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'Seed Act detrimental to agri sector'

Dec 11 (Island) UPFA MP Ven. Aturaliye Ratana Thera told Parliament that there was a draft Seed Act, which contained provisions detrimental to the country’s agriculture sector. MP Ratana Thera, participating in the third reading stage debate, on budget 2014, under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the JHU would never agree to the Seed Act in its present form. Thera pointed out that the proposed Act planned to prohibit farmers keeping seeds, more..

SL rally to protest against disappearances

Dec 11 (BBC) Hundreds of Sri Lankans have held a demonstration in Colombo, demanding to know the whereabouts of two activists who disappeared two years ago. Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan organised rallies against political disappearances before being apparently abducted in the north of the country. The rally was held on the second anniversary of their disappearance. more..

Schools yet to receive uniform material - CTU

Dec 11 (CT) Many schools are yet to receive school uniform material for the new year, even though the third term is officially over and the students should have received uniform materials by now, the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) charged. CTU President Priyantha Fernando stated that many schools in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces have not received school uniform materials, causing immense inconvenience to a multitude of parents and students more..

Govt. hospitals to issue medical records

Dec 11 (CT) The Ministry of Health had decided to issue patients with a medical record at all govt hospitals in the future. The medical record will be updated with the latest information on the patient each time s/he pays a visit to the hospital and will be handed over to the patient, without keeping them at the hospital, unlike before. At present, the records are only given to child patients, but the ministry has now decided to extend the service to adults as well, making it easier for patients and doctors more..

Removal of LPL chairman: Sandagiri replies

Dec 11 (Island) Reacting to our page one lead news report, headlined ‘LPL Chairman Sandagiri removed’, published yesterday, retired Navy Commander Daya Sandagiri said that he had not been removed "as depicted, but afforded another assignment" by the President in a public-private partnership. Following is the full text of the letter: I took up the appointment of Chairman LPL in May 2011 and on my first official meeting more..

BBS joins call to oust PM

Dec 11 (CT) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said, the PM, who had supported his Coordinating Secretary on the sly to import a container load of heroin into the country, is now unable to reveal who imported the container and is pretending that he knows nothing. "This is a strange govt. This govt is standing on its head, without knowing where it is heading. Even the Defence Secretary is aware of the PM's murky activities," he alleged. more..

'Omalpe Sobhitha Thera preaches absolute lies'

Dec 11 (CT) Secretary to the PM, S. Amarasekera, in a letter to Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera, said that he was deeply disappointed that the Thera had preached an absolute falsehood without bothering to check the facts. The letter, sent yesterday, addressed issues pertaining to Thera's intervention made through the media, highlighting falsely the fact that the PM's Secretary had issued a letter stating that the container that was later found to contain 262 kg of heroin, not be charged any taxes more..

Removal of judges and CJ: UNP seeks adoption of Latimar House principles

Dec 11 (Island) UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that he would move a private member’s motion in Parliament today seeking consensus on the removal of the judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in accordance with the Latimar House Principles already adopted by several leading member states of the Commonwealth. Having taken over the leadership of the Commonwealth for a period of 2 years, more..

Learn from Mandela

Dec 11 (DM) In the afterglow of the World Anti-Corruption Day on Monday Sri Lanka finds itself in a situation where the cost of living keeps soaring along with allegations of corruption. The latest scandalous allegations involve the once-powerful Lakshman Hulugalle, Director General of the suddenly-disbanded Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) and the NPC’s Opposition Leader Kandasamy Kamalendran who is a leading member of the EPDP. more..

Country, the economy and runaway engines

Dec 11 (DM) The budget debate of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) for 2014 was held last week. The budget for the Western PC is a hollow document similar to the one presented to Parliament by the President. The budget stated the per capita income of the people in the Western Province is US$ 3,750 and the population in the province is 5.8 million. Accordingly, the annual income of the province should be US$ 21.7 billion. The per capita income would be, according to these figures, more..

'Parliament majority can’t compensate for Govt’s lack of economic vision'

Dec 11(DM) UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne, is a reputed Economist and had been a high-profile Corporate Executive. He was the CEO of the National Development Bank (NDB) from 2001 to 2010 and was the former Chairman of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA). He used to be the former Vice-President and Corporate Bank Head of Citibank Sri Lanka. more..

Bonanza for Golden Key depositors: Full asset sale ordered

Dec 11(SL) Depositors of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company are set for a virtual ‘bonanza’ thanks to an order that has been made by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. The Sunday Leader first revealed the existence of what appeared to us to be an inalienable link to assets held by the disgraced former Chief of the so-called and somewhat grandly called ‘Ceylinco Group’ of companies, Lalith Kotelawala more..

Parental neglect leading to spike in child sex abuse

Dec 11 (ST) A sickening series of child sexual abuse cases in recent weeks underscores a sharp rise in complaints of abuse, and officials say parental neglect is the main cause. The Chairman of the managing board of the Mahaweli Disabled Children’s Home in Marawila was remanded until 9 December over the charge of alleged sexual abuse of two girls aged 13 and 15, while the matron, also facing charges, has been released on bail. more..

Investigations commence into substandard fuel

Dec 11 (CT) A Ceylon Petroleum Corporation pumping station at Menikhinna is being investigated for pumping substandard petrol into vehicles, today. It is learnt that around 18 vehicles that pumped petrol at this particular gas station has stalled. CPC, Marketing Manager Chaminda Samarakoon said that an investigation is going on and that samples of the petrol have been sent to the laboratory at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. more..

SL Dual Citizenship to become a reality

Dec 11 (E24|7) Legal Draftman's Office said they have received the draft of the amended Dual Citizenship Act Bill from the Attorney General's Department, and it will be ready for implementation within weeks. Bill had been passed by the AG, Palitha Fernando, with his observations, which will be soon included in the draft bill, Legal Draftsman, GAS Silva, said. However, some of AG’s observations will not be included. more..

Govt in talks with India to amend FTA

Dec 11 (DM) The Sri Lankan government has started fresh talks with India, in a bid to bring changes to the existing Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as the controversial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has not come to fruition due to protest from various quarters, a top bureaucrat disclosed. Investment Promotion Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando said the objective of these discussions was to look at more..

Troika slams global mismatch

Dec 11 (CG) Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan have raised concerns over what they say is a mismatch in the international community’s deliberation over the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the post-2015 development agenda so far. Dr Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka speaking on behalf of India-Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the UN said that global partnerships and means of more..

TN, Sri Lankan fishermen talks by month-end

Dec 11 (ENS) After months of prodding by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to set up a talks table between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan fishermen, the Centre has finally stirred into action and the proposed meeting might take place by this month-end. Consultations are on between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Tamil Nadu govt to decide on the dates for the meeting between the fishermen associations on both sides. more..

NPC passes resolution to oust Governor

Dec 11 (CT) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has unanimously passed a resolution yesterday, urging President Rajapaksa to remove Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri from the post of Northern Governor, and appoint a new Governor with no military background. The resolution was brought by former MP and NPC Councillor, M.K. Sivajilingam, and was seconded by Councillor, K. Sarveswaran. more..

Church warns of 'foreign intervention' in SL

Dec 11 (AFP) The Catholic church Wednesday warned Sri Lanka's govt of foreign intervention unless it worked towards reconciliation and addressed allegations of war crimes during the war against Tamil separatists. Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, said he was urging President Rajapakse and the main ethnic Tamil party to hammer out a political settlement or risk an international probe. more..

Common man ignored by the Budget

Dec 11 (CT) The 2014 Budget that is commonly referred to as 'an anti-people and casino-friendly budget' holds very little for the common man who had elected this govt to power. Instead, a whole heap of new burdens are being cast on the people who are already suffering under the weight of a crushing cost of living which is spiralling, by the day. Adding insult to injury, the budget had provided enormous tax exemptions to the high-end, one per cent of the population, who were anyway more..

Lanka Phosphate Ltd gears to break imported fertiliser monopoly

Dec 11 (Island) Lanka Phosphate Limited (LPL) would break the imported fertiliser monopoly by increasing its output through worker friendly management, to provide fertiliser to farmers at an affordable price, LPL, Chairman, Jaliya Kulasekara said. He said that the Eppawala phosphates deposit weighed more than 60 million MT. However, only two percent of the resource had so far been utilised. Its quality was the world’s best as it was totally free of arsenic, Kulasekara said more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

Dec 11 (LBO) Stocks closed greener Wednesday with diversified stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 9.29 points higher at 5,787.81, up 0.16%. The S&P SL20 closed 5.65 points higher at 3,182.27, up 0.18%. Turnover was 180.07 million rupees, down from 425.87 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 95 firms closing in the red against 63 gainers. Commercial Bank closed 50 cents lower at 117.00 rupees with market transactions of 41.62 million rupees more..

Good governance: In crisis

Dec 11 (CT) ‘Good Governance’ is respect and adherence to the basic law of the country, the constitution of the country. Our constitution envisages a democratic form of govt and the basic structure of our constitution is governance based on democratic values. Democracy entails: The right to elect your rulers at free and fair election held from time to time; Rule of Law; Independence of the Judiciary; Respect for human rights; Separation of powers with checks and balances. more..

Sri Lanka president leaves South Africa for Kenya to boost ties

Dec 11 (Xinhua) President will leave for Kenya on Wednesday for a four-day official visit after attending the memorial services for the late South African President Nelson Mandela. President Rajapaksa, who participated in the State Memorial Service for Mandela that took place in Johannesburg Tuesday, will go to Pretoria on Wednesday to pay homage to Mandela's remains that are lying in state at the Union Buildings. more..

Pirivena teachers to enjoy benefits given to Govt. school teachers

Dec 11 (Island) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the Pirivena Act would be amended to enable the piriven a teachers to enjoy the same privileges as their government counterparts. The minister said that school teachers were entitled to certain privileges including free train passes and the existing laws in the Pirivena Act had to be changed to provide those benefits to the Pirivena teachers, as promised in the Budget 2014. more..

Monk will divulge infoabout extortionists only to MR, GR and IGP

Dec 11 (Island) Ven. Uvatenne Sumana Thera told The Island yesterday that he was prepared to make a statement about extortionists operation in Pettah direct to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon. Although two teams of police officers visited to take down his statement he told them that he would bring it to the notice of the Head of State, before making a statement to the police. more..

Sri Lanka's banks urged to raise assets to 78 bln USD by 2016

Dec 11 (Xinhua) Central bank set an asset accumulation target of 78 billion U.S. dollars by 2016 for domestic banks, calling on them to increase their international presence. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal told a banking director's symposium that there were too many small banks and finance companies in Sri Lanka and that it was time for larger companies to be formed as Sri Lanka is heading towards a more..

Police issues guidelines for Sri Pada season

Dec 11 (DM) The Police today introduced a special set of guidelines for devotees who go on Sri Pada pilgrimage which starts on December 16. The police said that they expected a large number of local and foreign devotees and observers during the pilgrim season that begins with the Full Moon Poya Day of December and ends on 2014 May Full Moon Poya Day. Alcohol has been restricted. Police requested that pilgrims, including drivers of their vehicles, not to use liquor, to behave well and more..

Bahu wants Lion flag changed

Dec 11 (CG) Nawa Sama Samaja Party leader Wickramabahu Karunaratne has called for the National flag of Sri Lanka to be changed. Karunaratne said that the Lion symbol must be replaced as it does not suite the country. He said that instead there should be a farmer or another symbol which reflects Sri Lanka. Northern Provincial Council Minister P. Ingaranesan had recently decided to snub the National flag saying it does not represent the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. more..

Pakistan Navy chief to arrive in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (PTI) Close on the heels of a visit by the Indian Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi, Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow. During his four-day visit, Sandila will hold discussions on bilateral cooperation with his counterpart Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. He will also hold talks with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and pay courtesy calls more..

Rudra back as TGTE leader

Dec 11 (CG) Former LTTE peace negotiator V. Rudrakumaran has been selected once again to head the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), a group consisting of mainly Tamil Diaspora members who are campaigning against the Sri Lankan govt. A statement by the TGTE said that its second self proclaimed parliament was inaugurated recently in New Jersey where the newly elected 112 TGTE MPs met. During this session, Rudrakumaran was elected as their PM. more..

Colombo Transport Master Plan on drawing boards

Dec 11 (Island) The integration of urban development with urban transport system would help ease congestion in Colombo metropolitan areas, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. He said the formulation of the master plan had been initiated by the Transport Ministry with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the ‘Urban Transport Development Project for Colombo Metropolitan Region and Suburbs’. The output of the technical cooperation project more..

Lanka Navy detains over 300 fishermen, 100 still in custody

Dec 11 (PTI) The Sri Lankan navy today detained as many as 327 Indian fishermen when they were fishing in the Palk Strait, and later released 227 of them, officials said. The 100 fishermen in custody have been taken to Trincomallee, Inspector of 'Q' branch of Tamil Nadu police Kennedy and Rameswaram fishermen's association president Emirit said. The fishermen, hailing from Karaikal, Nagapattinam more..

CPC defaults on payments to bowser owners

Dec 11 (Island) The private fuel bowser owners’ association has decided to resort to legal action if outstanding transport bills are not settled by the CPC by December 25. The Petroleum Corporation is said to owe them as much as Rs. 80 million in unpaid transport charges. Following the last fuel price hikes on Feb 11, the Petroleum Industries Minister, at a discussion with the private bowser owners promised to speed up their transportation payments for the months of more..

Navy built Patrol Craft to Coast Guard

Dec 11 (MoD) Two Inshore Patrol Craft (IPCs) built by the Sri Lanka Navy were handed over to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) at a function held at the Port of Colombo on Tuesday. The craft, built at the Navy's boat building facility at Welisara under its Inshore Patrol Craft Construction Project costs approximately Rs 24.4 million each. The two new IPCs will sail under the Pennant Numbers CG 19 and CG 22, and is expected to augment the operational capability of the Coast Guard. more..

Video: Anti-govt sentiments growing due to anti-people policies - Gayantha

Dec 11 (AD) An anti-govt sentiment is building up within the public due to the anti-people policies employed by the govt, UNP Spokesman MP Gayantha Karunathilaka stated. He said that even though govt Ministers and MPs do not have the back bone to go against the govt, a few Pradeshiya Sabha politicians have shown that they aren’t afraid to do so. Speaking about the recently delivered budget for 2014, he said that more..

New SLS Certification for vegetarian products

Dec 11 (CT) A new SLS certification system to identify 100% vegetarian foods was introduced by the Ministry of Technology and Research this evening. The certification, which will be known as SLS 1460, will be made available for food outlets, producers and for the final products. "People and companies who wish to obtain certification will have to follow certain rules and regulations. It will be issued under three categories: for lacto products –dairy related products, more..

Even exchange on sports health units

Dec 11 (Island) The Govt had failed to start Sports Health Units in base hospitals even though it had been promised in the Mahinda Chintana Idiri Dekma Manifesto some four years ago, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa told Parliament. He said that there were 60 base hospitals in the country and each of them had been promised a sports health unit. He added that some deaths reported in the recent pastm where schoolchildren had died following injuries sustained during sports events more..