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Inventors' Commission mulls compensations

Dec 6 (CT) The Inventors' Commission has taken an initiative to support the inventors who incurred losses due to the fire that erupted at the CHOGM media centre, destroying all items on display. Chairman of Sri Lanka Inventors' Commission, Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, said that he is holding discussions with Minister Champika Ranawaka, in this regard. "The discussions are underway and very soon we will come to a conclusion. However, the idea we have in mind is to have the inventors more..

India to host Wigneswaran next month

Dec 6 (Island) India is planning to host Sri Lanka’s NPC Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran next month. Minister Salman Khurshid had extended an invitation to Wigneswaran when he met him in Jaffna in Oct. In his Oct 28 letter to PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, Wigneswaran wrote: "We had the fortune of meeting your Minister for External Affairs recently in Jaffna, where he extended a kind invitation to me to visit your great country. more..

SL women shun ‘women only’ buses, trains

Dec 6 (DM) Women in Sri Lanka do not like to travel in ‘women only’ buses and therefore moves to introduce such buses for their convenience had been shelved, Minister Kumara Welgama told Parliament. The implementation of women only busses had been pushed to the backseat because of this reason. He said some women had personally informed that they did not want to travel in women only buses. Welgama said his idea to provide special carriages for women in trains more..

Kamalendran suspended from EPDP

Dec 6 (CT) EPDP Jaffna District organizer and NPC Opposition Leader, Kandaswamy Kamalendran, who is the main suspect in the murder of Delft Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman, Daniel Rexian, has been suspended from the Party until the completion of the Court hearing into the murder trial. EPDP Media Spokesperson, C. Thavarasa, said that the EPDP Leader has taken the decision yesterday to suspend Kamalendran for his alleged involvement in the murder of the Delft PS Chairman. more..

Mahanayakes join anti-casino campaign

Dec 6 (CT) Venerable Mahanayakes of the three nikayas have urged President Rajapaksa in writing to take all measures possible to stop casinos, gambling and gaming from being further promoted or halt such businesses completely. They have pointed out that this is the wish of the religious leaders as well as several hundreds of thousands of righteous people in the country, who are opposed to the proposed casino ventures, and more..

Last lines for Kannangara?

Dec 6 (DM) Education is a word that would give any other word a good run for money in the matter of word-prostitution. It has been and probably will be lip-serviced so much that if there was a metaphorical lip balm, supply will never be able to meet the demand of chaffed lips. Education is talked of as a basic human right. We are told that no child should be left behind. We are told that education has to match the demands of the overall economic system where those who enter the job market more..

Mission to Mars from an unlikely candidate

Dec 6 (DM) Zambia is the only developing country which, seriously or not, had a programme to send people to outer space back in the 1960s. My heart goes out to the schoolteacher who, almost single-handedly, masterminded the Zambian Mars project. A manned Mars mission would be ambitious even today, assuming the combined resources of Soviet and US space programmes. Mars is some 225 million km away (on average), and a space rocket would require anything from 150 to 250 days more..

Eight new economic zones in 2014

Dec 6 (FT) An upbeat BOI is planning to start a record eight export processing and industrial zones scattered around the country, earmarked to begin operations in 2014. A report released by the BOI states that the new zones will aim to attract local and foreign investment, resulting in more employment. One of the largest zones will be the Mirijjawila Export Processing Zone that will cover 229 hectares of land. more..

Cairn India bids for one block; OVL skips

Dec 6 (PTI) Cairn India Ltd has bid for one oil and gas exploration block in Sri Lanka while ONGC Videsh did not bid for any of the 13 blocks on offer in that country mainly due to poor prospectivity. Bids for 13 offshore exploration blocks offered in the Sri Lankan Licensing Round, only the second in its history, closed on Nov 29. Sri Lanka received just three bids at the close with Cairn being the only major explorer bidding, more..

TNA briefs visiting US team

Dec 6 (CG) The TNA briefed a visiting US delegation on the situation in the North following the recent Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. The TNA, including Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, met the US delegation from Congress at the US Ambassador’s residence. At the meeting, the UNHRC session scheduled to be held in Geneva next year was also discussed. more..

'Sajith should be the common candidate'

Dec 6 (CT) Southern Provincial Councillor and Attorney-at-Law, Maithri Gunaratne, stressed that if a common candidate is to be fielded by the aligned opposition, with the intention of sealing victory at the upcoming presidential poll, it should be none other than UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa. Gunratne's statement came in response to an assertion made by Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council, Karu Jayasuriya, who had said to more..

Sri Lanka warned on negative effects of import substitution

Dec 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's drive towards trade restrictions and import substitution may hurt the country, as autarky has consistently failed elsewhere, IMF warned. "It is not a matter of opinion. It is not a matter of IMF doctrine," IMF resident Koshy Mathai told reporters. "It is simply a matter of fact. So I think we have to be very careful when it comes to import tariffs meant to protect a whole number of different industries." more..

LMD's Sri Lankan of The Year is Susantha Ratnayake

Dec 6 (DN) LMD announced yesterday that its 2013 Sri Lankan Of The Year is business leader and John Keells Holdings (JKH) Chairman Susantha Ratnayake. He follows in the footsteps of business icon Deshamanya Ken Balendra, who won the coveted award in 1998. Ratnayake is only the fifth business leader to be named 'Sri Lankan Of The Year' by LMD, in the 18 years since its inception in 1995- that was when Kadirgamar more..

Video: 52% of the budget allocated for three ministers - UNP

Dec 6 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando said today 52% of the budget was allocated to three Ministers of the same family while the balance 48% was allocated to the rest. “52% of the budget has been allocated to three ministers while the other 105 ministers have been allocated only 48% in the 2014 budget allocation. This clearly shows that everything is done according to the consent of a certain group in the govt. more..

Agreement signed with BOI to build third integrated resort

Dec 6 (Island) The BoI has recently signed an agreement with Queensbury owned by the local gaming tycoon Dhamika Perera to build the third US$ 350 million integrated resort which possibly would include an in-house casino. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the BoI had reached an agreement with Queensbury to develop 2.5 acres at D.R. Wijeywardene Mawatha, Colombo. So far only the initial documents more..

Govt.pressures religious leaders not to attend anti-Casino protests - Ranil

Dec 6 (Island) National Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the govt of pressuring religious dignitaries not to attend a public meeting held in Colombo against the proposed establishment of Casino zones in every province. The auditorium was filled with representatives of all religions, many political parties and members of the public in spite of govt threats, Wickremesinghe told the meeting by a group of monks more..

Maj. Gen. Dias denied Aussie visa over C-4 allegations

Dec 6 (Island) On the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, propagated by the UK media outfit, Channel 4 News, Australia has refused to allow Major General Jagath Dias join an ICRC project in Australia this month. The Australian High Commission had informed the Gajaba Regiment veteran of its decision. Asked whether the Australian HC had given any specific reasons for rejecting the officer’s visa, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.5%

Dec 6 (LBO) Stocks closed greener Friday with diversified stocks sought by foreign investors. All Share Price Index closed 29.66 points higher at 5,810.24, up 0.51%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.47 points higher at 3,183.09, up 0.68%. Turnover was 779.81 million rupees, down from 1,321.58 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 136 firms closing in the red against 72 gainers. Commercial Leasing and Finance closed 10 cents higher at 4.00 rupees with an off market transaction of more..

On Hudson protest Vs Nimalka protest

Dec 6 (CT) Recently a group of women professionals decided to protest against the abusive language used by the Chairman of the Rupavahini Corporation Mr. Hudson Samarasinghe against M/s Nimalka Fernando an active civil rights campaigner. They gathered outside the Rupavahini carrying posters. A counter demonstration had also been organized and they too gathered in the vicinity to hoot and jeer at them. The Police were present in numbers and instead of telling them to more..

Ministry internal audit advises tender procedure for granting mining licences

Dec 6 (ST) The Internal Audit Division (IAD) of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy has recommended that mining exploration licences be granted on tender and not on the “first come, first served” basis now followed. A Sunday Times ‘Insight’ recently revealed that some business entities were setting up front companies expressly to acquire large numbers of exploration licences from the Geological Survey more..

No country for ordinary people (and ordinary dogs)

Dec 6 (CT) Imported pet food was one of a handful of items accorded a tax break by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his 2014 Budget. The Opposition is calling it a ‘Cat’s and Dog’s Budget’. Au contraire; Rajapaksa benevolence does not extend to dogs/cats in general; only to dogs/cats who belong to families wealthy enough to afford imported pet food. For normal ordinary Lankan canines[i], the Rajapaksas have neither consideration nor mercy, as is evident from the regime’s pitiless more..

Tussle for NPC Opposition Leader’s post likely among UPFA constituents

Dec 6 (Island) Following the recent arrest by the CID of NPC Opposition Leader Kandasamy Kamalendran on Wednesday for the killing of Delft Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Daniel Rexigen, the UPFA is expected to appoint an acting Opposition Leader, pending investigations. Rexigen was shot dead at his residence in Pungudutivu. Sources said that SLFP was likely to seek the appointment of its Jaffna District Chief Organiser Angajan Ramanathan as Kamalandran’s successor. more..

Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies

Dec 6 (CNN) Freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression. That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid. He died Thursday night at age 95. His message of reconciliation, not vengeance, inspired the world after he negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the more..

DMK for probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (Hindu) The DMK has issued a notice seeking a discussion, under Rule 193 in the Lok Sabha, against the human rights violations and war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan defence forces against Tamils during the civil war against the LTTE. DMK parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu, who issued the notice to Speaker Meira Kumar’s office, told The Hindu that the party sought the passing of a resolution in Parliament for a credible and transparent international investigation into more..

Chandima changes UNP leader

Dec 6 (CG) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakody today requested UNP MP Sajith Premadasa to attend the party leaders meeting in Parliament to raise some issues he had. Premadasa however responded saying he was not the party leader so he could not attend a party leaders meeting. Weerakody then responded saying he would like to invite Premadasa to attend the meeting despite the fact that he is not a party leader. However Premadasa said he cannot attend more..

Sri Lanka sends medical team to assist typhoon Haiyan victims

Dec 6 (Xinhua) A team of Sri Lankan medical specialists including doctors and nurses will leave for the Philippines on Friday to provide medical assistance and other relief to the victims of the recent typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated central Philippines last month, killed over 5,600 people. "This mercy mission has been undertaken on an initiative taken by President Rajapaksa and the team met more..

Ranawaka lashes out at milk powder importers

Dec 6 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday lashed out at private milk powder importing companies in Sri Lanka for creating an artificial shortage to increase the prices of their products by blaming Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for delays in DCD testing. The Minister said that the ITI was in no way responsible for any shortage of milk powder in the local market, as it had already submitted all relevant testing results to the Health Ministry. more..

Puttalam principal arrested

Dec 6 (CG) The principal of a school in Puttalam has been arrested over allegations he sold tables and chairs brought to the school from another school. According to the police media unit, a police complaint had been lodged in October stating that metal tables and chairs brought to the Puttalam Ananda Vidyalaya from a school in Kalpitiya, on the directions of the Director of Education, had been sold by the principal of the Puttalam Ananda Vidyalaya. more..

President Rajapaksa hails Mandela’s legacy

Dec 6 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa described late Nelson Mandela as an iconic figure who has left an indelible mark globally. In a condolence message, President Rajapaksa as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth said the Commonwealth was enriched with the return of South Africa to its fold in 1994, under the leadership of the late Nelson Mandela. more..

GL, Lalith brief diplomatic community on current developments

Dec 6 (DN) Minister G.L. Peiris and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga briefed Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Sri Lanka on current developments. The briefing by Minister Peiris included, among other topics, the census being carried out in the Northern Province, the team of full time officials under the Land Commissioner dealing with the land issues as a matter of priority, the initiatives with regard to bilingual capability of youth, in particular the establishment of more..

Vasu tells Pavithra to honour President’s May Day promise

Dec 6 (Island) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara requested Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to take action to deliver the govt’s promise to provide electricity without price increase for the households that consumed between one to 60 units of electricity a month. Minister Nanayakkara, participating in the third reading stage debate, on expenditure head of the Ministry of Power and Energy, said President Rajapaksa made the promise that no changes would be made in the electricity tariff more..

Akashi to visit Sri Lanka again

Dec 6 (CG) Following the successful conduct of the first NPC Election, which was welcomed by Japan as a significant step forward in the national reconciliation process after many years of conflict, the Govt of Japan has decided to dispatch Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Govt of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka from the 8th to 13th Dec. During his stay Akashi will more..

Mahabhimani 2013 held on grand scale

Dec 6 (GDI) President Rajapaksa recognized the best professionals in Sri Lanka's construction industry at the Mahabhimani 2013 Awards Festival held thursday at the Sugathadasa Stadium. President presented the awards to the outstanding carpenter, plumber, electrician, brick layer, tiller, bar bender, welder, painter, construction equipment operator, and construction equipment mechanic Awards were presented to the Best Masonry Technician, Best Tiling Technician, more..

UK to discuss on SL with other countries

Dec 6 (DM) Britain said that it would continue to discuss on the situation in Sri Lanka, including human rights issues with a range of other EU, Commonwealth and international partners over the coming months. In response to a question by a British MP, the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire told British Parliament that, “The UK has been voted back on to the Human Rights Council and will play an active role in building international support ahead of more..

Ricciardo and Red Bull to bring F1 to SL

Dec 6 (RB) As announced earlier this year, Daniel Ricciardo will replace fellow Aussie Mark Webber as an Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver for the 2014 season alongside newly-crowned quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Before he makes his Red Bull debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix however, we’ll be burning some rubber in Sri Lanka in the latest Red Bull Show Car run. Ricciardo and the show car team will drive more..

BoI won’t register any more private schools

Dec 6 (DM) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene today told Parliament that the BoI had stopped the registration of any private schools hereafter. The minister was responding to UNP MP Akila Virage Kariyawasam who raised this matter in the House during the committee stage of the budget debate on the Education Ministry. “The BoI will not entertain any request for registration of private schools,” he said. Mr. Kariyawasam who started the debate on behalf of the opposition said more..

CAA turns down gas price hike request

Dec 6 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority, (CAA) while putting on hold requests from five milk powder importing companies for a price hike, has rejected an appeal by private gas companies for a hike in the price of domestic gas (LPG). The five milk food importers, in September, sought approval to increase the price of powdered milk by Rs. 250 per and Rs. 100 per one kilo and 400 g packs respectively. CAA sources said yesterday that it was very unlikely that approval would be more..

President clears Pusswedilla

Dec 6 (CG) President Rajapaksa has cleared the latest edition of the popular political satire ‘Pusswedilla’ to be staged after the Colombo Gazette had reported that the censor board had banned the new comedy. The Director of Pusswedilla, Feroz Kamardeen, said that the President had contacted him today and inquired about the news report. According to Kamardeen, the President had expressed regret over more..

Speaker to inspect Embilipitiya paper mill

Dec 6 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told Parliament that he would visit the Embilitpitiya Paper Mill shortly to see for himself the situation there. He said that he expected to go to his home town via Embilipitiya next time and visit the paper mill. He invited UNP MP Sajith Premadasa to join him. Speaker Rajapaksa said so while Minister Dinesh Gunawadena was replying a question on the current plight of the paper mill raised by UNP MP Rosy Senanayake. more..

Kitul Treacle products to Japanese market

Dec 6 (GDI) Kitul Treacle Production Development Unit of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, under the guidance of Minister Douglas Devananda has initiated a programme to capture foreign market for Kitul treacle and treacle based products. As the first step, under the initiative of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry an agreement was signed on 28th Nov between Japan's Sky International and more..