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Don't auction unredeemed jewellery: JVP

Nov 6 (CT) Farmers in Medirigiriya and Minneriya areas, who had pawned their gold jewellery to banks to obtain loans for cultivation, have been informed by the banks that their pawned jewellery will be auctioned as they have failed to redeem them, charged JVP. "In 2012, before the North Central PC Elections, President promised to do away with bank loan interests. We are only asking president to keep up his promise." more..

Sri Lanka pitches for SAARC Bank

Nov 6 (JP) "We have been supportive of that (formation of SAARC Bank) from the beginning when it was mooted," Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, said on the sidelines of India Economic Summit here. "We believe that, because we are like minded people in the region, it will have an impact ... Saarc Bank can offer block loans to banks which can be redistributed amongst the poorest sections. Bank can look at the prosperity in the region," he said. more..

Matale mass grave case postponed

Nov 6 (CT) Matale mass grave case, which was taken up for hearing by the Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, was postponed due to an incomplete report received from the United States lab. Former JVP Provincial Councillor, Gamagedera Dissanayake, said that the CID has asked for one week's time to have a complete report on the radio Carbon Testing done on the bones. It is learnt that the lab in Miami Florida has omitted to attach a report on the expert opinion of a professor of more..

Rayudu century puts India 2-0 up

Nov 6 (CI) Ambati Rayudu hit a chanceless maiden ODI ton, as India ran down Sri Lanka's 275 for 8 with six wickets in hand and 33 balls to spare. Rayudu and Shikhar Dhawan put on 122 runs for the second wicket to set up the chase, and having come to bat in the seventh over, Rayudu was at the crease to hit the winning runs to finish on 121 off 118 balls. Sri Lanka's bowlers were short on menace, but it had been the batsmen more..

Communal politics: The bane of a nation

Nov 7 (CT) It is unfortunate that Sri Lankans have begun to vote on ethnic considerations. Politicians from minority communities, except those aligned to the TNA have continued to exploit the political opportunities and ensure their wellbeing–always. The nexus between the TNA and the UNP can be labeled as “nothing better”. The SLMC and the CWC are branded as amongst the worst wheeler-dealers. Is the JHU joining the race? The declaration of the next presidential or general elections would more..

These are my humble requests to Gotabaya

Nov 7 (CT) We are discussing today the Votes of the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Defence being President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary to the Ministry being his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who rumour has it will probably be a Member of this House fairly soon. We would welcome that. May I, Sir, in dealing with the Votes of this Ministry, have your indulgence to raise certain issues relating to this Ministry that has an impact on the life of civilians in this country. more..

The Dutch Museum: A journey into the past

Nov 7 (SO) The English doctor Ives who visited Colombo in 1757 wrote: "The streets are very wide with a row of beautiful trees. There is a very smooth and regular pavement on each side between them and the houses. The whole is so elegantly disposed that we could not help admiring the wisdom and the genius of the Dutch." But nowadays, the streets of Colombo have quite a different atmosphere altogether, and more..

Kick the scab and slash the flab!

Nov 7 (NS) Every financial pundit and his brother appeared to be crystal-ball gazing long before Wednesday’s National Budget had been unveiled. The majority of optimists imagined that with the presidential election just around the corner that prosperity would also be lurking at the end of that same curve. The Opposition soothsayers were quick to prophesise that a Budget bag, full of goodies would be a sure gimmick aimed at winning the confidence of rural voters. more..

Of country bumpkins and cudgel-politics

Nov 7 (NS) The world below was heating up with talk of a presidential election. The budget speech made by the President raised the temperature that much more. The reference of 'game baiyyo' or 'country bumpkins' was heard right by in the heavens as well. It was DM that was most disturbed by it. 'When some young MPs from the Opposition call him a country bumpkin, why did our man have to respond? The best would have been to pretend he had never heard it. more..

'I ordered not to pay'

Nov 7 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka said he ordered the CEB not to pay Rs 460 million for the shipment of 32,000 metric tonnes of coal but his successor Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi had later paid it. Q: Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that CEB had incurred a loss of Rs 1.51 billion due to faulty acquisition of coal. She alluded to you. What is your response? A: Phase I of the Norochcholai coal power plant wanted more..

Commemorating D. A. Rajapaksa

Nov 7 (Island) Don Alwin Rajapaksa, father of well known political figures Speaker Chamal, President Mahinda, Defence Secretary Gotabaya and Minister Basil, was surely the most providently fertile and purposefully dominant political personality in Sri Lanka in the 20th century. On November 7, 2005, on the occasion of his 38th death anniversary, I concluded a radio talk by saying: "After a brief illness DA passed to his rest on the 7th of Nov 1967. Some 38 years after his death his political vision more..

Editorial: Obama’s moment of truth

Nov 7 (Island) What US President Barack Obama feared most has happened. He did not have control over the Congress and now he has lost his grip on the Senate as well. Republicans are painting the town red, having bagged the Senate in an impressive blowout. Opinion is divided on Obama’s predicament. Some political observers consider the situation a gridlock while others argue it will help usher in a new era of conciliation and cooperation. Republicans have struck a conciliatory note, more..

'Today's JVP undergrads will turn to UNP or SLFP in future'

Nov 7 (CT) Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, says his ministry is dedicated to achieving the target of making Sri Lanka Asia's knowledge hub by 2020 and producing globally employable graduates. While arguing that student movements should not be given prominence and treated as a major problem, Dr. Nawaratne also emphasized on the need to protect the right for education, while enhancing free education. more..

Sarath Silva and the legality of Mahinda Rajapaksa's third term

Nov 7 (GV) In the flood of commentary that has followed the former Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s public intervention regarding the potential illegality of President Rajapaksa seeking a third term, many have joined debate to remind us of Silva’s unsavoury behaviour on and off the Bench. One of the implications of these reminders, some of which have a rather holier-than-thou flavour to them, is that we should treat Silva’s too-clever-by-half argument with a large measure of scepticism more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot succeed President Rajapaksa

Nov 7 (GV) I have discussed in these columns some days ago the contention that President Rajapaksa is not qualified to fight an election for a third term by virtue of the operation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution. The repeal of that article by the Eighteenth Amendment does not remove the past operation of anything suffered under the repealed law. Since ex-CJ Sarath Silva first raised this issue, lawyers and non-lawyers have tried to make the case that Sarath Silva is wrong more..

Dinesha de Silva Wikramanayake

If Sanga doesn't get you, Mahela will

Nov 7 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has been in mediocre keeping form this series, and having dropped both centurions in the first ODI, Sangakkara almost managed to gift Ajinkya Rahane his second reprieve in two matches, when he parried a chest-high catch over his head. Mahela Jayawardene at slip was wise to Sangakkara's indiscretion, though, and in a flash had reacted to the fumble, dived to his left and snatched the ball one-handed, to complete the take. Shikhar Dhawan was one of the batsmen more..

Mathews highest run-scorer in 2014

Nov 7 (CI) 87: Number of ODI fifties for Kumar Sangakkara, including his score of 61 in this game. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 96 fifties, has more. Jacques Kallis and Sangakkara were tied in second place prior to this game, with 86 fifties each. 40: Number of times R Ashwin has taken two or three wickets in an ODI innings. Among bowlers without a single four-wicket haul, Ashwin has the most such hauls. He returned figures of 2-49 from his ten overs in this game. more..

Range of services, special rates for Dialog customers on board SriLankan's A330-300

Nov 7 (Island) Dialog Axiata, took to the skies with national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, as it took delivery of a new Airbus A330-300 aircraft - with the provision of on-board connectivity including voice, SMS and data services to Dialog customers. A Dialog press release said: ‘The first of SriLankan Airlines' seven new Airbus 330-300s on order landed at the BIA last Friday Oct 31st week from Toulouse, France as national carrier more..

50% of Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM companies to move outside Colombo

Nov 7 (ST) While 95% of Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies are based out of the country’s business capital, Colombo, over 80% of the workforce are from other regions, according to top IT industry leader Mano Sekaram, who is also the Vice Chairman of private sector IT/BPM body SLASSCOM. As such, one goal of SLASSCOM is to have 50% of IT/BPM companies operating outside of Colombo, in other regions of Sri Lanka, in a few years, with Jaffna, Kandy and Hambantota more..

People’s Leasing Group ups 2Q net profit by 39% to Rs. 1.1 b

Nov 7 (FT) People’s Leasing Group has increased its net profit in the second quarter by an impressive 39% to Es. 1.1 billion. With this achievement the Group successfully posted Rs. 1.9 billion profit for the first half of the financial year, translating to a YoY growth of 28%. Effective interest rate management allowed the Group to witness a 21% YoY increase in its top line net interest income. This financial performance portrays a healthy escalation in the Group across the spears of more..

Docs call for ban on milk food promotion in disaster situations

Nov 7 (Island) No milk food companies will be allowed to promote their products during disaster situations with immediate effect, the GMOA says. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that a circular pertaining to the promotion of commercially available milk products promoted by milk food companies would be issued by Health Secretary Sudharama. Karunaratne shortly as some multinational more..

Sri Lankan PM to participate in Manipal Varsity convocation on Nov 8

Nov 7 (Hindu) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, will be the chief guest for the 19th Convocation of Manipal University to be held at KMC Greens here at 5 p.m. on Nov 8, 2014. According to a press release issued by the University, the convocation is spread over two days to facilitate distribution of degrees to over 3,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students. The chief guest for the second day, that is, Nov 9, is Banmali Agrawala, CEO of GE South Asia. The venue will remain the same. more..

TN fishermen strike to protest Lankan death penalty

Nov 7 (DH) About 35 lakh fishermen living in more than 10 coastal districts including the State capital of Tamil Nadu on Thursday observed a dawn to dusk agitation to condemn the death penalty awarded to five colleagues from Rameswaram by a Sri Lankan court in a drug trafficking case and demanded their immediate release from Sri Lankan prison. The agitation, launched by various fishing association in the state, included hunger strike, protest demonstrations and rally. more..

Pre-paid card system still not in effect

Nov 7 (CT) Amidst numerous concerns and contradictions the pre-paid card scheme which is to be introduced to the bus service by the Private Transport Services Ministry is to get delayed further. Pre-paid card scheme which was to be implemented to inter provincial bus services by the ministry and the National Transport Commission (NTC) was to be implemented in October, but it has been postponed, as confirmed by more..

Selective sale of dollars may raise questions

Nov 7 (CT) The danger in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) selling US dollars to the market at discounted prices on selective trades in order to prevent depreciating pressure on the rupee is that it may question credibility, market sources told Ceylon FT. They said this in the context of CBSL exercising moral suasion on importer (buyer) banks to prevent the weakening of the rupee. With moral suasion persisting on the exchange rate (ER) due to a lack of inflows, ER closed at Rs 131 to the US dollar more..

SLNS Samudura takes part in joint Coastguard exercise Dosti – XII

Nov 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura took part in the coastguard exercise "DOSTI - XII" held in the seas off Male from October 28 to 31. The 4-day exercise was conducted jointly by Indian, Sri Lankan and Maldivian Coast’ Guards with the aim of strengthening bonds of friendship and enhancing mutual operational capability and cooperation. The twelfth edition of the tri-lateral coastguard exercise this year focused on Maritime Search and more..

Security beefed up in Negombo to quell clashes over fish

Nov 7 (Island) The STF, riot police squads were deployed in Negombo yesterday to defuse tension in the area following clashes between two groups the previous night. Police said that there had been violent clashes on Wednesday night between Negombo fishermen and others in the Wellaweediya-Kettiduwa area over the purchase of fish from their southern counterparts. Two persons including a woman were injured and more..

'President's third term: Joke is on Ranil'

Nov 7 (DN) Seeking a determination from the highest Court in the country, the Supreme Court, on a matter concerning constitutionality, can no way be considered a joke by anyone, Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana said yesterday. He said so referring to a statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at a meeting organised by the Green Blood Movement. Wickremesinghe said he considered it a joke to seek a Court opinion on the constitutionality of President more..

Don’t speed on the A9: Police

Nov 7 (DM) The Police requested drivers not to speed when driving on the A-9 to and from Jaffna, and especially between Mankulam to Kilinochchi, because of the high death rates reported from road accidents due to speeding. SSP Ajith Rohana said there had been over 30 deaths due to road accidents on the A9 between Mankulam to Kilinochchi this year. “Drivers tend to speed in this particular area because the road is straight. Two women were killed on Wednesday when more..

Maldivian trio arrested in Sri Lanka, on their way to join Syrian rebel forces

Nov 7 (Haveeru) Three Maldivians who were allegedly on their way to join rebel forces in Syria have been apprehended in Sri Lanka and subsequently deported, the Maldives Police Service (MPS) said on Thursday. According to the MPS, the trio – a 25-year-old man, a 23-year-old man, and an 18-year-old woman – had attempted to enter Syria through Turkey. The three had claimed that they entered Sri Lanka for medical purposes. more..

Union demands recruitment of all PSM graduates

Nov 7 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) union yesterday warned that it would not provide training to diploma students recruited by the Health Ministry until steps were taken to recruit all PSM graduates into the government service. PSM General Secretary, Saman Jayasekara, alleged the Ministry had gone back on its written pledge and recruited students for the three-year diploma courses in professions supplementary to medicine. more..

Undergrads launch signature campaign against PMC, fee-paying university courses

Nov 7 (Island) Undergraduates launched a campaign to collect signatures on a 50-foot-long banner in protest against the Malabe Private Medical College, fee-paying courses offered by national universities and funds collected by schools from parents. Convener of the IUSF Najith Indika said that the university students had launched their campaign from Fort Railway Station and already collected a large number of signatures in Galle and Anuradhapura. more..

TNA points to massive fraud at NPC Alleges Chief Secretary's involvement

Nov 7 (CT) TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran, has requested President Rajapaksa and Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, to investigate a massive fraud, allegedly involving Chief Secretary of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). He alleged, the Chief Secretary has defrauded millions of rupees allocated to a project titled NELSIP funded by the World Bank. Premachandran said that he had received more..

5,000 medical technicians threaten to strike

Nov 7 (CT) Over 5,000 members of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine yesterday threatened to launch a strike if the Health Ministry failed to grant their demands. Laboratory technicians, radiologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists will join the planned trade union action. Giving a week's ultimatum to the Ministry, the Joint Council of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) said they will be engaged in a countrywide protest campaign next Friday as more..

Ampara to be run by Muslims – JHU

Nov 7 (CT) The JHU yesterday condemned the SLMC over its suggestion that the districts be divided on ethnic and religious lines. SLMC had suggested to govt that they establish a separate Muslim administration in the Ampara District, as the majority in that district are Muslims. Commenting, the JHU said that carrying out such a request would separate the Muslims from the rest of the people in the country, being a separatist and extremist move. Meanwhile, the National Sangha Council's more..

Koslanda orphans won't be handed over to NPC - Govt

Nov 7 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, has alleged that TNA was seeking to exploit the predicament of the children orphaned by the landslide at Koslanda to gain political mileage. He was responding to the TNA-run Northern Provincial Council passing a resolution to adopt those children. Contrary to earlier reports, the DMC has now established that only three children lost both parents, while four lost one parent each. more..

Polls Chief lacks power that Exams Chief holds – Bandula

Nov 7 (CT) The Commissioner of Elections does not have the decision making authority equivalent to what the Commissioner General of Examinations holds, Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardena said. In future, a proper policy would be followed in the setting of examination question papers, Gunawardena assured. He was addressing the concerns of parents on the mental pressure – students who sit the competitive Year-Five Scholarship examination were subjected to. more..

CID arrests 5 policemen over disappearance of suspect

Nov 7 (Island) Police investigating the alleged disappearance of a person, Sarath Jayatilleke, in Baddegama in September last year have arrested five officers attached to Araliya police post. The police identified the missing person as Sarath Jayatilleke. "Officers of the CID are grilling five police officers, a Sub Inspector, one sergeant, two constables and one police assistant after having obtained a detention order from the Colombo Chief Magistrate," SSP Ajith Rohana said. more..

BASL to move Supreme Court today opposing President’s third term bid

Nov 7 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is to move the Supreme Court today, in respect of President Rajapaksa seeking a ruling on his third term bid. The objection would be based on the opinion expressed by law Professor Suri Ratnapala that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution could not have been enacted without the approval of the people at a referendum if it had the effect of retrospectively extinguishing more..