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Ravi K urges govt to save national carrier

Nov 28 (Island) Projections are that the huge losses suffered by SriLankan and Mihin Lanka Airlines would continue to mount, but the govt, without implementing a proper restructuring plan, was taxing the masses to fund the two white elephants, the UNP charged. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that SriLankan had incurred an operating loss of Rs. 20 billion last year, while its partner Mihin Lanka was in the red to the tune of over a billion rupees. more..

Agri-Ministry to deal with high phosphorus levels in vegetable cultivations

Nov 28 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry will take immediate measures to address the issue of high soil phosphorus levels in vegetable cultivations specially in the up-country, Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary Nimal Dissanayake said. Addressing a media conference, he said the Phosphorus content in farming fields in Nuwara Eliya has exceeded the limit due to the excessive additions of chemical fertilizer. more..

‘Learning by Teaching’ Striving to create an invaluable workforce

Nov 28 (DM) Grad­u­ate un­em­ploy­ment is at­trib­uted by some an­a­lysts to the poor con­tent of de­gree pro­grammes be­ing of­fered and the out­da­ted teach­ing meth­ods adop­ted. Against this back­drop, the High­er Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­try, as part of its plan for sweep­ing changes in the uni­ver­si­ty cur­ric­u­la, is now head­ing to­wards the in­tro­duc­tion of a new teach­ing meth­od­ol­o­gy at the uni­ver­si­ty, which is the con­cept of learn­ing by teach­ing. more..

Over 90,000 war widows forced to become breadwinners

Nov 28 (CT) The Chairperson of Viluthu Foundation, Shanthi Satchithanandan, making a startling revelation recently, said more than 90,000 war widows in the North and East remain as breadwinners of their families, without any proper assistance to engage in a chosen livelihood. Satchithanandan was speaking at a seminar held at Green Garden Hotel in Kalladi, last week, where the issues of war widows and the families more..

British envoy in India justifies David Cameron’s participation at CHOGM

Nov 28 (TOI) Bharat Joshi, the new British deputy high commissioner to India, on Wednesday stressed that he believed that his country was right in attending the recently concluded CHOGM in Sri Lanka. Joshi said, "Our PM David Cameron has demonstrated our human rights concerns by visiting the displaced Tamils in Jaffna. Cameron has even called on Sri Lanka to address the human rights issues and violations during the ethnic strife." more..

Uthayan wins Press Freedom Prize

Nov 28 (CG) The 2013 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize has been awarded to imprisoned Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov and the Sri Lankan Tamil-language daily Uthayan. The names of the winners were announced during a ceremony in Strasbourg’s city hall, where the awards were presented to Uthayan editor Vallipuram Kaanamylnaathan and owner Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, and more..

Customs loses up to Rs 100 million a day

Nov 28 (CT) A fraud believed to have been costing the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) up to Rs 100 million a day in lost profits, had been uncovered at the BIA, Katunayake. The scam relates to the duty-free entitlement granted to passengers returning to Sri Lanka after being overseas for at least two years, who are therefore allowed to purchase goods totalling up to the value of Rs 236,250 from the duty-free complex. more..

5,000 complaints of disappearances

Nov 28 (CT) The three-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Rajapaksa to investigate the missing persons has thus far received over 5,000 complaints from the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Chairman of the Commission, Maxwell Paranagama, said. "Currently, we are processing the complaints we have received. Once the processing is concluded, experts will be sent to more..

Sampanthan at odds with Sritharan

Nov 28 (DM) The TNA yesterday distanced itself from the statement made by its MP S. Sritharan eulogising the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Party leader R. Sampanthan said that this was certainly not the position of the party. MP Sritharan had told Parliament, in a statement, that Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter who died a heroic death on behalf of Tamil people. more..

Peace as a global development goal of the Commonwealth

Nov 28 (CT) The CHOGM 2013 has come and gone. The time is now opportune to ensure that Sri Lanka takes the lead in the formulating the Commonwealth’s proposals for the Global Development Agenda of the UN. The article begins with a brief introduction to the history and relevance of United Nations Development Goals, and argues why global peace should be a primary focus for the Commonwealth. The justification for this stance of the Commonwealth is that it arose from more..

Speaker insists MP listed to present public petitions be present

Nov 28 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday said that all members listed to present public petitions to the House should be present during the time reserved for that purpose. He said that MPs had been given the privilege to submit their petitions meant to be forwarded to the Public Petitions Committee on the dates chosen from the parliamentary calendar by themselves. However, it was very disappointing that the MPs were absent during that time. more..

Trade Unions object to court involvement

Nov 28 (CT) The Govt, Semi-Govt and Private Trade Unions Collective Committee has voiced its objections against the involvement of the courts with regard to Trade Union issues, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union Joseph Stalin stated during a media briefing today. Stalin who was representing the Govt, Semi-Govt and Private Trade Unions Collective Committee said that protesting was a fundamental right and more..

The cost of city beautification

Nov 28 (CT) In an article headlined, 'Abandoned, derelict, covered in graffiti and rubbish: What is left of Athens' £ 9 billion Olympic glory,' Andrew Malone of UK's Daily Mail wrote in 2008, "Four years after an outpouring of national delight when the Olympic Games returned to their spiritual home in the shadow of the Acropolis, the security men were trying to hide evidence of the most scandalous abuse of public money in Olympic history." He was writing about post Olympics Greece, more..

Half of Lanka in pain

Nov 28 (Island) Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka cautioned this week that about 50% of the population in Sri Lanka suffered from various types of body pains. The pains originating from muscular, bone and joints and nervous system could be attributed to wrong methods practised in doing exercises and shouldering weights. Dr. Jayathilaka pointed out that most people were engaged in doing exercises in the wrong way. As a result they were liable to various bodily pains. more..

GMOA to launch website on food

Nov 28 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has decided to launch a website to raise public awareness of nutritious food. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya pointed out, at GMOA head office on Monday, that non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases and many other complications were due to unhealthy food habits. Dr. Padeniya added that a majority of fast food items such as more..

'Gota’s ex-security personnel’s company can invest funds without treasury approval'

Nov 28 (CT) A Company under the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa can invest funds without obtaining the Treasury approval, a parliamentary committee said. Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defense Rajapaksa gestures during a commemoration ceremony of fallen soldiers in Ganemulla. The COPE said in its latest report to the Parliament that the ‘Rakna Arakshana Lanka Ltd.’ runs under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development ‘being a private company, more..

Cameroon markets investment potentials in Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (BC) Cameroon’s Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) recently took part in the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in Colombo – Sri Lanka, to sell the country’s rich investment potentials to potential investors. The theme was, “Partnership for Wealth Creation and Social Development." Reports say Cameroon’s delegation to the event comprised officials of the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of External Relations and the Ministry of Mines, Industries and more..

Rare horned lizards of Sri Lanka revealed

Nov 28 (NG) Quite a lot, if you’re a Cerataphora lizard. New research on this little-known and much endangered genus of agamid lizard, which is found only in the tropical lowland and mountain cloud forests of Sri Lanka, is poised to shed a great deal of light on these creatures’ unusual horns. Some other agamids have ornamentation including throat sacs or crests, like the burst of reptilian sunshine that is more..

Minister trumpets Lanka’s health achievements, but laments workers’ attitude

Nov 28 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says an operation performed in America cost on average of Rs. 10 million, but the same operation could be done in Sri Lanka at a cost of Rs. 1 million. The Minister pointed out that only one doctor catered to about 1,300 persons in Sri Lanka. But, in Cuba one doctor served only 750 persons. Only 60 US dollars was spent on a person in Sri Lanka. In America 22,000 dollars were spent per person on health. more..

Osu Sala to step in during strikes

Nov 28 (DM) Govt hospital in-house patients could get medicines free of charge on prescriptions from nearby state Osu Sala outlets whenever hospital staff went on strike, the Health Ministry said. The Deputy Managing Director, Sales of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Madura Kuruppu also confirmed to Daily Mirror, that patients with the government hospital medical prescription could get medicines free of charge from Osu Sala outlets during strikes. more..

SF in courts

Nov 28 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka today giving evidence in the attempted assassination on him by a suicide bomber on September 2006 at the Army Headquarters in Colombo, recalled the harrowing ordeal which left him critically injured. He said for about five minutes after the bomb blast he remained clutching to the vehicle door. He said after the blast he got out of the vehicle and remained more..

Health trade unions continue strike, unaware of court order

Nov 28 (AD) The Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and Paramedic Services is continuing with their strike action for the second day despite a court order issued yesterday preventing the 48 hour trade union action. 16 trade unions of the Govt Health Services sector engaged in the strike, based on several demands, from 7.00am yesterday (27) and is scheduled to end at 7.00am tomorrow. The Colombo District Court, after considering a petition more..

Abeysinghe says he does not want to send Ranil home

Nov 28 (Island) Kurunegala District UNP MP Ashoka Abeysinghe yesterday told the Leadership Council (LC) that he was not on a mission to get rid of his National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Abeysinghe, along with Puttalam District parliamentarian Ranga Bandara, were summoned before the LC for allegedly making public statements to the effect that Wickremesinghe should be sent home for good, after the LC last week dropped disciplinary inquiries against the duo. more..

Two Japanese Naval Ships arrive at the Port of Colombo

Nov 28 (SLN) Two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships, Samidare DD-106 and Sazanami DD-113, arrived at the Port of Colombo for a goodwill and supply visit today. The ships are en route for Counter Piracy Operations off the Coast of Somaliya and in the Gulf of Aden. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Head of the mission, Commander Escort more..

Building of several expressways to start in January

Nov 28 (GDI) Work on construction of many expressways is to be started early next year. Project Minister of Highways Mr. Nirmala Kotelawala said that the construction work on the expressway linking Colombo to Kurunegala, Dambulla and Kandy, will begin in January. He said that under the first phase the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway will be extended to Kurunegala via Ederamulla and Meerigama, and then extended up to Katugastota in Kandy. The next phase will be the more..

Video: 21 sailors injured in bus accident; night mail train delayed

Nov 28 (AD) Twenty-one sailors were injured, three critically, after a bus carrying navy personnel was involved in an accident near the Diyatalawa railway station today, Diyatalawa hospital sources said. Police said 25 navy personnel were onboard the bus when the accident occurred at around 5.30pm at the junction near the Diyatalawa railway station. The wounded persons have been admitted to the Diyatalawa Hospital, police said. Meanwhile the Colombo Fort-bound night mail train from more..

Brandix named among Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens

Nov 28 (F2F) The Brandix Group was the apparel sector’s standard bearer at the 2013 Best Corporate Citizen awards, winning sector and category awards for ‘Environmental Sustainability’ and ‘Environmental Integration’ and adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens. Brandix was the only apparel manufacturer and the only privately owned business group in the Top 10 at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards more..

Nose-bite case amicably settled

Nov 28 (DM) The case filed against Ratnapura District UNP MP Dinesh Gankanda on the charges of having assaulted a businessman and biting his nose, was amicably settled before the Colombo Fort Magistrate today. When the case came up before Magistrate Thilina Gamage, both the defendant and the complainant expressed their willingness to settle the case. As the complainant did not claim compensation from the defendant but fully committed himself to the settlement, more..

'No decrease in paddy prices'

Nov 28 (GDI) Minister Johnston Fernando responding to a question raised by the UNP MP Sajith Premadasa at the parliament today, said that a price formula is not necessary as there is a fixed selling price of Rs.32 for a kilo of Nadu and Rs.35 for a kilo of Samba. President Rajapaksa fulfilling the pledge given in Mahinda Chinthana in the year 2005, has taken steps to give a fair solution to farmers. A Kilo of Paddy priced at Rs.14 and Rs.15 then has now increased to more..

R.I.T. Alles passes away at 81

Nov 28 (AD) The founding principal of D.S. Senanayake College, educationist R.I.T. Alles has passed away today at the age of 81. Ralph Ignatius Thomas Alles, who also served as the State Secretary for Ministry of Education from 1989 to 1993, was the Chairman of the Gateway Group till his death. Educated at St. Aloysius’ College, Galle and at St. Anthony’s College in Kandy, he started his career as a teacher, eventually becoming more..

‘Ill-gotten & LTTE monies laundered openly’

Nov 28 (SM) Sri Lanka has become a key money laundering centre where ill gotten monies and those of the LTTE are being laundered openly, says UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera. Joining the budget debate in parliament yesterday, he noted that in contravention to the communiqué issued following the CHOGM in Colombo, Sri Lanka has become a major centre for money laundering and the whole economy is focussed on laundering ill gotten monies. “Most of the LTTE monies and more..

'Why cannot amounts allocated to Srilankan & Mihin Air allocated to SLTB'

Nov 28 (LT) Srilankan and Mihin Lanka air lines have been allocated Rs.26,000 million from the budget 2014 but only Rs.1500 million has been allocated for capital expenditure for SLTB states the General Secretary of All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union Sepala Liyanage adding that the allocation for the SLTB is insufficient. In a letter to the President the General Secretary of All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union states Rs.11,316 million is needed for improvements for the SLTB more..

'Sri Lanka will apply ethical concepts to foreign employment management'

Nov 28 (GDI) Minister Dilan Perera has said Sri Lanka which recently assumed the Chairmanship of the Colombo Process - the Regional Consultative Process on migration, will do its utmost to share its experience and bring together the eleven countries and nine observer countries of this group to address common interests, including the mismatches between supply and demand andt. He said Sri Lanka will also play its full part more..

Pomp, pageantry and then …

Nov 29 (NS) One might say it is too early to draw up the balance sheet of the CHOGM held in Colombo from November 15 to 17 and other associated events, which the Government of Sri Lanka claimed were all part of the CHOGM program. This is because the results of some of the extraneous events like the Commonwealth Investors’ [Business] Forum might take time to gestate and produce results. Many wheels would have to turn before the Investment Forum brings results. more..

Teacher transfers sans replacements

Nov 29 (NS) Recently, I was asked to conduct a four-hour seminar for English language for the benefit of the students sitting for the upcoming GCE (OL) exam. I went there presuming that the pupils would have covered the syllabus and equipped to face the exam confidently. But I was thoroughly disappointed. It did not take me long to find out these boys and girls were struggling like frogs in the well. They could not answer questions on simple grammar like nouns, verbs, adjectives, more..

Why Casinos only? Give Booruwa also a place

Nov 29 (NS) From time immorial mankind has been engaged in all manner of sporting and recreational activities for its happiness and wellbeing. Of all these different activities, gambling has been universal. The Eskimos gamble on the appearance of polar bears over ice caps, the Masai tribesmen throw spears at pumpkins hanging from high branches for cattle as stakes. Dice cubes dating back to more..

Post-CHOGM call for accountability needs to be more balanced

Nov 29 (Island) Within Sri Lanka, the govt has reason to be satisfied with the outcome of CHOGM. President Rajapaksa obtained the Chairmanship of the Commonwealth which is being used politically within the country to bolster the President’s image. However, internationally, the die has been cast and the controversy surrounding the end phase of Sri Lanka’s war are going to get worse. British PM David Cameron’s assertion that he would push for an international investigation more..

Wages of waste

Nov 29 (CT) Winds whistle over the bund of the old neglected tank; the tank bed is covered with gravel that has not been removed for the last couple of years. It has not been dredged to sustain more water, at least the kind that falls from the skies as rain. The Irrigation Engineer complains that there is no financial provision for any rehabilitation purposes. The tertiary canals, irrigation canals and branch canals that bring water to the field are all clogged up; the culverts are broken and have been more..

Short message torment

Nov 29 (CT) Mount Lavinia High Court recently ordered a suspect to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 to a person who claimed that he was mentally harassed by the text messages he received from another person. The victim of this bullying, Chandrasekara Jayathilaka of Wellawatta, complained to the police, who then identified the culprit and framed charges against him. Our sister paper Mawbima interviewed Jayathilaka to more..

China’s pronouncement and Sri Lanka’s obligation

Nov 29 (CT) Even when far too much is not read into China’s statement following the 18th Congress of the Communist Party, it is gleaming in its significance. For the first time, China has been vocal in her exhortation to Sri Lanka. Qin Gang the Foreign Ministry spokesman conveyed tersely, that Sri Lanka has to “make efforts to protect and promote human rights”. Not stopping at that he continues, “other countries in the world should provide constructive assistance”. more..