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SriLankan, Mihin lose Rs. 16bn in first half

Nov 26 (DM) The two state-owned airlines, which share the same Chairman and CEO has reported an operating loss over Rs.16.4 billion during the first half of the financial year 2013/14 despite an increase in the passenger load factor. SriLankan Airlines, the national career has a reported an operating loss of Rs.15.8 billion during the first half ended September, 2013 whereas the budget career has reported Rs.675 million more..

'Sri Lanka ideal for investment'

Nov 26 (DN) A team of Russian Educationists who arrived in Ratnapura during a tour of Sabaragamuwa on Nov 22 said they have identified Sri Lanka as a fast developing country ideal for foreign investment. Sabaragamuwa Province in particular had a high potential for educational development and they hoped to start a higher education institute in Sabaragamuwa affiliated to their Institute of Economics Management and Law situated in Kazan, Russia. They said the Institute of more..

UNP hails Mahinda but yet sad

Nov 26 (CG) The UNP hailed President Rajapaksa for defeating terrorism but expressed regret over his failure to use the UNP when human rights allegations were raised against the country on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit. Speaking in parliament, UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the UNP had always stood by National interests on the international arena. He noted that UNP Parliamentary delegations which had visited Britain and US in the past had spoken in support more..

Writers demand Tamil Nadu govt’s intervention for early release of Jayapalan

Nov 26 (TOI) Eminent writers, poets and journalists have demanded the intervention of the Tamil Nadu govt for the release of poet and actor V I S Jayapalan who has been detained by the Sri Lankan govt for allegedly violating visa rules. In their petition, writers like D Ravikumar, S V Rajadurai, Indira Parthasarathy, Kovai Gnani and Ambai, poet Cheran, actor Sivakumar and MLA MH Jawahirulla urged the state govt to take steps more..

Govt. to ban Lankans with children under 18 seeking foreign employment

Nov 26 (FT) The Government has decided to prohibit Sri Lankans with children under 18 from travelling overseas for employment, striking a major blow to citizens seeking better paying work abroad, including the country’s 1.2 million migrant workers. Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda told Parliament yesterday that the Government was in discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare to enforce the ban. more..

Chidambaram to address conference to explain Congress's stand on Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (TOI) Finding itself being isolated in Tamil Nadu on issues relating to the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Congress is planning to organize a conference in Chennai on Nov 30 and has roped in Union finance minister P Chidambaram to defend its stand. Intellectuals, party representatives and a wide cross-section of people from across the state are expected to participate in the conference with the theme 'Rights of Sri Lankan Tamils and India's stand.' more..

Unveiling Ho Chi Minh statue in Sri Lanka, historic and timely: President

Nov 26 (FT) President Rajapaksa said Ho Chi Minh was a great valiant leader who spearheaded a major liberation battle against powerful imperial forces in the Indo-China region. “As a result of the introduction of Buddhism to Vietnam, SL and Vietnam established close relationship since ancient times as two nations sharing common values and principles. Both our countries comprise peoples with a strong desire to live in freedom,” more..

HRC issues notice on CMC Commissioner

Nov 26 (CT) The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) has directed the Municipal Commissioner, Bhadrani Jayawardhana of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), for the second time, to explore the possibility of finding alternative accommodation for the 68 fishmongers who had been evicted from the St. John's Fish Market, Pettah, and report back to the Commission, in person today. An earlier order given to Jayawardhana by the HRC to be present more..

Army hands over Paddy land in Mullaitivu

Nov 26 (MoD) As a part of the handing over of land used by security forces in the former conflict zone back to their civilian owners, another extent of 23 acres of paddy land was released to their original owners in Mullaitivu recently. The lands were handed back in the presence of senior military officers, state officials in Mullaitivu and members of the Keppapilavu village welfare society. Land that fell within the Mullaitivu army camp perimeter was thus handed back to the owners for more..

One 'Hula' transferred 23 Police officers

Nov 26 (CT) JVP MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making a special statement in Parliament, alleged the govt used its sweeping powers to transfer the 23 police officers who had conducted a raid at the Salaka Casino and Gaming Centre. He also posed six questions to the minister-in-charge of the portfolio. They are: Has any division of the Police Department other than the Crimes and Corruption Prevention Division raided this casino? more..

Sri Lanka concerned at Sethu project impact

Nov 26 (Hindu) The govt of Sri Lanka has shared with the Indian government of India a comprehensive report on the environmental impact of the proposed Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project prepared by Sri Lankan experts and officials, according to sources in the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs. In response to a question from mediapersons on the hearing in the Supreme Court of India on the Sethusamudram project, scheduled for Nov 26, a spokesperson of the Ministry more..

Pure heroin haul: Customs awaits clearance to investigate further

Nov 26 (ST) Pure heroin formed more than half the quantity of a recent one billion rupee drug haul. A Govt Analyst’s report has revealed that of the 250 kilograms smuggled into the country 131 kilograms were pure heroin. An official of the Prime Minister’s office allegedly sent a letter to the Customs that he was requesting a waiver of ports charges for the consignment imported by a company in Maligawatte, Colombo. The request was also allegedly on behalf of the PM who in turn had been prevailed more..

Govt has followed a very rich inclusive policy formulation process: PB

Nov 26 (FT) While some components of the 2014 Budget received critical reviews since its announcement last week, the Treasury Secretary assured yesterday that the Govt followed a “very rich inclusive” policy formulation in that regard. Addressing a fully-packed audience at a post-budget seminar titled ‘Witness The Most Critical Dissection of the 2014 Budget,’ jointly organised by the MBA Alumni Association Uni of Colombo more..

You are right, but be prepared!

Nov 26 (DM) One of the upshots of the recently concluded CHOGM was the renewed international concern over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka which had irritated the Sri Lankan leaders. The boycott of the summit by Canadian PM Stephen Harper and Mauritius PM Naveen Ramgoolamor drew considerable attention. Meanwhile, the non-attendance of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, without calling it a boycott, showed that he did not want to hurt the Sri Lankan leaders as more..

Budget devalued, prices soar by the gazette

Nov 26 (DM) The Daily Mirror in one of its Editorials last week said the Budget had lost a lot of its news value because in the past few years it has been largely a case of “Budget by gazette”. If evidence was needed, last Thursday’s budget- the 9th by President Rajapaksa- provided substantial proof that the budget itself has been devalued through a process of double standards or double dealing if not deception. In the morning of the Budget day the President reportedly obtained more..

'The British created Sri Lanka ethnic strife'

Nov 26 (DM) Britain is a submerging economy, next year they are to have a referendum as to if Scotland would break away from the union. In the event that happens, one third of the current population of Great Britain would secede resulting in the economic and political power of the country further deteriorating. Apart from that Britain, is planning to pull out of the EU. They are pulling out of the EU because they could not maintain more..

Licences withheld from genuine gemmers

Nov 26 (SL) Allegations are piling up against a Regional Manager attached to the National Gem and Jewellery Authority for depriving genuine applicants of gem mining licences simply because the applicants are not in favour of filling the his coffers. This Regional Manager is once accused of many frauds carried out at a gem haul in Kataragama last year and an investigation is being carried out by the Presidential Investigation more..

Cyclonic storm ‘Lehar’ over Bay of Bengal

Nov 26 (DM) The Meteorological Department said the severe cyclonic storm ‘Lehar’ remained more or less stationary over the Bay of Bengal but would not have a direct impact on Sri Lanka. It is said to be located 200 km to the northeast of Jaffna and is moving towards India. Meteorologist Dulari Fernando said however, some showers or thundershowers would occur at several places in the Western and Southern more..

Petition launched against Tissa

Nov 26 (CG) Activists and rights groups in Sri Lanka have launched a petition against Minister of Women’s Affairs and Child Development Tissa Karalliyadde, calling for his resignation over some public comments he had made. The petition circulating via email says the Minister had on several occasions made extremely sexist remarks that are humiliating to Sri Lankan women in general, without any sense of responsibility for the more..

Neil Marine links up with ILO to train Northeast youth in boat building

Nov 26 (ST) A Sri Lankan boat builder, one of the biggest players in South Asia, has linked up with ILO (International Labour Organisation) to kickstart a boat manufacturing facility in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu involving youth in the North and East. Neil Fernando and Co. (Neil Marine) has extended assistance to two ILO initiated programmes to provide technical support and mentoring service for youths in Kilinochchi more..

SL, Vietnam to enhance bilateral agenda

Nov 26 (DN) Minister G.L. Peiris and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh reached agreement on the principal areas for collaboration between Sri Lanka and Vietnam; preferential trading arrangement, technology transfer and investment opportunities in areas such as ICT, agriculture and aquaculture, tourism and aviation, exchanges between educational institutions and cooperation at international fora. more..

Mayor claims CMC is not bankrupt

Nov 26 (Island) A spokesman for the CMC yesterday claimed that there was no truth in the allegations that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) had exceeded its overdraft to state banks by over Rs. 200 million. He said that the CMC had spent Rs. 1.5 billion on the beautification of the city in view of the CHOGM in Colombo and requested from the External Affairs Ministry in September Rs. 834 million to cover its expenses. more..

No action taken against CMC file burners

Nov 26 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) members, employees and trade unionists are disappointed at the failure on the part of the authorities to take action against those involved in the August 17 burning of CMC documents at the Borella Cemetery. They said that though over three months had passed since the incident nothing had come of the investigations by the Western Provincial Council or the Ministry of Local Govt more..

7,400 children became victims of abuse in 2012

Nov 26 (Island) Minister Tissa Karalliyadda told Parliament yesterday that 7,418 children had become victims of abuse in 2012. Of those incidents, the highest number 1,174 had been reported from the Colombo district, he said. Out of all such incidents reported last year, 3,800 were punishable offences under the Penal Code. He said that 313 children had been employed as child labourers, while 1,054 had been identified as more..

Discovery suggests Buddha lived in 6th century BC

Nov 26 (AFP) The discovery of an previously unknown wooden structure at the Buddha's birthplace suggests the sage might have lived in the 6th century BC, two centuries earlier than thought, archeologists said. Traces of what appears to have been an ancient timber shrine was found under a brick temple that is itself within Buddhism's sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, in southern Nepal near the Indian border. more..

Malacca and Lanka: What a contrast!

Nov 26 (CT) A question often asked is why racial and religious relations in Malaysia, in contrast to Lanka, are relaxed and communities more tolerant of each other; comparatively of course. Recently while in Malacca, I was similarly interrogated by a nubile and durian addicted female. Malacca’s history does resemble Lanka’s, but now exhibits this distinction sharply. Having mulled it over I intend to share my thoughts; but first a short outline about Malacca. The Sultanate (now state) of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Nov 26 (LBO) Stocks fell for the third consecutive day with diversified and property stocks losing ground amid foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 27.66 points lower at 5,748.01, down 0.48%. The S&P SL20 closed 14.25 points lower at 3,168.69, down 0.45%. Turnover was 464.68 million rupees, up from 193.48 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 134 firms closing in the red against 38 gainers. Foreigners brought 107 million rupees worth shares while selling 156 million more..

Titbits of humour that emerged during CHOGM

Nov 26 (DM) The CHOGM was successfully concluded recently. Benefits of the summit meeting are now being discussed throughout the country. Besides the good and bad of this summit, there were enjoyable incidents associated with the event involving heads of govt, their wives as well as local and foreign media personnel. Of all these events, most memorable and pleasant was the event of unexpected interviewing of more..

War casualty survey: Finally answering that distressing question

Nov 26 (CT) As to why the govt's repeated denials on the extent of civilian casualties that had taken place during the final phase of the Eelam war had failed to convince its critics, is that the government itself has no clue as to how many people had perished during the last months of the war. The Darusman Report, which is officially known as the Report of the UN Secretary General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, and was headed by the reputed Indonesian jurist, more..

Debt to GDP to reduce to 65% by 2016

Nov 26 (Island) The debt to GDP is anticipated to reduce to 65% by 2016 from 79.1% in 2012 and 78% this year. The budget deficit is also expected to contract in line with the govt debt to GDP, to 3.8% by 2016 from 5.8% in 2013, while the revenue deficit of 1% in 2012 and 0.5% in 2013 is expected to become a surplus of 2.3% of GDP by 2016, the Treasury said. The govt revenue which dropped to 13.6% of GDP in 2013 from 13.9% in 2012 is expected to increase in the following years more..

Sydney Thunder sign Dilshan

Nov 26 (SMH) The ambitious rebuild of Sydney Thunder after two years of Big Bash League woe has continued with the signing of swashbuckling Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan. The Thunder's decision to strongly pursue the 37-year-old after he announced his Test retirement last month, freeing him for the majority of the BBL from late December to January, was rewarded by his acceptance of its offer. more..

Of that ‘Budget PSC’

Nov 26 (Island) A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has been appointed to deliberate on budgetary allocations to 26 ministries as there isn’t enough time for the committee stage debate which has been telescoped into just 16 days with only two hours allocated to each ministry. Headed by Leader of the House and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the PSC is scheduled to put out a report to be debated by Parliament within two days. This is an unprecedented arrangement. more..

Qatar Airways set to upgrade SL services

Nov 26 (AB) Qatar Airways on Tuesday announced a significant increase in capacity to Sri Lanka – with one of its triple-daily-flights to capital city - Colombo, expanded from a narrow-bodied Airbus 320 to the airline’s flagship wide-bodied Boeing 777. Beginning January 1 2014, the larger Boeing 777 will offer flat-bed seats in Business class and a total of 356 seats in Economy and 24 seats in Business Class. The other two daily flights to the city will be served with the airline’s narrow-body A320 aircraft. more..

18 Sri Lankan cricketers in fashion show

Nov 26 (ST) 18 of the country’s most recognizable current and former national cricketers exhibited their off-field ability when they hit the runway for Fashion Sri Lanka- Spring/ Summer 2014, a show in aid of a proposed training and simulation centre for the Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which took place on Nov 24, at the Galadari Hotel. The facility will strengthen the training of midwives, nurses and doctors more..

Vaiko wants clemency for Rajiv’s assassins

Nov 26 (UNI) Marumalarchi DMK leader Vaiko today appealed to the Centre to recommend clemency to Rajiv Gandhi assasination case convicts Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan.' In a release here, Mr Vaiko said following 'disclosures' by former CBI SP V Thiyagarajan that he did not record verbatim statement of Perarivalan in the assassination case, the Union Home Ministry must disclose the truth to the President and ensure clemency for the trio. On May 21,1991, Rajiv Gandhi was killed by more..

Maduluwawe Thera asks masses to attend anti-casino rally

Nov 26 (Island) The Movement against Casinos, led by the Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Naga Viharaya, Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, urged all those who aspired to the creation of a righteous society to join hands irrespective of party, caste or religious differences to pressure President Rajapaksa to abandon moves to legalise casinos in the country. "It was the late founder of the SLFP, PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike ,who had the foresight to ensure that evils, such as horse racing at the Turf Club, more..

Tackling illegal fishing: EC says Sri Lanka improved

Nov 26 (DM) The European Commission said that Sri Lanka, which was blacklisted for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF) on the high seas, has made credible progress to tackle the problem of illegal fishing. “Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu also received formal warnings last year, but they have all made credible progress in close cooperation with the Commission. They have set in motion more..

'Will name Sajith as presidential candidate'

Nov 26 (SM) Convener of the Jathika Paura Organisation - Provincial Councillor Shiral Laktillake has said that he would propose UNP MP Sajith Premadasa's name as the next presidential candidate. Laktillaka said that naming Premadasa as the next presidential candidate would definitely take place. Laktillake, a one time theorist of MP Karu Jayauriya, said that the UNP majority's confidence on Karu Jayasuriya hasnow collapsed and therefore, it has now become compelling to seek more..

Karu says party needs unity

Nov 26 (CG) The UNP today emphasised the need for unity within the party as it looks at defeating the government at the next elections. UNP MP and chairman of the UNP leadership council, Karu Jayasuriya said that measures have already been put in place to seek the support of UNP members and supporters who distanced themselves from the party over various differences. He said that the UNP leadership council today briefed Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on the future plans of the UNP. more..

MP Sritharan glorifies Prabhakaran

Nov 26 (CT) A fierce exchange of words erupted during the ongoing budget debate in Parliament today with TNA MP, S. Sritharan, highlighting the need to commemorate LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and Minister S.B. Dissanayake, retaliating by describing Prabhakaran as a gross murderer. Earlier, Sritharan had said the slain LTTE leader needed to be commemorated as he was a freedom fighter, more..