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SLC may appoint an interim coach

Nov 24 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) may appoint an interim coach between the 2014 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup, as it awaits the retirement of three senior batsmen. The committee appointed to nominate the next coach proposed this measure, among others, because there is a train of thought that while assistant coach Marvan Atapattu is capable of coaching the side in the long term, he may not have full control of more..

BASL Clarifies

Nov 24 (SL) Referring to the news item headlined “CJ Says some lawyers too old”, published in The Sunday Leader last Sunday, Sanjaya Gamage, Secretary of the BASL has sent the following clarification: “This refers to the above-captioned news item, which appeared in The Sunday Leader on the 17th Nov and I kindly request you to publish this clarification with similar prominence given to the above news item. I wish to kindly inform you that the name of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka more..

Mannar Bishop concerned

Nov 24 (SL) The Bishop of Mannar Rayappu Joseph was scheduled to meet the DIG and the heads of the Army camps in Mannar yesterday to raise concerns over alleged intimidation of Tamils in the North. Bishop Joseph said that the House of a man identified as Sunesh in Mannar, an activist against disappearances, was visited by officers believed to be from the CID on Friday. “They had accused him of having campaigned against the Government recently in Jaffna. more..

Five Russian naval ships in Colombo

Nov 24 (SLN) Five Russian naval ships of the Pacific Fleet arrived at the Port of Colombo today for replenishment and crews’ relaxation. The ships were welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. The ships, Admiral Panteleyev, Peresvet, Admiral Nevelsky, Fotiy Krylov and Pechenga, are on their way from the Mediterranean to their home port in Vladivostok. Admiral Panteleyev is more..

Demarcating electoral boundaries: Elected local body members will zoom to 5,600

Nov 24 (Island) The implementation of the recommendations of the National Delimitation Committee (NDC) will eliminate spending of large amounts of money for campaigning and intra-party rivalry amongst candidates for preference votes, says Jayalath Ravi Dissanayake, the Committee’s Chairman. He said the five-member NDC deliberated over the oral and written representations made by political party leaders, their representatives in the government and opposition and more..

Conspiracy to destroy competitor supplying drugs to patients at lower prices — FOACH

Nov 24 (Island) Lashing out at the Health Ministry on its decision to "fast track issuing of licenses to purchase drugs", the Forum for Officers Against Corruption in Health (FOACH) says that it usually takes around six months to two years for the Ministry’s medical supplies and technology unit to register and issue a license for the importation, distribution and sale of a drug. "It is a long-drawn process as consultant specialists need to evaluate and submit recommendations more..

Chulananda refutes CH 4 ‘intimidation’ story

Nov 24 (NS) Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Chulananda Perera vehemently denied accusations made by journalists from Britain’s Channel 4 network that his officials had ‘intimidated’ them into leaving the country. Perera repeatedly stressed that he had sent a team from his department to the hotel the journalists were staying because he had received information that more..

Tamil diaspora confab behind Mauritius’ CHOGM boycott

Nov 24 (SO) Close on the heels of Mauritius’ decision to boycott CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka, an LTTE supportive diaspora conference had been organised at the behest of a key terrorist operative. An authoritative source said that the three-day conference titled “International Tamil Diaspora Solidarity Conference” was held from November 8-10 and allegedly LTTEer Perinpanayagam Sivaparan known as Nediyawan was behind it. The objective of the conference was to call for a more..

Trade Union hits out at budget

Nov 24 (SL) The National Electricity Consumers’ Movement (NECM) lashed out at the govt for not having granted any respite to the people in the budget, despite having made huge profits by the power and energy sector. Issuing a statement, the advisor to NECM Bandula Chandrasekara expressed regret that the govt had not granted any relief for the 2.5 million householders that pay exorbitant power bills in Thursday’s budget proposals. He said that the electricity bill more..

'Mapila couldn’t have got in on its own'

Nov 24 (DM) Mapila which was found inside the Opposition Leader’s office in the parliamentary complex on Budget Day may have been dumped there by someone intending to harm him, UNP MP Harin Fernando said. He told Parliament that sabotage was possible because a snake could not have got into the office without outside help. “Can a snake use a lift?” he asked govt members, who were heckling him. more..

Sri Lanka expand relations with Nigeria

Nov 24 (Island) Recognizing the importance of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Govt of Nigeria, a MOU on establishing a Mechanism for Strategic Dialogue was concluded last week on the sidelines of CHOGM 2013. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs and Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria signed the MOU on behalf of the two govts. Upon the signing of the MOU the two ministers assured the enhancement of the cooperation in diplomatic, political, more..

India would be better off engaging with SL

Nov 24 (CT) Who would have thought a neophyte Australian foreign minister could get policy right on Sri Lanka while India's prime minister scores yet another foreign policy own goal in his backyard? Julie Bishop rejected calls for Australia to boycott the CHOGM in Colombo on Nov 15, insisting that Sri Lanka's human rights record is better advanced by engagement than isolation. PM Tony Abbott duly attended. Manmohan Singh stayed away, joining Canada's Stephen Harper. more..

Renewed call to promote South-South cooperation in field of intellectual property

Nov 24 (IL) Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, SL's Permanent Representative to the UN and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged WIPO to take measures to promote South-South Cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property for Development. He said that “WIPO should act as a catalyst to increase triangular cooperation between developing countries and LDC’s, more..

'Northerners should express solidarity to govt'

Nov 24 (CT) Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan said the people of the North should come forward to develop their rural areas by expressing their solidarity to the govt. He said so while addressing an event where a consignment of building materials were handed over to 105 IDP families who have been resettled in Soodaikudah and Sampukalai villages in Trincomalee District’s Muttur East last week. Each IDP family who is resettled in either one of more..

Visa violators won’t be helped: FEB

Nov 24 (DM) The Foreign Employment Bureau said it was not responsible for the large number of Sri Lankans who are currently in custody in Malaysia on charges of having flouted their visa conditions. Many Sri Lankans are reported to have obtained tourist visas and travelled to Malaysia in search of employment. FEB Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya said the Bureau would not assist such people to secure their release. "They are flouting the law and we have received more..

Police to block LTTE events

Nov 24 (CG) Police say they will take stern action on anyone attempting to commemorate the birthday of slain LTTE leader V Prabakaran in the North this week. SSP Ajith Rohana said that as the LTTE is a banned terrorist outfit, legally there cannot be any demonstrations or events to commemorate the rebels. The birthday of Prabakaran falls on Nov 26 while every Nov 27th the LTTE commemorated ‘heroes day’ as more..

Tamil, Muslim ministers prevent Govt-NPC collaboration

Nov 24 (CT) Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, expressed confidence that very soon the govt will be pressurized by the people in the South to address the grievances of the people in the North and to expedite the process to find a political solution for the Tamil question. The Chief Minister was speaking at a reception at the Chavakachcheri Pradeshiya Sabha on Friday. Wigneswaran in his address said the NPC was established with the strength of the people. more..

'Budget completely ignored common masses'

Nov 24 (Island) The budget was a big disappointment as it offered no relief to the common masses burdened by the soaring cost of living and are struggling to eke out an existence, the leader of the Janasetha Permauna, Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana thera said. The budget has failed to do justice by the poor and suffering, who expected solace as keeping the wolf from the door has turned out to be a big battle amidst skyrocketing living costs, the prelate said in a statement more..

Jet to stop flights to Colombo from Chennai

Nov 24 (Hindu) Chennai-Colombo route, with which Jet Airways ventured overseas, is all set to be suspended by the airline. Jet had launched its international operations in 2004 with much fanfare on this route. Carrier will operate the last flight on the Chennai-Colombo route in the early hours of Jan 2, as per its latest schedule. “This move is part of our route rationalisation programme where the focus is on profitable routes”. more..

No more Travellers Cheques, says SLBA

Nov 24 (LBT) The issuance of travellers cheques (TCs) has been discontinued since last month on a directive to banks by the Sri Lanka Bankers’ Association (SLBA). According to the SLBA, the issuing TCs has been stopped as most banking transactions are paper-less in today’s world. According to SLBA, the Association had a meeting with the Central Bank about a month ago where the issue was discussed and it had been decided to do away with the TC option. It is also noted that more..

Several Ministers face bribery charges

Nov 24 (SM) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has received complaints against several ministers, 'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns through reliable sources. Probes over the complaints against Ministers Mervyn Silva, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Reginald Cooray have already commenced, with their recently acquired movable and immovable assets being probed into. Accordingly, investigations on Minister Silva's new three-storey house more..

No gold rush - Despite budget ‘relief’

Nov 24 (NS) With the Govt removing the surcharge on the import of gold and adjusting duties in last week’s budget, gold prices in the open market are expected to come down by 30%. However, the market is not likely to reflect this drop immediately, as jewellers in Colombo say that they cannot see a change in price occurring in the weeks to come. Therefore the message out there is – ‘don’t buy gold now’. more..

An appeal to the Bodu Bala Sena

Nov 25 (SL) Bhikkhu members of the Bodu Bala Sena stormed the office of the Ministry of Justice to hand over a letter demanding the revision of the existing laws to prevent violence and murder. The Bodu Bala Sena proposals have not been given publicity. I think that the BBS clergy should have behaved in a manner that did not bring disgrace to the Cheevaraya that they wear. Seeing the news on TV, the verse 158 of Dhammapada came to my mind which reads “One should first establish more..

One-legged start to 2013/14 season

Nov 25 (SL) WITH the historic change this year of the club rugby season to the November-March time span,from the old May to September duration, the hope was the new season might be given an auspicious start last week. After all, it was a poignant departure from dates that were set in the year in which the inter-club competition was born, in 1950; so it would’ve been the comforting, albeit superstitiously, to know that ghosts of the old season might not haunt the new. more..

The Budget before a Crisis

Nov 25 (Island) The 2014 Budget unveiled by the President is a Budget for everyone. It addresses infrastructure, health, education, business, banking, agriculture, fisheries, housing, pensions and anything and everything everyone wants. It is for this reason that it is confusing and difficult to criticise. What is the economic policy vision and strategy and what are the priorities in the Budget? This article analyses the 2014 Budget as more..

Will Vatican fall under the SL politics?

Nov 25 (CT) I don’t deny the fact that Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa met Pope Francis. But, the meeting did not take place as it was exaggerated in Sri Lankan media. You may know Pope Francis has attracted a lot of support from all around the world for his simplicity and his newness in his leadership. Thousands and thousands of people flock to see the Pope every Wednesday and Sunday. Every Wednesday, according to the long Papal tradition the Pope more..

There are no Pro-Tamil Sinhalese

Nov 25 (CT) Neville Jayaweera recently sent me his tribute to Adrian Wijemanne who died in July 2008 at the age of 81, and it serves as a kind of prolegomenon to what follows. Jayaweera takes note both of Wijemanne’s distinguished public career, and lauds him as a person who was “remarkably modest and devoid of ego, neither talking about himself nor ever deliberately seeking public profile or visibility”. He was one who lived modestly, “never accepting payment either more..

A timely Budget for every segment

Nov 25 (SO) A cross section of Ministers interviewed by the Sunday Observer said Budget 2014 was a comprehensive Budget which has covered every segment of society with farsighted vision. The Budget has taken into consideration practical issues and difficulties faced by the people in all sectors beginning from grassroot level. The Budget is timely and there is something for every segment of society. more..

Developmental and populist budget, but concerns remain

Nov 25 (ST) The 2014 Budget presented by President Rajapaksa has been described by some as a developmental budget, and by others as a populist budget. No doubt these were two of the defining themes in the budget presented on Thursday. The 2014 Budget contained an extensive list of proposals to develop agriculture, dairying, the rural economy and infrastructure, small and medium industry, women’s enterprises and projects to benefit a wide range of community interests. more..

Budget 2014 speech: The President’s sugar-coated pill sans healing powers

Nov 25 (ST) President Rajapaksa may have just donned the mantle of Chairman of the Commonwealth, but last Thursday, when he presented his Govt’s annual Budget to Parliament, in his capacity as Finance Minister, it was a far cry from the fanfare associated with the CHOGM held just days earlier. In fact, except for the lone voice of maverick MP Mervyn Silva who hailed the President as a victor, as he walked into the Chamber, the usual enthusiasm with which he is greeted more..

Unearthing a case of love, greed and murder

Nov 25 (ST) Police deserter, Thusitha Kumarasinha was having his hair cut in a saloon in Pelawatte when he was abducted in July last year. Hours later, he was killed and his body weighted with stones was tethered to a tree and dumped in the Kelani river at Kithulgala. A week later, the body surfaced, but there were no claimants for the body. The body was dispatched to the morgue at Kegalle hospital. Three months later, more..

Sri Lanka: Making sense beyond theatricals

Nov 25 (SAAG) President Rajapaksa had spent around SL Rs 14.8 billion, imported 54 Mercedes Benz cars for guests use, lot of time and energy to make a success of the CHOGM 2013 hosted in Colombo. The Summit had all the razzmatazz that goes with such occasions. The main summit was held at the BMICH gifted by China. The leaders’ retreat was organised at Waters Edge in the Sri J'pura Kotte in Colombo. Other venues included Hambantota and Hikkaduwa. more..

Friendship ends in tragedy

Nov 25 (SO) Friendship is a beautiful and fragile relationship. Our friends are our pillars of strength and give us the much-needed support and comfort that we seek in life. Spending time with true friends is one of the greatest joys in the world. In fact, the very foundation of friendship between two people is based on mutual trust and understanding. Another key basis of friendship is mutual sharing and help between friends. Friendship usually gives us the first lesson in “sharing” in our lives. more..

Are we blacklisted by international coaches?

Nov 25 (Island) Former Australian wicketkeeper and NZ coach Steve Rixon has spoken some harsh truths. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was negotiating with Rixon to take up the coaching job of the national team and last week Rixon revealed why he didn’t want to take up the position to be vacated by Graham Ford. To start with, Rixon says that he was embarrassed by what SLC was offering him. Rixon has reminded SLC the saying, more..

Editorial: Ministers and ministers

Nov 25 (Island) Another member has been added to President Rajapaksa’s Jumbo Cabinet. S.M. Chandrasena has been appointed Minister of Special Projects, whatever that means. He resigned last year as Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife to enable his brother, Ranjith, to be appointed the North Central Province (NCP) Chief minister in keeping with the govt’s policy that two members of the same family could not function as a Cabinet minister and a chief minister. more..

RIP, UNP? Hope not!

Nov 25 (Island) I have been agonizing for weeks whether I should write this, though I have not been a supporter of the ‘Grand Old Party’ for quite sometime, as I was constantly reminded that I was born to the UNP, at least to a family that had dedicated itself to the UNP. My father, brother and first cousin were UNP Members of Parliament. I could not have been born to the UNP anyway, as I can proudly proclaim that I am older; perhaps, wiser too! UNP was formed by the merger of more..

Macrae has his say

Nov 25 (NS) The Nation emailed some questions to Channel 4’s controversial Callum Macrae while he was in Sri Lanka. His response is given in full below. Q: What kind of impression and understanding did you get of Sri Lanka during your stay? How do you assess the ground situation? A: Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited and I have met many people who have been very kind and friendly. more..

'13% revenue to GDP ratio is manageable'

Nov 25 (FT) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on Friday expressed comfort over the revenue figure of 13% of GDP though several analysts have termed it very low. “A revenue to GDP ratio of 13% is manageable,” the Treasury Secretary said adding that several large expenditures of the past weren’t there thanks to the end of the war and re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons. “The end of the war ensured the heavy defence expenditure is no more. more..

Top visiting IMF official says flexible exchange policy must continue

Nov 25 (ST) A top visiting IMF said this week he expects Sri Lanka to continue its flexible exchange rate regime, allowing it to serve as a key buffer against external shocks, while reserves are allowed to rise to more comfortable level. A statement issued by the local IMF office, IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara said at the conclusion of his visit to Sri Lanka that in terms of macroeconomic management, he highlighted the importance of pursuing a cautious monetary policy, more..

President appoints National Pay Commission to formulate National Wage Policy

Nov 25 (ST) President Rajapaksa has abolished the National Salaries and Cadre Commission and established a 19-member National Pay Commission to advise and assist the Govt in the formulation of a National Wage Policy as well as recommend a new methodology for payment of pensions, taking into consideration the Govt‘s high pension bill. President, in his Budget speech, said that there is an urgent need to formulate more..