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'Some people want me to die soon'

Sep 29 (Island) "Some people want me to die soon," Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Chairman, Harry Jayawardena, told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held on Friday at the BMICH. The remark was made, partly in banter, after a shareholder complimentary of returns provided by the company to its members, wished him long life. There were some lively exchanges, sparked by a suggestion that a more..

Brandix supported Robofest 2013 ends on high note

Sep 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and Mahinda College Galle emerged winners in their categories at Robofest 2013, an event supported by Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter Brandix as main sponsor. More than 60 robotic applications competed in the university category, while schools submitted over 100 applications at this annual robotic competition organised by the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering of SLIIT. more..

UCSC recruits new students for specialized Web Design and PHP-MySQL

Sep 29 (Island) The University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC), the trusted name for high-quality ICT higher education in Sri Lanka, announced that it has started recruiting new students for specialized, short-term ICT training programs scheduled to commence in September and October this year. UCSC is a centre of international repute in training in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). UCSC prepare students for careers in Programming more..

Vehicle Permits for PC members suspended

Sep 29 (SL) The Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils has decided to suspend issuing vehicle permits to Provincial Council members for the next 2 ½ years. Accordingly Chief Ministers appointed following the last provincial polls and over 145 newly elected PC members will not receive new vehicle permits. The last time vehicle permits were issued was in January this year and some members elected to more..

UNP Clear on 17 cloudy on 13

Sep 29 (NS) The UNP continues to be non-committal on its stance over the implementation of 13th Amendment, while calling for the implementation of the 17th Amendment. The UNP has been maintaining silence on the devolution of land and police powers that were envisaged in the 13th Amendment that came into being through the Indo-Lanka Peace accord signed between the then UNP government and India in 1987. The UNP, however, has been calling for the more..

Shiranthi honored for services towards autistic children

Sep 29 (NS) First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has been praised by first ladies of the world for her services to children with autism in Sri Lanka. She was attending a conference of first ladies organized by the international organization “Autism Speaks” which was held simultaneously with the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Ban Soon-Taek, wife of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was the Chief Guest at the conference. More than 40 first ladies took part in the event. more..

Muslims took a big hit due to polarization of politics on ethnic basis

Sep 29 (Island) The polarization of politics on an ethnic basis in Sri Lanka had resulted in none of the Muslim UPFA candidates who contested from the Puttalam, Kurunegala, Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts being elected, General Secretary of the SLMC MP Hassen Ali said. "The votes of the Muslim community have largely gone waste without securing due representation more..

Moves to oust Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sep 29 (NS) Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the UNP is once again the target of an ouster campaign, following yet another electoral debacle. Last Monday, immediately after results of the recently concluded provincial council elections were announced, the UNP’s Western Provincial Councillors adopted a strongly-worded resolution calling for Wickremesinghe’s immediate resignation. Officials attached to the UNP Headquarters, Sirikotha admitted that there were a few more..

Incumbent Bishop accused of wrongdoing

Sep 29 (Island) Trinity College circles are buzzing about an affidavit sworn by the former Bishop of Kurunegala, Bishop Kumara Ilangasinghe, alleging that the incumbent, Bishop Shantha Francis, then Archdeacon of the Kurunegala Dioscese, had improperly requested and got the then property Secretary of the Dioscese who was a JP to sign a document relating to the withdrawal of the pension of his (the Archdeacon’s) deceased mother-in-law. Bishop Shantha said he was aware of this more..

Moves afoot to create artificial offshore island off Hambantota

Sep 29 (Island) The govt has decided to go ahead with plans to dump the sand dredged from the seabed under the second phase of the Port Development Project in Hambantota to create an artificial offshore island with a 40- acre land area. The second phase of this key port project is now underway at a cost of US$ 808 million, which has been negotiated as loan from the EXIM Bank of China. With the completion of dredging more..

CSE on a merry chase to pin stock firm for inquiry

Sep 29 (ST) It looks like the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is on a wild goose chase but unable to pin down firms even in the pursuit of preliminary investigations on complaints. After missing appointments to face the CSE on two occasions, LOLC Stockbrokers is to meet the CSE on Wednesday on a complaint made by PC Pharma Chairman S.H.M. Rishan. “CSE sent a letter asking us to meet them on the 20th of this month, but had to postpone it as the LOLC team had a more..

Motorists bemused by Southern Expressway speed limits, rules

Sep 29 (ST) Motorists have been bemused by speed limits and road rules to be followed when driving on Sri Lanka’s first toll road- the Southern Expressway. Several owners of brand new motor vehicles said they found it difficult to adhere to the maximum speed limit of 100 km per hour because the road is wide and that they have paid the toll to get to Galle or thereabouts as fast as possible. On the other hand their vehicles are capable of reaching a minimum speed of 125 km per hour more..

Mammoth delegation, Twitter fiasco, infighting mar President’s UN visit

Sep 29 (ST) President Rajapaksa was in New York this week for the annual UN General Assembly sessions with his customary mammoth delegation from Sri Lanka and elsewhere. They included Ministers G.L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Athauda Seneviratne, Dulles Allahapperuma, Monitor Sajin Vaas Gunawardene, MP Lohan Ratwatte, former Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, several more..

Judge says sexual bribes corrupting society

Sep 29 (ST) A management assistant attached to the Medical Superintendent’s office in Wellawaya was sentenced this week to 20 years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) for demanding a sexual bribe from a female minor employee to approve a transfer. Colombo High Court Judge Wimal Nambuwasam delivering the verdict said offering and accepting sexual bribes have resulted in the society being thoroughly corrupted. Lekamge Ariyapala (63) from Kithulgasyaya had told the employee that more..

TNA happy to appear before the SC

Sep 29 (CT) General Secretary of the ITAK and Jaffna District TNA MP, Mavai S. Senathirajah, said there was nothing to hide over the TNA manifesto for the Northern Province, and that he would be happy to appear before the Supreme Court (SC) on 2 October. Senathiraja said, a petition had been filed at the SC, requesting the TNA manifesto be probed, to ascertain whether it had been prepared in manner that would instigate separatism. "The TNA had prepared its NPC manifesto in a manner to more..

TNA wants President in Jaffna for CM oaths

Sep 29 (ST) The TNA which swept the NPC polls last week has held out an olive branch to President Rajapaksa by inviting him to Jaffna to swear in Chief Minister designate C.V. Wigneswaran and other councillors. “We are now waiting for the President’s return from the United States,” TNA leader Rajavarothayam Sampathan said. He said the TNA wanted the President to swear in those elected — but in Jaffna. more..

Public Caning mooted

Sep 29 (SL) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s affairs is to propose caning in public for child abusers and rapists. Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said that Sri Lanka has seen a drastic increase in reports of child abuse and rape. He said that on earlier occasions he had called for tougher laws to curb the trend but the issue had taken a back seat. The Minister said that initially it was proposed that the death sentence or life in prison be given to rapists. more..

Champika says Wigneswaran should be arrested for violating laws

Sep 29 (CT) Secretary of the JHU, Minister Champika Ranawaka, said if the Chief Minister elect of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, acts in violation of judicial orders and attempts to call for international intervention in national affairs, he should be arrested by the law enforcement authorities. He reiterated that Wigneswaran could be dealt with under the existing legal provisions for violation of the law, and the govt need not deal with a fascist who is striving to more..

Northern verdict: Crucial factor for next presidential poll

Sep 29 (ST) It took less than a quarter of Sri Lanka’s 14.4 million voters to send strong messages, both to the Govt and the Opposition, at last week’s PC elections. The enormity of such messages, from among the 4.3 million eligible to vote, appeared significant. It foretold the newer manifestations in the political horizon. The most important ones were for the UPFA Govt. In the North a survey commissioned by more..

‘Vehicle leasing market saturated’

Sep 29 (NS) Sri Lanka’s vehicle leasing industry, which in the past few years has faced volatility mainly due to ad hoc tax revisions on import duties, is presently saturated. According to Director of People’s Merchant Finance Govindasamy Ramanan the emergence of new players during the past five years, and the rigorous expansion culture adopted by certain companies notwithstanding changes in the corresponding demand has paved way to such overcrowding. more..

ICTA Co-hosts Cybercrime workshop

Sep 29 (Island) An important capacity building workshop on cybercrime and electronic evidence specifically for law-enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges will be held at Hilton, Colombo on October 4-5. Jointly initiated by the Council of Europe and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), this workshop will be a rare training opportunity for law enforcement in the area of cybercrime. Putting the workshop in perspective, Chairman ICTA Prof. P.W. Epasinghe stated that: more..

UPFA factions go berserk in Kurunegala

Sep 29 (NS) UPFA intra-party clashes intensified between the chief minister designate Dayasiri Jayasekara and Minister Johnston Fernando factions in Kurunegala a week after polls, with election observers claiming violence was rampant in several areas of the district, as the two sides traded accusations and counter-accusations at each other. Frequent clashes between supporters of both factions were reported allegedly more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Sep 29 (ST) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in the news last week over the breakthrough agreement with the US on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, was a onetime junior diplomat in the Russian Embassy in Colombo in the early 1970s. According to a former UN Tass correspondent, who was also based in Colombo at that time, Mr. Lavrov was so fluent in Sinhala that one of his duties was to more..

China seeks minerals, logistics services

Sep 29 (LBO) Chinese firms are planning to buy activated carbon and rubber from Sri Lanka following the visit of a trade delegation and others are in talks over minerals and logistics services, the island's trade ministry said. "We have identified one Lankan partner firm for trading in activated carbon," An Qi Fu, international business manager of CITIC International, a Chinese state firm, was quoted as saying in a statement. more..

Indians throw away 30 % of their catch

Sep 29 (ST) As much as 30% of the fish caught by Indian poachers in Sri Lankan waters is dumped back into the sea as ‘waste fish’ as the fishermen engage in internationally banned IUU (Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported) fishing practices. Bottom trawling is banned both in India and Sri Lanka, but Indian fishermen engage in the practice in Sri Lankan waters with impunity with the encouragement of the Tamil Nadu State govt more..

Vasu wants land powers devolved

Sep 29 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, plans to present the proposal made by the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) to equally distribute power over State lands between the Central Govt and the Provincial Councils, to the Special Parliamentary Select Committee on amendments to the 13th Amendment, when it meets on Wednesday (3). The APRC headed by Prof. Tissa Vitarana more..

Act against Sri Lanka, says Jayalalithaa

Sep 29 (IANS) India should show “greater firmness” to force Sri Lanka to stop attacking and arresting Tamil Nadu fishermen on the sea, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has said. She also urged the central govt to put diplomatic pressure on Colombo to secure the release of the Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said: “The govt of India has virtually abandoned its more..

Pleasure Park to be launched on Crow Island

Sep 29 (Island) The govt has decided to develop the beachfront of the Crow Island at Mattakkuliya into a pleasure park with entertainment for visitors, govt sources said. World Bank funded project is expected to be completed at a cost of Rs. 125 million. A team of architects familiar with beachfront development projects in the Asia–Pacific region has been entrusted with the task of designing the park, which targets more..

Dilshan to retire from Test cricket?

Sep 29 (IC) According to Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan may retire from Test cricket after the series against Pakistan next January. Jayasuriya stressed on the need to utilise New Zealand A's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka to prepare for Dilshan's retirement. "There is a likelihood of Dilshan retiring from the longer version of the game after the Pakistan series, so we have to be ready," more..

'Polls Chief powerless'

Sep 29 (CT) Former Chief Elections Commissioner of India, N. Gopalaswami, who headed the Mission of International Election Observers in the recently held provincial elections said, Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner is 'powerless'. The report issued by the international monitors stated the negative perception about the election could have been largely controlled or eliminated, had the Commissioner of Election been vested more..

No deadline says govt

Sep 29 (CG) The govt says it has not been issued with a “deadline” by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to address concerns over human rights. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama said that the media had misunderstood what Pillay said at the Council when she presented an oral report on Sri Lanka last week. Pillay had said in her report that if the govt does not address human rights more..

Ranil’s defiance in defeat

Sep 29 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe is showing amazing staying power, not as a viable alternative to a regime steering Sri Lanka into becoming a banana republic with all its accompanying ills of widespread corruption, economic mismanagement and family bandyism, but quite shamelessly as its loyal lapdog. His determination to sustain himself as the leader of the UNP and of the Opposition, despite his Party’s wretched performances in all forms of elections since 2001, has grown with each more..

Recommendations to be implemented

Sep 29 (SL) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms says 17 recommendations listed in the Welikada riots report will be implemented on an urgent basis. Ministry Secretary G.S. Vithanage said that the recommendations were mentioned in the report given to the Minister recently. Meanwhile Commissioner General of Prisons Chandraratna Pallegama said that a request has been made to the Ministry of Defence to meet the weapons requirement of the prisons. more..

Simon Taufel to coach Lankan umpires

Sep 29 (ST) The ICC’s umpires coach Simon Taufel has been invited by Sri Lanka Cricket next month to conduct a series of programmes with a view to enhance the skills of local umpires. Taufel will be in Sri Lanka from October 14 to 22. SLC’s Cricket Operations Manager Carlton Bernadus explaining the programme to the Sunday Times said, “Simon Taufel will be in Sri Lanka to conduct a workshop which will run from Oct 15 to 21. more..

Missing 7-year-old girl found dead in ditch

Sep 29 (ST) The body of a seven-year-old girl was discovered in a ditch in a wooded area in Nuwara-Eliya, a day after she went missing while playing with neighbourhood friends on Thursday evening, police said yesterday. The victim, a Grade 2 student of St. Anthony’s School, Nuwara Eliya, was living at a line room abode on Pedro Estate Nuwara Eliya. Police and residents who launched a massive search for the missing girl succeeded in locating the body with the assistance of sniffer dogs. more..

Chorus against isolating Lanka

Sep 29 (KT) Member countries of the UNCHR, who are currently meeting in Geneva for its 22nd session, asked the United Nations on Wednesday not to isolate Sri Lanka. Many countries backed the island nation that is emerging from a 28-year war with the Tamil Tiger terrorists, after the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay delivered her oral report on Sri Lanka. Pillay’s report called for an international intervention into the country’s human rights issues if Sri Lanka does not show more..

'Lanka should focus on export-oriented growth'

Sep 29 (SO) Sri Lanka needs to improve its direct public investments to boost economic growth, said IMF Resident Representative, Dr. Koshy Mathai at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) recently. He said that the country's savings ratio had declined to around 24 percent and added that it should be around 35%. Investments from the private and public sectors should be high. more..

Human-elephant conflict leads to disaster

Sep 29 (SO) The continuous human elephant conflict in the Galgamuwa wildlife zone in the Kurunegala District, has claimed 26 human lives and 27 deaths of wild jumbos during the last three years. Officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation have confirmed these figures. Divisional Secretary Areas of Galgamuwa, Ehetuwewa, Ambanpola and Maho come under the purview of Galgamuwa wildlife zone. Records of the wildlife conservation show that in Galgamuwa, 10 human deaths more..

After NPC elections: Where does Rajapaksa stand in the South ?

Sep 29 (CT) There was plenty written about the NPC elections and the sweeping victory the Northern Tamil people registered at the only election that challenges the authority of centralised power in Colombo. There was hope, joy and caution noted by some on the declared results. Others advised and warned the TNA, as to how they should now behave. In fact across the Palk Straits, “The Hindu” called the TNA “inexperienced” in a caption for a story on NPC elections. more..

‘UPFA will secure more votes at future polls in North’

Sep 29 (SO) Minister Susil Premajayantha said that only the UPFA as a national political party secured nearly 83,000 votes at the recently concluded NPC election. This is a clear indication that the UPFA would secure more votes in the North at the next major elections to be held. When compared to other major political parties the UNP had obtained only 895 votes in the Jaffna district and 3,000 votes in the entire NP. more..