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Cardinal calls for review of Govt’s fiscal policy

Oct 5 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday called for a review of the government’s fiscal policy. The Cardinal warned of the growing danger in obtaining massive loans from international lending agencies and taking decisions at their behest. Addressing the media at the Cardinal Cooray Centre at Tammita, Negombo, he said that the country could face a massive crisis due to growing debt. more..

Editorial: Be humble and honest, listen to the people

Oct 5 (DM) It is most heart-rending and discomforting to observe and hear of the breakdown of the rule of law. There is a blatant disregard to the patriotic and concerned cry of those who sincerely yearn for good governance. All beings thereby may be well and happy, most certainly not only a few of the VVIPs who are drunk with power and their cronies who want to join the party and prostitute themselves. There are those however, the rest of the struggling masses of more..

Midweek Politics: Will the judiciary make its stand?

Oct 5 (CT) The battle between the Judiciary and the Govt looks set to intensify with the TNA yesterday firing another salvo at the controversial Divi Neguma Bill proposed by the Govt by seeking to prohibit the Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri from approving the bill in the absence of a provincial council in the North. The case filed by TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah seeks to prohibit the Governor from deciding on the Divi Neguma Bill and to make ineffective any more..

Missing girl found after 2 years

Oct 5 (DM) A ten year old girl who had gone missing from the Baduraliya area two years ago was yesterday found by the police in Kuruwita while allegedly being kept by a man in his forties. She was referred to the Judicial Medical Officer by the Ratnapura Magistrate for a report as to whether she had been sexually abused. Police are now on the look out for the man who has fled the area. The crime had come to light more..

Dreaming Seamlessly!

Oct 5 (SL) What an interesting week it has been! First the Provincial Elections in three far flung electorates, which given its marginal importance to the larger national issues could only generate an academic interest among the non-participants. After completing nearly two terms in office, President Rajapaksa still is obviously a vote puller while on the other hand the opposition is perceived as even a worse alternative. As it is, it is clear that more..

Road through Kithulgala forest: A response to villagers’ requests

Oct 5 (LB) Policies have been drawn to build a road network system through the Makandawa, Kithulgala forest reservation, violating the Wildlife Protection Act, environmentalists complained. They alleged that as a result of it this unique forest reservation has been endangered but its destruction is said to be continuing notwithstanding the damage it could cause not only to the bio-diversity of the more..

MSF hands over its last remaining project in Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (MSF) In August 2012, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontičres (MSF) handed over its last remaining project in Sri Lanka—a mental health program in Mullaitivu District—to World Vision, an established international NGO with a long-term operational plan for the north of the country. This handover follows a progressive transfer of medical activities to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health over the last 18 months. more..

Prague zoo acquires two female elephants from Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (CTK) Sri Lanka has donated two young female Indian elephants to the Prague zoo, where they will arrive on Saturday, flown to the Czech Republic by a Sri Lankan military plane, Prague zoo director Miroslav Bobek has told the media. The elephants, eight-year-old Janita and seven-year-old Tamara, come from the elephant zoo in Pinnawale. "The Hercules C-130 with them is to take off on Saturday at 01:00 the local time," more..

Australia court vetoes visa refusal for Sri Lankan refugee

Oct 5 (BBC) Australia's high court has vetoed a decision to refuse a refugee a visa due to a negative security assessment. The ruling said that a regulation not to grant a protection visa to a person deemed a security risk was invalid. The Sri Lankan man has been detained since he arrived in December 2009. He was judged to be a refugee in 2010. The ruling may have implications for more than 50 other refugees held in indefinite detention, Australia media reports say. more..

Former Vice Chancellors deny they supported the striking Dons

Oct 5 (GDI) Former Vice Chancellors of Sri Lankan Universities denied that they pledged support to striking University Lecturers as reported in certain Media. Prof. Dayantha Wijesekera in a statement said certain sections of Media reported under the caption “Former VCs pledge support to striking dons” is incorrect and misleading. The former Vice Chancellors Prof. Lakshman Jayatilleke, Prof. Dayantha Wijesekera, Prof. more..

Appeal Court seeks SC interpretation on Divi Neguma petition

Oct 5 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday referred to the Supreme Court for interpretation and determination, two questions of law that had arisen consequent to the hearing of the petition filed by Mavai Senadhirajah Jaffna District TNA MP. The petition was in connection with the Divi Neguma Bill. The two questions are whether the expression of the views of the provincial council was included in the expression of the governor’s more..

Wasim Akram criticises pitch for Sri Lanka-Pakistan semi-final

Oct 5 (PTI) Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has lashed out at the authorities for preparing a unsporting track for the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Wasim, who is in Colombo as a commentator and expert, described the pitch on which Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 16 runs on Thursday in a low scoring game as "impossible pitch to bat on". more..

Drought to continue: Govt. mulls crop protection measures

Oct 5 (Island) With the Meteorology Department announcing that the drought which has seriously affected paddy farmers would continue in some parts of the country, the govt said that a Ministerial Committee had been appointed to recommend measures to mitigate the adverse impact that had been caused to people’s livelihoods. Minister Keheheliya Rambukwella said that the Cabinet had on Wednesday discussed the more..

Sri Lankan union prepares to sell out university strike

Oct 5 (wsws) A five-day protest march of striking university teachers and their supporters from the southern city of Galle to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo ended last Friday with a rally of about 4,000. The marchers attracted considerable support for their demands of a 20 percent pay rise and an increase in govt spending on education to 6 percent of gross domestic product. School teachers, students, workers and housewives gathered along the way to greet the marchers. more..

Action Against Hunger demands justice for Muttur murders

Oct 5 (Trust) Action Against Hunger is calling on the United Nations to launch an independent investigation to finally bring those responsible for the murders of 17 aid workers in Sri Lanka in 2006 to justice. Six years after the humanitarian organisation’s team were executed at their offices in the town of Muttur, investigations in Sri Lanka have been hindered and obstructed, with the perpetrators still not been held to account. On August 4 2006, armed men stormed more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 05.10.2012

Action against Dy. Minister’s driver

Oct 5 (DM) A case will be filed against Deputy Minister Dulip Wijesekara’s driver who is alleged to have violated the speed limit on the Southern Expressway, SSP Ajith Rohana said. According to a source, the vehicle in which the deputy minister was travelling had been speeding and the Kottawa exit point had been alerted about the traffic violation. When police officers manning the exit point had stopped the vehicle and insisted on taking action against the driver, more..

New army hospital to cost of Rs.4.1 bn

Oct 5 (Island) A ten-storey state of the art army hospital is to be built at a cost of Rs.4.1 billion, while Rs.2 billion has been allocated for the purchase of uniforms for Tri Service and Police personnel. The new building will be located in the same premises as the existing army hospital and would have all modern amenities, including an Out Patients Department with clinical facilities, Investigation Unit, with X-ray, CT scanner, ECG, Medical Laboratory and Dental Surgery facilities, more..

'Beire Lake will be completely rehabilitated'

Oct 5 (DM) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the long neglected Beire Lake will be completely rehabilitated. “Its gates, tributaries and output channels will be unblocked and improved, and the pollution that has been caused by unauthorised settlements and buildings will be addressed. Once the project is completed, the Beire Lake will be transformed from its present state more..

International recognition for SLIM

Oct 5 (Island) Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) was a recipient of the "Most Admired events for Branding & Marketing", at the annual Asian Leadership Awards (ALA) held at Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai recently. The ALA Awards is exclusively for business leaders and organizations, and is a platform that highlights, recognizes and rewards the professionals’ ability to steer their businesses through turbulent times, applying the best of business modules to manage and more..

Sri Lanka stocks closed up 0.31%

Oct 5 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.31% Friday. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,879.69 up 18.34 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 9.18 points lower at 5,466.50 down 0.17%. Turnover was 551 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were LOLC with Rs.133 million, Sanasa Development Bank with Rs.51 million and JKH with Rs.35 million. Aitken Spence PLC slipped 0.90 cents to close at 135.00 rupees up 0.67%. AVIVA NDB Insurance PLC gained 29.50 rupees more..

Ranawaka assures continuous power supply

Oct 5 (Island) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday assured consumers of a continuous power supply in the future despite the failing of rains. Addressing the media, at the launch of the second stage of ‘Heta Wenuwen Ada’ programme, at the BMICH, he said that currently the CEB was able to provide electricity around the clock in spite of the decrease in water levels and the high costs incurred in thermal power generation. more..

Umar Akmal fined over 'offensive' snub

Oct 5 (SKY) Umar Akmal has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for snubbing both umpires when he decided it was time to change his batting gloves in Pakistan's World Twenty20 semi-final defeat against Sri Lanka. Umar admitted a level-two breach of the ICC code at the Premadasa Stadium - for "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game". He changed his gloves in the 17th over of Pakistan's innings having ignored umpires Rod Tucker and Simon Taufel's request not to do so more..

Supreme Court issues landmark order on Intellectual Property law

Oct 5 (DM) Making a landmark order in an Intellectual Property Law case, Supreme Court ruled that importing of genuine HP products through alternative sources on a prima facie basis sustain the specific provisions of the Intellectual Property Law of permitting parallel imports. The Supreme Court made this order on considering the submissions made by the counsel for the parties thus suspending the injunctions granted by more..

Australia rejects Frederica’s asylum request

Oct 5 (BT) A Sri Lankan newspaper editor - threatened by a senior govt official and brother to the President that she would be killed - has had an asylum claim to resettle in Australia rejected. Frederica Jansz was last month sacked as editor of The Sunday Leader by the newspaper's new owner, whom she described as an ally of the Sri Lankan President, Rajapaksa, allegedly because she refused to stop publishing articles critical more..

No threat to Lankans-Govt

Oct 5 (DM) Sri Lanka today said that there is no security threat to the Sri Lankan Community including the University Students in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Issuing a statement the External Affairs Ministry said that “the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs has been drawn to the recent incidents that took place in Bangladesh which have caused a sense of anxiety and grief among some sections of the Sri Lankan community both here in Sri Lanka and in Bangladesh.” more..

Mihin Lanka to increase flights to Bahrain and Jakarta

Oct 5 (DN) Mihin Lanka is to introduce additional flights on routes to Bahrain and Jakarta. The airline will add two extra weekly round-trip services to Jakarta, and one extra weekly round-trip service to Bahrain, bringing the overall number of flights to six times per week on each route. Mihin’s new flight on the Colombo – Bahrain route will operate on Tuesdays and will begin on Dec 7. The flight MJ215 will leave Colombo at 6.30 pm and reach Bahrain at 9.35 pm local time. more..

Buildings crack in Siyambalanduwa: GSMB denies tremors

Oct 5 (Island) Cracks appeared on six school buildings and six houses in Siyambalanduwa, in the Monaragala District, following a severe explosion yesterday. However the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau denied that it was due to earth tremors. The cracks on the building walls appeared following a loud explosion at the Kanda Uda Rata Panguwa Maha Vidyalaya between 10.35 a.m. and 10.40 a.m. more..

Sri Lanka inflows to hydro power plants lowest in 20-years

Oct 5 (LBO) Water inflows to Sri Lanka's hydro power plants up to September 2012 was the lowest in 20-years and much lower than a year earlier which was also a drought year, the island's power ministry said. In the first nine months of 2012, Sri Lanka's hydro reservoirs had received inflows enough to produce to 1,228 million units (GigaWatt hours) of electricity, lower than in 1991, data released by the power ministry show. In 1991 inflows had been a little over 1775GWh more..

SPC members call for change of all polls laws

Oct 5 (Island) Southern Provincial Councillor Major Ajith Prasanna (UPFA) yesterday said that amendments should be introduced not only to the election laws governing the local govt institutions, but also that of Provincial Councils and Parliamentary elections, as the country was gripped in a fear psychosis due to violence and mayhem being unleashed by thugs elected as people’s representatives. Both Ajith Prasanna and his UNP colleague in the Southern more..

Norway dismisses claims regarding Tamil children

Oct 5 (CG) Norway has dismissed reports that Tamil children taken into the care of child welfare services in Oslo are not allowed to speak in their mother tongue. Marte Lia Torskenaes, Media Spokesperson of the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, also dismiss suggestions that children are removed from parents because they are being fed by hand or sleep in the same bed as their parents. Earlier today the family members of some more..

Deputy Mayor of Dambulla in bribery net

Oct 5 (LT) Kusumsiri Ariyaratne, the Deputy Mayor of the UPFA ruled Dambulla Municipal Council has been arrested by officers of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. He has been taken to Galewela Police. Police state the Deputy Mayor has accepted the bribe to give the necessary recommendation for a road project. He was arrested opposite People’s Bank branch at Galewela today at 10.00 a.m. while accepting the bribe from the contractor. more..

Govt. prolonging education crisis: Ranil

Oct 5 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today called for a public debate on the budget with the participation of all political parties, civil groups and trade unions in addition to the customary parliamentary debate on the subject. Mr. Wickremesinghe who was speaking at a meeting attended by several political parties, religious and trade union leaders said such a debate of at least two days duration would enable a broad discussion on allocation of funds for important sectors such as education and health. more..

ADB downgrades Sri Lanka's growth forecast for 2012, 2013

Oct 5 (Xinhua) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cut its growth forecast for Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013 as part of an overall downgrade for the entire South Asian region, the latest report released by the organization said on Friday. In its Asian Development Outlook Update, ADB is forecasting Sri Lanka's GDP to grow by 6.5% this year, down from the 7.2 projection earlier. In 2013 it predicts that growth will be 7%, more..

Kandy’s dried taps highlight dryzone nightmare

Oct 6 (NS) The ancient and most gallant civilizations of the world were based in and round rivers or where there was easy access to water. Water is the main resource the world over, not only for humans, but also for all living beings. The search for water resources and the building of homes around them was the main task of our great ancestors. Well, as for Sri Lanka, we are a country blessed with enough water. Water is one of the most vital basic more..

Protecting Buddhist Heritage of the country

Oct 6 (NS) Preserving heritage is preserving the legacy of a country and its people for future generations to see. Not only countries with long histories like Sri Lanka and India, but also countries with not so long histories like Canada and Australia, preserve their heritage for the future generations to see. In Australia; Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act more..

Dangers of drunken driving highlighted

Oct 6 (SO) Newspaper reports recently indicated that the Police intend to get tough with drunken drivers. The Police have arrested and fined 1,056 persons for driving under the influence of liquor, within a week. Police records also indicated that 12 grave road accidents have occurred during the past two weeks due to drunken driving. These statistics indicate the gravity of the problem we face. Every single injury and death caused by drunk driving is totally preventable. more..

FUTA’s trade union action and the politicization of education

Oct 6 (DBS) Uniquely as far as the developing world goes, and pretty much as far as the whole world too, Sri Lanka does not in theory permit private education. There are a few official exceptions that we all know about, namely a few private schools that are immensely popular. Then there are official exceptions in the form of paid postgraduate and diploma programmes which the universities run, and which continue to function with input from separately paid FUTA members even while more..

Rise of Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka and response of Sri Lankan Muslims

Oct 6 (DBS) The last few months have seen a rapid increase in anti-Muslim sentiment amongst sections of the political class in Sri Lankan society. The situation has yet to deteriorate to the extent that the default image of a Sri Lankan Muslim is one represented by an anti- Sri Lankan or anti-Buddhist element. But the trend that is developing is truly alarming and surely points towards such an inaccurate mental image. The rise of extremist Buddhists in Sri Lanka is more..

White-vanning the judiciary; Imprisoning Democracy

Oct 6 (AT) The main budgetary allocations for 2012 are out; and the winner, by a very wide margin, is the military. Rather the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, to give the money-guzzling Behemoth its full title. Gotabhaya’s fiefdom is to get Rs.290 billion out of a total estimated govt expenditure of Rs.2520 billion – i.e. 11.5%. Health and Education will not get even half as much. Naturally. The Rajapaksas do not depend on more..