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Malaka aspires to be the Education Minister

Sept 24 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka has made a request to leave the country for higher education purposes, to fulfill his aspiration of one day becoming Sri Lanka’s Education Minister. President’s Council Hemantha Warnakulasooriya appearing on behalf of Malaka Silva informed court that his client was expecting to enter an American University. Accordingly, Colombo Fort Magistrate has permitted Malaka to be away from October 5 to November 7 but he was ordered to appear in court on November 26.

Anti-West protests grip Sri Lanka amid World T20

Sept 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police barricaded the US embassy in Colombo for the second time in four days Monday as thousands of Muslims gathered to denounce an anti-Islam film which has sparked protests worldwide. An estimated 20,000 people carrying anti-US and anti-Semitic placards marched towards the embassy during heightened security for the World Twenty20 cricket tournament hosted by Sri Lanka. more..

ICC replaces bottled water following suspected contamination

Sept 24 (SMH) The International Cricket Council has replaced the bottled water provided to match venues at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka after it was linked to a gastric illness that affected at least three teams. Australian Mitchell Starc and Brad Hogg suffered from gastro and flu-like symptoms but recovered in time to play the West Indies on Saturday. An illness also swept through the South African and New Zealand camps, prompting more..

Stocks edge up on telecoms and banks

Sept 24 (Reuters) Stocks edged up Monday as investors picked up telecommunication and banking shares, while retail investors made speculative plays, dealers said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index, ended 0.1%, or 5.83 points, firmer at 5,915.90. The index had risen 19% in 15 sessions through to Sept. 17 on hope that a newly appointed Securities and Exchange Commission head would come up with ideas to revive the market, which is down 2.61% this year. more..

Sri Lanka will cut spending to meet deficit target

Sept 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will cut spending from the 2012 budget to keep the fiscal deficit to a targeted 6.2%, the treasury secretary said on Monday, adding that growth may fall as low as 6.5% this year because of a drought and the global slowdown. By April this year, Sri Lanka's budget deficit was 285.8 billion rupees, almost 61% of the full-year goal of 468.9 billion rupees, raising concerns it may miss the target. more..

Govt has broken Major’s backbone - UNP

Sept 24 (AD) The UNP today accused the govt of breaking the “backbone” of the military officer, Major Chandana Pradeep, who saved the country from terrorism. The country is presently heading back towards a disastrous situation, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said. He further added that even though the govt declared that after the war the future progress of the country is in the hands of education, 3 years after the war ended the education sector is crumbling day by day. Although university lecturers have repeatedly held discussions with more..

Those involved in NSB fraud given the reins again

Sept 24 (LT) The individuals who carried out the racket to buy shares from the bankrupt ‘the Finance’ company using funds from National Savings Bank (NSB) have been appointed again to its Board of Directors. After the fraud the Chairman and the Board of Directors resigned. As a result of this transaction the NSB lost Rs. 152,863,757.28. The ‘Voice against Fraud’ organization has made a complaint regarding this to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon: Miracle of Asia

Over 11,000 driving licenses suspended

Sept 24 (CG) The police have temporarily suspended the driving license of over 11,000 drivers since the beginning of this year for driving under the influence of liquor. According to statistics released by the police media unit today 23521 drunk drivers had been arrested and the driving license of 11085 drivers had been temporarily suspended. The police also said that the driving license of 45 drivers had also been permanently cancelled during this same period. more..

Alms boxes vanish after Sarvagna Relics taken back

Sept 24 (LT) Most of the alms boxes placed at places where ‘Sarvagna Relics’ were displayed have vanished. More than Rs.10 million had been collected at one place where the relics were displayed. There were eight places where ‘Sarvagna Relics’ were displayed in Sri Lanka. Hence, it could be estimated that the collection at all these places would have been more than Rs.80 million. The employees who served in these places say the institution of a son of a powerful bigwig in more..

TNA raises concerns over Menik Farm closure

Sept 24 (CG) The TNA has raised concerns over the sudden closure of the Menik Farm displacement camp, saying it is a move to mislead the govt. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the remaining war displaced people in the camp are to be shifted to another camp in Mullaitivu instead of being resettled in their original homes. Tamil media reports said that the families remaining at the Menik Farm camp have been told to more..

Fitch assigns first fund rating in Sri Lanka

Sept 24 (IE) Fitch Ratings has assigned today the first fund rating in Sri Lanka, and rated the Ceylon Income Fund at 'A-(lka)' National Fund Credit Rating. The fund primarily invests in corporate debt instruments and is managed by Ceylon Asset Management (CAM). "The 'A-(lka)' National Fund Credit Rating is driven by the fund's weighted average rating factor (WARF) and rating distribution while reflecting Fitch's opinion that the fund is moderately concentrated," Fitch said. more..

T20 IRE v WI: Rain pain for Ireland again

Sept 24 (CI) West Indies qualified for the Super Eights of the World T20 after rain prevented a second innings in their key Group B game against Ireland in Colombo. It meant Ireland exited on the back of a no-result for the second World Twenty20 running, after bring denied by the weather against England in Guyana in 2010. With both teams having lost their first game in the tournament, this was a must-win encounter. But while Ireland will feel understandably aggrieved at the manner of their elimination, they will also reflect that more..

Ranjith and Herath take oaths as new Chief Ministers

Sept 24 (IL) S.M. Ranjith and Maheepala Herath were sworn in as Chief Ministers of North-Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces respectively before President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning. The sworn in ceremony took place at the Presidential Secretariat. S.M. Ranjith of the ruling UPFA received the highest number of preferential votes in the Anuradhapura District with 105,232 votes beating former Chief Minister more..

Nobody’s children belong to us all

Sept 25 (NS) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara is reported to have made a thought-provoking observation on the current crisis in higher education. A group of professionals had solicited the minister’s opinion on the tug-o-war between the Govt and the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) over multiple grievances and demands articulated by the latter. Nanayakkara had said that the whole drama reminds him of Bertold Brecht’s celebrated play ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’. more..

Tourist boom must be sustained

Sept 25 (NS) Tourism has blossomed after the end of the war. At the current rate of growth the number of tourists is expected to pass the one million mark this year. It is also likely that tourism would bring in over US$ one billion this year. This is a significant contribution towards offsetting the trade deficit that may exceed US$ 10 billion. At a time when both manufactured exports and agricultural exports are faring badly, the earnings from tourism is significant. more..

Majeed plans on developing East with President’s blessings!

Sept 25 (LB) Despite several political upheavals the government last week managed to appoint the new chief minister to the Eastern Province, Abdul Majeed Mohammed who polled 11726 preference votes contesting under the UPFA banner in the Trincomalee district. He also created history in the annals of the PC polls in Sri Lanka by becoming the first Muslim chief minister since Provincial Councils came into being way back in 1987. more..

Painting yourself and a whole nation into a corner

Sept 25 (CT) I have in past columns referred to the predilection of our New Sri Lankan Monarchy (NSLM) to circle the wagons and shoot wildly in every direction in order, not only to repulse its “enemies” but also to sow confusion among those who look askance at its monumental corruption and incompetence. Unwittingly they have also sown a measure of confusion among their own supporters who are hard put to defend the behavior of those who provide them with their daily champagne and caviar. more..

Space created by LLRC and role for civil society

Sept 25 (CT) The govt has overcome several formidable challenges to itself in the past few weeks. It has now secured control over the Eastern Provincial Council even though it failed to win the majority of seats in it. The govt’s ability to thrash out an agreement on favorable terms with the SLMC is an indication of its virtually unassailable political position in the country. Although the SLMC was clearly not happy with the terms being offered to it, the leadership of the party has more..

A volume based user fee to be introduced for garbage collection

Sept 25 (SO) There may be several factors that may cause inconvenience to your daily life and you may take relentless efforts to solve those problems if you think they are your own problem affecting your life. On the contrary, there are issues created by you to inconveniencing the entire community and you think that it was not your responsibility to tackle those problems. The ever growing garbage at your home, working place more..

Editorial: The ‘Nauru treatment’ seems to work

Sept 25 (Island) Australia has, at long last, begun to learn how to handle human smuggling effectively. All these years, it has blundered very badly, swayed by its misplaced liberal outlook on the issue. Racketeers have abused its kindness and leniency to the extent of making one wonder whether it is really capable of protecting its national borders, given the sheer number of boats entering its waters illegally. Australia's Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has been quoted by the media as more..

United movement to struggle against oppressors for equal rights of every community necessary

Sept 25 (DBS) After the prolonged nationalist war the reality confronting the masses from all national communities should be explored carefully. The Rajapaksa regime manipulates the so-called victory to implement its militarized political programme in the North and East by forcing the Tamil masses to believe that the defeat of the LTTE is a defeat for the Tamils. After hoisting the Lion’s flag in Jaffna the unfinished tasks of neo-liberal capitalism more..

'Eastern election results dispel myth of Tamil homeland'

Sept 25 (NS) Govt leaders held elections in the North-Central province despite calls by politicians in the province for a postponement given the prevailing drought situation in the area. This move was motivated by several reasons. The first was to obtain a vote of confidence for the govt after Sri Lanka’s defeat at the Geneva Human Rights Council. Some even suggested a countrywide referendum. We believed there more..

Update on the struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (DBS) Due to insistence of the families, the Army had agreed to vacate the lands they (Army) had occupied and allow all six families to go back to their own lands. However, around two acres of lands remains occupied by the Army. About one acre belongs to one family, while the rest comprises of about half acre each belonging to two other families. The Army is refusing to hand over these lands. The AGA for Puthukidiyiruppu had promised to provide alternative land, but more..

‘A new generation dares to unite the nation’

Sept 25 (DBS) I accepted the invitation from Sri Lanka Unites to participate at the Fourth Season of the Future Leader’s Conference to be held in Jaffna with interest but without any notion of what course the meeting on reconciliation will take. That it turned out to be an invigorating experience, an event that made one proud to be Sri Lankan is not an exaggeration. Who will not be proud when after all the turmoil “a new generation dares to unite the nation”, in an environment where the leaders more..

The FUTA marches from Galle to Colombo

Sept 25 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations(FUTA) is continuing its trade union action into the third month now. Though the govt’s response to the strike has been rather lukewarm with no concrete offers to the strikers so far, the strength of academics is growing steadily. The govt, which is still narcissistically arrogant about its own prowess, seems to think that it can ignore the academics until they starve more..

Central Bank to mint 550 million coins sans 50 cent coin

Sept 25 (ST) Sri Lanka is to mint 550 million coins excluding coins of one cent upto 50 cents denomination in the period 2013 to 2014, Central Bank (CB) sources said. The value of these coins is Rs 26.5 billion rupees. The CB will select a qualified party to mint and supply coins of four different denominations including one, two, five and ten rupees in accordance with the demand from banks. Arrangements have been made to mint 175 million 10-rupee coins, 100 million five rupee coins, more..

SEC to tighten grip on related party transactions

Sept 25 (DM) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka has issued a consultation paper aimed at tightening regulations pertaining to disclosures and governance in related party transactions. The paper, which invites suggestions from the public as to potential regulations and their impact, has a stated objective of improving regulations regarding audit committee approval, independent shareholder approval and disclosures to the market and via annual reports. more..

Harsha decries stench emanating from SEC

Sept 25 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday decried the serious slip in good governance and effectiveness at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), saying the stench was unbearable. With reference to Daily FT article on SEC’s decision to send letters of assurance to 50 investors who had been previously summoned or written to seeking information, Dr. de Silva said it signalled the end to investigations. more..

Nearly 1% Lankans depressed

Sept 25 (DN) Around 1% of the total population in Sri Lanka suffer from serious depression and another seven to 10% from minor depression, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Only 25% such patients seek medical treatment while the rest do not receive any medical treatment, the spokesman said. The spokesman said depression is a serious illness that needs to be treated by qualified doctors. “Untreated depression can lead to suicide and the patient could harm others. more..

Rocell pioneers digital ink infused technology in Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (FT) Rocell, Sri Lanka’s undisputed leader in surface coverings and bathware, recently launched a stunning and exclusive collection that is a first-of-its-kind in Sri Lanka. ‘Niche Insignia’ offers to those with a discerning design palate a range of surface coverings that perfectly replicate natural stone and wood surfaces. “The collection is unique in that it is a reproduction of natural material such as wood, marble, cement and concrete, with exceptional natural more..

Mendis, Mathews scare ends as Lankans prepare for Super Eight

Sept 25 (Island) There was relief for the national cricket team yesterday as the MRI scans that vice-captain Angelo Mathews and spinner Ajantha Mendis underwent in Kandy cleared them to take further part in the ICC World T-20, team spokesman Rajith Fernando said. Fernando, however, said that both players will undergo a fitness test tomorrow ahead of Sri Lanka’s first game of the Super Eight stage against NZ on more..

Mobitel joins fight to stamp out child abuse in Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel has come forward to lend its support to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). This will involve a number of projects, which will be undertaken by Mobitel, to help develop and build the NCPA programme and its work, and achieving its vision of creating child-friendly and protective environments for children, the mobile telco said. Mobitel will initially work on promoting the NCPA’s 24-hour more..

Singaporean hails litter - free Colombo

Sept 25 (DN) A recent letter to the Editor of the TODAY newspaper in Singapore hailed Sri Lanka for its civic consciousness in keeping Colombo litter free. In a reply to an article published earlier titled ‘Singapore: Clean city or cleaned city?,’ Singaporean Tan Kok Tim draws the example of how during his recent visit Colombo he found the city “free of litter, even cigarette butts, with no road sweepers or dump trucks in sight nor dustbins along the streets, either.” more..

Little incentive for govt. to stick to budget deficit target

Sept 25 (Island) A senior economist believes the govt has little incentive to contain the budget deficit this year while the public does not seem to care too much about the govt’s fiscal performance either. According to the latest data tax revenue grew 14.1% year-on-year during the first six months of this year to Rs. 496.8 billion while recurrent expenditure grew 17.4% to Rs. 563.8 billion and capital expenditure grew 40.9% to more..

Senaratne complains illegal fishing rising again

Sept 25 (Island) The use of illegal fishing methods had started again due to lack of support from the Navy and Police, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that the Ministry had strengthened laws against the use of banned fishing equipment, resulting in the practice declining considerably in the first quarter of this year. 497 fishermen were prosecuted for using banned and dangerous equipment in 2010. This number declined to 144 in 2011 and to 33 so far this year. more..

SC petitioned against SAITM’s MBBS degree

Sept 25 (Island) A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against Minister S. B. Dissanayake’s gazette notification of August 30, 2012, recognising the MBBS degrees awarded by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, of Malabe. The petitioners, two medical practitioners and two university lecturers, have complained that the Minister’s order has caused inequality among the medical officers registered under Section 29, of the Medical Ordinance by creating a more..

Chocolate blade still in belly

Sept 25 (DM) Medical officers are still attempting to remove from the stomach, the piece of blade that was swallowed with a chocolate by a Consumer Affairs Authority officer last Friday. The victim was under observation at the National Hospital. The victim was subjected to X-rays which revealed that the piece of blade was moving along his intestines. He was subjected to several other medical tests including an endoscopy. more..

Buddhist conclave to draw global delegates

Sept 25 (TOI) As many as 28 countries have confirmed their participation in the proposed three-day International Buddhist Conclave (IBC) which will begin in the city from September 28. Around 350 delegates from 30 countries and 16 states of India will participate in the conclave being organised by governments of state and centre. The conclave will be inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on September 29 at Nadesar area and union more..

Can Burma Leapfrog Sri Lanka?

Sept 25 (Forbes) With the rapid-fire opening of Burma/Myanmar stemming from apparently real reforms under new President Thein Sein, an intriguing regional competition may develop. Across the Andaman Sea lies another economic laggard of recent decades, Sri Lanka. Will the Burmese leapfrog it? To the degree the Burmese closed economy has been measurable, its output has lagged Sri Lanka’s by GDP adjusted for more..