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Removing bus horns may cause more accidents

Dec 3 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) yesterday warned that road accidents caused by private buses will increase with the police taking action to remove horns in private buses. LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijeratne, told Ceylon Today that police officers are engaged in removing horns from private buses in order to reduce noise pollution, and said this course of action does not bode well, given the prevailing transport system in the country. more..

Aluthgamage flays NOC Chairman

Dec 3 (Island) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday lashed out at the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Chairman. Minister Aluthgamage told Parliament that the NOC chief was trying to go before the international forums challenging an Act passed in the Sri Lankan Parliament. He questioned his right to do that, just because he was a former ministerial and prime ministerial secretary. more..

Lucrative green gram harvest

Dec 3 (CT) In the past, for nearly four months after the Yala season, Ambakolawewa farms were left unattended, making the land a 'haven' for wild plants and weeds to grow in abundance until the farmers commenced work on paddy cultivation for the next season. This year, the Agriculture Department, Irrigation Department and the Ambanpola Divisional Secretariat, had jointly organized a project to encourage farmers to cultivate green gram as a subsidiary crop in the interim period. more..

PM backs Budget boost for dogs!

Dec 3 (FT) PM D.M. Jayaratne justified the 2014 Budget support for dogs via low duty imported pet food. “It is good to be able to treat the dogs in Sri Lanka by reducing the tax on imported pet food. The dog is an important animal to us. It helps us to catch thieves and to curb crime. Recently an intruder at the former PM Dudley Senanayake’s house was bitten by a horse raised. He would have been bitten more if it was a dog! The Police force use sniffer dogs and spend a lot on their welfare. more..

A poignant farewell

Dec 3 (CT) Veteran educationist R.I.T. Alles bade farewell last evening amidst a mournful gathering of past and present students, friends, relatives and acquaintances from all walks of life. Students of D.S. Senanayake College, which he founded four decades ago and served during much of his life, and Gateway International School, another brainchild of his, led the funeral procession which travelled from more..

Coconut revenue to top Rs 50 b

Dec 3 (DN) The projected total coconut revenue in Sri Lanka is anticipated to reach a statistical figure of Rs. 50 billion with a total consumption of nearly 2600 million nuts by the end of this year, Chairman of the Coconut Development Authority (CDA), Anura Gunawardena said. There had been a drop in the production of coconut and hence there had been a decline in kernel related productions in the market. The production of mattress fibre, twisted fibre and coconut shell charcoal were recorded as low, more..

More heavy rain expected

Dec 3 (CG) A low pressure in the Bay of Bengal will spin near Sri Lanka and southeastern India this week, bringing rounds of heavy rain to the island. meteorologist have been monitoring this storm’s development over the past few days. There is still a low chance that this system could develop into an organized tropical cyclone. However, even without strengthening this storm will bring heavy rains for Sri Lanka through Thursday. The nearly unmoving storm will bring more..

Vehicle registrations down 23% Jan-Sep

Dec 3 (Island) The total number of vehicles registered during the nine months ending Sept 30, declined 23% to 244,361 from 316,820 in the same period last year. Import of vehicles also fell 20% to 235,434 from 292,512 last year. During the period under review the new bus registrations fell 49% to 1,341 from 2,645 a year ago, while import of buses dropped 67% to 1,073 from 2,812. Motor car registration dropped 24% to 20,450 more..

PM says no objection to Singh visiting Jaffna

Dec 3 (CT) PM D.M. Jayaratne, said he had no objection to Indian Premier, Dr. Manmohan Singh, visiting Jaffna on a personal invitation of the Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran. "It will be good if he visits Jaffna so that he can see the vast development that had taken place in the Peninsula in post-war Sri Lanka, he said. The PM's comments came as a response to questions raised by Ceylon Today, as to what the reaction of the govt was to the arrival of the Indian PM in Jaffna, more..

Illuktenne FBOPF.SP reaches milestone sells for Rs. 1000. per kilo

Dec 3 (Island) Illuktenne Estate located deep in the Deraniyagala hills sold an FBOPF SP (Inv 368) the metaphor for Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings Special, for Rs. 1000. per kilo. Manager Tea John Keells PLC, Sanjay Karunaratne, said it was an exceptional Tea and deserved the price paid. Classic Tea, the shipper who bought the line was not available for comment. John Keells are Brokers for this mark. Illuktenne Estate is managed by Bogowantalawa Plantations ltd., more..

First SAARC Archives Conference begins in Colombo today

Dec 3 (DN) SAARC International Conference on Development of Archives in South Asia organised by SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Department of National Archives will be held in Colombo from today to Dec 5 at the Department of National Archives. SAARC Cultural Centre Director G.L.W. Samarasinghe said the preservation of archives is very important as they awaken the history of a country. more..

Nonis refuses to participate in discussion on Sri Lanka's Unfinished War

Dec 3 (CT) SL High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis, refused an invitation to participate in the panel discussion which the producer of the documentary Sri Lanka's Unfinished War, Frances Harrison, producer of the No Fire Zone documentaries, Callum Macrae, and policy and advocacy manager at Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats, took part. The panel was chaired by a barrister at a London chamber who acted as the rapporteur to investigate the impeachment more..

In a fortnight Govt. ups 2014 Budget’s debt ceiling by Rs. 178 b

Dec 3 (FT) The Govt increased the debt ceiling by an additional Rs. 178 billion from Rs. 1,100 billion mentioned in the Budget speech, to Rs. 1,278 billion, by presenting a List of Proposed Alterations in the Legends of Draft Estimates 2014 yesterday at Parliament when the eighth allotted day of the Appropriation Bill (2014) – ‘Committee Stage Debate’ took off on Ministries and other institutions under the President. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti joining the debate expressed his concerns more..

Despite strains, India, Sri Lanka deepen naval ties

Dec 3 (Hindu) India and Sri Lanka have agreed to a slew of naval cooperation measures to target pirates and terrorist groups operating in the Indian ocean. The measures were discussed at an unpublicised meeting between Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on Thursday. The meeting, as well as separate dialogues with Indian naval more..

Unified contract to protect women migrant workers

Dec 3 (DN) Introducing a unified contract to protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers, a category particularly vulnerable to various forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse, will be the main focus when labour sending countries of the Asian region and labour receiving countries in the Gulf region meet for an international dialogue in Colombo today. This would be discussed at the two day Asia-Gulf states Regional Dialogue on Standard Terms of Employment for Migrant Workers, more..

Traders warn of drastic price increases

Dec 3 (Island) Prices of several food items, toiletries, clothing and hardware items will increase in prices in the near future due to new taxes imposed on them in the 2014 budget. A group of traders said that food items including dhal, sprats, canned fish, dairy products, chicken, beef etc would go up in price. Prices of edible oils, coffee, tea, vinegar, bakery products, cut flowers, cement and paints, too, would go up, they said, noting that the turnover tax on supermarkets extended from those earning more..

All Ceylinco assets ordered sold

Dec 3 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the remaining assets and shares, including foreign assets of the defunct Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Ceylinco Group sold and the proceeds credited to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by a Court directive to repay the deposit holders who lost their deposits with the collapse of the Golden Key Credit Card Company an entity of the Ceylinco Group. more..

What happened to plantation workers’ EPF deductions, asks Sajith

Dec 3 (Island) In the wake of the Cabinet approving the felling of nearly 70,000 trees, on govt owned plantations, to pay the statutory dues of employees, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa demanded an inquiry into the disappearance of monies deducted from the salaries of those employees. He said that the govt was planning to fell commercially planted trees to pay the EPF and Employees Trust Fund (ETF) dues and gratuity payments of employees in state owned plantation companies. more..

DEW asks Speaker to replace negligent members of COPE

Dec 3 (FT) Head of COPE, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera has requested the Speaker to consider the appointment of new members to the Committee in place of some members with low attendance. Gunasekera has in writing explained to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa that some of the existing members in the COPE have recorded an attendance of less than five percent at the Committee meetings. Senior Minister had attached a copy of the attendance record of COPE members for more..

CHOGM boycott: Sri Lanka laughs off Chidambaram’s claim of Singh’s motive

Dec 3 (Island) The govt said that Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s claim that Premier Dr. Manmohan’s boycott of CHOGM was meant to shock President Rajapaksa was nothing but a ‘silly attempt’ to woo voters and appease those still propagating separatist sentiments in Sri Lanka. Minister Chidambaram was speaking at a meeting in Chennai on Saturday. A senior govt spokesperson said that more..

'No country can develop with local funds only': Minister Nimal Siripala

Dec 3 (DN) The World Bank and foreign countries give loans to Sri Lanka because the country is capable of paying them back. No country is capable of developing by utilising capital and funds from the Treasury alone, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Addressing the gathering at the opening of the Bandarawela Ambagasdowa drinking water project, Minister de Silva said developed countries have taken more loans than Sri Lanka. more..

No cost estimate yet for BMICH fire

Dec 3 (CT) The cost of the damage due to the fire at the makeshift media centre that was put up for CHOGM at the BMICH on 30 Nov, had not been estimated as yet. Financial Administration Manager of the BMICH, Jayantha Ratnayake said, "We have called in our engineers to estimate the cost of the damage but that is going to take time; we cannot give an estimate right now. All equipment brought for the media centre during CHOGM was removed so it was mostly the inventors' exhibits more..

JVP questions PM on heroin import letter

Dec 3 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in Parliament, demanded to know from the govt what action had been taken with regard to a person who had sent a request to the Customs, from the PM’s office, to release a container load of heroin imported to the country from Karachi. The stock of heroin worth around Rs. 2,600 million was considered the biggest detection of narcotics in the South Asian region, more..

Felling of trees to pay EPF, ETF

Dec 3 (DM) It was worrisome to read the news item that the Cabinet had approved a proposal by Minister Dayasritha Tissera to cut down trees in state-owned plantations and sell the timber to pay statutory dues such as EPF, ETF and gratuity payments to the employees of those plantations. This reminds us of the incidence in many villages where farmers who fall into debt to the village grocery seller due to poor seasonal harvest, resorting to cut valuable trees in their more..

Lessons Learnt at C'wealth forum

Dec 3 (DM) A sigh of relief - CHOGM is mercifully over– but watch for the fallout. Whether a supporter or detractor: unconcerned or uncommitted: that is immaterial- it is the aftermath that matters. Did we accelerate the process Navi Pillay is trying to initiate at Geneva 2014 in taking our troops before an international inquiry on accountability? Did CHOGM provide a stage for the local/foreign hatemongers to perform to discredit the national image? Did Sri Lanka display to the dignitaries, more..

'CHOGM converted itself into a cheap holiday on govt money'

Dec 3 (DM) The UNP MP Ravi Karunananayake, recently spoke to Daily Mirror expressing his views on the budget discussions, the aftermath of CHOGM and the current political and economical situation of the country. Karunanayake who has been a MP for 19 years was also the former Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This is the continuation of the interview which was published on Nov 21. more..

CEB refuses to reduce tariffs despite heavy rains

Dec 3 (Island) The CEB will neither push for an electricity tariff hike nor waive off the Fuel Adjustment Charge (FAC), though it had earlier planned to give the benefit of increased hydro power generation to the consumers before the year end. A Power and Energy Ministry official said that there wouldn’t be any changes in the tariff structure for the next six months. The Island learns that the govt can now easily do way with the FAC. more..

LARCs to decide on land acquisition compensation

Dec 3 (ST) The Govt has reintroduced Land Acquisition and Re-settlement Committees (LARCs) to decide compensation for those losing private property in 18 major road-widening and construction projects. In regulations passed this month, the Land Ministry has laid down criteria for payments to property owners and tenants, to proprietors of businesses and even to encroachers. Those who object to the amount of indemnity more..

India should revoke offer to train Lankan naval officials: DMK

Dec 3 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today demanded that India revoke its offer to train Sri Lankan naval officials and said the act raised doubts if the Centre was going easy on some issues to retain its neutral character worldwide. "Despite promises by the Centre to assist our demands, some have doubts whether the Centre is easy on certain issues only to retain its neutral character among countries world over," more..

National carrier loss balloons to Rs. 21.7 bn

Dec 3 (Island) The net loss recorded by SriLankan for the year 2012/13, has been estimated at Rs. 21,740 million, according to a document tabled by Minister Priyankara Jayaratne in Parliament. The document tabled in response to a query raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that only the SriLankan Catering had earned a profit of Rs. 1,798 million last year. In 2011 it had earned revenue of Rs. 1,421.50 million and more..

Legal gaps prevent action against rape

Dec 3 (SL) Sri Lanka continues to encourage a culture of impunity due to the lack of law enforcement with reference to sexual abuse and violence against women. Reported incidents of rape have increased drastically over the last few years in the country whereas the number of silent victims is not known. In 2011, Khuram Shaikh, a British citizen was killed and his Russian girl friend was gang-raped by eight men in a Tangalle hotel. more..

Another suspect of Kamburupitiya murders dead

Dec 3 (AD) Chinthaka Wasantha the main suspect of the murder of a police constable and his wife in Kamburupitiya died due to a confrontation with STF at Nigala last night. Police claimed that when the STF had surrounded the suspect in Nigala last night the suspect opened fire at them and died in the shootout. This is the fourth suspect in the Kamburupitiya murders to die before being produced in court. more..

'Govt. using judiciary to deprive people of their rights'

Dec 3 (Island) The Independence of the Judiciary was being eroded by the govt, which was coercing it into infringing on the fundamental rights of people, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday. MP Jayasuriya, participating in the committee stage debate on Budget 2014, said: "Decades of judicial experience and independent judgments have been destroyed. Even the lower courts are under tremendous pressure. more..

Sharma calls for accountability

Dec 3 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma says healing and enduring reconciliation will only come about when the truth is known about what happened in the past. He said this in a statement welcoming the move by the Govt of Sri Lanka to conduct a national census to determine the extent of the loss of life during the country’s 26-year old civil war. Sharma said the move will advance the process of more..

KSA demands probe into diplomat’s death

Dec 3 (AN) The body of the Saudi diplomat who was found dead inside a swimming pool in an apartment complex in Colombo on Sunday will be flown to Jeddah on Tuesday. 32-year-old Hussein Al-Heej was a diplomat who had been serving at the Saudi mission in Colombo for the past two and a half years. Al-Heej, who was working as an accountant at the Colombo mission, is survived by two children, Faisal, 4, and Aina, more..

Govt's distribution of income moot

Dec 3 (CT) In our front page yesterday, we quoted UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa, as saying the govt had doctored statistics on poverty. Premadasa's matter of contention was that even though President Rajapaksa had claimed in his budget speech that poverty had declined from 15.1% to 6.4% during the last six years, approximately 32% of Sri Lankan families are continuing to receive the Samurdhi subsidy. Premadasa also noted that the average monthly expenses of a family had soared more..

Traumatic brain injury among the Sri Lankan combat veterans

Dec 3 (CT) A significant number of SL soldiers sustained head injuries during the Eelam War that lasted from 1983 to 2009. These head injuries mainly occurred due to gunshot wounds, mortar blast injuries, grenade explosions and artillery blasts. Traumatic Brain Injuries increased High morbidity and mortality rates among the Sri Lankan combatants. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) had been one of the signature injuries of the Eelam War. Traumatic brain injury has short and long more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Karaoke bar bouncer killed by gang

Dec 3 (Island) Agroup of armed men stormed a Karaoke bar in Athurugiriya and hacked to death one of its security guards on Sunday night. The deceased was Samindu Cooray (21) of Rajagiriya. A senior police officer said four suspects had been arrested and among them was a driver of a ruling party MP. Police are looking for the other members of the gang. Investigations have revealed that the gang members had entered into an argument with the victim when they visited the place more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Dec 3 (LBO) Stocks closed lower with diversified and oil stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 0.98 points lower at 5,773.12, down 0.02%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.94 points lower at 3,160.94, down 0.16%. Turnover was 960.76 million rupees, up from 835.08 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 90 firms closing in the red against 77 gainers. Commercial Leasing and Finance closed 10 cents lower at 3.90 rupees with an off market transaction of 450 million rupees more..