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Nuwara Eliya Crimes OIC interdicted

Nov 26 (Island) The OIC of the Crimes Division, of the Nuwara Eliya police station, was yesterday interdicted from service for failing to carry out investigations into the mystery killing of a 7-year-old girl in the Mahagastota area and allegedly suppressing evidence related to the killing. Following a probe, conducted by ASP Chandana Herath, into the charges levelled against the OIC on the instructions of Nuwara Eliya SP, Anura Abeywickreme, Inspector A. Jayaweera was more..

Threats from within force UNP member to sit as independent

Nov 26 (Island) UNP member of the Central Provincial Council, representing the Matale District, Rohana Bandaranayake informed the chairman of the Council, Mahinda Abeykoon, that he would withdraw from the UNP group and sit as an independent member in the Provincial Council. The UNP member said that his decision to quit the UNP group was sequel to a series of death threats from those who feared to disclose their identity. Bandaranayake said he had received the more..

Farah 3: Customs duty not paid for the scrap metal

Nov 26 (DM) The Custom Duty amounting to more than Rs.38 million on the scrap metal from the recently dismantled Jordanian-owned ship Farah-3 off the Mullaitivu coast have not been paid so far. The Customs Department said it was not aware as to the identity of the buyer to whom the ship was sold. The duties include CESS, National Building Tax and the Port and Airport Authority Development levy which adds up more..

Trinco campus not to be shut down

Nov 26 (CT) The Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL) will neither be closed down nor allied with any other universities in other parts of the country, said the Vice Chancellor of the EUSL Dr. Kitunan Govindaraja. He said this while addressing the audience at the annual prize giving event of the century old Trincomalee Ramakrishna Mission Koneswara Hindu College as the chief guest. He dismissed the speculation that the Trincomalee campus of more..

CDDRA on cancer drug registration

Nov 26 (Island) Apropos our news item headlined ‘Registration of cancer drug in one day raises eyebrows’, on Nov 18 edition, Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) Director, Dr. Hemantha Beneragama has sent the following statement: "As this news item can create an adverse impression on the functioning of the CDDRA, I would like to place the following facts for publishing in your newspaper giving similar prominence to said news item. (1) The Markss HLC (Pvt) Ltd had more..

SL ranked 171 in Paying Taxes 2014 list

Nov 26 (DM) Sri Lanka has been ranked 171st on the Paying Taxes 2014 list of the World Bank. “In Sri Lanka, an online filing system for social security contribution payments was introduced to make paying taxes easier. The time to comply has fallen from a peak of 256 hours since 2005 to 210 hours in 2012,” a World Bank and PWC report said. The total tax rate in Sri Lanka can be as high as 55.1%, the report said. more..

Malini to help rehabilitate female prisoners

Nov 26 (CT) The Spokesman to Ministry of Prison Reforms said that a five-member committee, headed by veteran actress cum MP, Malini Fonseka, was appointed to help the rehabilitation and welfare of female prison inmates. The other members of the committee consist of MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle, a lawyer Chathurika Wijesinghe, Nethrajali Manampitiya and Neli Andrahennadi. The committee, the first of such in the history of the prisons department, will look into the more..

First ever SL Buddhist temple established in Israel

Nov 26 (DM) The first ever Buddhist temple was established in Israel to cater to the spiritual needs of the some 7000 Sri Lankan community in Israel, the external affairs ministry said. Buddhist temple was established at the premises of a high rise apartment complex in the greater Tel Aviv area. The Buddhist temple headed by Ven. Karavilakotuwe Dhammathilaka Thero, the chief incumbent will now cater to the spiritual needs of the approx. 7000 Sri Lankan communities in Israel. more..

FEB spent Rs. 34.9 mn to bring back Lankans from Saudi - Dilan

Nov 26 (Island) The Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) had spent Rs. 34.9 million to bring back 1,089 Sri Lankan migrant workers from Saudi Arabia last year, Minister Dilan Perera told Parliament. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, the Minister said that the funds had been spent on air tickets for those migrant workers. The Minister said that Rs. 29.01 million had been spent on air tickets to more..

CHOGM – The morning after

Nov 27 (CT) In the heady days leading up to CHOGM 2013 a minister stated that 'The CHOGM will …bring more fame to our country and provide a great opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka's post war developments this conference…will provide a great opportunity for them (the Commonwealth Heads of State) to witness the development activities in the country.’ This statement was reflective of the attitude of the govt as a whole. In keeping with these high expectations, no expense was spared in more..

The healing touch?

Nov 27 (BDO) Possibly irrationally, the heavy heart I felt when writing before the CHOGM in Colombo, has not been sustained. It is not that the outcome was satisfying: simply, it happened without major upset. And the passage of time sometimes has a healing touch, if not quite the “healing” lauded as a Commonwealth virtue. We saw the banality of ritual, of pursuing an agenda covering issues like trade and climate change, not including the main contentious point – the human rights record more..

War-torn North and East tackle child labor

Nov 27 (NS) Despite the country’s laws specifying that those employing children can be sentenced to one year in prison and fined Rs. 10, 000, minors are employed by parents who are uneducated and don’t feel the need to educate their children. It has been three years since the war ended, but child labor still runs the gamut from unskilled labor, construction and agricultural work to commercial trade. An in-depth study of more..

Taking out a chapter from the Book of Hope

Nov 27 (NS) When does childhood end? For the privileged children of this world it is a seamless move from infancy to adulthood through childhood and adolescence. This, however, is not a happy world. The word ‘privilege’ itself implies the act of non-privilege. The underprivileged children in this world, therefore, are often made to bypass certain life stages. That unnatural ‘promotions’ make for quicker maturing but also robs innocence, dents tenderness and in the end further depletes more..

JHU rejects Ranil’s overture for an anti-Casino alliance

Nov 27 (CT) Prince Charles who arrived here with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on 14 Nov to attend the CHOGM checked into Hotel Tintagel for their sojourn in the country. The Prince had also stayed in Tintagel, which was formerly the residence of the Bandaranaike family, during his last visit to Sri Lanka nine years ago. As a result, whys and wherefores for the Prince’s choice of Tintagel and his connection to the Bandaranaikes have become a moot point in political circles more..

Valaichchenai Paper Mills signs MoU with foreign investor

Nov 27 (SO) Valaichchenai Paper Mills, which was urgently in need of financial assistance to meet requirement of the country is going to have a brighter future again with a boost from an foreign investor to get the urgently needed renovations and to keep buffer stock of paper, paddy husk and chemical for the factory for continuous operations. A Chinese investor who had participated at the CHOGM Business Forum in Colombo more..

Editorial: The problem of being Karzai

Nov 27 (Island) Afghan President Hamid Karzai continues to ruffle Uncle Sam’s feathers. He wants an early pullout of foreign troops and refuses to be railroaded into signing a security pact with the US in a hurry to allow about 15,000 American military personnel to stay back. He wants that deal struck on his terms, but time is running out for the Americans who want the agreement inked before the year end. President Karzai has laid down some conditions for signing the security deal; more..

After CHOGM and the LTTE rump

Nov 27 (CT) Well, the Diaspora or the LTTE rump or the disgruntled slightly guilty bunch of expatriates living all over the world, gave it their best shot! Using loads of the extorted but in most cases “willingly” donated funds that have been collected for the “cause” they bought everything from journalists to politicians and all things in between. There was an absolute barrage of “noise” (no doubt similar to the barrage and the noise at Nandikadal at the end of the war) designed to bring negative publicity more..

Boston Lanka: November 26, 2013

Response to “Cameron, kudos for your trip to Jaffna”

Nov 27 (CT) In a communication addressed to PM Cameron, by some Tamils purporting to be near and dear to Obama, it is said “You met with three TNA members, all three of whom live most of their time in Colombo. We regard all of them as too sympathetic to the Colombo govt”. What a preposterous position for anyone to take! Political positions are taken by physical proximity of a community’s leaders to power centres! It is further said “We wish you had been able to meet with elected more..

England and Sri Lanka’s problem – II

Nov 27 (Island) Many commentators have written on Cameron and Channel 4 and it is not necessary to repeat them in this column. However, we have to "learn" a few things from the English way of managing events. The press conference given by the English PM was clearly state and stage managed allowing mainly the English media to ask questions. However, the managers allowed one Sri Lankan to ask a question and Cameron’s managers could always say that the Sri Lankans more..

Eran drops bombshell over public finance

Nov 27 (FT) UNP condemned the Govt’s policy to overcrowd the public sector, a move that was in turn stifling the private sector and said there had been no evidence of Parliament’s control over public finance during the life of the current legislature. UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne said the Govt’s solution to Sri Lanka’s unemployment problem was providing State sector jobs and exporting citizens to work in insecure more..

David cameron and foreign relations

Nov 27 (Island) Soon after David Cameron had left Sri Lanka, the Sunday Times in England published a satirical piece about his visit. It accused him of behaving like a public school prefect and treating the Sri Lankan President like a fag, a junior schoolboy who was at his beck and call. Cameron’s was certainly a brilliant performance, full of British bravado. Having decided, correctly in my view, that he would attend the CHOGM, he had to contend with the anger of those who have in effect more..

Dinuda wins gold at C'wealth Weightlifting

Nov 27 (Island) Young Dinuda Abeysekara of Royal College, Polonnaruwa has improved the Sri Lanka record in the 48kg weigh class on her way to winning the gold medal at the ongoing Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Malaysia yesterday. Competing in the youth category, Abeysekara has won the gold medal lifting a total weight of 136kgs, the Sri Lanka Weightlifting Federation officials confirmed on Tuesday. Abeysekara lifted 62kgs in snatch and more..

Maduranga ends career with impressive feat

Nov 27 (Island) National javelin record holder Sachith Maduranga brought the curtain down on his short but exciting athletics career with a throw of 78.20m which improved his own meet record of the SL Army Athletics Championships yesterday. Sachith came close to breaking his national mark when his penultimate throw sailed well beyond the final flag. It was ruled a no-throw when Maduranga failed to control his balance more..

Hosts’ chances to enter Level-I fade

Nov 27 (Island) Sri Lanka’s chances to qualify for Level-1 faded as poor shooting and rebounds took Sri Lanka to their fourth consecutive defeat, against Kazakhstan, when the former suffered a 69-45 loss on the fourth day of the 3rd FIBA Asia Under-16 Basketball Championship for Women, at the Sugthadasa Stadium. Sri Lanka was in a good position at the end of the third quarter but shooting and poor rounding seen from them throughout the match led them to the heavy loss. more..

Need for transparency over budget fundamentals

Nov 27 (DM) An appeal to the executive, business and academia, who saw light at the end of the tunnel. Before endorsing the expressions of confidence in the clear medium term value-adding focus of the Budget 2014, as reported in the media, quoting the Executive, Business Chambers and some Academics; the practical application and effective implementation of the policy pronouncements, the present state of affairs of economic fundamentals, the effectiveness of more..

Sri Lanka receives US$ 2 Bn foreign finance between Jan-Sep

Nov 27 (Island) The total foreign financing commitments to Sri Lanka for the nine months ended Sept 30 reached US$ 2062.1 million out of which US$ 1940.3 was in the form of project loans while US$ 121.8 million were grants. China led the board followed by Japan. From the total commitment recorded during the nine months, 60% was for infrastructure projects which comprised 30% for roads and bridges, 16% for water supply and more..

Reprieved UNP MPs summoned before Leadership Council today

Nov 27 (FT) The United National Party Leadership Council has decided to meet with errant MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Asoka Abeysinghe today, when the Council convenes for its third meeting at the Parliamentary Complex. Range Bandara and Abeysinghe were given a reprieve by the Council when it met for the first time last week. Disciplinary inquiries against the MPs for flouting party orders were suspended and their organiser posts were restored by the Council. more..

Sri Lanka faces a human rights curveball from China

Nov 27 (TD) Sri Lanka recently wrapped up the CHOGM 2013 amid much controversy. Despite the the prestige of being selected as the venue for the meeting, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was assailed from across the Commonwealth for his country’s poor human rights record. The UK’s David Cameron, Canada’s Stephen Harper, and neighboring India’s Manmohan Singh all faced immense domestic pressure over the meeting because their attendance would have been more..

TISL takes up transfer of cops

Nov 27 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) had made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against the sudden transfer of 23 police officers attached to the Organized Crimes and Anti-Corruption Division of the Police Headquarters. TISL had requested the HRC to investigate whether the transfers had been effected in conformity with the laws, while pointing out that owing to these sudden transfers, more..

VAT base for 2% NBT on financial sector

Nov 27 (FT) The computation of the 2% Nation Building Tax (NTB) on the financial services sector will be on the Value Added Tax (VAT) base and not on turnover or income. This was disclosed by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on Monday at the Daily FT-Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Forum on the 2014 Budget as well as by Deputy Secretary to the Treasury S.R. Attygalle at the Sri Lanka Forex Association-Thomson Reuters organised 2014 Budget Forum. more..

Intel lauds Budget proposals on ICT

Nov 27 (FT) Commenting on the nation’s Budget for 2014, Indika De Zoysa, Country Business Manager, Intel Sri Lanka Liaison office welcomed President Rajapaksa’s plans to double the ICT sector’s foreign exchange earnings and leverage it to boost Global Competitive Index rankings. In a statement, De Zoysa said: “With proposals to setup an ICT Zone in Hambantota, reduce import duties and streamline taxes on the industry, the 2014 Budget has been truly encouraging for the ICT sector. more..

National Olympic chief slams minister

Nov 27 (DM) Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee (NOC) chairman Hemasiri Fernando launched a scathing attack on Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage today, alleging that the minister has destroyed the autonomy of country’s sports associations by changing the sports law to allow politics to directly control the sports, creating a reign of “terror”. Fernando who is also a senior govt official, currently being the secretary of more..

China, Lanka to boost military ties

Nov 27 (CG) Senior Chinese and Sri Lankan defense officials agreed on Tuesday to promote military cooperation between the two countries. Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, is currently on an official visit to the island nation. Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the two countries have enjoyed good bilateral ties over the years with friendly cooperation in politics, economy and culture. more..

Highest number of candidates for O/L

Nov 27 (CT) Examinations Commissioner W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara said that the highest number of candidates will be sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination this year, to be held from 10-20 December. A total of 578, 140 candidates have registered to sit for the exam, of which 384,056 are from schools while 194, 084 are private candidates. The exam will be conducted at 4,312 examination centres, while 534 coordinating centres have been established in this regard. more..

New rules on taking out jewellery - Customs

Nov 27 (DM) The Customs Department intends to introduce new rules regarding the wearing and carrying of gold jewellery by people traveling abroad, after a gold smuggling racket was detected in Kochi, said a Customs Dept spokesman. People who take jewellery on a “bring back basis” would be allowed to take no more than the equivalent of 15 sovereigns, Customs media spokesman Leslie Gamini said. more..

Nagpur Mayor to speak at mayors' meet

Nov 27 (TOI) Mayor Anil Sole has been invited to Colombo to deliver a speech on better sanitation and water services during an international workshop of mayors from a couple of Asian countries. Sole left for the meet on Tuesday and is likely to return on Friday. Sole's Sri Lanka visit comes after his successful address at the World Mayors Summit held in France in September. The workshop has been organized by Federation of Sri Lankan Local Govt Authorities in association with CMC. more..

President receives proposals and recommendations for Commonwealth’s role

Nov 27 (FT) President Rajapaksa as the chair of the Commonwealth for the next two years has received a set of proposals and recommendations at a discussion held yesterday. A dialogue on the role of the Commonwealth for next two years and the challenges to be overcome was conducted today with the participation of a large number of country’s academics and scholars. President Rajapaksa also joined the dialogue organized by the UGC and the Ministry of Higher Education. more..

India tells Galle Dialogue: Regulate ‘private maritime security’ onboard vessels now

Nov 27 (Island) India is strongly pushing for an international regulatory mechanism to stem the proliferation of private maritime security companies operating in the Indian Ocean. The regional power, India, alleged that they had now assumed a quasi–military appearance and therefore could cause adverse security implications. Indian Navy chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi emphasized urgent measures to curtail the activities of more..

'Where was Weerawansa during CHOGM?'

Nov 27 (Island) UNP queried as to where the "patriotic" and staunch defender of the Rajapaksa govt, Minister Wimal Weerawansa, had been during the CHOGM. "Where was Weerawansa hiding or was he told to shut up, while the British PM James Cameron was warning the govt of a War Crimes probe," he queried. Padukke said that he had offered a Rs. 50,000 reward for anyone who was able to trace Weerawansa during the CHOGM, but no one was able to hit the jackpot as more..