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Sanath blasts Kiwi apathy

Nov 3 (ST) The resting of the Kiwi stalwarts – their regular skipper Brendon McCallum and former captain Ross Taylor — have not gone down well with the Lankan camp. The most disappointed out of all is Selection Committee Chief Sanath Jayasuriya. Last week the New Zealand selectors announced a Kiwi team which will be captained by fast bowler Kyle Mills who has never led the Kiwi national team before. The appointed captain for the tour Kane Williamson had to fly back home more..

India play foul to be fair?

Nov 3 (SL) While Canadian conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken a strong stance to boycott the CHOGM, Indian PM Manmohan Singh is being pressurized relentlessly by TN Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and DMK President M Karunanidhi to boycott the summit over human rights concerns. Even though the Indian Prime Minister has decided to send the Indian foreign minister to attend the summit, more..

2 warm-ups for SL before NZ one-dayers

Nov 3 (CI) Sri Lanka will play two 50-over practice matches in preparation for the ODI series against New Zealand, at the Sinhalese Sports Club. A side consisting of most of Sri Lanka's top players will take on a virtual A team on November 5 and 7, before the Sri Lanka squad travels to Hambantota for the first ODI. Dinesh Chandimal will lead the second-string team, which also features Lahiru Thirimanne. Fast bowler Shaminda Eranga, who was omitted from the Sri Lanka squad for the series, more..

Siriwardene helps SL level series

Nov 3 (CI) Sri Lanka Women levelled their Twenty20 series against South Africa Women with a 20-run victory in Potchefstroom with their captain, Shashikala Siriwardene, to the fore. A solid top-order display from the visitors carried them to 138 for 5 and SA's chase slipped after a brisk start in the six-over Powerplay. Allrounder Siriwardene earned the Player of the Match award for her key spell which brought the wickets of Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp following an innings of 30. more..

CCTV to nab reckless motorists on Katunayake Expressway

Nov 3 (ST) A new system including CCTV is to be introduced to crack down on reckless motorists and penalise them for speeding and other traffic offences on the new Colombo- Katunayake Sri Lanka-China Friendship Expressway. Discussions are now underway between the Motor Traffic Department and the Police City Traffic to finalise the modalities of the high tech-aided system to punish road traffic offenders, Commissioner General more..

Cricketers to be taxed

Nov 3 (SL) A 10 percent tax is to be imposed on national cricketers from the money they earn through personal sponsorship endorsements. Former Sports Ministry Secretary Udaya Seneviratne had proposed that the tax be imposed on national cricketers. He had said that the Cricket Board spends a lot of money to bring players to national level and after that the players gain a lot. Seneviratne had proposed that the funds be used to develop cricket and other sports. more..

Sri Lanka in touch with Sheffield Police

Nov 3 (SL) The Sri Lankan High Commission in London is in touch with the Sheffield police on the murder of a Sri Lankan youth last Sunday. Director of Public Communications of the Ministry of External Affairs, Rodney Perera said that the High Commission will make arrangements to bring back the remains if required by the parents of the victim. Thavisha Peiris was found stabbed to death in his car in Sheffield last Sunday night while delivering pizza. more..

New casino package for Packer, JKH

Nov 3 (CT) The govt will present a new casino package to global gaming mogul, James Packer, and premier blue chip corporate conglomerate, John Keells, soon under the Strategic Development Projects Act, No. 14 of 2008. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, on Thursday (30) revoked Notifications under Section 3(2) and Order under Section 3(4) and declared, "by this notification the following Gazette Notification and more..

Biz leaders lament ad hoc reforms

Nov 3 (NS) Despite the many reforms that were made, Sri Lanka falling four places in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index 2014 last week, from rank 81 in the previous year to the 85th position, suggests that the country has to look at adopting different strategies in the ensuing years in order to move upwards in the index, not only amongst regional players, but also in the global context, a business leader pointed out last week. CEO of Chevron Lubricants Lanka, Kishu Gomes, more..

'Grim reapers' protest at Sri Lanka Commonwealth meeting

Nov 3 (C4) Around 200 Amnesty International protesters staged a protest at Parliament Square, with lookalikes of David Cameron, William Hague and President Rajapaksa joining the 40 grim reapers. The campaigners said that the 15 November meeting of Commonwealth leaders, hosted by Sri Lanka, should be an opportunity to address the country's human rights abuses - something that is not on the agenda. Some of SL's leaders face allegations of war crimes. more..

Krrish site to be offered to CHOGM business delegates

Nov 3 (ST) The Govt is to offer the Transwork site in Colombo now leased out to India’s Krrish group to potential investors attending the Commonwealth Business Forum. This is because the company has failed to make the final lease payment and amidst accusations of corruption linking a top state official to the deal. Krrish group has only carried out soil testing while there was no sign of the project getting off the ground. more..

No funds to test Dorape water pollution

Nov 3 (NS) Efforts to determine whether water in Dorape, Galle had become polluted by toxins allegedly emanating from a factory in the area have stalled for almost a month due to lack of funds. This revelation was made when Deputy Speaker Chandima Weeakkody posed a question to officials during the Imaduwa Coordination Committee Meeting held recently. According to Imaduwa MOH K.V.P. Mahindasiri, a decision was made at a discussion held with the Galle District more..

Sri Lanka besieged by religious conflict

Nov 3 (GN) Buoyed by the govt’s indifference or perhaps encouragement of violent crimes against the Tamil minority, a militant offshoot of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority is increasing targeting all minorities. Notwithstanding all the glib assurances by Sri Lankan politicians, including President Rajapaksa, on the cohesiveness of its people in this island nation, ground realities tell another story. The Tamil nation, whose struggle for a separate homeland began in 1983, more..

Bonus for state employees

Nov 3 (ST) Amidst speculation of a presidential or parliamentary election next year, employees of state corporations and companies fully owned by the Govt will receive a year-end bonus ranging from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 12,500. A decision to make such payments until a permanent scheme is formulated has been approved by the Cabinet on a recommendation made by President Rajapaksa. He is also the Minister of Finance and Planning. more..

Twenty reasons to visit Colombo

Nov 3 (SMH) 1 PETTAH: Brave the streets of Pettah to pick up everything from fabrics and fruit to watches and wedding invitations. "It's utter chaos," the locals cheerfully admit. "You can get a suit made in two hours, though it may last only three." The streets are crammed with saris, electronics and ayurvedic medicines, while the fruit and vegetable market heaves with sacks of outrageously fierce-looking chillis. 2 GALLE FACE GREEN: It's easy to forget Colombo is a seaside city when more..

Buddhist group: Don’t allow religious and ethnic lines to worsen

Nov 3 (TS) Isolation between races and cultures will lead to mistrust and fear as groups grow more separate, warns an international Buddhist group. Chairman of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, Dr Harsha Navaratne, from Sri Lanka, said isolation would happen if a country allowed religious and ethnic lines to worsen. “The people in Sri Lanka live in separate areas, attend separate schools and speak separate languages. This isolation contributes to mistrust and fear,” more..

Poaching: Lanka rejects India’s ‘one-day’ proposal

Nov 3 (ST) Sri Lanka has rejected an Indian proposal that Tamil Nadu fishermen be allowed to fish in our territorial waters at least one day a week. The proposal had emerged from the Indian High Commission in Colombo during consultations with officials of the Ministry of Fisheries. Both Minister Rajitha Senaratne and a High Commission official declined comment on New Delhi’s offer. At present, Tamil Nadu fishermen unilaterally more..

Smoke alarm triggers emergency landing of Emirates flight

Nov 3 (ST) An Emirates flight from BIA was yesterday evening forced to make an emergency landing soon after takeoff, as a smoke alarm in the cargo area went off, airport sources said. The passengers were evicted and the flight checked, but no signs of a fire was detected. After the flight was checked and readied to resume its journey to Dubai, it transpired that the duty time of the crew had lapsed, so the passengers were redirected to another flight later in the night. more..

Lightning claims 2 lives as thundershowers prevail

Nov 3 (ST) The Meteorology Department warned of lightning related incidents with the onset of the inter-monsoon season, as two deaths caused by lightning were reported. Fifteen-year-old Hasitha Eranda, from Wanduramba, Galle and 57-year-old Premachandra Manamperi from Poddala, Galle died on admission to Karapitiya Hospital. Hasitha was playing with another boy when he fell victim to lightning. Met. Dept Deputy Director Anusha Warnasooriya said the inter-monsoon season was active more..

CHOGM opening ceremony to cost Rs 50 M

Nov 3 (CT) The four-hour opening ceremony with cultural dances and parade for the CHOGM that would be held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on 15 Nov, will cost the govt Rs 50 million. There will also be a four-day expo and carnival 'reflecting the many facets of Sri Lanka,' starting from 13 November at the ground adjacent to the National Craft Council in Battaramulla which would cost another Rs 50 million. more..

Probe on trouser-slitting teacher

Nov 3 (ST) Southern Province Minister of Education Chandima Rasaputra has directed the Zonal Director of Weligama to inquire into an incident where a female teacher had slit a trouser of a male student saying it was tight and should not be worn to school. The student had said it was the only trouser he had. The incident occurred at the Denipitiya Maha Vidyalaya in Weligama. “The teacher has caused mental trauma to the student by punishing him in an embarrassing way more..

Milk powder producers lack resources to cope with demand

Nov 3 (NS) Local milk powder producers have admitted that they are struggling to cope with the demand for their products following the drop in public demand for imported dairy products due to recent health scares. A recent survey carried out by The Nation among retailers revealed that domestic milk powders are unavailable. An official at Milco (Producers of Highland milk) said they could not cope with the rapid increase for local milk powder products due to limited resources. more..

Casino pack: Call a spade a spade, not a diamond

Nov 3 (ST) The UPFA Govt appears to have taken a step backwards, at least for the time being, on its move to allow two foreign-backed casinos to operate in Sri Lanka as “strategic enterprises” enjoying a multitude of concessions including tax benefits. Contrary to expectations, ministers did not take up for discussion at Thursday’s weekly ministerial meeting, drafts of amended Gazette notifications in this regard. more..

Whither the Grand Old Party?

Nov 3 (CT) UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ability to do about turns on his own pledges does not seem to have any boundaries, with even promises made to the Maha Sangha being treated with cavalier disregard. A fortnight ago, he gave a solemn pledge to the members of the Eksath Bhikkhus Peramuna (United Bhikkhu’s Front), that he would step down from the leadership and enforce Party reforms put forward by them within 14 days. However, within hours of making that more..

Why train our guns on the ICRC?

Nov 3 (Island) The Island report last week that an "urgent review" of Sri Lanka’s relationship with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has long been present here and rendered yeoman service during the war and also during the tsunami, was to say the least most disturbing. This is especially so as it said that "perhaps the ICRC’s presence here was no longer necessary due to the conclusion of the conflict four years ago." Does that mean we are seriously considering more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nov 3 (ST) Perhaps dozens — or even scores — of Sri Lankan expats in the US got an unexpected windfall last week: A round-trip economy class airline ticket New York-Colombo-New York at the unbelievably low price of $300. The average price is about $1,300 (at non-peak season) and about $1,500 (at peak season). A technical glitch on the website of one of the Gulf airlines erroneously spat out the $300 fare for a more..

Man convicted of rape wins appeal

Nov 3 (ST) A man who was convicted by a court in Embilipitiya of abduction and rape of a woman won his appeal at the Court of Appeal this week. The Embilipitiya High Court found Yahawela Vidanalage Appuhamy guilty, sentenced him to ten years rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs. 5,000. His lawyer argued before the Court of Appeal that his client was known to the victim and the witness and he was not identified more..

CHOGM leaders to plant trees in Hambantota

Nov 3 (SO) All visiting Heads of Govt will take part in a tree planting campaign in Hambantota highlighting the Commonwealth of Nations' commitment to protect the environment. The leaders will be flown to the Commonwealth Botanical Garden in Mirijjawila, which is now under construction is the third botanical garden in SL and the first in the Dry Zone, where the ceremony will he held. "Everyone is talking about environment protection more..

Seven ‘failed’ doctors petition SC over alleged irregularities in PGIM exam

Nov 3 (Island) Seven medical practitioners have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application in the Supreme Court seeking leave to proceed and interim relief against the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM) alleging irregularities in the July 2013 final exam to qualify as MDs (Family Medicine). In their plea, the petitioners stated they sat for the MD (Family Medicine) exam (a postgraduate qualification) more..

Colombo draws special Traffic Plan for CHOGM

Nov 3 (NS) A special traffic plan has been announced for the 2013 CHOGM which Colombo will host from November 15-17.The CHOGM week commences on November 10 with the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Hambantota and the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Hikkaduwa. The Commonwealth Business Forum will take place at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, which will be held from November 12-14. more..

92-Octane for 90-Octane at same rate from January 2014

Nov 3 (ST) Govt will suspend the import of 90-Octane petrol and import only 92-Octane with effect from January, Minister Anura Priyadharsahana Yapa said. He said that one of the reasons was that the international market does not have 90-Octane. ‘This will be the standard, and even Lanka Indian Oil company will be told to follow the same practice,” he said. The reduction of vehicle emissions and importing of fuel which suits more..

Can Muzammil meet the deadline?

Nov 3 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has spent Rs 1.2 billion on roads and renovations in Colombo in preparation for the CHOGM, Mayor of Colombo, A.J.M. Muzammil, said. The CMC is working in partnership with the World Bank to cover the rest of the CHOGM renovation costs. The World Bank has thus far funded the projects in the Viaharamahadevi Park, Town Hall, Slave Island and the BMICH. more..

Douglas writes to MR on video

Nov 3 (CG) Govt Minister and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda has written to President Rajapaksa calling for an independent investigation into the Channel 4 video on the murder of Isaipriya. The Govt Minister says the President must call for an investigation to bring out the truth regarding the circumstances which led to Isaipriya’s death and reveal it to the public. He says the video has stirred the emotions of the Tamils both more..

Tough new regulations for three-wheelers and taxi cabs

Nov 3 (ST) Three-wheelers and taxi cabs in the Western Province will be required to clearly display a formula on fares for the notice of passengers under new regulations. The rules have also made it compulsory for three-wheelers and taxi cabs to fix a fare meter and to follow regulations issued from time to time regarding the fare meter. The relevant gazette notification was issued on Wednesday but became effective from October 10. more..

If Manmohan attends CHOGM, will he go to Jaffna too?

Nov 3 (Island) If Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh does decide to attend the CHOGM in Colombo, there is a strong possibility of his going to Jaffna, too. He may choose to visit Jaffna, the capital of the Northern Province, in response to a warm invitation from Justice CV Wigneswaran, the judge-turned-Chief Minister of the NPC. In a "Message of Thanks and Felicitation" sent to the Indian leader on October 28, Wigneswaran says: more..

Children of a lesser god

Nov 3 (CT) Rs.1.8 billion was spent on building one kilometre of the Katunayake-Colombo expressway. That was more than the 2014 Budgetary allocation for Child Development and Women’s Affairs (Rs.1.24 billion), Culture and Arts (Rs.1.48 billion), Telecommunication and Industrialisation Technology (Rs.0.957 billion), Wildlife Resources and Conservation (Rs.1.31 billion), National Heritage (Rs.1.26 billion) or Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare (Rs.0.58 billion). more..

Resurrect our freedom of speech and the rule of law

Nov 3 (CT) Some Sri Lankans say that they support Rajapaksas because Rajapaksas put an end to terrorism in Sri Lanka. There are others who say, “Look at what Rajapaksas have done; they have built new roads, airports, harbors, stadiums, and now in twenty minutes we can go to the airport; so, what else do you want from them?” I say to them, “The four Janus-faced stooges—Mahinda, Gotabaya, Basil, and Chamal—have killed your Mother and Father: Freedom of Speech and the Rule of more..

Packer offers tours for scribes

Nov 3 (CG) While a heated debate continues in Sri Lanka over the proposed casino by Australian James Packer, several Sri Lankan media heads and journalists have been offered all expense paid tours to Australia. The tours have been mainly offered to journalists who gave “positive” publicity to Packer’s proposed casino business in SL. It is learned that the media heads will be taken on a tour to Packer’s casinos in Australia more..

Attack on PC: Three suspects remanded

Nov 3 (ST) Three persons who allegedly dashed a police constable (PC) on the ground in Kandy town on Friday, when he intervened to prevent a foreign woman from being harassed, were remanded today, police said. The PC was on duty at the DIG’s office in Kandy, when he had noticed the foreign woman being harassed. The three persons who were reportedly under the influence of liquor, had abused the PC and threatened him not to intervene, as they were supporters of a politician in the area. more..

Attempt to cover-up police attack on journalist

Nov 3 (NS) Investigations into the alleged assault on journalist Chamara Amarasooriya by two officers from the Athurugiriya police have reportedly been stalled due to pressure from senior police officers, allegedly as an attempt to cover up the incident. Amarasooriya, who is attached to The Nation’s sister paper Rivira, was brutally assaulted, allegedly by two officers from the Athurugiriya police in the early hours of Oct 27. Reports alleged that Amarasooriya had tried to prevent several more..