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Chief suspect claims Museum heist was one man show

Oct 30 (Island) Priyantha Medis, alias Kumara, alias Kangetta, now being grilled by the CID over the Museum heist early this year, has claimed that it was entirely a one man show. In the theft carried out on the night of May 17, the items removed included eight swords that had been dipped in gold, the handle of a walking stick, six gold rings, 92 pure gold coins, old out of circulation currency notes and the sword used by the last king of Kandy. more..

Govt allocates Rs. 212.3 m for school development

Oct 30 (DN) The Govt has allocated Rs. 212.3 million to develop 460 underdeveloped Schools, Education Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Jayaratne said. He was addressing a gathering of Schools Principals from the National Schools in the Kegalle district and Educational officials at a meeting convened to discuss further development in the above institutions, at the premises of Ruwanwella National School. The above include 401 more..

Atul Auto plans investment in Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (PTI) Rajkot-based three-wheeler maker Atul Auto is gearing up to invest in Sri Lanka for which it proposes to form or incorporate a company in the neighbouring country. The company intends to manufacture three-wheelers, powered by diesel engines, for intra-city passengers and cargo applications. "The company will also, at an appropriate time, introduce three wheelers powered by spark ignition engines running on gasoline, CNG and LPG," the company today informed BSE. more..

Mega construction projects slipping away; Manpower shortage a drawback

Oct 30 (DM) We are overwhelmed by the rapid development taking place in the City of Colombo and in other parts of Sri Lanka. The huge Krrish Square Development is one of them. We are happy that projects of this nature and magnitude are to happen in Sri Lanka. No doubt, more projects of a similar nature will pave the way for a world class infrastructure to attract big players in more..

Tiger Airways ups Sri Lanka flights to four

Oct 30 (LBO) Singapore-based Tiger Airways, a low cost has increased flights to Colombo to four starting from the last week of October, after launching with three weekly frequencies in June 2012. From October 28, the airline also increased frequencies to Hong Kong (up to 26), Taipei (up to 09), Bangkok (39), Guangzhou, Bangalore (up to 06) and Tiruchirapally (up to 11). The airline is offering the basic fare from Colombo at 9,000 rupees one way but promotional fares are more..

Chamal Rajapaksa is 70 today

Oct 30 (GDI) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is 70 today. Chamal Rajapaksa born on 30th October, 1942 entered politics by contesting the Mulkirigala by-election in 1985. He entered Parliament in 1989 and had been a MP uninterruptedly since then. Chamal Rajapaksa has held the portfolios of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Deputy Minister of Ports & Southern Development, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries, Minister of Agricultural Development, more..

Suspect files FR case against detention under PTA for more than 3 years

Oct 30 (DM) A youth from Jaffna, who having completed his computer course, remained in Colombo hoping to find employment in a foreign country, filed a fundamental rights violation petition challenging his prolonged detention of more than three years without being discharged or indictment served on him. The petition on behalf of the detainee Dharmarasa Niruban was filed by his father P. Dharmarasa through Attorney-at-Law more..

Chance for Milne and Latham to grow

Oct 30 (CI) In his second over in international cricket, Adam Milne clocked 151 kmph. At 18, he had perhaps brewed more hype at home than even Daniel Vettori had enjoyed when he first arrived in international cricket as a teenager. Slim and almost pencil-like, with a willowy run-up and a wind up and release that was nearly liquid, it was not difficult to see what all the excitement was about. As countless fast bowling coaches have said, you can teach swing and seam, more..

Central Bank surpasses US Federal Reserve

Oct 30 (DN) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) realised a massive profit of US$430 million from its reserve management activities in 2011. According to an extensive research by an expert team from the University of Colombo, the CBSL’s profits of US$ 430 million on its average reserves of just of US $ 6.5 billion was substantially higher, both in absolute and percentage terms, than that earned by the US Federal Reserve Bank in 2011. The reserve management activities of more..

Another large-scale VAT fraud uncovered

Oct 30 (ST) Another large-scale Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud, amounting to Rs. 180 million, has come to light after a senior Inland Revenue Department officer detected tampering of VAT data in the department’s computer system. The CID has taken over the case, following a complaint lodged by Inland Revenue Department Commissioner General Mallika Samarasekera. She confirmed that an investigation was more..

Final hearing on LTTE ban on November 3

Oct 30 (NIE) The three-day long tribunal hearing with regard to the ban on the LTTE ended here on on Monday, with tribunal head Justice V K Jain stating that a final hearing would he held at New Delhi on November 3. On Monday, the tribunal was closeted for nearly three hours. Later, MDMK legal wing secretary G Devadoss told journalists that their party’s general secretary Vaiko would participate in the final hearing. Earlier the Justice heard out three police personnel more..

Parliament has no power – Lal Kanthe

Oct 30 (LT) The Parliament has no power, it is only a public opinion says the President of National Trade Union Center K.D. Lal Kanthe. Speaking at a ceremony held to launch the book ‘The teacher and the State Service’ held at the Public Library auditorium Mr. Lal Kanthe said, “There is disorder and chaos in the education sector. The sector is full of issues such as admissions, maintenance of schools, scholarship, GCE O/L and A/L examinations, question papers, more..

Helping H'tota: UNP to seek reversal of SC order

Oct 30 (DM) The UNP said today it would take steps for a possible reversal of the verdict given by the Supreme Court on the ‘Helping Hambanantota’ case in 2005. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told journalists the party’s parliamentary group had decided to seek the advice of legal experts about appealing against the verdict. He said the main objective of this more..

Stocks close down 0.55%

Oct 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks closed down 0.55% Tuesday with several blue chips losing ground. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,520.62 down 30.26 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 13.48 points lower at 2983.87 down 0.45%. The day's turnover was a low 307 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were Chevron with 44 million rupees, Tokyo Cement with 32 million rupees and JKH with 26 million rupees. Most active counters for the day were SMB Leasing non-voting, more..

Govt. neglects youth in PC Bill: UNP

Oct 30 (DM) UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa today charged that the govt had entirely left out the youth in the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill, which was presented in parliament recently. The govt had violated the rights of the youth – men and women by abolishing the mandatory 40% youth representation which had been ensured in the PC elections bill earlier. “The govt has launched a massive campaign to abolish the 13th amendment to the constitution more..

Tune your radios from Nov 1

Oct 30 (DM) All the 45 FM broadcasting channels, operating in the country will be shifting their FM radio frequencies with effect from November 1, after Telecommunications Regulatory Commission re-allocated radio frequencies in an effort to minimise the technical problems hindering the listeners from obtaining a clear sound reception. The TRCSL is vested with full powers to determine and allocate the use of FM frequencies more..

Sanctions on Iran cause drop in Sri Lankan tea prices

Oct 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan tea typically exported to Iran has come under strain as prices dropped this week causing concern for the industry, a broker said in a statement Tuesday. According to tea broker John Keells Ltd., averages have been plummeting steadily from 452 rupees per kilo at sale in late September to 407.31 rupees at the recently-concluded sale in mid-October, which reflects a drop of 45 rupees in four sales. "High priced Tippy more..

'War crimes allegations baseless'

Oct 30 (CT) UNP MP Harin Fernando said the party will not support any war crime charge against the Army or President Rajapaksa. He made this observation when the BBC questioned him about the discussions the UNP MP group had with Sri Lankans living in the United Kingdom. “Whatever is said by various people, Sri Lanka cannot be considered a country involved in war crimes according to the UN Charter. Therefore, we do not support any allegations of war crimes against Sri Lanka,” he said. more..

SL v NZ T20: Rain has final say on stop-start day

Oct 30 (CI) New Zealand's reception on their tour of Sri Lanka was cold and rainy, as the hosts' seamers left their batting in disarray on a stop-start evening marred by heavy showers that ultimately sealed the game's fate. These showers also saved the visitors from defeat; just two overs after Sri Lanka had kept New Zealand to 74 in an already truncated fixture, the rain again caused an interruption that proved terminal. more..

The Best School of All

Oct 31 (NS) One of the earliest memories I have of Mahinda College, Galle is my walking up to its famed Olcott Hall and being shown the plaque next to the entrance explaining to me that this is the place where Sri Lanka’s national anthem was first sung. Within the confines of this great hall, Ananda Samarakoon, whose name is immortalised now but who was at the time (1940) music teacher of the school, first composed and taught ‘Namo Namo Matha’ to a group of his students. more..

Have PCs served any purpose?

Oct 31 (NS) Twenty-five years after it was introduced, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that paved the way for the creation of provincial councils has proved unlucky yet again: sections of the ruling coalition are seeking its repeal and the controversy is set to unravel all over again.When President J. R. Jayewardene signed the Indo-Lanka Accord under duress from India, no one really wanted the provincial councils it created. There were mass protests against it. more..

Sri Lanka commences maize exports

Oct 31 (SO) It was the popular singer Lakshmi Bai, who burning with patriotism sang 'Adi Sinhalun, Pita Deepa Desha Jayagatta' (Sri Lankans in the older era conquered the world). However, this export-oriented and self-sufficient economy was completely ruined by the colonial rulers who forcibly introduced cash crops such as cinnamon, tea, rubber and coffee and made the then Ceylon dependent on handouts and imports. more..

Rajapaksa family may get US 1.2 -1.8 billion dollars as commissions for Chinese projets

Oct 31 (DBS) The Dragon’s shadow is lengthening over Sri Lanka with every passing day. China has committed since 2005 contracts and investments worth US$ 6.4 billion, as per treasury records. So far, $ 3.6 billion has been disbursed. Projects worth $ 2.8 billion are waiting to be signed. In another three years, the Chinese investment in Sri Lanka will nearly double and touch $ 12 billion. Is Mahinda Rajapaksa, the sixth president of Sri Lanka, more..

Going beyond the executive presidency

Oct 31 (DBS) When in doubt about continued popular support, or distracted by further divisions within the ranks, go after the Executive Presidency! That seems to be the accepted norm for the political Opposition in Sri Lanka ever since J. R. Jayewardene wrote in the Executive Presidency as the hallmark of the Second Republican Constitution, the sole purpose of which too seemed to be as much. Down the years and decades since, promising the abolition of the Executive more..

Govt’s chewing gum theory

Oct 31 (DM) Anyone who chews ‘chewing gum’ and those who witness it knows that it is not an act of any usefulness. However, there is no decrease in the sale of chewing gum. No matter how long it is chewed, it never fills anyone’s tummy. Chewing it continuously merely deceives the chewer as well as those that witness the act. Nevertheless, those who are addicted to the habit continue to chew it as chewing ‘gum’ is a personal choice and more..

Nobel laureates in Economics 2012: Recognised for designing unusual markets

Oct 31 (CT) Some time back, a sister of a friend of this writer had been seriously ill with the malfunctioning of both her kidneys. The available medical treatment was to get a donor with a compatible kidney to donate one. The donation in this case is just a pretext on paper and it is actually a sale of a kidney for profits, since in Sri Lanka there is no legal market for live human body parts. Hence, there is a thriving underground market for more..

Devolution talk: A response to Malinda Seneviratne

Oct 31 (CT) If I try to sway the ‘Harvard Boy’ to my side of thinking, not necessarily on devolution, then I would ask him to ponder further on the “17th and the 18th syndrome” of Rajapaksa administration. I know it is not an easy task given his political past. Anyway, this is in response to his “Devolution Talk and Devolution Talkers” and his comments on my previous article, “Gotabhaya’s Talk About Abolishing the 13th Amendment,” in it. more..

Lanka’s slow food movement showcasing in Italy

Oct 31 (ST) The delegation from the Sri Lankan ‘Slow Food Movement’ took part in World Slow Food Festival ‘Salone Del Gusto and Terra Madre 2Ol2’ in Turin Italy last week. The goal of the ‘Slow Food Movement’ is to create awareness about the responsibility we all have towards food and its producers; strengthening the relationship between producers and consumers understanding the more..

Editorial: Paan in the orbit

Oct 31 (Island) Sri Lanka is planning to launch a satellite, we are told. Such a contraption in the orbit is about the only thing we lacked and now we have got that as well thanks to our capable government. If no official decision has yet been taken to name it after our good president we have a suggestion: Let's name our satellite 'PAAN' (meaning bread). For, the bread prices are already in the orbit. The government's wisdom in hiring a foreign company to launch the satellite stands questioned. more..

Officials to tackle congestion at Yala

Oct 31 (Island) A senior official attached to the Ministry of Economic Development says domestic travellers may be diverted from Yala to other national parks in a bid to contain overcrowding and heavy congestion of vehicles in the park. The govt has allocated 70 acres in the Yala National Park to develop 10 resorts to support the increasing number of tourists visiting the bio-diversity hotspot. Already four plots of seven acres each have found takers and six more remain. more..

UNP promises to lead right!

Oct 31 (FT) The UNP’s Working Committee yesterday approved what it described as a ‘radical program’ to build if elected a truly equitable and democratic Sri Lanka by investing in people, values, environment, social welfare, infrastructure, enterprises, and jobs. “This is a radical program” for the future generation and the country, the UNP said, following the Working Committee meeting. The components of the program imply the present more..

Govt's priority to developing education sector - Rajitha

Oct 31 (DN) Sri Lanka's literacy rate has increased to 97 percent, which is the highest in the Asian region. Sri Lanka has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world. The country's economic growth rate has also increased, which makes Sri Lanka, one of the fastest growing developing countries in the world, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing a ceremony in Payagala. Palayangoda to open five new schools in the Beruwela electorate, recently. more..

Lawyers urge Govt. to cease attack on Judiciary

Oct 31 (FT) The Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) said in a statement that it is concerned about the ongoing unprecedented mudslinging campaign and all forms of attacks against the Judiciary. “This has far reaching and repercussions on the rule of law. We are shocked to hear of the contents of the parliamentary debate where there were baseless attacks on the JSC and we are further disturbed at the fact that the Parliament has been misled on the appointment of the Secretary of the JSC. more..

Tourism: Services overpriced, poor quality

Oct 31 (Island) Accommodation costs at the newly emerging travel destination which the govt calles the ‘virgin’ in the region, according to tourists are overpriced and service quality wanting. More than 8,000 graduates are required per year to sustain the industry, but only 1,500 are being turned out currently. With the increasing number of tourists the hospitality industry increased its room rates to reap the benefit, however hoteliers were more..

Differently abled students for int'l seminar in Korea

Oct 31 (DN) Four differently abled students who have been selected by the Education Ministry to represent Sri Lanka at the International Education Seminar of Disabled Youth Global Information Technology to be held in South Korea in November were recently presented their air tickets and cash at a special ceremony held at Isurupaya under the patronage of Minister Bandula Gunawardana. 270 students from 57 countries will participate at more..

Informal economy has 62% of country's work force - DEW

Oct 31 (DN) Sri Lanka has been left with no other alternative than depend on our own human resources for sustained economic development, as we have very limited natural resources to exploit, said Senior Minister of Human Resources DEW Gunasekera. He said that 62% of the country's work force is in the informal economy. "This is the segment of society which is subject to quality limitations and with less purchasing power with no bargaining power and most vulnerable to more..

Go after the bigger fish: Nihal Sri tells Bribery Commission

Oct 31 (Island) Judicial activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere in a petition filed at the Supreme Court on Oct 18, says the bribery commission should drop its double standards and go after the bigger fish and recommence investigations into more controversial deals involving larger sums of public monies. In the petition filed in the Supreme Court he has pointed out that the Bribery Commission had apparently abandoned prior investigations commenced more..

Airport search finds 24 fake visas under Lankan’s vest

Oct 31 (TOI) Immigration officials at the Chennai aiport recovered 24 fake visas to Europe and the UAE from under the vest of a Sri Lankan national during a search on Monday. The officials were clearing passengers who were to board a Jet Airways flight to Colombo when they saw that one of them, Mohammed Nizar (30), appeared nervous. They asked him to step aside and he showed them his baggage. But when they insisted on a more..

Most Sri Lankan Tamil migrants from MV Sun Sea await decision on refugee claims

Oct 31 (PN) More than two years after a boatload of hundreds of asylum-seeking Sri Lankan Tamils arrived on the West Coast - sparking a vow by the Harper government to crack down on what it called immigration "queue jumpers" - the vast majority of the migrants remain in Canada waiting for decision on their refugee claims. Two have been removed from the country. An update on the status of the migrants was tabled in the House this week more..

Loss from leaked oil pipeline still to be estimated

Oct 31 (Island) The loss suffered by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is yet to be estimated following the bursting of an old pipeline, 12 inches in diameter, which pumps fuel from the Harbour to the Kolonnawa Installation, at two places near the Mahawatte and Orugodawatte areas yesterday. "We are not sure as yet whether the oil was diesel or kerosene," Media spokesman for the CPC more..