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A’pura bowser accident: Two army soldiers interdicted

Nov 17 (DM) Two army soldiers, now in Police custody over the bowser accident in Anuradhapura on Sunday, where one schoolgirl and a woman were killed, were interdicted today. The two victims who were on their way home from Daham Pasala died and six more girls were injured when the water bowser driven by two civil-clad soldiers crashed into a bus halt. Police said the two officers had driven the bowser under the influence of liquor. Army Commander Daya Ratnayake had instructed more..

Building disaster resilience amidst rampant poverty

Nov 17 (IPS) Of the thousands of landslide-prone villages he has visited and worked with, R M S Bandara, a high-ranking official from National Building Resources Organisation (NBRO), says only one has made him sit up and take note. Keribathgala, located in the hilly Badulla District, is the only village out of thousands that keeps a regular tab on the rain gauge donated by the Disaster Management Ministry’s NBRO, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3%

Nov 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed higher with the positive price movements in Dialog Axiata and Access Engineering. All Share Price Index closed 22.91 points higher at 7,524.00, up 0.31%. The S&P SL20 closed 14.26 points higher at 4,170.08, up 0.34%. Turnover was 2.43 billion rupees, up from 2.40 billion rupees last Friday with 105 stocks closed positive against 95 negative. Dialog Axiata closed 60 cents higher at 13.10 rupees with off market transactions of 242.82 million rupees more..

Woman loses a tooth for no fault of hers

Nov 17 (Island) A woman travelling in a Nawalapitiya bound bus from Kandy was admitted to the Gampola Teaching Hospital after being assaulted by the wife of the driver of the bus recently. The victim had boarded the bus at Gampola to collect her son from a relative’s place, the police said. The victim lost one of her teeth in the attack. Although she had pleaded with the driver to take her to the police station, he had forced her to get off, police said. The victim later got herself admitted to hospital and more..

Ranil and Tissa barred from expelling Gampola MC Chairman

Nov 17 (AM) Colombo District Court today issued an enjoining order preventing UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and General Secretary Tissa Attanayake from expelling party membership of Gampola Municipal Council Chairman Gamini Hettiarachchi till Dec 1. Defendants were noticed to appear in court on Dec 1 by District Judge Sujatha Alahapperuma. MC chairman had met president Rajapaksa on more..

'Sobhitha thera will continue to work with common opposition'

Nov 17 (AM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, who visited Maduluwawe Sobhitha thera at the private hospital where the latter is undergoing treatment, said the monk will continue to support the common opposition regardless of the pressure mounted by the govt. Denying various newspaper reports claiming Sobithat thera had decided to remain silent following the meeting with the President, he said the Buddhist monk will play an active role in the common opposition’s campaign for more..

UNP claims UPFA already giving bribes

Nov 17 (CG) UNP has alleged that the UPFA has begun giving bribes to people even before an election has been announced. UNP LC chairman Karu Jayasuriya claims President Rajapaksa is operating a “dansal” (stall) at Temple Trees to bribe the ordinary man before the election. UNP MP said that UPFA Govt has realized they cannot win votes simply by giving food and drinks so they have gone a step further. He says Govt had recently given motorbikes to UPFA local council members more..

Central Bank issues collectors coins

Nov 17 (GDI) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka today issued a new series of 25 coins of Rs 10 denomination in order to recognize and portray unique characteristics and/or iconic landmarks and/or special features of each administrative district of Sri Lanka. The first set of coins was presented by the Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal to President Rajapaksa today at a ceremony held at Central Bank Auditorium. more..

'Sri Lanka currently looking at all aspects of Tamil Nadu issue'

Nov 17 (GDI) Sri Lanka is currently looking at all aspects of the issue of five Tamil Nadu fishermen who were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for drug trafficking, President's Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said."The process is being discussed at the highest levels and the issue is being looked at from all angles. It might take some time as it is not a simple process. A decision will be taken once the process is over,” the spokesman said. Samaranayake has said that more..

UPFA MP slams foreign ministry: Says GL Peiris should resign

Nov 17 (AM) UPFA MP Wasantha Senanayake has said that Minister G.L. Peiris is a powerless figurehead and therefore should resign from, his post. UPFA has also asked authorities not to limit themselves to speaking of foreign forces, but to make a concerted effort to resolve problems in the Foreign Service. Media reports claimed a few weeks ago that Senanayake was to cross over to the opposition. UPFA MP submitted a set of proposals to President with regard to a constitutional more..

Sri Lanka ranked 92 (out of 167 countries) in Global Slavery Index (GSI) 2014

Nov 17 (PTI) Nearly 14.3 million people, including children, are "trapped" in modern-day slavery in India, which tops a global index of people under bondage across the world with an estimated 35.8 million people enslaved. Global Slavery Index (GSI) 2014, said India and Pakistan account for 45% of the global total. Over 23.5 million people in Asia are living in modern-day slavery. more..

Death sentence set aside Appeal Court releases accused

Nov 17 (CT) Court of Appeal released a person, who had been sentenced to death, over a murder, after accepting two reasons, which the Counsel for the appellant presented to Court. Galle High Court had sentenced Sujith Lal, alias Sootikka, to death, for the murder of a 16-year-old school girl. This appeal was taken up before a Bench comprising Justices Anil Goonaratne and P.R. Walgama. President's Counsel Rienzy Arsakularatna submitted to Court that the Trial Judge had failed to comply with more..

Holy Mass in Bethlehem to bless President

Nov 17 (GDI) A Holy Mass to bless President Rajapaksa and to mark his 69th birthday will be held at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on Saturday, 22nd Nov 2014 at 3.00pm. This event is organized by a Palestinian group called the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka in Bethlehem’ in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Israel and the Representative Office of Sri Lanka in the State of Palestine. Along with the Palestinian friends of Sri Lanka, Palestinian Minister of Tourism, more..

COI collects statements on war crimes

Nov 17 (CG) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) on missing persons is collecting written statements related to alleged war crimes and human rights abuses as part of its extended mandate, a spokesman of the Commission said. Secretary to the Presidential Commission H.W Gunadasa said that statements will be accepted till December 31 this year and a notice to this effect had already been issued. more..

Lumbini area secured for Modi, Rajapaksa

Nov 17 (NN) All preparations have been completed and the area secured in Lumbini for visits by India PM Narednra Modi and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to local officials. Additional security measures are also in place for the protection of the two leaders who are scheduled to visit Lumbini on the sidelines of the upcoming 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, that starts in Kathmandu on Nov 25, 2014, more..

'LTTE black money investigation still alive'

Nov 17 (AM) Switzerland authorities have said that the ‘Black Money’ investigation which was launched in 2011 on a group of people who allegedly aided the LTTE, is still alive. The Switzerland Attorney General, according to BBC Sandeshaya, has said that the group was charged with ‘black money dealing and collecting ransom to aid terrorism’; but the Attorney General’s office has rejected to reveal more information as the investigation is still active. Meanwhile, media spokesperson to the AG’s more..

'Govt’s aim agrochemical-free farming by 2020'

Nov 17 (Island) Minister S.M. Chandrasena stressed that President Rajapaksa wanted to ensure agrochemical-free cultivation in the country by 2020. He revealed this at a meeting he had with National Nutrition Council’s Director Dr. Palitha Chandradasa. It was decided that govt would cultivate traditional varieties of paddy in 300,000 acres during next Maha cultivation season without using any agrochemicals. more..

Modi govt betrayed Tamils by showing indulgence to Sri Lanka: Vaiko

Nov 17 (TOI) Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko on Monday came down heavily on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre for its proximity to the Mahinda Rajapaksa dispensation in Sri Lanka. The MDMK was a pre-poll partner of the NDA. Talking to reporters after a sedition case hearing at a Chennai court on Monday, Vaiko cautioned the govt that it was betraying Tamils by showing indulgence to the island nation. more..

Grade 5 revised cut-off marks released

Nov 17 (DM) The revised cut-off marks for this year's Grade-5 Scholarship Exam have been released. Accordingly, the overall minimum cut-off mark has been reduced from 163 to 157 for the Sinhala medium and from 159 to 152 for Tamil medium students. Last week, Minister Bandula Gunawardane told Parliament that the decision to reduce the cut-off mark was taken in conformity with the budgetary proposal to increase the number of bursaries from 15,000 to 25,000 this time. more..

'President knew of payments to rebels'

Nov 17 (AFP) A peacebroker accused of helping to fund Sri Lanka's separatist war acknowledged Monday that Tamil rebels had been induced to engage in the peace process but said payments were made with govt's blessing. Erik Solheim, a Norwegian diplomat who for nearly a decade headed international efforts to broker a peace deal, was accused by President Rajapakse of "giving money" to Tamil Tigers more..

TNA needs to ensure that its program is not hijacked by hardliners

Nov 18 (CT) Writing to the Island Newspaper, 5-11-2014, Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan has contested one of the issues that emerges from the article published by Prof. Gerald Peiries. In effect, Nirmala C suggests that, given the assertions found in the TNA Manifesto, and the public statements of the Hon. Mr. Sampanthan, the issue of the fear of a secessionist policy is no longer a concern. In fact, Nirmala C writes “am not sure whether the writer is aware that the TNA leadership in general more..

A life spent in service to God, Guru and Humanity

Nov 18 (CT) Forgive me if I can’t hold together until I finish… The family has asked me to speak, I consider it an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to deliver this tribute to Dr. Thuraisamy Sooriabalan – an opportunity I will treasure for the rest of my life. Few people that you meet, make an unforgettable impression, an indelible mark and a huge difference in your life and when departing leave you with an aching heart and a vacuum that can never be filled. more..

NBRO undertakes landslide mitigation process

Nov 18 (SO) "We are conducting awareness programs to schools in the mountain slopes. We also conducted awareness programs even at Koslanda and Meeriyabedda schools. The NBRO is not targeting any special group. The loss of lives could be prevented if early warnings from the Authorities were heeded, Director of Landslide Research and Risk Management Division of National Building Research Organization more..

Local parties are mum of Forbes magazine’s predictions

Nov 18 (NS) World’s leading business magazine Forbes has come up with a spectacular prediction on an island far from New York City. The magazine gives predictions to many super power countries. But I think this is the first time the magazine selected Sri Lanka for an important prediction. And this prediction is completely different from the subject it handles. “Problem solving is an application of creative thinking applied to a specific issue. Scientists and engineers in particular, more..

The Candidates

Nov 18 (NS) As suspected by most except the diehardest of Commoners aka pigs will fly crowd, the Rumble to select the next President of Sri Lanka will be between the incumbent Dakune Raja aka Mattala Maina and the world’s longest serving and the happiest oppositional figure, Barnacle Wicky. While the above was as expected, there was a bit of uncertainty when the country’s highest court surprisingly decided to give some serious consideration to arguments that questioned more..

From grass to glass: The Fonterra way

Nov 18 (NS) One of the striking features of a country as beautiful as New Zealand is just how laid back the natives are. It’s almost as if they are horizontal. They are generally chatty and would even crack jokes with a stranger. Being friendly is just part of their nature. Kiwis have a phenomena they call the ‘Number 8 wire’. ‘Number 8 wire’ is a legend named after a type of fencing wire that farmers used to tie hooks, aerials, etc. more..

Red alert in Jaffna as usual

Nov 18 (CT) Security Forces in the Northern Province are put on 'red alert' in the month of November since the LTTE was routed in Mullivaikkal in 2009, to prevent any form of commemoration to remember the dead cadres. When the LTTE was active, the commemorative events were held in the areas controlled by the outfit, in memory of the cadres who were killed in action. A year ago the Security Forces thwarted the attempt by the Jaffna University students who were preparing for a more..

Take positives forward

Nov 18 (CT) My last column said two down and three to go with India leading the series quite comfortably. The situation sadly from a Sri Lankan point of view has only got worse and it's now four down and one to go. Hopefully Sri Lanka will salvage something out of the series with a win in the fifth and final game! As we have discussed repeatedly this tour is an orphan with no one taking the responsibility rather than blaming SLC. In reality SLC faced a no win situation and more..

DEW says CP members won't support UNP candidate

Nov 18 (CT) The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, was divided over whether to support President Rajapaksa or not, at the forthcoming Presidential election. Of the 51 Central Committee members, 26, along with Minister DEW Gunasekera, supported the proposal to back President Rajapaksa while 14 members voted against. One member was absent. In an interview with CT, Minister Gunasekera explains more..

Reflections on economic growth, unemployment and poverty

Nov 18 (ST) There has been significant economic growth in recent years. Unemployment and poverty, too, have been reduced. These developments have been especially manifest in the five years after the war. There is visible evidence of economic growth, decreased unemployment and reduced poverty. Exogenous factors and foreign borrowing have played an important role towards these achievements. However, there has been scepticism about official estimates of economic growth, more..

Samsung expands network with new digital plaza in Panadura

Nov 18 (DM) Samsung Electronics recently expanded its network in Sri Lanka, by launching its latest Samsung Digital Plaza in Panadura. The new plaza will provide consumers in the town of Panadura with greater access to a variety of Samsung’s consumer products. The plaza was opened in collaboration with Softlogic Retail and the opening ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from Samsung Electronics India - Sri Lanka Branch Office and Softlogic Holdings PLC. more..

'Post war Northern economy: Tamil Diaspora did not contribute even a Rupee'

Nov 18 (CT) EPDP Leader and Minister, Douglas Devananda, in startling revelation, alleged that the Tamil Diaspora had not contributed a single cent for the development of the North in the post war era. They pumped in billions to the LTTE at the time of the war, but they have not contributed a cent or a Rupee for the welfare of the North, that they were shedding crocodile tears, he said. He also said that there were over a million members more..

2,000 cows imported in last two years

Nov 18 (FT) Upholding the development plans set in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ political manifesto for the local dairy industry, the Govt has imported 2,000 cows in 2012 and 2013, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena confirmed at Parliament in response to a question for oral answer. Even though cows were not imported to Sri Lanka in 2011, the CIF value for a pregnant cow imported to the country in 2012 and 2013 stood at Rs. 310,100 despite the market price set at Rs. 350,000. more..

Editorial: Do crimes go away?

Nov 18 (Island) One of our columnists makes an interesting observation today about the atrocities committed during the second JVP uprising in the late 1980s. More than 25 years have elapsed, but they re-emerge from time to time and, therefore, such incidents need to be probed, he argues. Do crimes go away? It is popularly believed that they don’t. But, there are situations where past crimes are forgotten and the victims and perpetrators become strange bedfellows in a bid to achieve more..

Mahinda's crowning political glory 25 years ago

Nov 17 (CT) Many are the articles that have been written from various angles on Mahinda Rajapaksa. But the piece published today is different. It is on his second entry into politics in the wake of UNP and JVP terror 25 years ago. Having won a parliamentary seat for the first time in 1970 and after being defeated in 1977, Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to Parliament in 1989. Here senior Journalist Dharman Wickremaratne more..

Funeral for plane crash victim held in Toronto

Nov 18 (LR) A well-attended funeral service was held yesterday in Toronto for 31 year–old Ravindran Arulandar who died last week in a plane crash. The pilot of the Cessna aircraft, 25 year-old Logesh Lakshmikanthan will have a funeral in India. Ontario Police confirmed the plane went down last Tuesday in Algonquian Provincial Park after running out of fuel. Arulanander received a diploma in airline ticketing from the International Airlines Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka in 2000, more..

HNB Group PAT records 7% growth

Nov 18 (Island) HNB Group Post-tax profits grew to Rs 6.23Bn while the Bank recorded a PAT of Rs 5.69 Bn during the 9 months ended September 2014. It is commendable that this performance was achieved despite declining margins and lower loan growth witnessed in the early part of the year.  Commenting on the performance over the period, Dr Ranee Jayamaha, Chairperson of HNB stated that "the industry witnessed the much anticipated acceleration in credit growth during 3rd more..

Search Light Tattoo in Mullaitivu for first time

Nov 18 (MoD) For the first time in the history, Sri Lanka Army glamorously celebrated sharing a brand new experience unveiling an Army Tattoo event in the North in order to showcase military soft capabilities by performing a series of events such as Parachuting, Heli Rappelling, Drill, Band, PT Display, Dog Show, Motor Cycle Display, Cultural Events and etc to civilian populace. Especially outlook number of events in the occasion more..

Police search for woman harassing journalist

Nov 18 (DM) The Slave Island Police are on the lookout for a woman who is alleged to have harassed a journalist attached to a Tamil radio station in Colombo on Facebook and the mobile phone by repeatedly coercing him to love her. The complainant, a journalist at a private FM radio station in Colombo 2, complained to the police that a woman via facebook was repeatedly harassing him by giving him telephone calls and text messages pleading with him to love her. more..

Rains aggravate dengue threat

Nov 17 (CT) Four locales of the Colombo metropolitan area are at high risk of dengue due to the recent rainfall, which has resulted in 95 dengue cases being identified within the last week, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Chief medical Officer, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said. He said that Mattakkuliya, Cinnamon Gardens and Dematagoda were some of the areas identified as the 'most at risk' areas of spreading dengue due to the prevalence of a large number of mosquito breeding sites. more..