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Open and Shut: Another letter to our Majesty

Nov 29 (GV) Your Highness, I am writing to be Informing you that my wife is leaving home today, threatening to be joining the Opposition. Please do not be thinking she is traitor. She is still very much devoted to you and is thinking the Opposition is way too common for the liking of even very common people like ourselves. It is just that she is hearing from some rumouring peoples that if someone is threatening to be going and joining the Opposition Your Majesty is offering a large and attractive more..

'Labour Department will resume aid soon'

Nov 29 (CT) Newly-appointed Commissioner General of Labour, Herath Yapa, who has been serving in the Labour Department since the age of 25, said most workers do not receive compensation when they die as a result of job-related illnesses, due to lack of awareness on the part of the employee as well as the medical officers. Members of the EPF need not worry about the govt losing EPF monies. more..

Comments on JHU leaving govt

Nov 29 (NS) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva refused to speak on behalf of the govt regarding the JHU’s decision. “You should ask this question from the president,” he said before hanging up. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake pointed out the JHU’s decision to leave the government on principle had been made as the UPFA govt had failed to honor its promise to abolish the executive presidency. He said the UNP saw the JHU’s move as a positive initial step in a wide-ranging effort to more..

Unity among Diversity

Nov 29 (NS) People talk about unity in public places, but some do not realize and understand the real meaning of unity. Unity simply means think in one direction or support one’s thought and rally around him. It also denotes the practices and work as one unit. You need patience and tolerance to work as a unit. Unity becomes stronger when diversified communities and groups get together. In Sri Lanka, the main talking point was Tamil-Sinhala unity. With the end of the war in 2009, more..

Name them, shame them and jail them!

Nov 29 (NS) The report released this week by parliamentary watchdog, the COPE, has again exposed the staggering extent of losses as a result of the mismanagement, plunder and waste in certain state-owned entities. The parliamentary regulator has revealed that three state-owned institutions, namely Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, National Paper Company & SriLankan Airlines have incurred a collective loss of Rs 40.2 billion more..

Editorial: JHU: Antho jata, bahi jata

Nov 29 (Island) An interesting realignment of political forces is taking place in the run-up to the presidential election and some politicians and their parties are struggling to position themselves. The JHU has been dilly-dallying during the past few weeks, unable to decide which candidate to back in the race—Rajapaksa or Sirisena. Nothing explains the JHU’s dilemma better than the Buddha’s words: Antho jata bahi jata, which roughly rendered into English means ‘complexities everywhere, more..

Collective awakenings and watershed changes in society: Are they in the offing?

Nov 29 (GV) When the Berlin Wall fell as a result of continuous and determined efforts of the people of then East Germany, and the Perestroika initiated by Gorbechev, it was not only a watershed moment in Europe but an inspiring, momentous event characterised by the sufferings and future aspirations of millions of East Germans and their sympathisers around the world. Similarly, when Nelson Mandela was freed and he became the President of South Africa not only millions of more..

'We are ready to discuss with Opposition parties'

Nov 29 (CT) Deputy Secretary of the JHU, Udaya Gammanpila says JHU will give the govt another chance. Q: Can you outline the JHU's present stand? A: We always take the side of the people. We gave up positions in the govt to ensure the people's success. We don't have any hatred towards the govt. Q: Did the govt ill-treat the JHU? A: No. We were treated well. This is not a move taken due to disappointment over treatment. more..

Sri Lanka search for consistency

Nov 29 (Island) There was some talk whether today’s second ODI between Sri Lanka and England should be abandoned or rescheduled following the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, but authorities have felt the need to move on. However, World Cup preparations will be the last thing in mind as members of both teams played lot of cricket against Hughes. A minute’s silence will be observed before start of play at 9:59am today as the cricketing world mourns the untimely death of more..

England search for cohesion

Nov 29 (CI) Much like the other international series currently being contested in the UAE and Bangladesh, England's tour of Sri Lanka has taken on a sombre tone following Phillip Hughes' death. The teams have already observed a minute's silence at an event in Colombo on Thursday evening, and have planned to commemorate Hughes' life on match day as well. World Cup preparation appears a trivial pursuit in comparison, but life goes on, and the cricket world begins to turn once again. more..

A fault in his stars?

Nov 29 (Economist) “AN INVINCIBLE personality, a blessed man, he will win a big victory.” In the opinion of Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, issued from his swish astrological headquarters in the southern port of Galle, the prospects for Sri Lanka’s president are unambiguously bright. Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa has called an election two years early, to seek an unprecedented third term. Why not? more..

Useful new book on Company Law to debut

Nov 29 (FT) The corporate world and the legal fraternity are soon to be treated to a new treatise on the law relating to companies in Sri Lanka. Authored by K. Kanag-Isvaran, President’s Counsel, Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Company Law, which drafted the Act of 2007, and Dilshani Wijayawardana, holder of a Masters Degree in Commercial Law from the University of Cambridge and an Attorney-at-Law, the book titled ‘Company Law’ will be launched on 4 December. more..

Sri Lankan suppliers in forefront of Seychelles intl hospitality exhibition

Nov 29 (Island) Seychelles first ever International Food, Hotel Supplies and Trade  Exhibition which commenced in the scenic island of Mahe yesterday, has attracted around 40 Sri Lankan firms. President of Seychelles James Michel and the country’s Tourism Minister Alain Page are scheduled to jointly inaugurate the Food and Hotel Seychelles (FHS) 2014 at the NSC Hall. Sri Lanka’s first High Commissioner to the Seychelles, Rajatha Piyatissa described three day event as a milestone. more..

Bangladesh biz steps in to accelerate historic trade pact

Nov 29 (FT) As both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka moved closer to a historic trade pact, negotiations are set to be given fresh impetus as International Chamber of Commerce of Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman said he would speak to his country’s Commerce Minister to expedite the process. “I will meet our Commerce Minister and inform him to expedite the FTA process,” Rahman told Minister Rishad Bathiudeen while more..

Mobitel hosts Jaffna IT Week as exclusive mobile communications partner

Nov 29 (DM) The Mobitel announced that the company would be the Official Mobile Communications Partner of ‘Jaffna IT Week 2014’, a youth-friendly initiative to boost the IT/BPM sector in the rapidly developing Northern region of Sri Lanka and to encourage further progress in the region. Organised by SLASSCOM with the support of the Export Development Board (EDB), Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Ministry of Education, more..

Lotus World initiatives to empower citizens to change and attain inner happiness

Nov 29 (FT) Inspired with the unanimous support received after the international launch of Lotus World, the path towards inner happiness, the promoters announced their future initiatives recently. Lotus World Spokesmen Navin Gooneratne and Gagan Malik focused on their planned programs in Sri Lanka with an overall aim to benefit a world in turmoil. Co-founded by Navin Gooneratne and Gagan Malik, the duo through the Lotus World and its respected members, hope to inspire more..

Global giant Unilever reaffirms commitment

Nov 29 (FT) Unilever CEO Paul Polman, who was on a two-day business visit to Sri Lanka, commended the business here for its outstanding performance and potential for long-term profitable and sustainable growth. He highlighted Unilever Sri Lanka’s positive contribution as a key emerging market within Unilever. Polman made these observations during an official visit of the SL business which concluded on 28 Nov. more..

'Warns of deflation: Don't reduce fuel prices'

Nov 29 (CT) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday implored the govt not to reduce fuel prices, as it would lead to deflation. The benefit of the reduction in global petroleum prices should be used to redeem the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation debt, Cabraal said. The reduction in international oil prices would help the country in bringing down the cost of oil imports, which would be a very favourable for the economy. However, with the country's inflation being at around 3%, more..

JICA-AA and Lions Conduct Health Camp

Nov 29 (Island) The members of the JICA-Alumni Association joined hands with members of the Lions Club of Wellawatte West for the 7th consecutive year and conducted a Multi Service health Camp recently This year the venue was Kasyapa Maha Vidyalaya Dimbulagala. About 2000 residents from Dimbulagala and surrounding villages attended this Health Camp which was manned by Eye surgeons from Colombo assisted by Medical Officers and Dental surgeons from Polonnaruwa Hospital. more..

Teams to play ODI as tribute to Hughes

Nov 29 (CI) Alastair Cook, England's captain, said discussions had taken place about whether to play the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday but that the players from both sides wanted the game to go ahead as a tribute to Phillip Hughes, whose death on Thursday has left the cricket world stricken with grief. The players will wear black armbands, with a two-minute silence to be observed before the start. more..

Per day, Sri Lankans use 35MB data; look at their phones 26 times

Nov 29 (ST) On an average day, Sri Lankans use 35MB of data, while also looking at the screen of their mobile phones 26 times, according to a recent statement by local mobile marketer zMessenger. Further, the statement also noted that, “(on) a global scale, 62% of smart phone users expect mobile friendly websites from companies and 42% expect to find a mobile app from a company. This gives an indication of how rapidly digital techology can change customer attitudes and behavior”. more..

'China's ports commercially motivated, not military'

Nov 29 (CT) Economist and expert on Chinese trade, Subashini Abeysinghe said that China building ports in the Asian region - the 'String of Pearls'- was not militarily motivated, as alleged by some countries - rather, it is to safeguard China's commercial interests. She was addressing a lecture/panel discussion on 'Doing Business with China-FTA and Beyond', on Wednesday Explaining, she said that 80% of oil and gas went to China through the Straits of Malacca, more..

Ven. Rathana Thera at Sirikotha talks ahead of MoU signing

Nov 29 (Island) Having ruled out talks with the SLFP to settle a dispute over far-reaching constitutional reforms to reduce presidential powers, JHU parliamentary group leader Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera on Thursday morning met senior Opposition representatives at Sirikotha. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya were among those present. Ven. Rathana Thera visited Sirikotha several hours before the JHU at a hurriedly arranged meeting at more..

NCE to conduct awareness seminar on produce available in the North

Nov 29 (Island) The objective of the LEED project is to promote inclusive economic development of the people in the Northern Province, creating decent employment, and long-term sustainable livelihoods. It recognizes the important role of the private sector, and especially the export sector to achieve these objectives. NCE which is the only private sector Chamber exclusively serving exporters, has collaborated with the LEED project, with a view to establish business linkages between more..

Pavithra praises President for strengthening women

Nov 29 (FT) “Only President Rajapaksa through his Mahinda Chinthana was able to build a strong foundation and uplift the women in our society,” said Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi at the ceremonial opening of the SLFP Women’s Wing Headquarters on 27 November at T.B. Jaya Mawatha, Colombo 10. This ceremony, which was held with the participation of SLFP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa, SLFP Senior Deputy Chairman Nimal Siripala Silva and All Island SLFP Women’s more..

Indian National Security Adviser to meet President, common Opposition leaders

Nov 29 (Hindu) National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, who will be in Sri Lanka on Monday, will meet top leaders of the newly-formed common Opposition platform, in addition to meeting President Rajpaksa, The Hindu learns. Mr. Doval is on Monday scheduled to deliver the keynote address at ‘Galle Dialogue 2014,’ an international conference on maritime security and cooperation in the coastal town of Galle. more..

Govt fears dissolution of PCs

Nov 29 (CT) The Joint Opposition said the govt would not convene any meetings in the Provincial Councils (PC) until after the Presidential Election, as they fear that Councils would face dissolution if they were to meet. "The govt has postponed the Uva PC meeting and they say it is because it is 'too cold' to hold a meeting. Looks like Uva is suffering from a fever and several more PCs are going to catch it," Opposition's common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, said. more..

'Sirisena making unconstitutional promises'

Nov 29 (FT) Minister and constitutional lawyer G.L. Peiris claims the common candidate is making promises that are unconstitutional. “The things they are attempting to do cannot be done under the terms of the Constitution,” Peiris said. The common platform was making contradictory statements with regard to the presidency and its powers, Peiris said. The Opposition was making absurd observations regarding the way the country’s foreign policy was being handled. more..

SLMC to stage coup!

Nov 29 (CT) The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) may be dissolved, as its SLMC Councillors have decided to launch a political coup against the local body's ruling party. The EPC members representing the SLMC have pressurized the SLMC leadership to leave the govt. Reliable sources said the upcoming EPC budget was likely to be defeated and it was likely that the EPC would be dissolved. more..

Maithri's first rally on Sunday

Nov 29 (CT) Opposition common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, would launch his first Presidential Election campaign 'Jaya Sri Maithri' People's Rally, on 30 November at the historic city of Polonnaruwa, which is also his electorate. Sirisena launched his campaign under the theme of Maithri Palanayakata Ekwemu (Join a campaign without vengeance) promising governance that is free, democratic and not corrupt. All political parties and their leaders who are to extend their support more..

Sri Lanka-born ISI spy gets 5-yr term in counterfeit case

Nov 29 (ENS) Sri Lankan national and suspected ISI agent, Zahir Hussain, whose arrest in April had led to the unearthing of a Pakistan spy network here, was convicted for five years by a special court here for smuggling counterfeit currency. Special judge M Moni pronounced the verdict, a day after Hussain pleaded guilty in the court, confessing that he had entered India at the behest of two Pakistani embassy officials based in Colombo. Hussain had surprised all when he confessed more..

I'm the only one who can abolish executive presidency: MR

Nov 29 (DM) President Rajapaksa said only he could abolish the Executive Presidency because his govt already possessed the two-thirds majority in Parliament. “If the only reason to campaign against me is the abolishment of the executive presidency, what they should know is that I'm the one who can do that," he said. He expressed these views today while addressing a ceremony held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre more..

Corruption corruption: Plunder of billions

Nov 29 (DM) On Wednesday, Daily Mirror in an Editorial headlined, “Who blocked the Bibile policy; expose them”, asked former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, the Opposition Common candidate, to name and shame those who had done this. Mr. Sirisena, emerging as the main star in the ongoing historic political drama, obliged the next day. Speaking at a meeting with medical personnel Mr. Sirisena made one of the most shocking disclosures of corruption in recent times. more..

How much lower can this mafia stoop?

Nov 29 (DM) “She doesn’t smoke doctor, but I do”; a distressed husband lamented. Yes, the husband had smoked a packet of cigarettes a day through their married life of 23 years. The wife had been inhaling a lot of cigarette smoke through ‘passive smoking’. This was revealed when a forty-six year old deputy-principal in a girl’s school in the North Western Province called her general practitioner to complain about an irritating cough. As the basic medication did not answer, doctor suggested other tests more..

Sri Lanka set for historic loan

Nov 29 (IFR) John Keells Holdings, Sri Lanka’s most valuable listed company, is set to make history with a US$445m seven-year project financing that is the country’s largest syndicated loan. Standard Chartered is the sole mandated lead arranger, underwriter and bookrunner on the financing, which takes out a partially drawn US$100m 12-month bridge loan the bank had provided in Feb. to kick-start debt financing more..

Schools for scandal

Nov 29 (ST) Nine-year-old Nethmi Sathsarani* does not like to go to school on rainy days because its tile roof leaks, soaking her books and bag. She hates it even more because the mist that comes in through the open windows makes her sick. This means that she will have to stay home for a couple of days until she feels better. Sri Lanka boasts of free education and school development projects but in most parts of the country more..

Premawathie Manamperi brutally killed, buried alive

Nov 29 (CT) Southern Province Beauty Queen, Premawathie Manamperi was brutally killed and buried alive. She was also raped. An informant in the area had told the Army that Premawathie was the JVP leader in the area. The informant told this to Lieutenant Wijesooriya who got Premawathie down. The rest happened. The Bandaranaike's are a special lot. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was killed by a Buddhist monk more..

Sri Lanka's first ever sanitary landfill begins operations

Nov 29 (DN) Sri Lanka's first ever sanitary landfill site built at a cost of Rs.600 million with technical expertise and financial assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Maligawatte, Dompe ceremoniously commenced operations on Thursday. Construction work on this integrated Waste Management system commenced in 2008. KOICA had facilitated a grant of Rs 450 million with counter part funding of more..

Sri Lanka inflation declines in November 2014: Amid rise in food prices

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s inflation, continued its decelerating trend observed since June 2013 and reached 1.5% in November 2014 compared to 1.6% in October on an annual average basis which is lowest since November 2009, Central bank said. The data is based on the change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI). The year-on-year inflation also decreased to 3.5% in Nov 2014 from 3.6% in the previous month, more..

Indians lose interest in Trinco coal-power project: Officials

Nov 29 (Island) The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India has become less enthusiastic about setting up the second coal fired power plant in Trincomalee in spite of efforts by CEB top management to accelerate the project, according to senior CEB officials. Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) would be further delayed due to the lethargic approach taken by the NTPC of India, sources said. more..