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CEB bypassed tender procedures when buying coal – NECM

Nov 12 (CT) The National Electricity Consumers' Movement (NECM) said the CEB has bypassed tender procedures and ordered coal from the Australian-based Nobel Mineral Resources Company (NMRC) for the next six months. Adviser to NECM, Bandula Chandrasekera, alleged that NMRC has been granted another six-month contract, bypassing the tender procedure to supply coal to the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP), despite its quotation being high. more..

Hemas mulls city hotel, regional strategy and hotel management

Nov 12 (ST) Hemas Holdings is exploring the idea of a city hotel and has made inroads in its regional expansion, while eyeing hotel management opportunities in and out of Sri Lanka. “The leisure industry is in a good position now. It’ll grow and it’s a core part of our business. In this context we’re looking at a Colombo hotel. The challenge is to have a city hotel because with tourism going forward (with Chinese and Indian tourists) those who want to stay & spend (time) in city need to be serviced,” more..

Refugees ready to return, but need a clear plan

Nov 12 (Hindu) The overwhelming feeling among the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India is to return home, but the repatriation process should be well-structured with the backing of a MoU among India, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, according to S.C. Chandrahasan, founder, Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR). Asked about Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s appeal to the refugees to return home, more..

ICC boosts Cricket World Cup prize money

Nov 12 (Stuff) An unbeaten run to the title will earn the winner of next year's Cricket World Cup more than $5 million. And, along with a 20% increase in prize money, tournament organisers have lessened the drama, confirming no "super overs" will be added to decide matches tied in the playoffs stages. The International Cricket Council confirmed the changes for the 10th World Cup to be played in New Zealand and Australia in February and March. Winners will take home US$3.975m more..

Only two qualified Lankan envoys in C'wealth

Nov 12 (CT) Of the 14 Sri Lankan High Commissioners serving in Commonwealth countries, only two are qualified heads of mission, it was revealed in Parliament. This information was disclosed when Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, tabled the answers to a question posed by UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake. High Commissioner to Kenya, V. Krishnamoorthy, and the High Commissioner to Malaysia, I. Ansar, are the only two qualified High Commissioners. more..

TNA will back common candidate

Nov 12 (CT) TNA yesterday said, they would back a common candidate, who would assure them that he or she would withdraw the military from the North, stop illegal land acquisition and resettle those still in welfare centres in Valikamam North and Sampur. Addressing the 8th memorial lecture of late TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj, MP Suresh Premachandran said his party would back a common presidential candidate who would more..

Mangala ready to join Govt. sans rewards

Nov 12 (CT) UNP media coordinator, Mangala Samaraweera, who is currently in Singapore, has informed government high rankers that he is willing to join them unconditionally. The MP had earlier demanded that he be given either the portfolios as Minister for Ports and Aviation or that of External Affairs if he were to join the government. His request was turned down. Samaraweera then had asked for an audience with the President and that too was rejected. more..

SAITM medical students move SC, seeking govt jobs

Nov 12 (Island) Undergraduates in the first batch of medical students of South Asians Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), have complained to the Supreme Court that the Sri Lankan Health Services Service minute, gazetted on Oct 2014, have prevented the medical practitioners who quality from SAITM from being registered as state medical officers. The petition added that only the medical practitioners who graduated from state universities and foreign Universities were more..

Major rallies against NGO project and abolition of executive prez powers

Nov 12 (Island) The Federation of National Organizations is scheduled to hold a special meeting today at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium to highlight the threat posed by foreign-funded projects. A spokesperson for the organization said that NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena have been invited to address the gathering. more..

Do you want taste or nutrition?

Nov 12 (DM) One of the serious if not grave negatives of our hi-tech era is a change for the worse in diet and lifestyle—a change that has brought about a diabetes pandemic. If actions speak louder than words then figures also do. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in shocking revelations to mark World Diabetes Day on Friday, says estimates from the IDF Diabetes Atlas indicate that there are about 382 million people suffering from diabetes worldwide. more..

A public fund for workers in high risk zones

Nov 12 (DM) The real tragedy of some events lies in peoples’ perceptions of them rather than in the events themselves. When Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the loss of life and property due to the Koslanda landslide was not catastrophic as expected, he is giving us another sorry example of reality being doctored to meet political requirements. He was giving us the final statistics of the Koslanda landslide at a recent press conference. more..

Qualms delay appearance of a ‘common’ messiah

Nov 12 (DM) The political system of Sri Lanka is at a cross road where the ruling party has sought a SC ruling whether President Rajapaksa can run for a third term. Some legal experts regard this overture as an extreme use of the executive powers vested with President Rajapaksa. Amidst the controversy surrounding the President’s wish to contest the Presidency for the third time, opposition parties are having discussions more..

'International inquiry against SL prompted early Presidential Election'

Nov 12 (CT) Senior Minister and a former Leftist leader Athauda Seneviratne today said that the govt decided to call for a presidential election in January to avert international conspiracies against the country. This is the first time a spokesperson of the govt has cited “international conspiracies” as the reason for a premature presidential election. "People of SL should turn the presidential election into an opportunity to more..

Cracks in the NPC?

Nov 12 (SL) A year after the first-ever Northern Provincial Council (NPC) was elected, members of the Council are expressing deep dissatisfaction with its functioning and utter disappointment with the performance of its celebrated Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and his four-man Board of Ministers. Reflecting the rumblings within the NPC, Anthony Jayanathan, a TNA Councilor from Mullaitivu District, said that the formation of more..

Floating Restaurant at Wetland Park

Nov 12 (MoD) Secretary Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa launched a new floating restaurant during a colouful event last evening (10) at the Wetland Park in Nawala. The 'Garton's Ark' is the latest addition to the popular Wetland Park. The craft holds a spacious fully air conditioned restaurant and an open deck. It offers a complete package of a trip around the lake with food and drinks served at an affordable price. more..

'Migrant workers to benefit by Budget 2015'

Nov 12 (DN) The Foreign Employment ministry will be able to provide a great service to migrant workers through the 2015 budget, said Minister Dilan Perera. He said that on the advise of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Ministry of Foreign Employment has taken measures to initiate massive programs for the welfare of migrant workers and their families. Pensions schemes have been initiated for migrant workers & their families. more..

Dengue patients flock to Negombo Hospital

Nov 12 (ST) With a dengue explosion in the country, which will send the disease numbers sky-rocketing this year, suspected dengue patients, both adults and children, are streaming into the Negombo Hospital, the Sunday Times found on a visit on Friday. Not only are the 17 beds in the Centre for the Clinical Management of Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever occupied with both adults and children but also 30 of the 63 more..

Ratana Thera carrying UNP flag – BBS

Nov 12 (CT) BBS lambasted JHU MP Athuraliye Ratana Thera claiming that he was carrying the UNP flag with the slogan calling for constitutional reforms with regard to the Executive Presidency. The BBS said they would not be joining the rally, calling for the abolishing of the dictatorial powers vested in the Executive President to be held today. The rally is organized by the National Council for a Clean Tomorrow (NCCT) led by more..

Caught between life and death

Nov 12 (FL) “TODAY he stands accused of a crime that he refused to commit even when his family was in a very bad shape,” says Apoorvam, 62, about her son Rayappan Wilson, 44, one of the five Indian fishermen from Rameswaram awarded the death sentence by the Colombo High Court on October 30 on the charge of possessing narcotic drugs. “It defies all logic,” says his wife Jhansi, 32. “This is a man who went abroad more..

Victory of sorts

Nov 12 (FL) BARELY a day after Sri Lanka reimposed war-era travel restrictions on its Tamil-majority Northern Province, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down anti-terrorism sanctions imposed on the LTTE by the European Union, on a technicality. The two events are not related, but the significance was not lost on those struggling in absentia for a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka. Reasoning for the judgment is that more..

Australia verifying asylum claims

Nov 12 (Hindu) Australia is verifying the genuineness of the asylum claims of the 157 Sri Lankan Tamils who had left Puducherry by boat, Australian Consul-General to South India Sean Kelly has said. The boat was intercepted by Australian authorities in June. The migrants are now lodged in detention centres on Nauru Island. “Australian govt has a firm policy on people smuggling. It is not possible to enter Australia illegally,” more..

Let's curb the paedophile menace!

Nov 12 (CT) Sexual predators are increasingly targeting young boys and the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has reported that 2,500 paedophiles have abused Sri Lankan children through the internet. Though most parents think girls are more vulnerable to such fiends, it is otherwise, according to NCPA figures on child abuse. The NCPA should be more concerned about the alarming rise in child abuse, especially, of young boys of school going age & plan awareness more..

5437 housing units for low income households by the end of 2014

Nov 12 (CT) UDA would have provided 5,437 housing units for low income households by the year end, while the target is to reach 30,000 in the next two years. But, as new complexes are opened, complaints of low maintenance have risen from the "old" -ie those previous and earlier flats which had been built for slum dwellers a few months ago. General cleanliness and maintenance in the housing complexes which were opened earlier have considerably dropped, turning them into more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.8%

Nov 12 (LBO) Stocks closed higher with the price gains of Access Engineering and People’s Leasing and Finance amid foreigners remained active closing as net buyers. All Share Price Index closed 56.69 points higher at 7,469.41, up 0.76%. S&P SL20 closed 16.59 points higher at 4,136.59, up 0.4%. Turnover was 2.68 billion rupees, up from 1.64 billion rupees a day earlier with 133 stocks closed positive against 67 negative. Chevron Lubricants Lanka closed 4.40 rupees higher more..

Warning from Sarath Fonseka

Nov 12 (CT) Leader of the Democratic Party, Sarath Fonseka was common candidate in the Presidential election 2010. On 10 Nov 2014, he issued a warning “I can tell with my past experience as the common candidate … that the prospective candidate should be very careful when taking a decision in this regard”. The warning was directed to aspirants seeking the highest office in the land. What made him say that? For the harmless thought of coming forward as a consensual common candidate, more..

Tuna tales

Nov 12 (FL) Boat owner Gladwin’s house is a 400-square-foot reinforced cement concrete structure divided into multiple rooms and caters to a joint family of 10 persons. He invited this correspondent to his house and then hurried a relative of his to get a few chairs. Drawing room has a colour television in one corner and no furniture. Nov 28, 2011, was like any other day in his life. His brother Emerson, 40, volunteered to be more..

Wild jumbo threat looming large

Nov 12 (Island) Director General (DG) of Wildlife Conservation H. D. Ratnayake said that one of the biggest problems officials in the Elahera-Bakamuna range were faced with was to tackle the wild jumbo problem. Many elephants which had migrated from the land adjoining the Moragahakanda Reservoir project were roaming in villages in the Naula and Dambulla DS areas, he added. Once the reservoirs were filled the animals would not be able to use the five elephant corridors in the area more..

Mangala stays in opposition: Attends common opposition rally

Nov 12 (AM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, whose name was mentioned in connection with a possible crossover to the govt over the past few weeks, attended the common opposition rally which was organized against the Executive Presidency, this evening. Samaraweera took part in the rally soon after his return to SL following a brief tour to Singapore. Samaraweera's presence in the rally was a denial of speculations over a possible crossover. It seemed as if UNP MP had made up his mind more..

Supreme Court opinion prevents citizens from challenging MR’s 3rd term: Ex-CJ

Nov 12 (AM) Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva has said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa pushing for a third term and the Supreme Court ‘bowing’ to do his bidding is a clear overstepping of boundaries. Just one day after the decision was announced to Parliament by the Leader of the House, former Chief Justice added that the decision itself proves the independence of the legal system of the country. more..

TNA says Saudi not a friend of Tamils

Nov 12 (CG) TNA accused Saudi Arabia of backing human rights violations in Sri Lanka adding that the Middle Eastern country is not a friend of the Tamils. TNA MP C. Yogeswaran, speaking in Parliament, said that while Saudi Arabia may be seen as a friend of the Sri Lankan Govt, it cannot be accepted in the same manner by the Tamils in the North and East. MP recalled that Saudi Arabia had backed the SL govt at the UNHRC when the resolution on Sri Lanka was submitted to the Council. more..

Speaker cautions Ranjan

Nov 12 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa cautioned UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake to conduct himself with patience and dignity in Parliament. Speaker made this remark when Mr. Ramanayake was delivering an impassioned speech on the plight of Sri Lankan women in the Middle East and in Saudi Arabia in particular. He said fathers were trading their daughters and husbands their wives in certain cases to earn money. “Most of these hapless women end up in slavery in the Arab world,” more..

A’pura nightclub raided; owner, dancing girls arrested

Nov 12 (Island) Police on Monday night swooped on a nightclub, ‘Panorama’ located in the sacred city of Anuradhapura and arrested 12 persons including its owner, manager and eight dancing girls. Sunday Divaina, exposed the nightclub by using two undercover journalists who visited it posing off as customers. Issue was later raised in Parliament. Anuradhapura police conducted the raid with the support of more..

Muzammil highlights JVP’s plight, internal squabbles among Opp parties

Nov 12 (Island) NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil on Monday alleged that the JVP ‘s failure to take a clear stand on the forthcoming presidential election reflected its predicament. Former MP Muzammil pointed out that the JVP had called for a common programme after having pushed for a common candidate to face incumbent President Rajapaksa. The breakaway JVP faction led by Wimal Weerawansa pledged allegiance to President Mahinda Rajapaksa several years ago. more..

Re establishing Thai Buddhist links

Nov 12 (Island) Her Royal Excellency Mom Luang Rajadarasri Jayankura who participated in the Sambuddha Jayanthi celebrations in 2011, and later was associated with the award winning cinematic classic ‘Sri Siddhartha Gautama’ will visit Sri Lanka once again from Nov 12. She will visit the historic Rajaguru Sri Subuthi Maha Viharaya in Waskaduwa, at the invitation of Most Ven. Waskaduwa Mahindawansa Maha Nayaka Thero on the 14th accompanied by the Chief Trustee, more..

Four county batsmen head to Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (CI) England will send four players to Sri Lanka either side of Christmas in the latest example of their desire to expose their young cricketers to Asian conditions. Scott Borthwick, from Durham, Essex's Tom Westley, Ben Foakes, now at Surrey, and Will Tavare of Gloucestershire will play for clubs in Sri Lanka in the coming months having been identified by Graham Thorpe, the England Performance Programme (EPP) more..

What’s being performed now is Bala Vannama

Nov 12 (LT) “This is a new type of ‘Vannama’ (a kind of native dance). It is called “Bala Vannama’ (power dance). The person who performs this dance subdues the Parliament, makes law its slave and severs the Sinhalese tail to talk of communalism. He hides the pistol to threaten others. This ‘bala vannam’ leader shows ‘nelum’ flowers to deceive us,” says President of FUTA Chandraguptha Thenuwara. “The time we have to speak in public is getting shorter and shorter. more..

Indian Communist Party leader welcomes Colombo's move to free Indian fishermen

Nov 12 (ANI) Senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday welcomed the Sri Lankan Govt's decision to pardon five Indian fishermen sentenced to death for drug smuggling in the island nation. "We have told the Govt of India earlier as well that they need to save the lives of these fishermen by using all the diplomatic techniques," said Yechury. "Now, our Prime Minister will go for the SAARC Summit. There he will talk regarding relations with Sri Lanka," he added. more..

'World Cup preparation is on track'

Nov 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka might have surrendered the five-match ODI series against India in the third game itself but former captain Mahela Jayawardene on Wednesday said that there was nothing to worry about their World Cup preparation as things are on track. "When you go into a big tournament you have to have that hunger to win. In our camp we have that. Our guys tend to rise when it matters. As long as focus & intent is there more..

5-month-old child saved from ritual sacrifice

Nov 12 (E24|7) A five-month old child has been saved from ritual sacrifice. A group of eight people, including two women, was arrested by the police from a house in Peliyagoda at dawn on Sunday while they were digging a hole in the middle of a two-storey house. They were hoping to acquire treasure by sacrificing the child, police said. According to the police, one of the suspects is a postal worker who owns the house. Police found 40 undelivered letters in his house. more..