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Hospitals countrywide hit by strike

Nov 2 (Island) Hospital services around the country were crippled with 25 service categories of health workers staging a token strike. Joint Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics (JC-NPSMP), Saman Jayasekara said that the strike staged over five demands including a Rs.10,000 disturbance, availability and transport allowance, had affected all hospital services. more..

'Govt. misleading people to give generous tax breaks to illegal Casinos'

Nov 2 (Island) The UNP accused the govt of misleading the people by giving the impression that it wanted to introduce a Casino Bill, when in fact it was an attempt to give generous tax breaks to illegal Casinos. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said that the Casino Regulation Act had been passed by Parliament in 2010. Accordingly, licences should have been issued before January 2012, but that had not been done. more..

Devananda alleges UPFA’s Northern strategy flawed

Nov 2 (Island) The leader of the EPDP Douglas Devananda, MP, claimed that the SLFP-led UPFA govt had to experience a heavy defeat, at the first ever NPC polls, for want of a cohesive political strategy. The ITAK-led five-party TNA had exploited the UPFA’s weaknesses to secure an impressive victory at the Sept. 21 polls, Jaffna District MP Devananda said. A disappointed Jaffna District MP was responding to a query by The Island, more..

Mr. Gotabaya, Take my two cents

Nov 2 (CT) Most of my friends ask me, “Jagath, what do you know about Sri Lanka? You have visited your own country only twice over the last 27 years; you do not know what is going on.” Well, I agree with them, partially. As you know, I do not have to be a fish in the ocean or drink from the ocean to know its flavor; all I need is just a drop. You are that drop. You lived in the US; you enjoyed and benefitted from all the freedoms—specially the Freedom of Speech and the Rule of Law—privileges, more..

Sri Lanka’s hungry and undernourished

Nov 2 (CT) Sri Lanka has been ranked at 43rd in the Global Hunger Index, a multidimensional statistical tool used to analyze the state of hunger in the developing world. That Sri Lanka was placed ahead of its South Asian counterparts – all of which, barring the Maldives, are experiencing an alarming rate of hunger – was viewed by local media and policy makers as a reason to crow about. However, those very statistics are not a cause for celebration. According to the Global Hunger Index more..

China to build modern OPD in Colombo

Nov 2 (ST) Govt is to award a Rs 27.9 billion contract to a stateowned Chinese company to build an ultramodern, fully equipped Out Patients Department or Ambulatory Care Centre for the National Hospital in Colombo. The move comes on a proposal made to the Ministry of Health by the China National Complete Plant Import and Export Corporation. The proposal has also been recommended by the Chinese Embassy more..

Susil wants more hydropower projects

Nov 2 (Island) In an effort to deal with the rising air pollution crisis facing the country, Minister Susil Premajayanth on Thursday noted the importance of moving ahead with more hydropower projects instead of installing coal or fossil fuel power plants. Addressing the Stakeholder Awareness Workshop on Enhancing Fuel Quality and Vehicle Emission Standards for Managing Air Quality in Sri Lanka, he said that the country should go ahead with more mini hydropower projects, more..

Rajitha requests fishermen to avoid violating IMBL

Nov 2 (DN) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne requested Sri Lankan fishermen to avoid violating the International Maritime Boundary Lines (IMBL) of India. He asked fishermen and vessel owners to refrain from going beyond the Sri Lankan Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for fishing. There are 87 Sri Lankan fishermen and 16 Sri Lankan fishing vessels in Indian custody due to violation of the Indian IMBL. These fishermen were arrested during the past two months and are now in the custody of the TN more..

WikiLeaks: Develop a casino regulatory scheme – US Treasury recommends

Nov 2 (CT) “A US Treasury team recently conducted an assessment of the Sri Lankan financial sector and concluded that there are weaknesses in the banking sector open to possible exploitation. The assessment concluded that drugs, human smuggling and corruption are the crimes that generate most money laundering problems in Sri Lanka.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The related leaked cable is more..

Tamil women: The government took our children during the civil war

Nov 2 (AN) "Our children and our husbands were taken by the govt security forces . Nobody else took them away, the military did. This is why we call them disappeared. President Mahinda Rajapaksa must bring them home". This is the appeal of 350 Tamil women from the north of Sri Lanka, who traveled to Raddolugama (south of the country ) on the 27th of October to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Day of the Disappeared, organized by the Families of Disappeared. more..

CPC holds up fuel supplies to Kerawalapitiya plant

Nov 2 (Island) Despite repeated requests by the Management of West Coast Power Pvt. Ltd., the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has failed to provide fresh stocks of fuel to its 300MW Kerawalapitiya plant, which has fuel left for only five days to meet urgent power needs. The Island reliably learns that the stock includes two-and-half-day treated fuel and two-and-half day untreated fuel. An official at the plant said that the situation was grave because they usually stepped in to fill shortfalls in power more..

Army says Channel 4 video fake

Nov 2 (CG) The army says the latest video on Sri Lanka released by Britain’s Channel 4 is fake and once again attempts to discredit the army ahead of an international event. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya insists the army never abused any LTTE member who surrendered to the troops during the final stages of the war. Video shows a group of soldiers surrounding a half naked Tamil lady identified as Isaipriya alias Shoba. more..

Four-man robber gang arrested

Nov 2 (Island) The police have arrested a four-man gang reponsible for robbing Rs. 7.5 million from a garment factory director, at Ekala in Ja-Ela, early this year. A few days after being robbed by the gang the director died of a heart attack. The victim had withdrawn the money from bank to meet the expenses of his daughter’s wedding. The gang robbed him at the factory gate as he was returning from the bank. According to information divulged by the gang, now in police custody, more..

MR stops Valikamam land grab

Nov 2 (CG) President Rajapaksa, following talks he had with TNA leader R. Sampanthan over the telephone, has ordered the army to stop destroying homes on a disputed land in Valikamam North in Jaffna. The ‘Uthayan’ quoted Sampanthan as saying he had spoken to the President and raised concerns over the issue. Later President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga had telephoned Sampanthan and assured him that the President had ordered an immediate suspension of the army work more..

Chidambaram, Karunanidhi discuss CHOGM

Nov 2 (CG) Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram met DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi in Chennai today to discuss the issue over the CHOGM. Chidambaram said a final decision is yet to be taken on PM Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit Sri Lanka to participate in CHOGM. Talking to reporters in Chennai after meeting the DMK chief, Chidambaram said the subject is still under discussion, ANI reported. “A final decision yet to be taken, more..

Audio: Hameem puts Mayor on notice

Nov 2 (CG) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem has put the Kalmunai Mayor Shiraz Meerasahib on notice saying he needs to step down or will not be recognized by the party in the Kalmunai Municipal Council. Hakeem said that Meerasahib had promised the party and SLMC supporters that he will hold on to the post for only two years. The two year term ends today and as a result the party has decided that the Mayor must not be recognized for his post in the Council. more..

Miliband calls for probe on Lanka

Nov 2 (CG) Britain’s Labour Party leader Ed Miliband MP, has called for an international, independent inquiry into allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity were perpetrated during the war in Sri Lanka in 2009. He had said this when he met members of the British Tamils Forum (BTF) to discuss the UK’s participation in the upcoming CHOGM, which is due to take place in Sri Lanka later this month. The delegates encouraged the Labour Party to continue its tough stance more..

RS.100 Bn facelift for 25 cities

Nov 2 (DM) The Govt will spend a massive Rs.100 billion to develop and renovate 25 main cities in the country during the next five years under the Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP), a source said. He said the proposed SCDP will be implemented by the Defence and Urban Development Ministry. President Rajapaksa expects to obtain US$200 million (Rs.26 billion) from the World Bank to develop Galle and Kandy more..

Lalkantha JVP’s WPC CM candidate

Nov 2 (Island) JVP has decided to field its veteran trade union leader cum former Minister, K.D. Lalkantha, as its Chief Ministerial candidate at the forthcoming Western Provincial Council polls. The party’s propaganda secretary, MP Vijitha Herath, told The Island that party had taken that decision in view of the importance of the WPC polls. Lalkantha is the trade union wing leader of the party and holds the position of General Secretary of the Socialist Workers’ Union and is a politburo member. more..

SL A take series 5-1, after final match is rained off

Nov 2 (CI) Sri Lanka A took a 5-1 lead in the Twenty20 series against Kenya, on the final day in Colombo, as they chased down Kenya's 131 for 6 with five wickets in hand and four balls remaining. Upul Tharanga provided the platform for the chase with a 45-ball 48, before the middle order completed the victory, despite losing quick wickets. Irfan Karim had set up Kenya's total with an unbeaten 53 off 55 balls, after the top three had failed. Karim and captain Collins Obuya put more..

IUSF attempts to educate govt, private sectors on privatisation of education

Nov 2 (Island) The IUSF on Thursday Launched an awareness campaign for employees of govt and private sector institutions about what they called the govt’s attempts to privatise education. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that they launched the campaign from the National Hospital, where they distributed leaflets and a special newspaper called ‘Sisu Handa’ (The voice of students). Bandara said they were planning more..

NCPA to create sex offenders’ database

Nov 2 (DM) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said that it was making arrangements to create a data base with the names of offenders accused of sexual harassment. “Once a court convicts someone guilty of sexual abuse, his/her name will be added to a data base maintained by the NCPA,” its Director Anoma Dissanayake said. If a reasonable request is made to look for the background of a person, the NCPA will provide access to look into the name of the person more..

Vietnam seeks more business with SL

Nov 2 (LBO) A delegation of 15 Vietnamese companies is visiting Sri Lanka this month seeking local partners and agents, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. There will be business to business meeting on Nov 18. The firms represent makers of machinery such as rice reapers, milling equipment, paddy seekers, power tillers, mist dusters, huller heads, water pumps, generators, Diesel and gasoline engines, industrial fans and and conveyor belts are in the delegation. more..

Sri Lanka, India discuss maritime issues onboard INS Sukanya

Nov 2 (SLN) The 23rd International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between Sri Lanka and India was held onboard the Indian Naval Ship Sukanya at the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurai on 1st Nov. The Sri Lankan delegation consisted of Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard officials and was headed by Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral DMS Dissanayake. more..

Manipulation by Accounts Dept. deprives them of due rewards

Nov 2 (CT) The SLFP Union of Sri Lanka Customs, demanded that a committee be appointed to pay cash rewards given for performance, fairly, among the Customs officers. General Secretary of the union, W.M.R.P. Wijekoon, said Customs officers had not received these rewards for their performance, in the past four years. He noted that according to the Customs Ordinance, when people violated rules and regulations on imports and exports, the offenders are fined an amount, more..

'No objection to casinos'

Nov 2 (SM) Former JHU MP Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero says that he does not oppose the establishment of casinos in the country, citing Sri Lankans too should adjust according to the changes of the world. Speaking to 'Randiva' newspaper, the Thero has said that Sri Lankans cannot go solo while going ahead with the world. Therefore, I do not object to the establishment of casinos in the country after declaring them as off limits for all locals, the Thero has added. more..

FMM’s open appeal to CHOGM

Nov 2 (SM) The Free Media Movement has made open appeals to world leaders to ensure that the upcoming CHOGM be used to ensure that Commonwealth values on Freedom of Expression are respected in Sri Lanka. FMM makes the open appeals in the hope that the meeting will be an opportunity to re-emphasize importance the democratic governance and human rights including the freedom of expression rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Sinister campaigns will not deter Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (SO) When LTTE terrorism was at its peak and the country was gripped by the Tigers’ merciless terror attacks, barely anybody uttered a word against the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit. Thanks to the few friendly countries which stood by Sri Lanka to beat the Western conspiracies and help the country’s valiant Security Forces, Sri Lanka scored a first in eradicating terrorism. Ever since Sri Lanka won its relentless battle against terrorism, a few Western more..

The Sun may set on Commonwealth too!

Nov 3 (SL) Dean Acheson, Secretary of State to President Harry Truman, in the crumbling days of the British Empire (soon after World War II) remarked: Britain has lost an empire but not yet found a role. Six decades later, the British have strung together an assemblage of countries from North America, the Caribbean, across Africa and Asia to the Pacific which were once parts of the British Empire but is no longer of the imperial empire. They are sovereign and independent more..

'A white elephant turned into a pro-people institution'

Nov 3 (SO) There were times the Provincial Council system was considered a white elephant and played no significant role in local politics excepting during the election period. But the recently concluded provincial council elections proved otherwise. News of WPC elections in April being held next year is rife. We spoke to the Chief Minister of the WPC, Prasanna Ranathunga at Sravasthi in Colombo about the preparation more..

Prostituting media freedom

Nov 3 (NS) Media freedom, like all freedoms, is not something one can talk about in absolutist language. There are always caveats. There are always conditions. There are lines imposed and there are limits that come from within, the latter kind being two fold, those birthed by fear and those that are spawned by ideological or political preferences. For all the rhetoric about absolute freedom of expression and objectivity in reportage and comment, the truth is that more..

Look before you leap, casino ills run deep

Nov 3 (ST) The Govt has had second thoughts on the concessions it is to give to the prospective investors in casinos — euphemistically called ‘strategic investment projects’; but has not abandoned the bigger issue — the opening of big-time casinos. Voices of religious leaders opposing the setting up of casinos are muted now; the mainstream Opposition is so down and out that there’s hardly a squeak from it and the opposition from within the Govt is not being taken too seriously. more..

'Sri Lanka has nothing to hide and willing to engage with the world'

Nov 3 (SL) The Sunday Leader spoke with Udaya Gammanpila, Minister in the WPC, about perceived Indian interference in the affairs of the Sri Lankan state. He observed, “As we are a semi colony our struggle against India is in fact a liberation struggle. We are trying to come out of the Indian grip. Hence if we want to be a truly independent country we should be bold enough to defy India”. He also said that the decision of the SL govt to more..

Let’s be candid Cameron

Nov 3 (ST) My Dear David Cameron, I thought I must write to you because I heard that you will be visiting us after all, despite all those calls to boycott the Commonwealth Summit. I suppose you must be thinking that we should be grateful to you for your presence, but that is not what I wanted to write to you about. When chaps in your country were asking you why you wanted to travel to Sri Lanka when there was a call to boycott the summit, I heard you say that you wanted to more..

Unholy quest for the C’wealth grail

Nov 3 (ST) Come next week the Commonwealth road show will hit town and Heads of Governments will be dime a dozen on the streets of Colombo. Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will not be attending but, in her stead, her great, great grandmother Queen Victoria, re-moulded in alabaster, and her son Charles, resurgent in the flesh, will be present. Victoria’s revamped statute will be placed at the rear of the Colombo Museum facing the park which earlier carried more..

'India must ignore LTTE’s financial orphans'

Nov 3 (SL) Dr Subramanian Swamy is an Indian academician, politician, activist, economist, and a great supporter of Sri Lanka. He was a staunch opponent of the LTTE, while also being well known for his critical views against the govt of TN. He was elected MP five times between 1974 and 1999. He has twice represented the city of Mumbai North East during 1977 and 1980, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in Parliament. more..

Free Media Movement - Busted

Nov 3 (NS) Director Asia-Pacific Region of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Jacqui Park, shortly after being deported from Sri Lanka, has tweeted her sentiments thus: a) ‘Thanks to Aust FM Bishop for raising issue with SL FM. Thanks to Aust High Comm in SL too for crucial support,’ b) ‘Good to be home. It was wonderful to have so much support from Australian and SL colleagues,’ and c) Just transiting in Singapore and please to be on my way home with Jane. more..

Moving motions and breaking tradition

Nov 3 (NS) Now the Appropriation Bill has been presented to Parliament and those at the helm in the Finance Ministry who commenced the budget process in August this year now must be spending hours on preparing the proposals to be read by President Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister during the second sitting week of this month – to be exactly on Nov 21. The bill, to provide for the services of the financial year 2014 or in other words presenting spending limits or more..

'Sri Lanka Cricket in perspective'

Nov 3 (NS) Nishantha Ranatunga, secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket is not averse to criticism. Ever since he first came into the limelight as secretary of the interim committee headed by DS de Silva in 2011 he has been the target of a certain section of the media that has been gunning for him. But Ranatunga being the fighter he is has managed to survive the ordeal year after year and continues to hold onto one of the most prestigious more..

Freedom, impunity and aligned campaigns

Nov 3 (SL) Many who are appointed to positions of influence and some power, tend almost immediately to forget their remit, they also appear to have some difficulty in recognising the chain of command. Such appears to be the actions of the newly appointed Chief Minister in the Northern Province. Mr Wigneswaran is being accused by many in the North that he is more special envoy for relationships with Southern India than Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council. more..