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UPFA looking for a new prime minister?

Sept 30 (Island) Political circles are buzzing with speculation of the SLFP-led ruling UPFA having to choose a successor to the ailing incumbent premier D.M. Jayaratne, who is now warded at an expensive US medical facility. Parliament recently sanctioned three months leave for Jayaratne whose political career seemed to be at an end with a section within the party discussing various possibilities. Well informed sources said that the return of more..

EU probes China’s alleged bicycle dumping via Lanka

Sept 30 (ST) The European Union has lodged a protest with Sri Lanka over Colombo being used as a base for export of Chinese-made bicycles to avoid the payment of anti-dumping duty.The EU protest was handed over to Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Brussels by EU’s Director General of Trade. “We are yet to receive a response from the Govt,” the EU’s Sri Lanka representative Bernard Savage said. The European Commission has already begun investigations on whether Chinese exporters more..

GL invites investments from UAE

Sept 30 (Island) Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris met with the Foreign Ministers of Romania, Botswana, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, and Finland last week during the ongoing session of the United Nations General Assembly. In his discussions with his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE, the Minister highlighted the economic potential of the country in view of its strategic location linking East Asia with Africa and the peaceful climate conducive to investment. more..

Issues behind President’s tussle with the judiciary

Sept 30 (ST) Last Monday evening, actress Malini Fonseka was leaving the hallways of “Temple Trees,” once the home of British businessmen, an editor, colonial rulers and later for decades by democratically-elected leaders of Sri Lanka. I walked in to greet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and sit down for a 90-minute conversation. Present was Bandula Jayasekera, President’s spokesperson. more..

CoL increased by Rs. 21,052: Lalkantha

Sept 29 (SL) The cost of living has increased by Rs. 21,052 since 2006, National Trade Union Center (NTUC) Head and JVP politburo member K. D. Lalkantha said. He observed that while the cost of living of a family of four has increased by Rs. 21,052, the salary increments and other incentive payments paid to the public sector by the government since 2006 adds up to only Rs. 7,609.50. He explained that a family of four currently lives on the red to the tune of Rs. 13,442.50 every month. more..

Heart attacks claim around 150 lives per day, say doctors

Sept 29 (LB) Heart attacks are the leading cause of death not only in Sri Lanka but the world over and currently, over 150 persons die due to heart attacks every day across the country. Of this number, around one third are said to be females who succumb to the disease. According to consultant cardiologist of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) Dr. Ruwan Ekanayake, the lead up to heart attacks in a human being takes place when a person is around 10 years. more..

President catches up with protesting Berty

Sept 29 (ST) When provincial council ministers took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Monday many Cabinet ministers were present. Former Prime Minister and now Senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was among them. He was seen sitting in a corner of the back row. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa spotted the one-time PM. He quickly offered his seat. Wickremanayake accepted the offer and was seated in the front row. more..

Hindu Community Faces New Religious Threat

Sept 29 (SL) Religious sentiments are running high around the world. An online video film allegedly insulting Islam has sparked violence in several countries killing seven people. The US and the Western embassies in the Islamic countries have come under attack. Here at home the Hindu sentiments are simmering. Recently the traditional practice of offering animal sacrifices to Lord Shiva in the ancient temple belonging to the Hindus more..

TEA agrees to withdraw membership from UK council

Sept 29 (SL) The Tea Exporters Association (TEA) of Sri Lanka is in complete agreement with the Sri Lanka Tea Board’s decision to discontinue its membership from the UK Tea Council. The Association is of the view that being a member of the UK tea council does not benefit the tea industry in any way and that the tea sales to the UK are declining. “There is absolutely no benefit from UK Tea Council, the membership is more..

No go in blade-in-chocolate case as complaint is withdrawn

Sept 29 (ST) The man who swallowed a sliver of a razor blade embedded in a bar of chocolate last week has withdrawn a complaint after reaching a settlement with the chocolate manufacturing company. He had reportedly sustained injuries to his mouth while a small piece also got lodged in his intestines. The withdrawal of the complaint has forced the country’s apex body on consumer goods, more..

'IMF mission here for economic review'

Sept 29 (ST) Officials from the Washington-based IMF are in Sri Lanka for an economic review but there is no discussion on any additional loan facility, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. “No, this is a routine visit,” he told the Sunday Times, when asked whether an earlier suggested US$ 500 million facility would be discussed. He said the team was mainly studying the impact of policy changes made in more..

Floating armoury off Galle from Oct. 15

Sept 29 (Island) A floating armoury on international waters off the coast of Galle will be commissioned on October 15 replacing the land based naval armouries at Colombo and Galle, Mr. D.M.S.D. Jayaratne, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said. He said that the responsibility for running this facility has been entrusted to a company called Avant Garde Maritime Private Limited and more..

Kahawatte murders: Suspects finally rounded up

Sept 29 (LB) It has now come to light that the murders at Kotaketana, Kahawatta have been carried out by one particular group of people who reportedly are responsible for the spree of killings in the area. The group so identified has been led allegedly by the ministerial coordinating secretary and Godakawela Pradeshiya Sabha member, Dharmasena, and his brother – both of who are currently in prison. more..

Grant citizenship to Sri Lanka refugees, Sri Sri tells government

Sept 29 (IBN) Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday said the Centre and the State government must take steps grant citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps here. “Sri Lankan Tamils living in India as refugees for more than 25-30 years is not something Tamil Nadu can be proud about,” he said. “We have done that (giving citizenship) to a lot of Bangladeshis... and people from Nepal as well more..

'We had plans and they worked well'

Sept 29 (WI) The victor and the vanquished were graceful in equal measure after Sri Lanka’s convincing nine-wicket win over West Indies at the Pallekele International Cricket Ground. Sri Lanka, who now have two wins from as many matches in the Super Eights, are still not sure of a place in the semifinals. In contrast, the West Indies face yet another must-win match, against New Zealand, on Monday, but even winning that game does not guarantee them progress. more..

Displaced families, military and companies seek Menik Farm land

Sept 29 (ST) Businessmen and foreign investors are among those who want to secure plots of land in the one-time largest camp for the IDPs in Vavuniya, a Minister said yesterday. The 6,000 acre land at Menik Farm in Chettikulam has been sealed off after all displaced people were moved out last week until a final decision is taken regarding the land allocation, Lands Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said. more..

Vasudeva supports FUTA action

Sept 30 (SL) The actions of the govt that aggravates the problem that has arisen with regard to University teachers is foolhardy, says minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara. “Their demands are reasonable and I support the university teachers in their efforts to get an increase in their salaries,” said Minister Nanayakkara. He observed that in the event that the govt feels that the rates of increase demanded are unreasonable, it could be possible to negotiate the demands. more..

'NCPA cannot collect fees from school vans'

Sept 30 (SL) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) had illegally collected Rs. 1.8 million through registering school vans by overreaching their mandate, Minister of Private Transport C. B. Ratnayake said. The mandate of the NCPA is not to collect money by registering school vans, but to ensure the safety of children who are being transported in the vehicles, the minister said. He said that the NCPA has registered vehicles by charging between Rs. 150-250 per vehicle. more..

Govt. turns ‘common cold’ into international conspiracy

Sept 30 (NS) “When someone catches a common cold, the govt thinks it is an international conspiracy”, a former Higher Education Minister and UNP MP Kabir Hashim said. He stated so on the ongoing trade union agitation of the FUTA to increase the allocation on education to 6 percent of the GDP and the govt’s response to the same. “When the university dons reasoned out more..

Secretary Defence declares open Trade Fair

Sept 30 (GDI) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open the first Futurex Trade Fair yesterday at the BMICH in Colombo. The Trade Fair provides a platform to showcase new developments and products the Glass and the fenestration industry - the suppliers of doors, windows, hardware, accessories and aluminum extrusions from around the world. The show will feature the latest technology in doors, windows, hardware, machinery more..

Unable to pay fines, 1,200 in prison

Sept 30 (SL) There are over 1,200 languishing in prison for being unable to pay the fines imposed by courts, said P.W. Kodippily, Commissioner General of Prisons. A survey has revealed that the total amount these prisoners had to pay was over Rs. 20 million. However, a much larger amount of money has to spent for their upkeep. “These prisoners are scattered among 23 prisons in the island. Some have been in prison for over an year and they are being released in batches on special occasions,” said the Prisons Commissioner. more..

'India trying to undermine post-war reconciliation'

Sept 30 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt alleged that an influential section of the Indian media at the behest of decision makers there was making an attempt to undermine post-war reconciliation process. The GoSL asserted that the one-time LTTE mouthpiece, the TNA, which in late 2001 declared the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people was spearheading the campaign here, whereas the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) more..

20 senior citizens to be honored

Sept 30 (Island) The NGO Forum on Ageing (NFOA), a consortium of organizations interested in caring for senior citizens in creating public awareness on the rapidly ageing population, has decided to felicitate 10 men and 10 women over 75 years of age for their contribution to society and the nation. Nominated by the public, they were selected as winners by an eminent panel of judges. The awards ceremony will be held today at the BMICH. The chief guest will be Bradmon Weerakoon. more..

Secretary Defence declares opened Kovil in Kilinochchi

Sept 30 (GDI) During his visit to Kilinochchi yesterday Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rjapaksa declared open the newly constructed Kovil at the Mahadewa Ashram Children's Home in Kilinochchi. He unveiled a plaque at the temple premises to mark the occasion. Secretary Defense was accorded a traditional welcomed in keeping with tamil customs to the Ashram. Students of the ashram sang more..

Education sector gets 14% more next year

Sept 30 (ST) The Govt allocations for both the education and higher education sectors in the country for 2013 have increased by close to 14% over the previous year, according to the budgetary estimates that are to be presented to Parliament on October 9. The Ministry of Education has been allocated Rs. 37.9 billion, up by nearly Rs. 3.43 billion over 2012 while the Ministry of Higher Education has been allocated Rs. 27.9 billion, more..

Dengue battle left in the lurch

Sept 30 (NS) Dengue prevention programmes in various parts of the country is in disarray, Health Ministry officials charged recently. Speaking to The Nation, the Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health, Dr Paba Palihawadana alleged that nearly ten govt bodies were tasked with the eradication and prevention of the spread of the Dengue virus. Currently, only the Health, Defence and Urban Development, and Disaster Management Ministries are actively engaged in the directives more..

36 Australia bound Persons intercepted off Koduwakattu seas

Sept 30 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy intercepted 36 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler today. The trawler named “ABI” was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command 20 nautical miles off Koduwakattu seas. Among the arrested persons are 28 Tamils, 7 Sinhalese and a Muslim that included 25 males, 3 women and 8 children. They are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, more..

Lankan ‘Caregivers’ for overseas ‘takers’

Sept 30 (NS) Job opportunities in developed countries for “Caregivers” are likely to increase and Sri Lanka has prepared a special program to attract such opportunities in European countries. Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera said there should be a proper way to train prospective applicants. “There should be an internationally accredited certification for Sri Lankan employees for better opportunities,” Minister pointed out. more..

The user's guide to Sri Lankan transport

Sept 30 (CI) It could take a while for new visitors to Sri Lanka to become accustomed to getting around Colombo and travelling on to Kandy and Hambantota for cricket matches. Nothing is as straightforward (or as concerned with health and safety) as in many other countries. Realisation sets in on arrival at the airport (visas in advance through There is no dedicated airport-to-Colombo bus service, and no longer is there a train connection. more..

Sri Lankan Navy attacks Tamil Nadu fishermen

Sept 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly pelted stones and snapped fishing nets of Tamil Nadu fishermen when they were fishing near Katchatheevu on Sunday. Fishermen from this island had put out to sea in about 600 boats last night and were fishing in different locations near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to the neighbouring country in the 1970s, when the Sri Lankan navalmen warned them to go back. more..

Water crisis in Mahaweli zone deepens

Sept 30 (ST) The water levels in the reservoirs in the Mahaweli zones are dangerously low. The low water levels were posing a threat not only to agriculture but also to drinking water supplies. The levels in reservoirs in the North Central and Central provinces had dropped drastically with the active storage level or the usable water capacity of the Kotmale reservoir being 33.9%, Victoria 6.3%, Randenigala 9.5%, Rantembe 10%, more..

UNP stalwart, former MP and minister, P.C. Imbulana is no more

Sept 30 (ST) A former MP and Minister, and a stalwart of the UNP, P.C. Imbulana passed away yesterday. He was first elected to Parliament in July 1960 from the Ruwanwella electorate, and served as Deputy Minister of Agriculture under Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, as Deputy Minister of Local Government, Housing and Construction under President J.R. Jayewardene and as Labour Minister under President R. Premadasa. more..

Sri Lanka expects a major jump in rankings

Sept 30 (NS) Plans are afoot to improve Sri Lanka’s rankings on Ease of Doing Business Index (EDBI) to 52 from its current rank of 89 within the next three years, The Nation learns. This will be a remarkable feat where the island nation has to surpass 37 countries within a matter of three years. “We are currently working with several consultancy firms in the country towards achieving this challenging and yet achievable target. We focus mainly on improving several criteria of EDBI such as registration more..

Sri Lanka arrests Briton over ticket theft

Sept 30 (AFP) A British man was arrested in Colombo Sunday on a charge of stealing 100 tickets for the World Twenty20 match between hosts Sri Lanka and defending champions England, police said. The 54-year-old man identified as Caesar Antonio Buller from Manchester was taken into custody at a ticket booth in the capital after sales staff alerted the police. "He had gone up in the queue for tickets and somehow pocketed the more..

T20 AUS v SA: Watson carries Australia to victory again

Sept 30 (CI) Shane Watson has carried Australia in every match of this tournament and has now all but muscled them into the semi-finals with another outstanding all-round performance against South Africa. Watson picked up two wickets to help restrict South Africa and then crunched 70 from 47 balls to set up their successful chase of 147, as the Australians cruised to victory with 14 balls to spare. The South Africans were lacklustre more..

India concerned over delay in agreement

Sept 30 (SL) Highly placed Indian sources reiterated on Friday that the Indian govt would not play the role of mediator of talks between the Sri Lankan govt and the TNA but ‘help create a platform for talks to take place.’ Expressing ‘serious concern’ over the delay in the two parties arriving at a mutually agreeable stand towards a political solution to the national issue, the source maintained however that following the ‘very successful’ tour of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India last week, The Indian govt was very keen that a resolution is arrived fast, more..

Sri Lanka holds international spice food festival

Sept 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka is holding a 'World Spice Food Festival' in Colombo starting from October 05, featuring country specific foods and competitions, the island's tourism promotion agency said. A number of top hotels and restaurants in the capital will also participate with master chefs being flown in. Asian cuisine will be found at Hilton Colombo (China), Cinnamon Lake Side (Vietnam), Cinnamon Grand (Pakistan), Grand Oriental more..

Eoin Morgan relishing crucial Sri Lanka clash

Sept 30 (BBC) Eoin Morgan says England will not be fazed by the home crowd when they face Sri Lanka in their decisive World Twenty20 Super Eights match on Monday. Victory will earn England a semi-final spot unless West Indies beat New Zealand and also better the defending champions' run rate in the group. But England could also lose and still progress via run rate if the Black Caps beat West Indies in Pallekele. "The home teams out here get absolutely huge crowds," said batsman Morgan. more..

Maize farmers to benefit from new projects

Sept 30 (NS) The farmers, who have undergone bank debt constraints will benefit with the government’s decision to pump nearly Rs. 10 million to maize export villages to increase their maize products in some 16 districts under the ‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ project. The project will be implemented initially in the Galenbidunuwewa village in Anuradhapura on October 6 through the Wayamba Group of Companies or the Wayamba Govi Sangamaya, its Chairman, who is directing the operations, more..

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