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Sri Lanka rubber exporter hit by falling prices

Sep 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Eastern Merchants, a rubber export firm said it lost 17 million rupees in the year to March 2013, from a profit of 105 million rupees a year earlier as world rubber prices dropped. Revenues also dropped to 2.5 billion rupees from 4.6 billion rupees a year earlier. "Our turnover was mainly affected due to sluggish sales of natural rubber, which is the main revenue generator of our Company," chairman J B L de Silva told shareholders. more..

SL seeks higher wages for housemaids

Sep 9 (AN) A senior official from the Sri Lankan govt said that it needs higher wages and adequate security for domestic workers coming to the Kingdom for employment. Mangala Randeniy, deputy-general manager of the SLFBE, said that his country is no longer interested in sending more housemaids to West Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia, unless those countries come out with an attractive salary package which more..

90,000 drug peddlers arrested in 20 months

Sep 9 (CT) A whooping 90,000 suspects have been arrested by the police in connection with cannabis and heroin related offenses during the last 20 months since 2012. SSP Ajith Rohana said 15,898 suspects were arrested over heroin related offenses while another 30,448 suspects were arrested over cannabis related offenses during the last year. This year, as of yesterday, 15,516 suspects have been arrested over heroin related offenses and another 25,903 over cannabis related offenses. more..

Launching of Rizana Nafeek Foundation

Sep 9 (AT) While speaking at the launching ceremony of the Rizana Nafeek Foundation at Muthur, her birth place, Mr. K.T. Rajasigham, Chief Editor, Asian Tribune pointed out that she was an innocent young woman, unjustifiably subjected to Saudi Law and executed while President Rajapaksa, Asian Tribune and many organizations and civilians appealed for clemency and release. Launching Ceremony of Rizana Nafeek foundation was held at T/An Nahar Girls Maha Vidyalaya. more..

Maruti to decide on starting assembly unit in Sri Lanka this fiscal

Sep 9 (BS) The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) will take a final decision on setting up an assembly unit in Sri Lanka by the end of the current financial year. The facility, if commissioned, would be the first facility for the small car giant outside its home base in India. R C Bhargava, chairman, MSIL said, “Sri Lanka keeps changing its tax rates. When rates were low, it was a big market for us. more..

Sri Lankans arrested in Indonesia

Sep 9 (CG) A group of Sri Lankans were among 106 illegal immigrants arrested in Indonesia. The seven Sri Lankans had attempted to reach Christmas Island in Australia through Indonesia’s East Java when they were arrested. Head of Monitoring and Enforcement Immigration Immigration Office, Blitar Sungeb said the asylum seekers were arrested when they were about to board a ship. All 106 illegal immigrants were transferred to an immigration detention center from where they more..

CEB to lose Rs 86 M a day

Sep 9 (CT) The CEB decision to shut down the Bowatenne Hydro Power Plant (BHPP) for one month for maintenance work on the heels of maintenance being carried out on the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP), will cost the CEB a massive loss of Rs 86 million a day. Adviser of the National Electricity Consumers’ Movement (NECM), Bandula Chandrasekera said, despite the NCPP being closed for the last three weeks, the CEB has decided to carry out maintenance work on more..

Call for fresh Indian ‘intervention’ irks SL

Sep 9 (Island) President of Sri Lanka-India Friendship Society, attorney-at-law Kandiah Neelakandan has called for Indian intervention to save the civil society here. The top lawyer was making an unscheduled speech at the annual gathering at the rooftop of the Taj Samudra on Saturday night to celebrate India’s Independence Day. Indian High Commissioner Y. S. Sinha was the chief guest on the occasion. more..

Postal voting begins today

Sep 9 (Island) Postal voting in the ten Districts of the Northern, Northwestern and Central Provincial Council election will be held today and tomorrow at relevant govt institutions. Elections Department sources said that 111, 383 govt servants were eligible to cast postal votes at the govt sanctioned state offices, including camps of the Security Forces, Civil Defence Force (CDF) and police stations. Those who are unable to cast their votes on Sept. 09 and 10 can do so at more..

JVP disappointed over delay

Sep 9 (CT) The JVP, said they are losing confidence in the legal process, in view of the manner in which the proceedings of the Matale mass grave issue is being conducted in Court, and alleged the legal system is dragging its feet in meting out justice to the hundreds of nameless victims whose skeletal remains were found in the mass grave. Former Provincial Council member of the JVP, Gamagedera Dissanayake, said the JVP is disappointed in the delay in delivering justice to the victims. more..

Wet week ahead

Sep 9 (Island) Colombo yesterday received light rain with Met department predicting a wet week ahead with thunderstorms expected most parts of the country. Forecasters said that heavy rainfall could be expected in some areas, especially in the western and southern parts. Duty Meteorologist, K.D. Sujeeva said that the country’s Southwest quarter would receive rains during the mornings on week days while Uva, more..

Two drugs ordered out of the market

Sep 9 (Island) Two kinds of drugs called ‘Cicloshporine capsule’ (100mg given to kidney transplant patients to prevent rejection of transplanted kidneys) marketed by Indian Alvita Pharma company and ‘promethazine’ injection phial marketed by the same company had been temporarily suspended until further notice as these two kinds of medicine were found to be substandard, the Health Ministry said. Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority Director more..

Sexual bribe seeking principal harassed by prison inmates

Sep 9 (Island) Principal of Ananda Vidyalaya at Kottawa, Geegana Dharmadasa, who is in remand for allegedly attempting to accept a sexual bribe from a female parent last week, has complained to Welikada Prison authorities that he is being harassed and intimidated by other prisoners. Prison guards found him lying on the floor of his cell, frothing from mouth and nose. Dharmadasa was later taken to the prison hospital and the doctor said that he didn’t suffer from any ailment. more..

'Prabhakaran may have become Chief Minister'

Sep 9 (DM) If Prabhakaran had surrendered, he would have been with the Rajapaksa family now and also have become Chief Minister, Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka said in Jaffna on Saturday. “During the war no (LTTE) Senior Leaders surrendered, but those such as KP and Daya Master in particular, who surrendered are now with the family of President Rajapaksa.” He charged that the present Jaffna Commander more..

Mathata thitha: cheers or jeers?

Sep 9 (DM) For several years the Rajapaksa regime appears to have been politically intoxicated with its ‘Mathata thitha’ campaign, claiming or boasting that it has significantly reduced the number of people who are abusing or addicted to tobacco, alcohol or narcotics. The National Authority set up for this purpose has indeed been doing an excellent job. So much so that Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena last week received an achievement of excellence award from the World Health Organisation more..

Proliferation of Social Issues and Human Suffering

Sep 9 (DM) Rapid proliferation of Social Issues in Sri Lanka in recent years is an unmistakable fact. Crime, sexual abuse, corruption, breakup of family, domestic violence, suicide, mental illness, conflict, violence, poverty, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, etc have emerged as major social issues leading to immense human suffering. The key factors that have contributed to these issues are a) disruption of social relationships at both interpersonal and societal levels, more..

Seeking refuge in education

Sep 9 (Hindu) Caught in the grip of a violent history, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India see education as a boon that will help them tide over the situation. There are 67,000 refugees from Sri Lanka in over 100 refugee camps spread across Tamil Nadu. Nearly one–third of its members are now studying at various levels. This year, 49 students from the camps have been called for counselling to engineering colleges, more..

Pillay to fire, Geneva mission to respond

Sep 9 (SL) While the dust settles on what has now become a controversial visit to Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the govt is preparing to take her head on at the UNHRC which will be meeting for its 24th session in Geneva today. Pillay will be making an oral statement on Sri Lanka to the Council on September 25 on the implementation of resolution 22/1 on promoting reconciliation and more..

Rising number of child deaths exposes parental negligence

Sep 9 (ST) An unprotected construction pit at Mampe in Piliyandala became a watery grave for seven-year old Kavindu Kashmir and four-year-old Kavini Nivarthana when they were playing near a culvert close to their home while their mother was away. The children drowned in the six-foot pit that had been dug by road constructors. Their mother, 36-year-old Lathika Roshanthi, had gone to her sister’s residence to hand over more..

New teachers deployed as UPFA campaigners

Sep 9 (CT) Recently-appointed teachers in Kilinochchi are being used to campaign for the ruling party, the UPFA, for the forthcoming PC elections, election monitors have alleged. Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon, said in the Bharathipuram, Krishnapuram and Malayalamupuram areas, teachers are engaged in election campaigns of EPDP candidates who are contesting the NPC elections under UPFA. more..

PediaPro purchases paediatricians

Sep 9 (NS) The Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians has been placed in a highly embarrassing position, after photographs emerged from its annual scientific congress indicating that Fonterra Brands Lanka may have sponsored the event in part. This came in a context where Fonterra came under harsh criticism from various sections of the medical fraternity for distributing milk power products that contained hazardous components, more..

Disquiet over China's unsolicited projects

Sep 9 (ENS) With the West showing disdain for Sri Lanka, India lacking the political will and financial resources needed to play its role as the regional power, and with Lanka itself entertaining fears of domination by the West and India, China has stepped into the breach with alacrity. China has become Lanka’s highest creditor since the end of the war in 2009 and the biggest executor of multi-million dollar reconstruction projects. more..

DPF wants Hindu Kovil

Sep 9 (CT) The Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF) has requested governmental authorities not to shift the Hindu Kovil in Dambulla, until legal documentation for the relocation is completed by the UDA. DPF Deputy Leader, Dr. N. Kumaraguruparan, condemned the attack against minorities in the area, citing the recent vandalism of the statue of Goddess Sri Badhrakali, after it was removed from the Kovil in Dambulla. more..

Emergency SLC meeting to discuss charges

Sep 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee, which has been stung by their ex-colleague K. Mathivanan’s statement to Daily Mirror that there is a mafia in operation in SLC administration, will have an emergency meeting today to discuss the allegation and decide on a collective media statement to present their side of the story. SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa felt the words were in bad taste and was a slur more..

Mental health cost borne by families of missing in Sri Lanka

Sep 9 (IRIN) Sri Lanka has yet to address the psychological trauma suffered by family members of thousands of missing persons, even decades after their disappearances, by not acknowledging the extent and circumstances of these disappearances, say activists and researchers. “Family members are often haunted by questions or fears about what suffering their missing spouses, children or parents may have more..

Navi Pillay warns Sri Lanka: Protect those I spoke to from intimidation and attack

Sep 9 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today warned Sri Lanka against reprisals targeting human rights defenders, journalists and communities she met during her recent Sri Lanka visit. Pillay said that the UN the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report on cooperation with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights is before the Council at the current session. more..

GMOA wants action against hospital directors

Sep 9 (Island) Severe disciplinary action should be taken against hospital directors by the Health Secretary for not complying with directives issued by the Ministry to send lists of doctors, the powerful doctors’ union said. Although Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala and the Pubic Service Commission (PSC) had officially asked the hospital directors to send lists of doctors in their respective hospitals to the health ministry to prepare a complete database to more..

Disarming the juggernaut of religious intolerance

Sep 9 (CT) The youth of Sri Lanka express their dismay and alarm over the apparent surge in religious intolerance and communal discord that has permeated our society in the post-LTTE era and particularly in recent months. It is a pity that the ‘infamous’ “Grandpass incident”, a subject of intense political drama a few weeks back, was neither “isolated “ nor “random”, as some conveniently assert. Research conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) indicates that more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

International forces meddling in Lankan affairs - Nimal

Sep 9 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that various international forces were trying to topple the govt by creating unnecessary problems, when elections were about to be held. When the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights visited Sri Lanka, the government accepted the challenge. When the international forces were threatening the country, the govt needed the support of the people. TNA had prepared its own election manifesto to clearly challenge their unitary status more..

Sri Lanka expects more foreign portfolio investments

Sep 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting more foreign investment into shares, officials who participated in a forum in Hong Kong have said. Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that over 100 institutional, high net worth investors, and fund managers participated in the investment forum where 11 Sri Lankan firms were showcased. "We are pleased to have received a positive response from participants for our first ever investor event in Hong Kong," more..

'Expose all communalists hiding in all nationalities'

Sep 9 (LT) All communalists that hide in all nationalities should be exposed says Associate President of ‘Anti imperialist Peoples Movement’ (AiPM) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero. Thero said, “As the ‘Anti imperialist Peoples Movement’ the media conference was arranged regarding the situation created by two statements that were released recently. One is the election manifesto of the TNA and the other is the more..

Indian National Defence College Team visits SLN Headquarters

Sep 9 (SLN) A fifteen-member team from the National Defence College (NDC) of India visited the SLN Headquarters in Colombo today. The team was headed by Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya and comprised of officers from Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Nepal and Uganda. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage briefed the visiting team on the contribution made by the Sri Lanka Navy for the safety and security of the Indian Ocean and its Sea Lines of Communication. more..

Private buses in several areas between Vavuniya and Jaffna on strike

Sep 9 (AD) Private buses operating in several areas between Vavuniya and Jaffna have gone on strike this morning demanding that two members of the Vavuniya Bus Association be released from police custody. Buses operating from Vavuniya to Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar have halted operations this morning. The incident that led to the arrest of the two bus association members involved a bus traveling from Hambantota to Jaffna which allegedly illegally picked up passengers in more..

Sexual bribe case: Teachers’ unions blame education minister

Sep 9 (Island) While vehemently condemning the alleged demanding of a sexual bribe by the Principal of the Kottawa Ananda Vidyalaya, Geeganage Dharmadasa, to admit a child to the school, teacher trade unionists demanded that the Education Minister take immediate action to stop charging of fees for school admissions. General Secretary of the JVP affiliated CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said that as teachers they more..

No new tenders for railway canteens

Sep 9 (CT) Most long distance trains and several key railway stations, the Colombo Fort and Maradana, in particular, have not renewed the annual tenders to run the restaurants, resulting in commuters facing many difficulties in having a meal or even a cup of tea in between their journeys. General Secretary of the Samastha SLDSPSS, Sumathipala Manawadu, told Ceylon Today, the reason that tenders have not been called for from prospective bidders to run the canteens more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady; pressure remains

Sep 9 (Reuters) Rupee traded steady on Monday supported by an earlier directive by the central bank not to trade the currency beyond a certain level, but it still remained under pressure. The central bank had directed banks not to trade cash as well as one-day- and two-day- forwards beyond 133.00 per dollar and spot next or three-day forwards beyond 133.05. The rupee spot next, which was active in the market in the absence of spot trade, was flat at 133.05/15 per dollar. more..

Council members slam Lanka

Sep 9 (CG) Several members of the UNHRC today slammed Sri Lanka over the alleged threats faced by people who met the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay during her recent visit to Sri Lanka. The United States urged the Sri Lankan govt to make use of the UN offer of technical assistance on addressing human rights related issues. Speaking at the 24th session of the UNHRC today, the US Ambassador to more..

Let us be sincere

Sep 9 (CT) It is just over week since the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, left our shores having gleaned her own impression of the ground situation prevailing in the war-torn North and East. The media has been replete with reports about her meetings with the war- affected people, especially the weeping mothers still searching for their missing sons and daughters, which elicited the comment ‘Though the war has ended the sufferings remain.’ more..

SE Asian central banks meet in Colombo to discuss economic growth and stability

Sep 9 (Island) Directors of Research and Training in the South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) will meet in Colombo today to discuss how to drive economic growth and stability. The 35th meeting of the SEACEN Directors of Research and Training (DORT) is scheduled be held from 09 - 11 September 2013 at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo. The meeting aims to discuss strategic issues of the SEACEN members, review the progress of research and training activities more..