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21 Tamil outfits demand bandh on Nov 12

Nov 8 (PTI) Twenty one pro-Tamil outfits pressing for India's non-participation in the November 15 CHOGM in Sri Lanka over the Lankan Tamils issue have demanded that the state government declare a bandh on November 12 to mount pressure on the Centre over taking part. The decision was taken after deliberations among various outfits, including Vaiko-led MDMK, May 17 Movement, TPDK and MMK. more..

'Country is progressing without any deviation from original plan'

Nov 8 (DM) The following is a speech by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a guest speaker at Business Today Top Twenty Five 2012-2013 awards ceremony. Let me start by congratulating the winners, the top companies of our country, who have contributed to our economy and continue to do so, showing excellence in their respective fields. I know it is not easy to reach the top and what is more difficult than reaching more..

Nearly 1,200 cancer patients without post-surgery treatment

Nov 8 (Island) Non-availability of radioactive Iodine at the Maharagama Cancer Institute has endangered the lives of around 1,200 patients, who have undergone thyroid cancer surgery. The GMOA accused the Medical Supplies Division of disrupting supplies of radioactive iodine. GMOA president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that due to the non-availability of radioactive Iodine, a patient with thyroid cancer who gets admitted more..

Explosives-laden Tiger lorry parked at army camp

Nov 8 (Island) On information divulged by a terrorist suspect arrested recently, the Police Terrorist Investigation Unit, on Monday, detected 13.5 kilos of C-4 type explosives and 36 detonators concealed in a lorry, abandoned at the Vavuniya Army camp since 2007. Following information received by the army, at the time that bombs was fitted to the lorry, it had been intercepted at the Vavuniya check point. On searching the vehicle, the army was able to more..

'Centre can’t remain silent on fishermen arrests'

Nov 8 (PTI) Slamming New Delhi’s “meek and passive approach” over the arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, TN govt has said the Centre cannot remain a “mute spectator” and asked to condemn the island navy’s action in the “strongest terms.” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in her letter to PM Manmohan Singh said that in spite of her repeated representations to him on this “critical livelihood issue of the fishermen of TN, more..

'Attend CHOGM'

Nov 8 (CT) The Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu Joseph, is urging Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, to attend the CHOGM, and visit the Northern Province including Mannar during his stay in the island, as India had also promoted the war, and therefore he should see for himself, the outcome of the war. "I want him to participate in the upcoming CHOGM and thereafter pay a courtesy visit to the Northern Province, and meet the Tamils. more..

Govt rejects IBAHRI claims

Nov 8 (CG) The External Affairs Ministry has categorically rejected claims that entry visas have been denied to a delegation of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), as alleged by IBAHRI in a press statement issued yesterday. “This is a gross misrepresentation of facts, and is an attempt to sully the image of Sri Lanka,” the External Affairs Ministry said. The Ministry noted that when visas were sought more..

Why our graduates are unmarketable

Nov 8 (CT) The Ministry of Higher Education recently admitted to a truth that every unemployed graduate, protesting in the streets knew. Sri Lanka has a problem finding jobs for its graduates. In fact, in a country which boasts of successfully bringing down the overall unemployment rate to 4.4% in the second quarter of this year, the percentage of the educated unemployed is a disconcerting 10.2%. The numbers are even more disturbing if you take the overall youth (15-29 years) unemployment rate, which more..

GMOA accuses nursing unions of attempt to oust midwives

Nov 8 (Island) The GMOA accused all nursing unions of attempting to absorb midwifery into the nursing curriculum. GMOA media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa pointed out that the profession of midwifery had been introduced to Sri Lanka before the nursing profession. But nurses’ trade unions were trying to absorb midwifery, into the nursing curriculum. He added that when the nurses take to midwifery, the midwives employed by the Health ministry would have to go home, more..

WikiLeaks: Wrap up ICRC operations – Gota sent a straightforward message

Nov 8 (CT) “Finally, de Maio said that ICRC had received a pretty straightforward message from DefMin Gotabaya Rajapaksa that it was time for ICRC to wrap up its operations in Sri Lanka. ICRC is a conflict organization according to Rajapaksa, and now that the conflict is over Sri Lanka sees ICRC as ‘a stain on the white page of the post-conflict period.’ the US Mission to UN informed Washington. Related leaked cable is from the WikiLeaks more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.3%

Nov 8 (LBO) Stocks fell for the fifth straight day with banking and diversified stocks losing ground amid foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 20.21 points lower at 5,850.26, down 0.34%. The S&P SL20 closed 11.21 points lower at 3,232.50, down 0.35%. Turnover was 1.63 billion rupees, up from 688.03 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 109 firms closing in the red against 62 gainers. Foreigners brought 309 million rupees worth shares while selling 1.18 billion rupees of shares. more..

Clear face helmet law in force from today

Nov 8 (Island) The police will from today enforce laws that require motorcycle riders and pillion riders to wear helmets, or helmets with visors that clearly show their faces. The law forbids the use of tinted visors or any other device that would hide the wearer’s identity. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the face of the rider or pillion rider should be seen clearly, as many crimes had been committed by those wearing unauthorised helmets which prevent them from being identified. more..

Law College Principal to relinquish post pending inquiry

Nov 8 (DM) The Sri Lanka Law College Principal Dr. W.D. Rodrigo has been asked to relinquish his position on December 31 until which time he would be on leave. The Council of Legal Education has appointed Nigel Hatch PC as acting principal. Dr. Rodrigo’s conduct is being probed by the Council, highly placed sources said. The conduct of the Principal had come into severe criticism when the Council of Legal education more..

Vehicle import racket cost Govt. billions in lost revenue

Nov 8 (CT) The General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Customs Trade Union Association, W.M.R.P. Wijekoon, has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, requesting him to launch an investigation into losses amounting to billions of rupees incurred by the government, due to an organized racket on the registration of vehicles after obtaining an endorsement by Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) that the consignment contains imported motorcycles. more..

Herath confident Manmohan Singh will attend CHOGM,others doubt it

Nov 8 (Island) Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath expressed confidence that Indian PM Manmohan Singh would attend the CHOGM in Colombo in next week, but some others close to the establishment, doubted it. Asked if the Indian PM had confirmed participation in the conference, he replied "I think he will come." When pointed out that as Media Ministry Secretary, he was in a position to speak with authority, Herath said, "I am here to talk about logistics, but I am confident more..

Plight of Sri Lanka's 'ghost' workers raises spectre of inequality and abuse

Nov 8 (Guardian) With mounting pressure for a boycott of the CHOGM in Colombo this month, there has been media focus on allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses committed by the Sri Lankan govt. But away from the headlines, the country's Domestic Workers Union (DWU) has been highlighting a more mundane, but important, violation. This month, the union will present the labour department with its third draft of the more..

A Greek tragedy in the Indian ocean?

Nov 8 (CT) The Commonwealth was the last sigh of the British Raj, the consolation price the British awarded themselves when they were forced to abandon their global political holdings. The Commonwealth is the superfluous memento of a once gigantic empire on which the sun could not set. This embodiment of imperial nostalgia never had much relevance on the international stage. The British need the Commonwealth for political and psychological reasons. more..

Ranil 'scoots' off to Europe

Nov 8 (CT) According to sources at the UNP Headquarters, Sirikotha, barely four days after the appointment of the Leadership Council, as well as Ranil Wickremesinghe being appointed as the National Leader, with the aim of revamping the party that has been in shambles, he had embarked on an extended tour of Europe yesterday night, leaving the 'ship' rudderless. Sources close to Wickremesinghe said he will be 'out of politics' for about four months. Wickremesinghe, who is expected to return more..

Sri Lankan students protest closing universities

Nov 8 (AP) About 2,000 Sri Lankan university students blocked traffic as they shouted slogans outside the capital's main railroad station Friday to protest a govt decision to close state universities during a summit of leaders from Commonwealth countries next week. University authorities announced Wednesday that a one-week vacation would be given to students during the CHOGM, which will be held Nov. 12-17 in Colombo, more..

Attendants want probe into colleague’s dengue death

Nov 8 (ST) A section of the staff of the Colombo National Hospital is calling for a full investigation into the death of one their colleauges whose request for leave had been turned down while suffering from dengue and died as a result. At least 40 staff members this week came to show their wrath when female attendant Deepika Karaliyedda (28) of ward 30 died of dengue after she was not approved leave when she made an application. Earlier this week they held a protest in front of the hospital. more..

Monk accused of abuse remanded

Nov 8 (ST) Vavuniya District Judge, V. Ramakamalan, ordered to keep Ven. Atambagaskada Kalyanatissa Thera, who was charged for abusing four children under the protection of Neth Sewana Children’s Home in Vavuniya, in remand till 19 November. The Judge also informed the police investigation unit to hand over four abused children to their parents and submit a probation report to the Court. Commenting on the incident, Chairperson of the NCPA, more..

Audio: UNP concerned over police transfer

Nov 8 (CG) The UNP has raised concerns over the transfer of 23 police officers attached to the organized crimes investigations unit. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that it seemed the transfer had a political hand. “The only offence committed by the 23 police officers, including the 4 inspectors of the organized crime detection division of the Police Headquarters is arresting the individuals engaged in an unlawful act and more..

SC orders re-instatement of acting Principal

Nov 8 (Island) The Supreme Court directed the Public Services Commission to immediately re-instate, in another school, the interdicted Acting Principal of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, Amara Sampath. The petitioner had complained to the Court that he had been interdicted without any reason by the Secretary to the Ministry of Education in July 2013. The petition said that money had been collected by the old boys of the school and deposited to the Old Boys’ Account. more..

Karunanidhi insists PM should not attend CHOGM

Nov 8 (PTI) As the Congress Core Group went into consultations to decide on the party's stand in the country participating in CHOGM, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi today stepped up pressure insisting that India should boycott the meet hosted by Colombo on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Karunanidhi responding to queries by reporters here expressed hope that PM Manmohan Singh would act as per his conscience. "PM has conscience. (It will be) enough if he acts according to that," more..

PM unlikely to go to Sri Lanka for Commonwealth meet: sources

Nov 8 (NDTV) PM Manmohan Singh is unlikely to visit Colombo for the CHOGM, bowing to pressure from TN politicians, including his own ministers, to boycott the event over Sri Lanka's alleged war crimes against Tamils. Sources said a govt representative may go to Sri Lanka for the Nov 15 meet instead of the PM, a proposal that had been backed by Minister P Chidambaram, who is a Congress MP from TN. more..

TISSL to hold its first conference at Lighthouse Hotel, Galle

Nov 8 (CT) The International Schools of Sri Lanka (TISSL), a collective of some of the finest international schools in Sri Lanka, will hold its first international conference from 8–10 Nov at the Lighthouse Hotel, Galle. The speakers at the three-day event will include internationally renowned educationists with a sound understanding of global educational trends and their applicability. The event will also provide an opportunity for participants to network with international schools around the more..

'Britain wants Indian PM to attend CHOGM'

Nov 8 (IBN) Even as the Centre remains undecided over whether to participate in the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, British High Commissioner to India James Bevan has said that his country wants India to participate in the meeting as it is an important player in the Commonwealth. Foreign Affairs Editor Suhasini Haidar Haidar, Bevan also conceded that British Prime Minister David Cameron will raise the issue of human right violations during his visit to the island nation. more..

Electricity cheaper soon?

Nov 8 (DM) With the govt toying with the idea of conducting polls for the Western, Southern and Uva Provincial Councils early next year, a downward power tariff revision is to be considered by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) - the authority that monitors the power sector in the country. PUCSL Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe said that the CEB would submit its final accounts for the first six more..

Magam Ruhunupura International Conference Hall declared open

Nov 8 (GDI) President Rajapaksa Thursday ceremonially declared open the Magam Ruhunupura International Conference Hall (MRICH) in Hambantota. MRICH constructed with assistance from South Korean govt in a 28 acre plot of land in Siribopura, Hambantota, is Sri Lanka's second international conference hall. The main hall has a seating capacity for 1,500 and the other three halls can cater to 260 guests each. The MRICH also has a vehicle park for 670 cars, 12 buses, and more..

Central bank seen keeping rates steady on Monday

Nov 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to keep its key monetary policy rates steady on Monday, a Reuters poll showed, after it surprisingly slashed them by 50 basis points last month to multiyear lows to stimulate economic growth. The central bank has lowered the key rates by 125 basis points since December along with several other easing monetary-policy measures including cutting commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio (SRR) by200 basis points with effect from July. more..

The centre wants to hold

Nov 8 (Economist) Tugging on a red curtain, the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, opened a gleaming new toll road late last month. The $290m motorway links Colombo’s airport to the capital, 26 kilometres (16 miles) away, and like so much in Sri Lanka these days, it is funded by China. Soon it will be whisking dignitaries to a summit of Commonwealth leaders, which Sri Lanka hosts this year, on November 15th-17th. more..

Prabhakaran's former PA sentenced

Nov 8 (CT) Thanabalasingham Lingadasan who was the private secretary cum personal assistant of the late leader LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was sentenced to two months rigorous imprisonment (RI) by the Colombo High Court Judge yesterday. The suspect who was produced before the Colombo High Court pleaded guilty to the charges submitted by the Attorney General (AG), Palitha Fernando. The AG had filed a case in the High Court against the suspect on charges of possessing more..

Green Sri Lanka Hotel promotes awareness among school children

Nov 8 (eTN) One of Green Globe’s Elite Members, the Bentota Beach Hotel in Bentota, Sri Lanka, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the seamless integration of sound environmental practices into all levels of the business for many years. This property stands out as an eco-friendly and ethical operation, and recently earned Green Globe re-certification. The Bentota Beach Hotel (BBH) is immersed with the local community, and responsibility activities are numerous. In line with their company pledge more..

CHOGM 2013: The view from Marlborough House

Nov 8 (Hindu) The Commonwealth Secretariat has not ignored the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, although the role and relevance of the Commonwealth goes much beyond it, said Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma. In an interview at the Commonwealth Secretariat headquarters at Marlborough House on the eve of his departure to Colombo to attend the CHOGM, Mr. Sharma said that more..

The UNP is redefining chaos

Nov 9 (CT) Chaos is defined in the following terms: "A condition or place of great disorder or confusion." Could anyone find a better description than the UNP of today for chaos? I don't think so. The UNP's recent experience in falling from the frying pan to the fire is continuing; in fact it is happening at an accelerated pace. Each time and instance the Party is confronted with a challenge, instead of treating these challenges as opportunities as all prudent humans do, it seems to consume those more..

Orphans of justice

Nov 9 (NS) These are the words that one would associate with prisoners, either outwardly or inwardly, but what we often forget is that they are first and foremost human. They are above all, someone else’s children, and very often, mothers and fathers themselves. This is where the child comes into the picture. Known as the “orphans of justice”, they are very often victimized and ostracized, for no fault of their own. Smaller children may blame themselves, becoming withdrawn more..

Chemical-based industries must be safeguarded

Nov 9 (SO) A number of chemical-based accidents and pollution to the environmental were reported recently. Accident at Rathupaswala which resulted in tragic deaths, the huge fire reported at a warehouse in Colombo port and the recent incident in Piliyandala where toxic gas discharged from a detergent manufacturing plant affected residents, reminds us of the need to give serious thought to chemical-based industries. more..

Dr Deepal Attanayake: From medicines to miracles

Nov 9 (NS) To a degree, the medical miracles of yesterday have become the miraculous advances of today. Previously unexplained situations are now seen clearly from a scientific standpoint. Call these medical miracles, acts of God or flukes. Regardless of the description you use, here are examples of situations that defy medical science The Karapitiya Hospital in Galle, although well-known for its many units, lacks equipment and facilities. This is not a situation unique to the Karapitiya Hospital, more..

Why Manmohan is not coming

Nov 9 (CT) Acouple of months back, during a discussion on South Asia held in Beijing, Khurshid Kasuri, the former Pakistani Foreign Minister during Gen. Pervez Musharraf's reign, had some tongue-in-the-cheek remarks on Indian foreign policy. He said New Delhi has been viewing it as the 'heir to the British Empire' in the subcontinent since the British Raj had left the region. Predictable enough, Cambridge educated Kasuri, an intellectual in his own right, like most other Pakistanis, more..

'Only WC members will remain in the UNP'

Nov 9 (CT) The United National Party has been losing elections since 1994, and the vote base of the Party is declining day by day. Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed individuals who are not popular among the masses to various positions, and that is why we started to voice our concerns in this regard, the National Organizer of the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF), Ven. Ulapone Sumangala Thera, said in an interview with Ceylon Newspapers. Excerpts: more..