksa family, and the UPFA Government as a whole, is not favourable towards a power-sharing arrangement. He also rubbished allegations that the TNA is hindering the reconciliation efforts of the government, by lobbying internationally against the country’s rule. more..

Editorial: The seamy side of paradise

Oct 30 (Island) Sri Lanka has been ranked by several publications of international repute as an ideal tourist destination. Tourist arrivals are on the increase and star class hotels are coming up in many parts of the country. Golden beaches hugging opalescent seas have come alive again after a lapse of nearly three decades. It is heartening that infrastructure is being put in place to develop tourism but the question is whether enough has been done to create an environment for more..

Pearson Lanka plans to hire 150 IT engineers in 2013

Oct 30 (ST) Pearson Lanka (formerly eCollege Lanka), providing software development and remote infrastructure management services to multiple technology groups across its parent, Pearson PLC plans to hire some 150 IT engineers by next year, officials said. Nalina Wijesundara, General Manager and Director Pearson Lanka told the Business Times that their rebranding will aid the impending recruitment drive as the company plans its expansions within the country. more..

Father of Insurance Chandra Schaffter wins Asian Lifetime Achievement Award

Oct 30 (FT) Considered by many as “The Father of Insurance in Sri Lanka,” Chandra Thomas Adolphus Schaffter was feted with a prestigious lifetime achievement award at the glitzy 16th Asia Insurance Industry awards on Sunday in Malaysia. The awards, hosted by Asia Insurance Review, recognises and salutes excellence among Asian insurers. The awards has for over 16 years been a much-coveted endorsement by peers more..

Can legislature declare all automobiles rickshaws

Oct 30 (AHRC) The answer to that question is if the legislature can do whatever it likes, as it is becoming fashionable for some in Sri Lanka to say, it can also make such a declaration. The leader of the party that has the majority in parliament (even better if there is a two thirds majority), can order that his party members should vote to that effect and thus ensure that it will become the law. The impact of the legislature making such a declaration can be twofold. more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘Doing Business’ Ranking: Two sides of a coin

Oct 30 (Island) The Central Bank, last Friday, hosted a conference with Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal jointly chairing it, to take cognizance of the World Bank rankings of the country under the theme Sri Lanka’s "Doing Business Ranking" for 2013 and Future Strategies. The outline of the conference was Sri Lanka Doing Business Ranking for 2013, reasons for improvement, Revision of the 2012 Rank, the performance of the South Asian Region and more..

'Sri Lanka has a public servant for every 16 persons'

Oct 30 (DN) “Sri Lanka has the highest number of public servants compared to other countries. We have one public servant for every 16 persons. Are we getting the expected benefit from them? What are their contributions towards the economic development of the country? We must put a stop to the age-old system of giving jobs based on certificates and paper qualifications. Instead, jobs should be given to persons who can more..

Dip in tea prices a worry; crop shortfall narrows

Oct 30 (FT) Recent auctions in Colombo have witnessed a significant downward trend in prices for Low Growns, causing a fresh round of concerns for the tea industry. According to John Keells Ltd., averages have been plummeting steadily from Rs. 452 at sale No. 38 of 25/26 September 2012 to Rs. 407.31 at the recently-concluded sale No. 41 of 16/17 October 2012, which reflects a drop of Rs. 45 in four sales. “High priced Tippy teas which feed the Iranian market have come under more..

Govt. to recruit more health professionals

Oct 30 (CT) The govt has decided to recruit around 5,000 health professionals, in a bid to strengthen the country’s free health service. Health Ministry spokesman, W.A.D. Wanninayake said the govt had approved a proposal by Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena to recruit more health workers for several grades in the health sector. He added the 4,000 health workers, who were serving on a temporary basis, will also be made permanent in their positions. more..

Govt’s domestic borrowings surge

Oct 30 (Island) Govt borrowings from domestic sources surged ahead of private sector borrowings in August, latest data released by the Central Bank showed. New loans to the govt from the Central Bank grew by Rs. 21 billion in August, a four month high, while new loans from the domestic banking sector amounted to Rs. 10 billion, a three month high. New loans from foreign sources amounted to Rs. 1.6 billion. New loans from more..

New technical system to collect details of water levels at reservoirs

Oct 30 (DN) The Irrigation and Water Management Ministry for the first time in history will establish a new technical system to collect details of water levels at reservoirs. Through of this new technical system, newly data of water levels in reservoirs could be transferred to the Ministry Headquarters by satellite technology. The Irrigation and Water Management Ministry signed an agreement with the German OTT Hydro met Gmbhin in Colombo recently to establish 121 observation centres more..

China to provide scientific technology for agriculture development in NCP

Oct 30 (DN) The North Central Provincial Council is making detailed arrangements to shortly implement an agricultural development plan designed to attract school leaving youths to take-up scientific agriculture. The North Central Province which had been known as the ‘Kingdom of Tanks’ during the periods of the ancient Sinhala Kings, is an agriculture and basically a paddy-farming province. Sri Lanka had been self sufficient in rice production during these ancient times. more..

UGC probes shirking dons on COPE directions

Oct 30 (Island) The UGC has started investigations into lecture hours and time tables of the university lecturers as requested by the COPE. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake told The Island the UGC had already instructed the heads of countrywide universities to provide relevant details. COPE interim report presented to Parliament last week has noted that there are serious lapses on the part of university administrators. more..

Sujeeva to complain against ‘Greek Bond’ scam

Oct 30 (Island) UNP MP Sujeeva Senasinghe said that he would lodge a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption today against all officials involved in the alleged ‘Greek Bond’ issue scam. Now that the Bribery Commission had moved Court against the former Chairman of the State-run National Savings Bank (NSB) Pradeep Kariyawasam over the alleged fraudulent transaction involving The Finance Company (TFC), the UNP would push more..

Fortune 500 Chinese car manufacturer enters Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (FT) Geely, the Fortune 500 Chinese automotive multinational that now owns 100% of Sweden’s Volvo and part produces the famed London’s black taxi cabs, is entering Sri Lanka. “We warmly welcome Geely to Sri Lanka. Geely’s entry in collaboration with our ‘Sri Lankan pride’ Micro Cars will significantly enhance our automotive industry’s profile, but more importantly shows that Sri Lanka has won the confidence of the giant global automotive manufacturing industry,” more..

‘Abolition of PC system doubtful even during MR regime’

Oct 30 (DM) Malwatte Mahanayake most Ven. Thibbatuvawe Sri Sumangala Thera said it was unlikely that the abolition of the provincial council system, the executive presidency and the preferential voting system would take place even during the current regime of President Rajapaksa. Stressing on the need to abolish these systems, the Mahanayake Thera said these systems would not augur well for Sri Lanka’s future. more..

Higher inflows cushion Balance of Payments

Oct 30 (FT) The Central Bank said last week that higher inflows have helped to cushion the Balance of Payments (BOP) by end August. Earnings from tourism in August 2012 grew by 16.4%, year-on-year, to $82 million, while during the first eight months of 2012, earnings from tourism have grown at a rate of 23.0%, year-on-year, to $642 million. The number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka totalled 79,456 in August 2012, an increase of 9.7%, raising tourist arrivals during the first eight months of more..

Gem rush on Kantale tank bund

Oct 30 (Island) A minor gem rush has begun on the bund of the Kantale tank with the reported discovery of about 15 precious stones from there a few days ago. Yesterday, despite heavy rains, men, women and children were seen digging the bund with sticks. They pleaded with authorities not to ban it as in the past as they were doing their prospecting without causing harm to the bund and the gems had been given to them by the gods. According to the prospectors, the dozen or so gems found more..

Govt. allows PCs to recruit nurses: GNOA

Oct 30 (DM) Despite demands for the repeal of the 13th Amendment, the Health Ministry has authorised provincial councils to recruit 75% of the nursing cadre to hospitals coming under their purview, trade unions said. Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) President Saman Ratnapriya said the gazette notification in this regard had been issued on Sept 5 but he said his union was opposed to this ministerial decision. more..

New power substation debuts near Jaffna

Oct 30 (KSA) M. Kamalanathan, a resident of Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, remembers how the LTTE plunged his town into darkness. The militant group, which conducted a decades-long insurgency before finally being defeated in 2009, destroyed Kilinochchi's power substation while he was a child. "At that time, there were constant power cuts," now 21-year-old Jaffna University Arts Faculty student Kamalanathan told Khabar South Asia. "We used kerosene oil lamps for light. more..

Sri Lanka hosts pepper talks

Oct 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host the annual meeting of an inter-governmental organization of pepper producing countries this week, where production and export issues will be discussed, including a new set of manufacturing guidelines. The 40th session of the International Pepper Community, to be held during October 30 - November 2, will be attended by 350 delegates of whom 260 are from foreign countries, said Sarada de Silva, chairman of the Spice Council. Spice traders associations from the US more..

'Military mentality breeding in the country'

Oct 30 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that the military mentality is breeding in the country and the trappings of a dictatorship were quite evident. “Although there was peace in the country military expenditure had increased. There are reports regarding the appointment of govt agents as brigadiers, in addition to the appointment of school principals as colonels. There are reports that the designation of the IGP is to be changed more..

'Govt. losing Rs 45 M a day'

Oct 30 (CT) Govt faces a loss of Rs 45 million a day as a result of the closing down of the Sapukaskanda Oil Refinery and the refinery faced the closure due to the inefficiency of the govt according to UNP Media spokesman Gayantha Karunatlake. He held s press briefing yesterday on various issues mishandled by the govt. He said that the Sapukaskanda Oil Refinery had to be closed down as it faced the break downs five times in 2012. He also said that Petroleum Industry Minister more..

Cyclone storm likely to move past KKS

Oct 30 (DM) The cyclonic storm has not entered the country early today but is expected to move past over Kankesanthurai (KKS) by this afternoon, the Department of Meteorology said. The cyclonic storm is in the South-west Bay of Bengal was located about 100Km east of Mulattivu coast at yesterday midnight. It is likely to move in west-northwestward direction and expected to move away from Sri Lanka this afternoon, it said. The department also said, heavy rain and strong winds will continue more..

OPA also wants 13-A abolished; Why flay only me?

Oct 30 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that his call for the abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution had extensive backing from many sections of society. Rajapaksa pointed out that Sri Lanka’s foremost outfit of professionals, the Organisation of Professional Organisations (OPA) had in May 2012 unanimously passed a resolution urging President Rajapaksa to do away with the controversial more..

SL v NZ T20: A fresh start beckons for Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (CI) The last time these two sides met, they produced perhaps the best match of the World Twenty20 and set the tournament alight after an uninspiring group stage. Just over a month later, New Zealand return with almost the same squad and with similar expectations of victory. For Sri Lanka, that month has seemed an eternity. They are missing their two best Twenty20 players, who are being rested after the Champions League, but the biggest hindrance to Sri Lanka's success may more..

Sri Lanka's garment industry feels GSP+ loss

Oct 30 (JS) Two years after it was formally removed from the GSP+ scheme that allowed duty-free exports to the EU, Sri Lanka's apparel industry says it is feeling the loss of the preferential tariff system. Sri Lanka's removal from the EU's GSP+ scheme in August 2010 came six months after the country was withdrawn from the preferential tariff initiative following allegations of non-compliance with the qualification criteria. Now, two years later, Sri Lanka's apparel industry, the biggest user of the GSP+ when it was available, says exports more..

Mahanayakes say ‘out with the 13th’

Oct 30 (DN) The Mahanayakes of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters have called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Mahanayakes said all should join hands by putting aside all party differences to scrap the Provincial Council system, which is causing divisions and is detrimental to the well being of the country. They expressed these views when Minister Wimal Weerawansa called on them to seek their blessings for his intended action to campaign to abolish more..

Editorial: 250,000 abortions a year - Massacre of the unborn

Oct 30 (DM) We have been repeatedly drawing attention to the need to discipline and take to task ministers, their sons, the wayward in the legislature and the goons in local councils. But for obvious political reasons, little or no action is taken to correct this malady of indiscipline and primordial violence. The 30-year war has affected the psyche of our people. To add insult to injury the glorification of the destruction of the LTTE even though they more..

Indo - China relations: A role for Sri Lanka?

Oct 30 (DM) The 50 anniversary of the Indo-China War of 1962 is marked on October 20,2012 through 21 November 2012. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. The war failed to resolve disputes between the world’s two most populous countries and its legacy continues to weigh down on an otherwise robust bilateral relationship built mainly on economic terms. From a Sri Lankan perspective, the war must be remembered for another reason. more..

'Resettlement promise not honoured'

Oct 30 (LB) Vanni District Army Commander Major General Boniface Perera, following his appointment, said at a media conference that one of his aims was to rid this country of the refugee camps and that those interned at Menik Farm will also be resettled to their places of origin. Major General Perera is the commanding officer for the resettlement of displaced people. However, it has come to light recently that around 560 more..

The final medal for a Major’s service

Oct 30 (SL) The Military Intelligence Corps (MIC) is like the heart of a country’s defence force. In the Eelam war, this particular unit in the Sri Lanka Armed Forces made a painstaking effort to gather and retrieve information about the activities in Tiger controlled areas and about their leaders. It was because of the unique talents of these men, hard core LTTE leaders like “Newton” got disappeared in the streets of Colombo. more..

Endemic Catch-22 within local health sector

Oct 30 (ST) While the private health sector is battling for foreign consultants, the State health sector is faced with a serious dearth of specialists. The contentious battle between the private medical sector and the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) over temporary registration of foreign medical consultants, recently reached the Supreme Court. Foreign doctors who come to Sri Lanka for various reasons such as health more..

Small nurses union stages Satyagraha

Oct 30 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday announced the staging of a sathyagraha today to demand an increase in the risk and travel allowances of nurses. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that they also demanded a five-day work week and grade promotions for last year and this year. He said the GNOA had held discussions with the Health Ministry last Friday, during which they had discussed more..

'Indo-Lanka relations won’t be affected by domestic, regional issues'

Oct 30 (Island) Having had discussions with top Indian officials dealing with security, foreign relations as well as intelligence, in New Delhi, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa expressed confidence that Indo-Lanka relations wouldn’t be affected by either domestic or regional issues. The Defence Secretary was responding to a query by The Island on whether the ongoing dispute between the GoSL and the more..

U.S. partnership brings communities together in the East

Oct 30 (USE) On October 26, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, opened the “Sea the Differences” Training and Production Center in Selvanayagapuram, Trincomalee. The Center’s inauguration was attended by Eastern Province Chief Minister M. Najeeb Abdul Majeed and Chief Secretary D.M.S. Abaygunawardana. The Center will empower people with disabilities, providing training and income generation more..

'Captaincy won't change my game'

Oct 30 (CI) Angelo Mathews will embark on a new stage of his career when he captains Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 against New Zealand in Pallekele, but says the burden of leadership will not affect his game. Mathews has been groomed for the captaincy since being named vice-captain in July 2011, and has been given the post of Twenty20 captain for one year, after Mahela Jayawardene stepped down following the World Twenty20. more..

Floods displace 4,000 families

Oct 30 (Island) A depression in the Bay of Bengal, about 200 km off Mullaitivu, caused floods and displaced 4,000 families in the District yesterday as tanks in the region spilled over. The Meteorology Department yesterday issued an early warning of heavy showers and strong winds in most parts of the country and surrounding sea areas as the depression had intensified. Deputy Director of the Met Department S.H. Kariyawasam said more..

World Bank pulls out due to lack of transparency

Oct 30 (DM) The World Bank has withdrawn its assistance for capacity development of the parliamentary oversight committees – the COPE and the PAC on the basis that the govt has not agreed to bring about necessary changes in the legal structure, informed sources said yesterday. The World Bank had agreed to provide a financial assistance package of US$494,000 to strengthen these two committees and to develop the more..