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DPF to back TNA at Northern polls

June 27 (CT) The TNA and the DPF, met on Tuesday to discuss the govt's position on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, while confirming the understanding the DPF will extend its support to the TNA in the Northern Provincial Council elections. "When the last Local Govt elections were held in the North, we supported the TNA. Likewise, they supported us during the Local Govt elections in Colombo. We will of course form an alliance and support each other, but that does not mean more..

'Govt. firm on PSC'

June 27 (CT) The govt will proceed with the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, irrespective of the various issues that have cropped up regarding the composition of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). "We will be proceeding with the amendments to the 13th Amendment, irrespective of which political party represents the PSC," Chairman of the PSC Nimal Siripala de Silva, said. more..

Achala flies to Germany

June 27 (CT) University of Colombo Law student, Achala Priyadarshani, who lost her left arm several months ago following a medical mishap, flew to Germany today to undergo medical procedures to fix an artificial arm, at a cost of Rs 4.7 million provided by the President's Fund. A left-handed student, she sat for her final exam on Tuesday, and expectations are high that she will be able to write as well as carry out other tasks effectively after receiving the artificial arm. she confided that writing in English was more..

Buddhist University coming up in Kelaniya

June 27 (DN) The foundation laying ceremony of the Nagananda Interntional Buddhist University at Manelwatta Maha Viharaya in Kelaniya took place at the temple premises under the patronage of President of the Pure Lands Learning College Association, Australia Most Ven Master Chin Kung Thera. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake also participated. The university will be built at the temple premises at a cost of US$ 500 million. more..

Nawagaththegama incident: 'I don't even know the teacher'

June 27 (CT) Q: Tell us what actually happened in school that day? A: All what is being said about me are blatant lies. I request Minister Bandula Gunawardena and others to come for a debate on TV, and prove all accusations levelled against me as untrue. Q: Are you saying the alleged incident is not true? If so, how did this issue arise? A: Two weeks ago, I requested the Principal and the Vice Principal of Navodya Vidyalaya, more..

Listed company earning grow 3% to Rs. 51.3bn

June 27 (Island) Listed company earnings grew a marginal 3% year-on-year to Rs. 51.3 billion during the 2013 March quarter from Rs. 50 billion a year earlier and dipped 19% as against earnings amounting to Rs. 63.6 billion during the Dec 2012 quarter, an analysis of earnings of 277 companies listed on the CSE showed. The year-on-year decline of 3% growth reflected a dip in key sector earnings amidst 2013 first quarter GDP growth which stood at 6% in comparison to 8% for the first quarter more..

HNB raises $ 49 m long-term debt from overseas

June 27 (FT) Hatton National Bank recently signed an agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) to raise a long term loan of US$ 49 million. Acting CEO of HNB Jonathan Alles stated: “This is the second loan granted to HNB by CDB since 2012 and it demonstrates the confidence international banks have placed in us based on our strength and stability.” Alles added: “The funds raised will form a part of HNB’s long term funding plan and so far in this year, the bank has raised over more..

Sinhala Ravaya hands over petition to President against cattle slaughter

June 27 (FT) The Sinhala Ravaya organisation handed over a petition against cattle slaughter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday at the Temple Trees. The chairperson of the group Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero handed over the memorandum with five demands including the call for the ban of cattle slaughter in the country. The Sinhala Ravaya launched a campaign from Kiri Vehera in Kataragama to collect signatures more..

Vickramabahu warns of Indian invasion

June 27 (Island) The NUA urged the govt to take immediate steps to meet its promise to devolve power among Provincial Councils before there was an Indian invasion. Addressing the media under the banner, ‘Unite country With Power Sharing,’ Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council member, Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne said that the government would only be paving the way for a catastrophe by refusing to devolve power to the North-East Provincial Council. more..

Dubai to buy more tea from Sri Lanka

June 27 (SLBC) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the tea industry in Sri Lanka is being carried in an environmental friendly manner. Sri Lankan tea is the only tea that has been accepted by the Montréal Convention as Ozone friendly tea. He made these comments at a discussion held between the representatives of the Sri Lanka tea industry and the Dubai tea industry of the United Arab Emirates. The Minister said that in the future tea promotion programmes the factor of more..

No tourist visas for NGO activists

June 27 (Island) A NGO headquartered in Colombo, is under investigation for inviting South Indian women activists for projects in the northern and eastern districts as well as Puttalam. Security sources told The Island yesterday that on the invitation of an NGO called Viluthu, several activists, including Sharifa Khanam and Ester Devakumari had conducted programmes here in the recent past. more..

TNA to meet Leftist parties

June 27 (CG) The TNA is to meet Leftist political parties in the government to discuss about the 13th Amendment to the constitution. TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said that the Leftist govt members have already requested for a meeting with the TNA. He said that the TNA is giving due consideration to the request and is looking for a suitable date. The TNA MP said that similar talks had been held with the Leftist political parties in the government on a previous occasion as well. more..

Japanese company to expand Sri Lanka's Banana and Fishing industries

June 27 (MED) Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation will help further strengthen Japan-Sri Lanka trade ties under which investments are to be for expanding the island’s banana and tuna fishing industries and greater export opportunities will be provided for products. Kouhei Watanebe, Chairman, the Japan – Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Councial and advisor to ITOCHU corporation said this when he and the corporation’s representatives met Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Tuesday. more..

Distorting the truth about the lady teacher was forced to kneel down in public

June 27 (DBS) Brazen attempts are being made by vested interests to distort the truth about the incident where a Lady teacher was forced to kneel down in public by a UPFA Provincial councillor from the North western province. Although President Rajapaksa personally telephoned the lady teacher and promised that justice would be done it is reliably learnt that a systematic campaign is underway to intimidate potential witnesses into denying or more..

Human Rights Commission to amend its Act

June 27 (FT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to submit a draft of amendments to the Human Rights Commission Act before cabinet to empower the commission to file contempt of court cases before High Courts against public officers who did not comply with the commission’s recommendations. Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa said yesterday that the commission had given an opportunity for Civil Society Organisations to make their opinions more..

Monks to protest against 13A on 2 July

June 27 (CT) In an effort to exert pressure on the govt into abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the National Movement for the Abolition of Provincial Councils (NMAPC) has organized a massive rally in Maharagama on 2 July, which is expected to attract some 3,000-4,000 bhikkhus from all over the country. Ven. Rajawatte Vappa Thera, openly invited the Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya as well as members of the Maha Sangha to 'take to the streets' more..

'Agree or depart'

June 27 (CT) President addressing the Parliamentary Group of the SLFP yesterday, did not mince his words in warning those who are attempting to create rebel groups within the govt, against the govt. "Do not try to create a rebellion. If anybody is finding it difficult to stay with the govt, they may leave. Those who attempted to do so earlier were sent out from the Party before they could even think about rebelling," more..

'Ethics code for state media not free press'

June 27 (FT) The Govt is making direct and indirect moves to control the media, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said, denouncing the ruling party’s attempt to introduce a code of ethics for the media. Jayasuriya said that it is the Govt’s intent to control public opinion by keeping a tight rein on the country’s free press. “According to Laswell, media has three key responsibilities. Firstly it has to play the role of a watch dog, being vigilant about things taking place in the surroundings. more..

Kandy Hospital: Female workers claim to be rape victims, but refuse to give evidence

June 27 (Island) An official of the Kandy Teaching Hospital had raped several female labourers working under him but no action could be taken as the victims were too scared to give evidence against him. The Health Ministry’s investigation team had gone to the Kandy hospital to hold an inquiry, but no victim had come forward to give evidence for fear of reprisal and stigma. Kandy Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Gamini Dissanayaka, contacted for comment, said several labourers had more..

G.L. tells diplomats: PSC the place for changing constitutions

June 27 (DN) There is no substitute for a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to ‘resolve in a systematic and all-inclusive manner’ the issues relating to constitutional reform which are now the subject of vigorous debate in the country, Minister G.L. Peiris told Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Sri Lanka at a briefing yesterday. He noted that several Provincial Councils, political parties, academics and more..

Country’s balance of trade looms larger despite CB reasoning

June 27 (DM) It is evident that Sri Lanka needs to focus on significant improvements of her revenue sources. The country’s expenditure has been going up ever since the war was brought to an end disproportionate to the improvements in the income levels. The April external sector performance of the country showed export revenue dipping nearly 7% to US $ 697 million. On the contrary the import expenditure rose 5.7% to US $ 1.5 billion. The Central Bank attributed the dip in export more..

Blind Chauvinists leading the blind

June 27 (DM) Those parties, who made use of the Provincial Council (PC) system for 25 years, are now up in arms at the thought of Tamils in the Northern Province having an elected Council of their own, for the first time since Vartharajah was deposed by President Premadasa. These parties used these Councils to do services to their followers and build up their leaders. Some of these may not exist today if not for the devolution of power. The PC system helped them to enjoy power in the more..

'Majority of Sri Lankans still has a feudal mindset'

June 27 (DM) Starting his political career as a member of the Leftist movement, Minister Rajitha Senaratne has always cut a rebellious figure in Sri Lanka’s political arena. Despite being a Cabinet minister, his position against the move by the Govt to revise the 13th Amendment to the Constitution has caused ripples within the ruling coalition and the political arena. In a candid conversation, Minister reinforced more..

SAITM: Deceiving Students; Misleading Courts

June 27 (SL) Chairman of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Dr Neville Fernando, who is accused of deceiving students from its inception, has now come under criticism for misleading courts. He is accused of misleading the District Court of Kaduwela by stating that he got the Health Ministry approval for his private medical college although the Health Ministry has vehemently denied more..

Schools to the fore in waste management

June 27 (DN) The Environment and Renewable Energy Ministry launched a special solid waste management project in schools in Colombo to collect biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste separately. The project was inaugurated at Royal College, Colombo with the participation of Minister Susil Premajayantha. He said under this project, schoolchildren would be taught about proper waste disposal methods while directing more..

MR says APRC will be basis for PSC

June 27 (DM) The President during a meeting with the leaders of the leftist parties yesterday, had said the basis of the Parliamentary Select Committee process would be the recommendations of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) headed by Prof. Tissa Vitharana. The President had said this when making a presentation with regard to the 13th Amendment to the leaders of the leftist parties, with the more..

Botanical garden in North by December

June 27 (DN) The Botanical Garden and Public Recreation Ministry has planned to set up a Botanical Garden in the Northern Province by December given the large number of visitors to the region since the end of the terrorist war. Minister Jayaratna Herath said the garden would be established in a suitable land of about 100 acres or less. He instructed the officials to take preliminary measures to commence this project. more..

CAPCS demands abolishing of PCs ahead of Northern poll

June 27 (Island) The Collective for the Abolition of the Provincial Councils System (CAPCS) is demanding that the provincial councils system be done away with prior to the proposed election to the Northern Provincial Council. "What is needed is the devolution of administrative powers and not the devolution of political power. The provincial council system has failed to address this issue and as a result the entire country has more..

Provincial Councillor accused of punishing teacher granted bail

June 27 (AD) The North Western Provincial Councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara who was remanded for allegedly punishing a female teacher was granted bail today. The Councillor was arrested for allegedly punishing a school teacher and was remanded by Puttalam Magistrate’s Court. He was expelled from the SLFP and barred from contesting future polls and is expected to resign from the council. more..

President Begins 5-Day State Visit to Tanzania and Seychelles

June 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left Thursday morning on a five-day state visit to Tanzania and Seychelles. Not only will this be President Rajapaksa’s first visit to both countries, but it will also be the first visit of any Sri Lankan president. It is a part of President Rajapaksa’s vision of further strengthening South-South cooperation. President Rajapaksa is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with more..

Wedding without the groom!

June 27 (CT) What's been widely predicted seems to be coming true. The age-old tactic that many a Sri Lankan leader has resorted to, in appointing either a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) or an All Party Conference where the Sinhalese Buddhists enjoy an overwhelming majority has come to pass. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa last week informed Parliament a PSC has been appointed to study the contentious issues in the 13th Amendment and to make recommendations on the political and more..

Sri Lanka: Colours of change

June 27 (CT) ‘Colours of Change‘ is a retrospective of the photographer Stephen Champion’s work in Sri Lanka over the past 28 years. It is immediately clear that this exhibition is not the work of a shoot and run fly-by, but of an artist intensely dedicated to his muse, the island and its peoples, in all of its contradictions. In his own words, his long-standing relationship with Sri Lanka has taught him to “love the plastic as much as sea”. Champion’s work not only displays a great passion more..

Saffron marches and the Ides of September

June 27 (FT) Last Wednesday, police officials paid a visit to the beef stall at the Bambalapitiya Market on Galle Road. They had a polite warning for the beef vendors at the market. The Sinhala Ravaya and Ravana Balaya march would pass through the Galle Road in Colombo early next week, they said, and the best way to avoid unruly incidents was for the beef stalls to shut their doors on that day. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.6%

June 27 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.64% on Thursday, with the heavy index stocks showing gains, ending a week of losses. Colombo All Share Index closed 38.68 points higher at 6,111.36 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 12.85 points higher at 3,426.48 up 0.38%. Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees up from 2.2 million a day earlier. Foreigners brought 450 million rupees worth shares while selling 947 million rupees in a day that 131 stocks advanced and 47 stocks declined. more..

President should have been given Jagath Chamila’s award

June 27 (Island) NSSP Leader and Dehiwala Mt. Lavinia Municipal member, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne, yesterday accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa of pretending to be ignorant of the issues related to the 13th Amendment. Dr. Karunarathne said the President was acting even better than Jagath Chamila who was adjudged the best actor at the New York City Film Festival. Chamila had won that prestigious award by portraying the role of a foolish person. more..

'Sri Lanka rupee fall unnecessary, no cause for concern'

June 27 (LBO) A sharp weakening of the rupee against the US dollar was unnecessary and there was no cause for concern Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said as the rupee fell to one year lows. "There is no need for concern," Cabraal said. "Those who buy at high prices will get hurt." The Sri Lanka rupee fell little over one percent against the US dollar Thursday, the sharpest fall since June 2012 according to data more..

AG informs SC Cosmetics Bill in Parliament soon

June 27 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the draft bill, titled ‘Cosmetics, Natural Medicines and Drugs’ would be shortly presented to Parliament by the Minister of Health. Senior State Counsel Viveka Siriwardene, appeared for the Attorney General and the Minister of Health. Counsel Krishmal Warnasuriya appeared for the petitioner, the People’s Movement for Patients’ Rights. The petitioner, the People Movement for Patients’ Rights had more..

Mobility of differently abled in buildings under repair a must: SC

June 27 (ST) A new Supreme Court directive requires all state and private sector public buildings that are undergoing renovations comply with the accessibility regulations to facilitate people with restricted mobility. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Pieris and Justices Chandra Ekanayake and Justice Sathya Hettige after hearing the submissions by the accessibility activist Dr. Ajith Perera, made the direction to follow ‘accessibility regulations’ gazetted by the Secretary to the Ministry of more..

TNA input taken says G.L.

June 27 (CG) Minister G.L. Peiris says the views of the TNA has been taken into account when finalizing the terms of reference of the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to look into proposed constitutional reforms. The Committee will function in a time-bound manner and priorities and modalities regarding the work of the Committee will be discussed when it convenes on July 9 for the first time, the Minister said. more..

Thera castigates Karapitiya Hospital Chief

June 27 (CT) Galu Korale Chief Judicial Sangha Nayake, Ven. Dr. Baddegama Devarakkitha Thera said the govt should ensure an interference free environment in the country, for media personnel to perform their professional duties and obligations for the benefit of the public. The Thera was making a statement to the media over the alleged attempt by Director, Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Galle, Dr. Jayampathy Senanayake, to place journalist Sanjaya Wijeweera under police custody more..