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Ravi flatly denies crossover claims: Says Tiran is behind baseless reports

Nov 5 (AM) Flatly denying speculations of a possible crossover, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said this morning that he never had any discussions with any party to cross the aisle of Parliament. “This is a fabricated story and is rumours are something to go by, this is the 45th time I am trying to cross over to the govt,” Karunanayake told Asian Mirror. He accused DNA MP Tiran Alles of propagating “lies “with regard to a crossover ahead of a crucial presidential election. more..

'SL will meet EU criteria before year end'

Nov 5 (Island) Sri Lanka would meet European Union’s (EU’s) fishing requirements by the end of December, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne assured. He said that a period of three months had been provided to prove that the country was dedicated to meet the stipulated criteria. He stressed that Sri Lanka had already addressed seven out of eight EU concerns and the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) would be in place by the end of December. more..

Lawyers urge govt to lift unlawful travel ban

Nov 5 (FT) The Lawyers Collective has urged the Government to lift what it described as an “unlawful” travel ban to the north of Sri Lanka. The Govt recently introduced a travel ban requiring foreign passport holders travelling to the North to obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Defence. The application format requires the travellers to disclose, among other things, more..

NBRO must approve all future constructions

Nov 5 (CT) The authorization and approval of National Building Research Organization (NBRO) would be required in the future before the construction of any building, Minister of Disaster Management, Mahinda Amaraweera, said. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) is the prime authority when it comes to statistics and figures pertaining to victims of disasters such as landslides and not the police, he added. "Initially, when the catastrophe in Koslanda happened, more..

Sri Lanka close to Penney appointment

Nov 5 (CI) SLC is lining up former-India fielding coach Trevor Penney for a temporary assistant and fielding coach dual-role ahead of the 2015 World Cup, an SLC official confirmed. The board has been in talks with other candidates, including Nottinghamshire assistant coach Wayne Noon, about the assistant coach position but Penney has emerged as the clear first choice. "We have been talking to Penney and, if that is going to work, we will have an assistant-cum-fielding coach," more..

'Match govt. salary hike'

Nov 5 (DM) The Govt expects the wages boards and the employers to increase salaries of some six million private sector employees in the wake of the non-formal sector salaries being increased up to a minimum of Rs.10,000 and the public sector salaries up to a minimum of Rs.25,000, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Commenting on the 2015 Budget proposals, the minister said the govt increased the salaries more..

Fraud at Yala

Nov 5 (CT) The two water tanks donated for the public toilets at the Yala National Park are being used by two wildlife officers inside the park, sources alleged. "While visitors to the national park have been inconvenienced with no proper toilet facilities for the last four months, the two wildlife officers have taken the two water tanks for their personal use," reliable sources said. When contacted, Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), H.D. Ratnayake, more..

But wants Exec. Presidency abolished

Nov 5 (CT) The fact that the LSSP is supporting President Rajapaksa, at the coming Presidential Election, has not affected its stance that the Executive Presidency should be abolished, said Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana. The LSSP was conducting an internal struggle in the UPFA to achieve it. He added that LSSP had no intention of backing UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, to come into power, as he has a long history of assisting imperialistic agendas. more..

India concerned about Chinese subs in SL

Nov 5 (VoA) India has expressed strong concerns to Sri Lanka for allowing Chinese submarines to dock at its port this month. China’s growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean region has opened a new area of rivalry for the two Asian countries. When the Chinese submarine Changzheng-2 and warship Chang Xing Dao docked at Colombo harbor for five days this month, alarm bells rang in New Delhi. more..

Marie Colvin as mouthpiece of LTTE in 2009

Nov 6 (CT) Having come across Tammita-Delgoda’s 2009 article “Reading between the Lines” for the first time in 2014, I reproduced it in Thuppa6hi for several reasons. His essay reveals how significant figures in the Western media world participated actively in the highly effective propaganda war sustained by the LTTE networks abroad working in coordination with the Tiger directorate in the Vanni, armed as the Tigers were with modern satellite technology. more..

On my third return from Jaffna

Nov 6 (Island) My first return from Jaffna was in 1958, when I finished my cadetship in the Kachcheri there. I felt happy to have worked among a friendly and accommodating people, with my 1 ‘Sri’ car unscathed, despite the ongoing anti- ‘Sri’ campaign. Back in Colombo, I walked into a communal riot on the ‘Sinhala Only’ issue. Second return was when I was suddenly recalled in 1998 to save the Southern Development Authority, while I was engaged in rehabilitating the North after ‘Riviresa’. more..

'Northern Province in the forefront of development'

Nov 6 (SO) The recent development activities in the North by the Govt has put the Northern Province in the forefront of development while building a bridge of friendship between the South and the North with the recommencement of train services to Jaffna after 24 years. However, it was evident that the TNA which swept into power in the NPC at last year’s Provincial Council election is ignoring the development in the North by more..

Will Sri Lanka lose Japan and South Korea because of Chinese submarines?

Nov 6 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa built up a close friendship with South Korea when he was the Prime Minister in 2004. Former South Korean Foreign Minister and incumbent Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, who arrived to provide aid to Sri Lanka in 2004 during the tsunami tragedy went to inspect the damages caused by the tidal waves accompanied by Mahinda, who was the then Prime Minister. During that visit, Mahinda assured Ban Ki-moon that he would convince President more..

Interpretation Ordinance

Nov 6 (CT) Response to the Opinion expressed by Prof. Suri Rathnapala at the request of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on the eligibility of the Incumbent President to contest the next Presidential Election. This legal opinion seeks to discuss the opinion expressed by Prof. Suri Rathnapala on the eligibility of the incumbent President to contest the next Presidential Election, upon the request of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. It is requested that this Opinion be considered as more..

'Recent National Exams Controversial'

Nov 6 (CT) Ceylon today speaks to the Secretary Lanka Teacher Services Association and Dept. Minister of Education. The recent national examinations held were marred by varying controversies ranging from mistakes in the question papers to mismanagement of the papers distributed. Now, GCE O/L Exam is around the corner and CT spoke to Mahinda Jayasinghe, Secretary, Lanka Teacher Services Association more..

Budget 2015: Serious erosions of public accountability

Nov 6 (ST) Commenting on the budget is easy as the fundamental fiscal flaws are almost the same as in previous budgets. It is difficult because the final fiscal outturn is likely to be different from the budget figures. This divergence between budget figures and final outturn makes a mockery of parliamentary accountability of public finances – a principle which stands as a cornerstone of parliamentary democracy. The most serious fiscal concern is that expenditure is likely to increase more..

Guti kaemata niyamithayi: A battering is on the menu

Nov 6 (CT) Food continues to inspire my column. But it’s a different type of food that inspired this week’s column – a contemporary Sinhala play called, Guti Kaemata Niyamithay by Thilak Nandana Hettiarachchi. An insightful review written by my friend Upali Amarasinghe (loosely) translates the title of the play as ‘Destined to be Beaten’. The three characters of the play are indeed odd, but refreshingly novel: a beedi kote (a cheap local cigarette), a drop of sweat and a 'gullaa', more..

Today is Il Poya Day

Nov 6 (Island) The Full Moon Poya Day of Il on which the Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha set forth His first group of sixty disciples for the propagation of Dhamma falls today. The Buddha, after spending 49 days near and around the Bodhi tree under which He attained Enlightenment at Buddha Gaya, proceeded to Issipathana in the Deer Park in Benares and preached first sermon the more..

Purification of Mind

Nov 6 (Island) An ancient maxim found in the Dhammapada sums up the practice of the Buddha’s teaching in three simple guidelines to training: to abstain from all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one’s mind. These three principles form a graded sequence of steps progressing from the outward and preparatory to the inward and essential. Each step leads naturally to the one that follows it, and the culmination of the three in purification of mind makes it plain that the heart of Buddhist practice is more..

Thinking behind the economic policies of the Govt and the Budget

Nov 6 (FT) Govt has presented the Budget for the fiscal year 2015 and there is widespread accusation that it is a giveaway budget aiming at anticipated elections in early next year. At the same time, the Budget is praised by the private sector for its economic direction. While appreciating these criticisms, it is appropriate to examine the thinking behind the economic policies of the Govt and the Budget. Previous govts consistently emphasised the point that the private sector was more..

Who is satire, what is she? Why do all Pusswedilla lovers praise it?

Nov 6 (FT) You don’t have to understand politics to enjoy Pusswedilla. But it helps to know what the talk of the town is. That resolutions on or against Sri Lanka were and will be passed. That a fast buck is being made by people in high places or by people with friends in high places. That political favours are and have always been family business. And that the buck doesn’t always stop where the buck was more..

Agrarian Councils of Inquiry revived after 14 years

Nov 6 (GDI) A large sum has been allocated under the last budget for the development of Agrarian Service Centers to make them guardians of the farming community and achieve sustainable development goals, according to Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He said this at the function heldat the Ministry office yesterday in connection with awarding letters of appointment to officers recruited as members of the Agrarian Development Department's Agrarian Councils of Inquiry. more..

Army take major honours at Defence Services Athletics

Nov 6 (Island) Former National javelin record holder Lakshan Dayaratne's new personal best feat, distance runner Geethani Rajasekara's record double, Shehan Ambepitiya's notable sprint finish in the men's 100 metres, Thushara Seneviratne's underdog triumph in the triple jump and Ajith Kumara Karunathilaka's Sri Lanka record were the highlights on the final day as the Defence Services Athletics Championship culminated with Army winning major honours at more..

Child models child labor ?

Nov 6 (NS) Name a commercial that does not involve a kid? From milk food products, confectionary products, consumables, shoeware, stationery, prescription drugs, entertainment promotion, real estate and even cosmetics and financial services children are increasingly used in commercials to tug at the heart strings of potential customers. Last week Maliban Biscuits was forced to pull their ‘White Chocolate Puff’ ad more..

Editorial: Who guards the guards?

Nov 6 (Island) The police are maintained with public funds to protect the people. But, unfortunately, this country has come to such a pass that the law-abiding citizens have to be protected against some police personnel who are not only accessories to various crimes but criminals themselves. They are a disgrace to the good men and women in the Police Department. Some of them have no qualms about stooping so low as to make their services available to politicians and their offspring as hoodlums. more..

UCSC rallying brilliant ICT scholars to ‘take the bull by the horns’

Nov 6 (Island) UCSC international conference taking place on Dec 11 and 12 at the BMICH will have brilliant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) scholars from around the world, and they will present intensely peer-reviewed research papers on contemporary challenges such as mobile device security for business entities, geographical information systems related to predicting natural disasters and data security risks in financial sector among other sensitive issues, more..

SLT launches 100G ultra-speed national backbone network

Nov 6 (FT) National ICT solutions provider Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) announced that it has launched the country’s first ultra-speed national Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) fibre-optic backbone transmission network in Sri Lanka. Huawei worked together with strategic partner SLT to implement the National Backbone Network (NBN) with a new generation OTN-based 100G DWDM solution. more..

Sri Lanka wants fight on terror intensified

Nov 6 (CG) Govt of Sri Lanka says there is an urgent need to further intensify international cooperation to combat terrorism. Sri Lanka today vehemently condemned the heinous suicide terrorist attack at Wagah, Pakistan, on Sunday which killed at least 60 people and injured over 100 others. An External Affairs Ministry statement today said that the people of Sri Lanka share the pain and anguish of the people of Pakistan over this wanton act of terror targeting innocent civilians. more..

Private sector powwow with PB

Nov 6 (FT) The post 2015 Budget Forum organised by the Daily FT-Colombo University MBA Alumni Association yesterday featured a good panel of experts who were asked to make their observations. They were Cargills Ceylon Plc Deputy Chairman Ranjit Page, DIMO Plc Chairman Ranjith Pandithage, PwC Director Tax Services Charmaine Tillekeratne, hSenid Software International Managing Director Dinesh Saparamadu, Colombo Stock Brokers Association President more..

Commercial pilot training gets a boost

Nov 6 (CT) The International Aviation Academy of New Zealand (IAANZ) signed a MoU with Open Skies Flight Training Limited, a local pilot training academy based in Colombo. This memorandum marks the launch of an international pilot training scheme for local students training to become commercial pilots. IAANZ has pioneered in training pilots for 86 years and is the first foreign school to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of more..

China holds top spot

Nov 6 (CT) China held on to the number one spot being the highest lender to Sri Lanka with disbursements amounting to Rs 18.5 billion during the first four months of this year, the Treasury said in a new report. While China provided only loans, Japan emerged as the second highest lender with Rs 13.76 billion, throwing in additional grants amounting to Rs 468.5 million. India lent Rs 7 billion during this period and the United Kingdom Rs 2.88 billion, Netherlands Rs 2.58 billion and more..

Customs seizes fags and shoes

Nov 6 (CT) The Customs yesterday seized four packages containing cigarettes, men's and children shoes to the value of Rs 20 million, in Orugodawatta. Customs Spokesperson, Lesley Gamini said, the items had been brought down from Dubai on Tuesday and were examined by Customs officials yesterday. Customs discovered 347,200 cigarettes valued at Rs 10.4 million, 832 pairs of men's shoes valued at Rs 832,000 and 2,080 children's shoes valued at Rs 1.4 million. more..

Will process be transparent asks UNP

Nov 6 (CG) The UNP questioned in Parliament if the process by the Supreme Court to determine if President Rajapaksa can contest for a third term or not will be transparent or secret. UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne urged Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to inform Parliament on the process to be carried out since that question cannot be posed to the Court by an MP directly. “I have a right to ask this from Parliament,” UNP MP said more..

CMC to earn more from bones and ashes

Nov 6 (Island) Public Health Department of the CMC proposed to the Finance Committee that the price of a four-square-foot plot of land used for depositing ashes at the Borella Kanatte be increased tenfold from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 150,000. Increases were also proposed to plots at the Madampitiya Cemetery (from Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 75,000) and the Cemetery at Jawatta (Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 110,000). The price of a small vault at the Kirulapona cemetery was increased from Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 50,000. more..

Nine bodies recovered

Nov 6 (CT) Nine bodies have been recovered from the landslide hit Koslanda area since Wednesday, by the army personnel conducting search and rescue operations. Sector Commander (Central), Major General Mano Perera, said on Tuesday that operations were suspended due to prevailing weather conditions in the area and will continue today (6). "The area is prone to landslides, and due to this we have suspended the search operations. Nine bodies were found by Monday. more..

Video: Ranil wants to defeat regime

Nov 6 (DM) Rajapaksa regime should be defeated and the SLFP should be allowed to function in order to safeguard democracy in the country, UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “Defeating the Rajapaksa regime doesn’t mean we need to defeat the SLFP as well. The SLFP should proceed without losing its base though that party has been limited to a sign board today. There should be two strong more..

Evacuations underway – NBRO

Nov 6 (CT) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) teams operating in the Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy Districts have identified a large number of potential landslide sites and have taken the necessary steps to remove those who live in such areas, sometimes permanently, NBRO's Landslide Divisions Head, R.M.S. Bandara said. He added that they will not remove the landslide warning for some districts immediately even if the rain stops in the next few days. more..

Fishermen death row: Sri Lankan expert calls for bilateral settlement

Nov 6 (ANI) The executive director of Sri Lanka's Institute of Policy Studies, Dr. Saman Kelegama, on Wednesday called for a bilateral settlement between New Delhi and Colombo on the issue of the death penalty given to five Indian fishermen in a drug smuggling case. "This is a thing that is concerned with both the countries. So, we have to bilaterally settle this issue of fishermen crossing maritime border and fishing in each others' territory," said Dr. Kelegama. more..

Will resolve sentenced fishermen issue with India, says Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (IANS) Sri Lanka held out hope for the five Indian fishermen sentenced to death, with visiting SL Minister Sarath Amunugama saying there have been no executions in the island nation for the past decade and the issue will be resolved with India. In answer to a query, he told journalists: "No execution has happened in Sri Lanka for the past 10 years. I am sure that this issue (of the Indian fishermen) will be resolved with India." more..

Facilities for Koslanda victims inadequate

Nov 6 (CT) The factory which has been identified as a temporary resettlement shelter for the victims of the Koslanda landslide is capable of housing only 37 families, whereas 3,000 persons are cramped into this shelter, according to a source in Koslanda. Source added that over 300 persons are being housed in schools, temples and kovils with minimum facilities. These people are demanding the authorities to find them permanent housing, as conditions are beyond liveable. more..