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Prominent Lankan community member in Qatar dead

Sep 30 (GT) Imtiaz Zavahir, a prominent Sri Lankan community member and long-time resident of Qatar, died in Doha recently. He was 54. Zavahir, who was fondly known as Imti among the community members, was buried at Abu Hamour. He had been ailing for some time. He is survived by his wife Fazeelath and daughters Farahath and Fareeha. Zavahir arrived in Qatar in the early eighties. He joined the travel trade, and was attached to the Ali Bin Ali group, working initially at more..

Australian Financial Review highlights Harsha’s case against Crown casino

Sep 30 (FT) James Packer’s fiercest critic in Sri Lanka, Opposition Spokesman Harsha de Silva, has called for greater transparency of Crown Ltd.’s proposed US$ 400 million casino and hotel for the country’s capital. The proposed Colombo development received Cabinet approval last week and is almost certain to be given a full green light, as the Govt has close to a two-thirds majority in the Parliament. more..

Women exploited by unauthorized money lenders

Sep 30 (CT) The Govt Agent (GA) of Batticaloa, P.S.M. Charles, said a large number of destitute women, who had sought loans from money lenders to tide over their financial problems, are now faced with a deeper problem as they are unable to repay the loans that have accumulated due to the high interest rates charged by the money lenders. She was speaking at the opening of an exhibition where products turned out by women living under the poverty line, were on display. more..

17th Insurance Congress of Developing Countries kicks off today in Colombo

Sep 30 (FT) The 17th AIRDC Insurance Congress of Developing Countries will kick off today in Colombo, drawing over 300 participants including around 150 from 17 nations. Over two days the congress will deliberate on and share their individual industry experiences from their respective regions. Hosted by the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) with the support of several international and local partners, the Congress at the Cinnamon Grand will have a host of guest speakers to more..

Young woman breaks through in Sri Lankan business world

Sep 30 (BBC) From an impoverished upbringing as one of seven children in a poor family in rural Sri Lanka, she has turned herself through sheer drive and determination into one of the country's most up-and-coming young businesswomen. Able to recover from one serious business setback along the way, the self-made boss and her company - Nimali Chips and Fibre Mill - are now continuing to prosper in Sri Lanka's more..

Labour-hit plantations mul out- grower system model

Sep 30 (ST) Sri Lanka’s struggle with plantations after nationalisation took a new turn after privatisation and its success is due to the untiring efforts of private sector planters. Anura Ekanayake, a former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a person who has experience in the plantations sector where he was involved in the nationalisation as well as in the privatisation of plantations, complemented the private sector planters for their great feat, more..

Remarkable achievement by Lanka Transformers

Sep 30 (CT) The largest consignment of transformers made locally by Lanka Transformers, a subsidiary of Lanka Electric Company, was exported to Ethiopia recently. The token presentation of 1,660 transformers was made by the Minister Pavithra Vanniarachchi, to the Chief Engineer of the Ethiopian Electricity Company, Bogale Abera, on 27 Sept at their in Ratmalana. Lanka Transformers was established in 1982, initially to supply hardware for the local market. more..

Ranil agrees to appoint leadership advisory council

Sep 30 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday gave an undertaking to appoint a leadership advisory council to advise and decide on his party’s future course of action, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. The MP said that his leader gave the undertaking to the Anunayake of the Ramanna Chapter and advisor of the UBF Ven. Girambe Ananda Nayake thera at the Sri Sarananda Pirivena in Anuradhapura. more..

NZ A prevail in high-scoring game

Sep 30 (CI) Sri Lanka A's lower-order buckled late during a steep chase of 351 in Pallekele, giving New Zeland A a 22-run victory in the first of three one-dayers between the two sides. The victory is New Zealand A's first on their trip to the subcontinent, after having been whitewashed in the one-day series against India A, in addition to losing the unofficial Test series to Sri Lanka A. Opener Dimuth Karunaratne anchored Sri Lanka A, stitching century-run stands with Kusal Perera and more..

'CHOGM will open up priceless opportunities'

Sep 30 (DN) Sri Lanka should increase investments and needs to explain to the world the real ground situation in the country and what type of a country and people we are. CHOGM will afford the best opportunity for this, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachci said. She said certain international media had created a negative image of Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world after terrorism was eliminated from the country. “Certain jealous elements such as certain NGOs which gave oxygen to the LTTE more..

Returnees not stateless any more, but demand state support

Sep 30 (Hindu) When Chelliah Suriyakumar heads out to the sea, he is fully aware of the uncertainty of his earnings for the day. “Depending on the catch, it could be 1,500 [rupees], 400, or nothing at all,” says the fisherman in Velanai Island, off Jaffna’s coast. From the time his family returned from India in 2004 — he spent about five years at a refugee camp in Mandapam, Rameswaram — life has not been easy. Despite the challenges in more..

Fishermen meet Narayanasamy, seek early release of their boats

Sep 30 (Hindu) Fishermen from Karaikal and Nagapattinam met Union Minister of State for the PM’s Office V. Narayanasamy on Sunday to discuss the release of their boats and the remaining fishermen from Sri Lanka. Mr. Narayanasamy assured them that the Centre would take all steps necessary to release the fishermen and also secure their boats. He also urged the fishermen to come to New Delhi to discuss the issue. Minister Salman Khurshid would be visiting Sri Lanka soon. more..

Allowance hike for prisoners recommended

Sep 30 (Island) The Prison authorities have recommended that the govt increase the allowance paid to inmates for the work they perform. Commissioner General of Prisons C. Pallegama said that an inmate was paid an allowance of one or two rupees a day for the work they did and a proposal had been made to the govt to increase the amount to Rs. 50. Another proposal had been made to the govt to increase the allowance the prisoners were paid when they were sent out to work for more..

SPC polls: WC likely to checkmate Sajith

Sep 30 (Island) The UNP is heading for a major crisis with Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa strongly rejecting a move to nominate him as the party’s chief ministerial candidate at the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council polls. Premadasa had dismissed the move calling it an attempt to cause fresh turmoil in the party in the wake of the latest humiliating defeat suffered at the Sept 21 Provincial Council polls. more..

Senaka Bibile: Talk is cheap, take action

Sep 30 (DM) Yesterday we again commemorated the 36th anniversary of the death of Prof. Senaka Bibile who is widely regarded as the greatest medical benefactor of humanity that Sri Lanka has hitherto produced. What he did for the people of Sri Lanka and the world is well-known. But according to Senior Minister Tissa Vitharana, it is possible that the threat he posed to the powerful trans-national pharmaceutical corporations may have had some bearing on his premature death more..

Productivity in public service

Sep 30 (DM) This article may be considered as an open proposal in response to the press notice published by the Ministry of Finance calling for proposals from the general public for the reformation of public service in Sri Lanka. The contents of this article focus mainly on productivity of man-power in public service. It may be observed that productivity could be achieved by adjusting the ratio of input and output based on any constant level of input and output required for producing any more..

Tissa Abeysekera’s mother-in-law killed

Sep 30 (Island) The mother-in-law of late leading film Director Tissa Abeysekera was found dead inside her residence at Fifth Lane, Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya yesterday. Police believe that she had been killed on Saturday as CCTV, installed at her residence, had shown that two persons had gained entry into the house. Eda Fernando (84) was a mother of nine including Abeysekera’s wife, Asanka Monerawila. more..

Army Flags blessed at Sri Dalada Maligawa

Sep 30 (DN) A series of special religious observances, the precursor coinciding with the forthcoming Sri Lanka Army’s 64th anniversary and the Army Day (Oct 10), for the first time since the inception of the Army in 1949, got underway at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on Saturday where all Army Flags were symbolically blessed and War Heroes remembered, invoking blessings and transferring merits on them. more..

TNA in need

Sep 30 (CT) A senior MP of the TNA has urged the Centre to urgently facilitate the setting up of the NPC by disbursing adequate funds to secure the necessary infrastructure. TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran, had made a request to the govt in this regard. He said, the NPC being new, it lacked the basic infrastructure including a building and furniture for it to become functional, claiming that the Centre should duly acknowledge more..

UK notes concerns on CHOGM

Sep 30 (CG) Britain has noted that there are concerns over the decision to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. Britain’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Hugo Swire MP, said this in a statement on his recent meeting with Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers in New York. He said that at the meeting held last week foreign ministers were provided with an update by the Commonwealth Secretary-General on his Democracy and more..

Video: Interview with Navi Pillay

Sep 30 (ABC) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, joins Lateline live from New York to discuss her recent week-long fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka. Our guest tonight is Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She was born and raised in South Africa where she rose to become the first non-white female judge of the high court. She's also served as a judge of the ICC more..

Health Ministry dismisses ISO certification

Sep 30 (SL) A Chinese company that had been supplying medical equipment to the Health Ministry is today in a dilemma having been let down by the Health Ministry after having imported a huge consignment of intravenous (IV) sets used for saline transfusion. Shandong Protos Medical Products Ltd has been importing disposable IV sets for the Health Ministry for the past 13 years and this product and manufacturer more..

University system at odds with needs of modern economy- UNDP Report

Sep 30 (ST) There is a need to align the country’s university system with the needs of a modern economy, according to the Sri Lanka Human Development Report on Sri Lanka, compiled by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for 2012. The Report says that there are two issues involved, one being the inadequate capacity of Sri Lanka’s tertiary education system, while the other being the fact that universities are more..

GMOA convenes common forum to get to the bottom of Kidney disease

Sep 30 (Island) The GMOA has decided to convene a common forum in a bid to arrive at a final conclusion on the fast spreading Kidney disease in the North-Central Province. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Nalinda Herath said that currently more than 20,000 persons were affected by kidney failure. Many research organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Peradeniya University, more..

Principal found dead with cut injuries

Sep 30 (CT) The Principal of St. Mary’s College Negombo was found hacked to death in the school toilet premises today. Police officials stated that the principal had been found with dead by some of the school staff members as the principal was late for the Monday morning assembly. Police predict the death to have occurred at approximately 6.00 am, but are unsure of whether it was murder or suicide. more..

UNP says Ranil will not resign

Sep 30 (CG) The UNP says party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has no plans to resign from the party despite the setbacks suffered at the last elections. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the party, as a whole, needs to take responsibility when it either loses or wins an election. He said that there are so many ideas being expressed about the party and how it should move forward and the party will consider more..

The collapse of finance companies

Sep 30 (CT) Off and on we see letters in the media from depositors of collapsed finance companies appealing to the authorities to ensure the settlement of the monies due to them. With every passing year the number of people duped by finance companies increases, which means, that number of people have had their hopes shattered and become impoverished or penniless. In almost all instances, the collapse of the companies has been due to unlawful and illegal practices. more..

The Indispensable World

Sep 30 (CT) It is becoming a habit – this discovery of uncounted ballot-papers, discarded in some obscure corner, post-election. The first time was after the Presidential election, when 67 ballot-papers were discovered, marked for Gen. Fonseka and abandoned in a ditch. Initially the govt claimed that these were photocopies, and hinted at an ‘Opposition/International conspiracy’. Almost two years later, the Election Department confirmed that the ballot-papers were genuine. more..

'Wigneswaran is the new Anton Balasingham'

Sep 30 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister elect C.V. Wigneswaran is the Anton Balasingham of the present era, a shrewd strategist that is placating the southern populace while leading the North towards Eelam, the Wimal Weerawansa led NFF says. A spokesman from the NFF said that Wignesaran was making conciliatory statements to the Sinhala media, speaking of unity and reconciliation while talking to the Tamil press more..

Dubai Chamber seminar explores Sri Lanka's tourism potential for UAE businesses

Sep 30 (AME) Abdul Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called upon Sri Lankan companies to share Dubai's experience in the tourism sector which is one of the leading drivers of the emirate's economic growth. In its drive to promote tourism, the island country can benefit from Dubai's diversified economy which is working to support the tourism industry and drive new growth through a number of visitor-friendly initiatives, said Al Ghurair. more..

UNP junior MPs lobby for change, major reorganisation imminent

Sep 30 (CT) The main opposition UNP that has suffered humiliating defeats at consecutive elections for over nine years with the exception of the 2011 Colombo Municipal Council election will soon see “major reorganisation” says its national list legislator Dr. Harsha De Silva. Posting an update on his Facebook account, De Silva said that the party’s more junior members of Parliament had presented its suggestions to Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on September 27. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils say they would still be prepared to pay people smugglers

Sep 30 (ABC) Tamils in northern Sri Lanka say they are still prepared to pay people smugglers to get them to Australia, despite the new Govt's crackdown. Thousands of Tamils have left the region in the aftermath of the country's civil war, and many say they would do anything to travel to a safe country like Australia. Murali, a Tamil, works as a goat herder in a small village not far from Jaffna, the main city in Sri Lanka's north. more..

Sri Lanka rupee weaker on importer dlr demand; shares steady

Sep 30 (Reuters) The rupee was slightly weaker on Monday morning due to importer dollar demand, but an earlier central bank direction asking banks not to trade above 132.00 per dollar prevented further falls, dealers said. Though Sri Lanka has a floating exchange rate, the central bank usually intervenes during times of sharp volatility through several measures including moral suasion. The rupee spot was quoted at 131.95/132.15, compared with Friday's close of 131.90/132.10. more..

NSB bond gains, yields plunge in aftermarket

Sep 30 (LBO) A bond sold by state-run National Savings Bank at 8.875 this month percent surged in the aftermarket to yield as low as 8.05%, giving quick capital gains to investors. NSB sold 750 million US dollars of five year bonds amid unsettled market conditions ahead of a US Fed decision to end excessive money printing operations, which had created bubble-like conditions for emerging market debt. The bond sale was initially delayed as the Fed was expected to 'taper' or start ending more..

Bus strike on route 176

Sep 30 (CT) Private buses on route 176 (Karagampitiya-Hettiawatte and Nugegoda-Karagampitiya) refused to operate today as they went on strike indefinitely according to the Private Bus Owner’s Association, President Gemunu Wijerathna. The buses start their journey at the Karagampitiya Junction and pick up passengers from the bus stop there. However due to many of the 176 buses choosing to park at the bus stop more..

Health unions gear for showdown over unkind cut

Sep 30 (Island) The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) yesterday warned that it would launch a campaign against the Health Ministry over the non-payment of salary arrears due to minor employees. ACHSU General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe said that in accordance with the Circular No. 6 of 2006, nearly 200 categories of minor employees in the Health Ministry should be graded. But, the Ministry had graded only 11. Although seven years had elapsed no action more..

CSE appoints Rajeeva Bandaranaike as its new CEO

Sep 30 (N360) Colombo Stock Exchange has appointed Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike as its new CEO, effective from 14th November, 2013. Bandaranaike, once held the positions of Head of Clearing and Settlement and Head of Business Development of the CSE, during a 19 year career at the Colombo bourse, which ended in 2011. He is currently functioning as the CEO of Orient Finance and also worked as the CEO of Peoples Merchant Bank from July 2011 to May 2012. more..

Sri Lanka seeks NAM support

Sep 30 (CG) Sri Lanka has sought the support of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to collectively oppose human rights being used as a political tool at the UN, and that the same standards of judgment be applied to all countries. Minister G.L. Peiris urged NAM to play a role in ensuring having issues judged on its merits by the international community as a whole. Minister cautioned NAM against a disproportionate more..

Customs detect some more valuable Indian bottoms

Sep 30 (Island) Two Indian youth were nabbed attempting to smuggle out, of the country, Euros and gold concealed in their rectums. The detection was made at the BIA yesterday. Two Indians aged 25 and 28, due to fly to Chennai, had attempted to smuggle out Euro 10,000 (Rs. 1.8 million) and gold, weighing 106 grammes, valued at Rs. 530,000. Twenty Euro 500 currency notes had been found hidden in the rectum of the 25-year-old, while the gold slab was found in the other’s rectum, more..

Dy. Minister vows to walk naked

Sep 30 (DM) Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara has vowed to walk naked in the Ratnapura town if anybody could prove he had obtained through illegal means any land belonging to estate companies. Responding to media reports that the STF had been deployed to retrieve three acres of land, which he is alleged to have grabbed from an estate in Nivithigala, Mr. Jayasekera said his detractors should prove the allegations they had made against him. At a meeting held at more..