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Appeal over five Indians withdrawn

Nov 18 (CG) The appeal filed by India at the Supreme Court in Colombo in support of five Indians sentenced to death, has been withdrawn. According to a report, the appeal was withdrawn with the expectation that it will then allow President Rajapaksa to pardon the five Indians. The President was earlier quoted in the Indian media as saying that he was ready to free the five Indians but the appeal filed by the Indian High Commission in Colombo had complicated the issue. more..

Harin: 'I am the Common Candidate'

Nov 18 (AM) Uva Province Opposition Leader Harin Fernando has said that he responds all queries as to who the common candidate will be by saying "I am the common candidate." He has said that the question of the common candidate has become the most frequently asked question. "90 out of 100 people who talk to me ask this question," he said. He further stated that he responds by saying "I am the common candidate, now is there a problem?" to end the conversation then and there. more..

Iconic Galle Face hotel doorman dies

Nov 18 (CG) The iconic doorman at the Galle Face hotel, Kottarappu Chathu Kuttan, who made history for being one of the oldest hotel employees in the world, passed away peacefully in the early hours of today. The hotel observed a minute’s silence in his honour for a personality that many people from around the world will not forget. His career as a restaurant waiter and then as the hotel’s prestigious usher, he became an integral part of hotel. more..

'A common candidate cannot abolish executive presidency'

Nov 18 (AM) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that even if a common candidate happens to win the next election, he will not be able to fulfil the main promise of abolishing the executive presidency. Speaking at a press conference he said that the executive presidency cannot be abolished by one person, even if he is the executive president. It needs a 2/3 majority in the parliament. A common candidate with out such a majority cannot do anything to the constitution. more..

Jaqueline’s Kaema Sutra under fire for serving food with worms

Nov 18 (AM) Kaema Sutra, a high-end restaurant in Colombo owned by Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is under fire for serving food with a worm. A customer who was allegedly served a dish with a worm had posted a complaint at the Kaema Sutra facebook page. He had complained about the incident on the Facebook page of the restaurant. The customer had also posted pictures of the dead worm in his food on the restaurant’s official Facebook page. more..

G.L accuses Zeid of double standards

Nov 18 (CG) Minister G L Peiris today accused UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Al Hussein of double standards. He said that Zeid’s office is putting pressure on SL for not supporting the UN led probe on Sri Lanka but does not do the same with other countries. Peiris said that some other countries have also refused to support investigations led by OHCHR but there is no pressure on those countries. more..

Madumadawa quits JHU, joins SLFP

Nov 18 (CG) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) member and popular singer Madumadawa Aravinda has resigned from the party and joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Aravinda told reporters at a media briefing this evening that he had decided to resign as he did not agree with the JHU decision on the Govt. He urged the JHU to reconsider the decision taken on its ties with the Govt failing which he will gather the support of more JHU members to join the SLFP. more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa turns 69

Nov 18 (GDI) President Rajapaksa celebrates his 69th birthday today. Meanwhile, President will also mark the anniversary of his election to the office tomorrow. Fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, former PM, Leader of the Opposition, MP, lawyer, human rights activist and trade unionist - comes from a family with a long tradition in people-oriented politics. President Rajapaksa was born on Nov 18, 1945 as the second son of late D.A. Rajapaksa in Weeraketiya more..

BBS to field national candidate

Nov 18 (DM) BBS today said they are going to field a national candidate if any other party does not provide a proper candidate in the coming presidential election. They said they will take a proper decision after the announcement of the presidential election. Ven. Gnanasara Thera said they will field a national candidate who could bring along a Sinhala-Buddhist state and not a common candidate like other parties. more..

Belarusian parliamentary delegation in Sri Lanka on a visit

Nov 18 (BelTA) A parliamentary delegation of Belarus led by Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko has started an official visit to Sri Lanka, the program of which envisages meetings with the country's authorities, BelTA learnt from the press service of the House of Representatives. The Belarusian delegation will hold meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, and the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, the press service said. more..

Main suspect in Kotakethana dual murder commits suicide

Nov 18 (AD) Chief suspect in the killing of a mother and daughter in the Kotakethana area in Kahawatta has committed suicide by consuming poison, police said. The 50-year-old suspect, who was arrested and later released on bail, was found near his home in Kotakethana after consuming poison last evening. He was immediately admitted to the Kahawatta Hospital, however has passed away this morning, police said. A 63-year-old mother and her 33 year-old daughter were found murdered more..

Matale mass grave: Skeletons belong to early 1950s

Nov 18 (AD) The police today informed the Matale Magistrate’s Court that the skeletons found from a mass grave site at the Matale District hospital premises are belong to early 1950s. A report prepared by a US agency on this regard was too submitted to Matale Magistrate Sampath Gamage. In a previous occasion, some 13 petitioners had filed affidavits at the Matale Magistrate’s Court and sought DNA tests more..

World-first inhaled vaccine developed by Sri Lankan doctor in Melbourne

Nov 18 (AM) A Sri Lankan researcher Dr Anushi Rajapaksa has developed a potential alternative for needle vaccinations, successfully trying a method in which people can inhale a vaccine to safeguard against potential infections. Researchers from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Monash University also hope to use the matchbox-sized device to deliver stem cells into the lungs of premature babies to repair damaged tissue. Lead researcher Dr Anushi Rajapaksa said more..

'Modi wants TNA to participate'

Nov 18 (CT) The govt said that Indian PM, Narendra Modi too had said that the TNA must participate in the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to find solutions to the national problem. UPFA Govt and the SLFP will not be having discussions with the TNA to secure their support for the upcoming Presidential Election, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva added. Modi expressed that the TNA had no other alternative other than to take part in the PSC, the Minister remarked. more..

NFF tells JHU to reconsider decision

Nov 18 (DM) NFF requested the JHU members to reconsider their decision to resign from govt portfolios and requested them to stay within the Govt. “We request Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Minister Champika Ranawaka and the entire JHU members to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the portfolios in the name of the nation. National forces like JHU and JVP are the parties that built the nation together during hard times,” more..

It is not only the UN that the govt must answer to

Nov 19 (SL) Even as it prepares for a decisive Presidential election, the govt is getting into an escalated conflict with the UN system where it cannot possibly prevail. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sided with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al-Hussein and not with the Sri Lankan govt in their confrontation. His spokesman has said “The Secretary General supports the views of High Commissioner Zeid and he agrees with High Commissioner Zeid that more..

Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Buddhist radical groups: New alignments?

Nov 19 (CT) Recently, hard-line Buddhist clerics in Myanmar and Sri Lanka stated that Buddhist associations from both countries will work together to protect Buddhism against the threat from the Muslim extremists around the globe. Last month, Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu and Sri Lanka’s Galagodaththe Gnanasara met in Colombo to work towards “Buddhists around the globe to ally internationally.” Following this, the BBS expressed interest in seeking out to a similar partnership more..

'Ceylon Shipping Corporation will regain its past glory'

Nov 19 (SO) Admiral Jayanath Colombage the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy is now functioning as the Chairman of Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd considered to be the national shipping carrier. Accomplishing the objective of President Rajapaksa to revive the shipping industry, the Ceylon Shipping Corporation has now ventured into the crude oil and coal transportation to the country & has ordered two vessels from more..

Imagining a Muslim Eelam, as an election buffer?

Nov 19 (SL) The recent demand of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for a separate administrative unit comprising the community-majority areas may have been lost in the combined Opposition cacophony over the abolition of the Executive Presidency for one more time. Yet, the subsequent parliamentary reference to the Muslim demand may be as mischievous in intent as it could be substantial in content and contribution to the fate of the presidential polls, whenever held. more..

The Islamic Caliphate in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (CT) Blood was shed, lives were lost, businesses and property destroyed. While the fabric of society is being threatened, spells danger it does when the inclusion of Sri Lankan Muslims itself is seriously being questioned. In a multi-religious multi-racial country, where unverified ancient history is only a myth, the question of ‘ownership’ of the country by a particular race need not arise when it serves no purpose or if it is detrimental to the development of the country. more..

'Blame Game continuesat ministry level'

Nov 19 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Ivan de Silva, says his ministry is dedicated to ensuring that every individual in this country has access to clean water by 2020. While admitting that the country's irrigation system needs to be upgraded, he brushed off allegations that a tunnel that was dug as part of the Uma Oya Project is responsible for landslide in Meeriyabedda. more..

Name-calling is a fun game

Nov 19 (NS) There are govts and each of them has an Opposition. There are strong govts and weak ones. Likewise, the Opposition is sometimes strong and sometimes weak. Very weak. Regardless of relative strengths, it can safely be said that they need each other. They need each other not for the textbook reason of critique being a necessary part of streamlining things for the common good of all. They need each other to yell at because if you are not good at what you the next best thing more..

English is a feel-good thing na?

Nov 19 (NS) The nice thing about writing a regular column is that one gets a lot of feedback. Well, to be honest, it is not nice when people poke fun at me, but sometimes even the not-nice stuff contains valuable insights. I received one of those nice-stinkers the other day. Here’s the gist. Kolombians classify those around them as “English Speaking” and “Non English speaking”. Their offspring can barely manage ‘enna,’ giya,’ or awa’ but beyond that any Sinhala word would be a tongue twister. more..

Master Blaster’s Pol Adi fail to click

Nov 19 (Island) Chairman of Cricket Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya is barking up the wrong tree after the worst ever defeat by the national cricket team during the tour of India. There is lack of remorse and regret in the former captain’s recent statement. "We never expected to win all matches played in India. The tour was finalized after the Selection Committee, the players and the Captain of the team had agreed to tour India. more..

Editorial: It’s break-up time

Nov 19 (Island) President Rajapaksa is expected to declare a snap presidential election shortly. Having conducted his campaign to secure a third term for the last four years or so, he is now ready for the contest, but the main Opposition party has not yet decided on its candidate. It took the European Space Agency only ten years to chase an elusive comet hurtling through space at an astounding speed of 18 km per second and land a robot lab safely on it about 6.5 billion kilometres away more..

Solheim as the common candidate of the banana intellectuals

Nov 19 (Island) Sri Lanka is not an Arab country and the west finds it difficult to impose its will on us. The western policy with respect to Asia, Africa and South America can be partially summarized in one sentence knowing very well that summaries do not often convey the meaning of the original. The west wants weak govts in these countries and the moment they come across a strong govt that does not listen to them, they want to destabilize the relevant country by hook or crook. more..

Video: 'I don't blame Arjuna for my early retirement'

Nov 19 (CI) Subash Jayaraman: Could you talk about school cricket in Sri Lanka, which is pretty huge? Also, your playing relationship with Hashan Tillakaratne from a young age? Asanka Gurusinha: Hashan and I started playing together from the age of seven. So we go a long, long way back. I was captaining the Under-11 team and he was the vice-captain. Even at that age, I saw him scoring hundreds for the school side. more..

SL and English cricketers launch Street to Stadium

Nov 19 (Island) Standard Chartered joins hands with Sri Lanka Cricket to embark on yet another campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Sri Lankan cricketing talent. The campaign launch will coincide with the tour of the England cricket team and both the Sri Lankan and English cricketers have generously agreed to participate in fund raising events. This campaign – Street to Stadium – focuses on growing rural cricket and providing opportunities for talent, that may not more..

SL embassy hosts Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society

Nov 19 (Island) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan organized a Dinner and Cultural Reception for the members of the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society [ALFS] at the Residency of the Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. The members of the ALFS were enthralled by the dance performance of Channa-Upuli Troupe. The Channa-Upuli Troupe performed several unique and distinctive dance themes such as Pooja, Peacock and Fragrance of the village, to name a few. more..

Canada joins the trade call

Nov 19 (CT) As part of its new internationalization thrust, the second largest economy in North America directly called for a fresh trade round with Sri Lanka yesterday, while Sri Lanka beamed with satisfaction on its success with yet another NAFTA member — and more than 100 Lankan firms of all sizes packed EDB's pioneering 'Exporting to Canada' session in Colombo. "I see great potential and synergy here today to more..

ITC's luxury hotel begins construction today

Nov 19 (CT) After more than 27 months of obtaining approvals from the country's investment promotion agency and the Ministry of Economic Development, India's ITC Hotels will today commence construction of its mixed development project in Sri Lanka worth more than US$ 140 million. ITC Hotels obtained five acres facing Galle Face Green, adjoining Shangri-La's 10 acres, on a 99-year lease, after the government refused to sell the land to China's CATIC, following criticism. more..

VAT, NBT exemption to hurt beer industry

Nov 19 (DM) The exemption of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Nation Building Tax (NBT) from the beer industry, coupled with the increase of excise duty to recover the lost government revenue, will form an adverse effect on the industry, according to Sri Lanka’s largest brewer, Lion Brewery. “For many years, the alcohol industry has been subjected to poorly thought-out policies. The adjustment is a case in point. These seem good on paper to those without the benefit of proper information,” more..

Rotary SL organises plastic surgery project

Nov 19 (FT) Rotary Sri Lanka, in partnership with Interplast Germany and Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital in Malabe, is conducting consultations and surgeries from 10 to 20 November for burn injuries, hand disabilities and upper lip palates with a team of 11 top German doctors in the country to carry out the project. The estimated value of the project surpasses Rs. 10 million and was initiated by the German Embassy, which informed more..

Aussie aid team visits Trinco

Nov 19 (CT) A team of officials from the Australian High Commission, in Colombo, visited the Trincomalee District on Monday. They were on a fact finding mission. Country Manager of the Australian Aid Programme in Sri Lanka, Katrina Harrigan led the fact finding mission and held talks with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Trincomalee V.Kalaichelvan. The Aussie team analyzed the current situation of business development & potential investment more..

'No grace period for jumbo registration'

Nov 19 (Island) Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Wijth Wijayamuni Zoysa told Parliament that no grace period had been announced for the registration of the illegally captured elephants including tuskers. The minister said so responding to a question raised by UNP Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana, who asked whether measures would be taken to charge a licence fee of one million rupees to register the elephants including tuskers captured in an illegal manner. more..

Committee Stage debate held on ministries referred to Select Committee

Nov 19 (FT) Some of the ministries referred to the Select Committee were discussed in the Committee Stage debate at Parliament yesterday. These were the Productivity Promotion, Plantation Industries, Minor Export Crop Promotion, Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development, Sugar Industry Development, Special Projects, Social Services, Re-settlement, Disaster Management, Botanical Gardens more..

They could get motorcycles, but they may join govt. - Speaker

Nov 19 (Island) Opposition local authority members, too, could obtain motorcycles given to public officials if the UNP made a formal request to the govt, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga in Parliament. Speaker Rajapaksa made this observation when Amaratunga said that it was very unfair that those motorbikes were distributed only among the local govt members belonging to the ruling party at a time a presidential election is round the corner. more..

CDDRA accelerates checks on cosmetic clinics

Nov 19 (CT) The Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) recently made unannounced checks on 46 cosmetic clinics island wide and found four of those using expired and substandard drugs and medical equipment. Legal action will be taken against those four operators, CDDRA Director, Dr. Amal de Silva, said. He said the use of expired and substandard drugs may have an adverse impact on clients. Recently, a 47-year-old women doctor died after being injected at more..

COPE alleges Secretary Ranatunga in conflict of interest on awarding TV Rights

Nov 19 (CT) The COPE, in a damning report, the latest, on Sri Lanka Cricket has alleged that there was a clear cut case of conflict of interests in the awarding of television broadcasting rights where the former SLC CEO and incumbent Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has been implicated. Report, which was released last Friday in the second COPE Interim Report for 2014 and has reviewed performances of state enterprises more..

Jaffna Int’l Trade Fair during Jan 23-25, 2015

Nov 19 (DN) The Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), the most comprehensive and ‘looked forward to’ exhibition in the North will be held for the sixth consecutive year in the heart of Jaffna from the January 23-25, 2015. The exhibition which was the first of its kind to be held in the Northern region of the country has throughout the years been renowned as the best and most potent platform for the meeting of investors, businesses and the masses in the region. more..