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'Sangha can cure some heart attacks'

Nov 4 (Island) Deputy Health Minister, Lalith Dissanayake said that allocations from the Presidential Fund were inadequate for patients to cover the costs of heart operations. Minister speaking at the launch of a special song, ‘Ping kala atto’, sung by Nanda Malini and Victor Ratnayake in aid of the Heart to Heart project at Sri J'pura Hospital, said that even cancer patients, especially those suffering from breast cancer were given Rs. 1.1 million for treatment. more..

'Only Elections Commissioner is clueless'

Nov 4 (CT) The date of the Presidential election is known by all main astrologers in the country although the Commissioner of Elections is still clueless, CaFFE said. The fact that everyone, apart from all the bureaucrats responsible for holding elections, are talking about the Presidential election to be held in January, is an indication that it is the politicians and astrologers who decide the dates for crucial elections. more..

'Sri Lankan court lacks jurisdiction to try fishermen's offence'

Nov 4 (TOI) Seeking a direction to the central government to transfer five prisoners who are languishing in the Velligadai prison in Sri Lanka, to the Madurai Central prison, a writ petition has been filed at the Madras high court Madurai bench. One S M Anandamurugan, a Virudhunagar-based advocate has filed the petition contending that jailed-prisoners could be transferred to India and the Sri Lankan court was lacking jurisdiction and special court in Thanjavur is the proper court more..

Minister Weerawansa represents Sri Lanka at 5th APMCHUD in South Korea

Nov 4 (GDI) The 5th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) commenced in Seoul, South Korea on Monday under the patronage of South Korea's Lands, Infrastructure Facilities and Transport Minister Suh Seung Hwan. Minister Wimal Weerawansa is representing Sri Lanka at the Conference. Ministers and representatives from 30 countries are participating at this Conference which is taking place in Seoul from Nov 3 to 5. more..

New uniform for Police

Nov 4 (DM) A newly designed uniform will be issued to the police service to give it a more people-friendly outlook, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne told Parliament today during the committee stage debate of the budget. He said the police ordinance would also be amended soon. The budgetary allocations for the Defence and Urban Development Ministry and institutions coming under it were taken up for debate. more..

UN hails Lanka on ending statelessness

Nov 4 (CG) The UN refugee agency says Sri Lanka successfully managed to address the issue of statelessness by initiating a series of legislative changes. UNHCR noted that starting from 1986 Sri Lanka allowed formerly stateless populations like the Tamils of Indian origin who were brought in the 1800s to work on tea plantations and a small ethnic Chinese population that had been in the country since the 1930s to access citizenship. UNHCR is today launching a global “I Belong” more..

Maldivian fugitive on the run in Lanka

Nov 4 (Haveeru) Maldivian Home Minister Umar Naseer expressed confidence that top fugitive Abdulla Luthfy – one of the ringleaders behind the militant attack carried out on the country 26 years ago – would be captured by police. Abdulla Luthfy – ringleader behind the attempted coup that cost the lives of 19 Maldivian citizens – had been serving a life sentence when he made his escape while in Sri Lanka for medical treatment, during President Mohamed Nasheed’s presidency. more..

Minister denies forcing the Customs' hand

Nov 4 (CT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana yesterday, whilst denying that he had imported a consignment of spare parts along with 200 bicycles, said he would respond to the allegations in Parliament today. Although the Customs had retained the containers from 28 October onwards, for further investigations, they were cleared on 31 October by paying Customs duties totalling up to Rs 737,000, he said. more..

Pakistan sends relief assistance to landslide victims

Nov 4 (AM) The First Cargo flight of relief goods from Pakistan for the land slide victims of Haldummula arrived today at Katunayake airport. The relief goods containing generators, shelters, tents, medicines, etc. were handed over by the High Commissioner of Pakistan Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi to the Sri Lankan Deputy Chief of Staff Maj Gen EMM Ambanpola. The estimated value of the relief assistance by the Govt of Pakistan for the land sliding victims is over LKR 100 Million. more..

New Zealand offers support for landslide relief efforts

Nov 4 (GDI) At a meeting with President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning, New Zealand’s Minister of Primary Industries and Racing Mr. Nathan Guy, on behalf of his Govt, offered support to Sri Lanka for relief efforts following the landslide in Koslanda last week. “We offer our condolences for the landslides,” Mr. Guy said. “We stand ready and able to assist if you need some assistance from New Zealand.” Mr. Guy is in Sri Lanka with a business delegation to further enhance more..

Govt is to reject SLMC demand

Nov 4 (CG) Govt says it will not agree to a separate administrative district for Muslims as such a move could create more instability in the country. SLMC led by Minister Rauff Hakeem has reportedly made such a proposal to the Govt. PM D.M Jayaratne, speaking in Parliament today, said that a majority of Sri Lankans want to live within a united country and not a divided country. “Not just in the East but there are several Muslims in more..

SL confirms at least 10 dead in mudslide

Nov 4 (AP) Sri Lanka confirmed Tuesday that at least 10 people died and 28 are still missing from a mudslide at a tea plantation last week, as officials began using voting and school records to count how many more people may be buried under the mud. The Disaster Management Center said 1,755 people remain in temporary shelters because their homes were destroyed or made unsafe by last Wednesday's disaster at the Koslanda plantation in Badulla district. more..

The monk who kidnapped a boy

Nov 4 (CT) Police investigations have revealed that the Buddhist monk arrested in Anuradhapura after abducting a nine year old child from Horana is an escaped convict. He escaped from prison while he was serving a 20 year sentence and was robed as a monk in 2013. He has killed a man after becoming a monk. He lived in Sri Visuddharamaya of Track 05 of Aralaganwila disguised as Rajanganaye Somarathanalankara Thero. He arrived in Galewaththa, Horana to visit his aunt. more..

Karuna accuses IPKF of rape, murder

Nov 4 (CG) Former LTTE member and now a Govt Deputy Minister, V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, today accused the IPKF of rape during the war in Sri Lanka. Speaking in Parliament, Muralitharan said that the IPKF, who conducted peacekeeping operations in SL from between 1987 and 1990, had raped several Tamil women and also killed Tamils. “There is evidence for that,” Muralitharan, who was once in charge more..

Why we should bring back democracy?

Nov 5 (CT) It is a good augury for our future that the Ven. Athureleye has spoken out against the suppression of freedoms. He is spearheading a reform movement to restore true democracy instead of the fudged democracy proclaimed by the ruling regime which violating the Constitution passed the 18th Amendment arrogating all power to the President and freeing him from all checks and balances, so that he is completely above the law and accountable to nobody except more..

The power to recall your MP

Nov 5 (CT) Recently, in Britain, the Queen in her speech at the opening of a new session of Parliament announced that legislation will be introduced which will allow voters to sack misbehaving MPs. This landmark legislation, called the Recall of MPs Bill, will allow constituents to force a by-election if an MP, in their view, behaves badly. A petition to Recall, as proposed by the Monarch, will require the signatures of a minimum of 10% registered voters, to be obtained and more..

'Economic growth to remain stable'

Nov 5 (SO) The Budget 2015 could be described as inclusive and investment-oriented and many sectors including health, nutrition, agriculture, plantation, gem and jewellery, export businesses, export of knowledge industry and land development have received far reaching benefits. With additional EPF and pension stimulants, the Budget has covered many areas of national interest, Dy Secretary to Treasury S.R. Attygalle said. more..

Depending on Ranil factor

Nov 5 (CT) President Rajapaksa has a secret telephone in his bedroom. The callers who know this secret phone number can contact him at any time. This has been installed enabling the Defence Secretary to contact the President at any given time, especially during the night. Recently, this phone began to ring at 3 a.m. when the President was in a deep sleep. Annoyed by the call, the President got up to answer the phone murmuring, "This bloody phone does not allow me to sleep more..

No big role for Sajin Vaas

Nov 5 (CT) Sajin Vass who was involved in a controversy with Dr. Chris Nonis earlier led all UPFA campaigns from the front. This time the party stalwarts have urged the 'top' to sideline him as he is now unpopular after the assault story. Even family in the Palace had made a similar request. So Sajin may play a different role at upcoming polls, party insiders say. Many have said that Nonis performed a good job by the country in Britain and his removal was wrong. more..

'TNA doesn't do home work'

Nov 5 (CT) The NPC Opposition Leader and EPDP member S. Thavarasa claims for police and land powers in the province should amicably settled. "We must create a situation where the majority should feel that by giving these powers, it will not be misused. There is suspicion in the majority that those powers could be misused", he pointed out. Thavarasa represents the EPDP headed by Minister Douglas Devananda who is a UPFA ally. more..

A struggle towards freedom from clouded opinion

Nov 5 (NS) Articles 18 and 19 of The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee to all common people ‘the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…. (and) …. ‘the right to freedom of opinion and expression ….’. Though no clear definition of the term ‘religion’ is available in the context of the UN document, let me, for the purpose of this essay go by the following commonsense definition: A religion is a system of devotional practice and more..

JKH posts impressive 2Q results but flags off Land Bill concern

Nov 5 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings announced impressive second quarter results, reflecting strong resilience despite challenging times. Group profit before tax (PBT) at Rs. 3.68 billion in the second quarter of the financial year 2014/15 was an increase of 39%. Cumulative PBT for the first half of the financial year 2014/15 at Rs. 6.74 billion was an increase of 39%. “The profit attributable to equity holders for the second quarter at Rs. 2.65 billion more..

'President should listen to reason'

Nov 5 (CT) Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana, believes that 'politics is the art of the possible' and it is this belief that has justified the LSSP Leader's decision to back President Rajapaksa for a third term, even though the decision has caused rifts within the party. The minister admits that though he has very little clout in the current govt, it is better to be in power and be redundant rather than in the opposition with very little to do. more..

Editorial: Rabid cusses running amok

Nov 5 (Island) We do not subscribe to the derogatory epithets used to describe the masses such as ‘asses’ and ‘the swinish multitude’. Nonetheless, we keep wondering what really makes them elect asses as their representatives. Minister Mervyn Silva and his son, Malaka, are in the news, more often than not—always for the wrong reason. The latter has got involved in a nightclub brawl once again. Had his victims been Sri Lankans they would have been left with no alternative but more..

Communal politics of Tamil leaders

Nov 5 (Island) I was not shocked when the Chief Minister of Northern Province wanted the government to hand over the custody of the seventy five children who lost their parents due to the landslide in Koslanda to the Northern Provincial Council or in effect to some Tamil organization(s) in the North. C Vigneswaran is only continuing with the communal politics of the Tamil leaders of the nineteenth century. It may be that the Chief Minister among other things assumes the following. more..

No country for small fishers

Nov 5 (Hindu) On October 20, hundreds of angry fishers from south Sri Lanka protested in front of the Fisheries Ministry in Colombo against a European Union (EU) ban on seafood exports from Sri Lanka and the govt’s promotion of joint ventures with East Asian fishing companies. Over the years, there have been numerous protests by Northern fishers against poaching by Indian trawlers. These are a reflection of a larger more..

SLTB to spend Rs 1B in 2015

Nov 5 (CT) Sri Lanka Tea Board is set to spend more than Rs 1 billion to promote Ceylon Tea among 20 selected countries, while some promising emerging destinations remain neglected. Tea exporters repeatedly raised concerns and questioned the govt on how the Tea Board utilized more than Rs 5 billion gathered via CESS for promotional activities, highlighting its reach, which had not gone so far from traditional markets. According to Sri Lanka Tea Board more..

You name it we own it!

Nov 5 (NS) Kolombians, some people mistakenly believe, are born, live and die in Colombo. Nothing can be further from the truth. Which community (outside of people in the Survey Department) has been to every corner of the island, the West to East, South to North, and all over the central hills? Why, it’s us, the Kolombians! Ask around. Most Kolombians, especially of an earlier generation, would have visited every single national park, spent sun-drenched days in every exotic beach more..

How disaster preparation broke down in SL

Nov 5 (IRIN) Nearly one week after a central Sri Lankan village was hit by a deadly landslide on 29 October, officials are reviewing how dozens of injuries, at least six deaths and hundreds of displacements could have been avoided with better disaster preparedness. On 4 Nov, the govt’s DMC noted that following the landslide that hit Meeriyabedda village, six bodies have been recovered & 32 people are listed as missing. more..

Foreign exits now hit bourse

Nov 5 (CT) Twin blows buffeted the bourse yesterday, led by a net foreign outflow (NFO) of Rs 969.7 million, followed by the benchmark ASPI falling by 0.44% to 7,320.89 points and the more sensitive S&P SL 20 Index by 0.48% to 4,084.93 points on a Rs 1.99 billion turnover. Market sources told Ceylon FT, that when foreigners are net sellers, the bourse also swims with the tide, thereby resulting in its fall, after making eight days of consecutive gains up to yesterday. more..

Virtusa 2015 2Q revenue increases by 5%

Nov 5 (CT) Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU), a global business consulting and IT outsourcing company that combines innovation, technology leadership and industry solutions to transform customer experience, today reported consolidated financial results for the second quarter fiscal year 2015, ended 30 September, 2014. Revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 was US$ 117.7 million, an increase of 5% sequentially and 25% year-over-year in reported currency. more..

PB gets passionate about 2015 Budget

Nov 5 (FT) Finance and Planning Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera yesterday sounded very passionate about President Rajapaksa’s landmark 10th successive Budget, describing it as progressive and laying the platform for a more prosperous and efficient Sri Lanka. Speaking for the first time at a public event since the 24 Oct presentation of Budget 2015 as he was indisposed, Dr. Jayasundera told a packed more..

Leading women in logistics seeking to increase tribe

Nov 5 (Island) Fifteen leading career women in the Sri Lankan Logistics and Transportation sector, including Rumal Fernando, Head of Procurement, Unilever Sri Lanka, Maithree Attanayaka, Operations Manager, Coca-Cola and Kasturi Wilson, Managing Director/Transportation, Hemas Group, pledged on Monday to be role models and volunteering mentors to empower women to enter the male-dominated Sri Lankan Logistics and Transportation field. Their contribution to the cause was confirmed at more..

Fonterra constructs chilling centre in Gampaha

Nov 5 (CT) Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka announced it is building a new chilling centre in Gampaha as part of its commitment to growing and developing the local dairy industry in Sri Lanka. Managing Director Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka Leon Clement said the new chilling centre allows Fonterra to begin milk collection in a new region and will support 200 local farmers. "We are focused on growing the local dairy industry in Sri Lanka and today's event marks just one of the ways in which we're doing this. more..

SL Tourism on full show at WTM, London

Nov 5 (FT) World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event of the travel and tourism trade, kicked off from 3-6 November at the Excel Exhibition Hall in London, promoting international travel throughout the world. Having foreseen the unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a renowned destination in world travel, Under the guidance of Ministry of Economic Development, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) more..

Chandrika, Sampath shine on day two

Nov 5 (Island) The Air Force sprinter Chandrika Subashini and Army’s long jumper Sampath Dissanayake topped the day’s best performances in the women’s and men’s categories respectively, while sailor Hasith Nirmal established a new meet record in the men’s 110 metres on day two of the Defence Services Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday. Sampath Dissanayake’s 7.47 metres feat in the men’s long jump stood out as day’s top performance of more..

Chinese Takeaway: Lanka pit-stop

Nov 5 (IE) An explanation often is worse than the presumed offence. Statements from Colombo and Beijing this week on the frequent appearance of Chinese submarines and ships at Sri Lankan ports are likely to worsen New Delhi’s concerns rather than blunt them. Both Colombo and Beijing have countered India’s concerns by stating that there is nothing unusual about Chinese naval visits to Lankan ports. “It is an international common practice for a navy submarine to stop for refuelling more..

Wijeyadasa tears into SLMC

Nov 5 (Island) The SLMC demand for a Muslim-majority administrative unit in the Eastern Province was very much similar to the LTTE’s demand for a separate state in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, Parliament was told yesterday. The SLMC is a constituent of the SLFP-led UPFA though it contested the last parliamentary polls on the UNP ticket. "This is a dangerous trend in politics. All of us must oppose the SLMC’s move. more..

England's Anderson out of Sri Lanka tour

Nov 5 (AFP) England spearhead seamer James Anderson has been ruled out of the forthcoming one-day series in Sri Lanka because of a knee injury, it was announced Tuesday. However, England said they hoped to have the Lancashire swing bowler fit in time for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. "James Anderson has been ruled out of the upcoming one day tour to Sri Lanka to continue his rehabilitation on a pre-existing left knee injury," more..

Asbestos kills, warns medical specialist

Nov 5 (Island) Head National Poison Information Centre Dr. Waruna Gunathilaka, addressing a media conference on National Poison Prevention Week yesterday, cautioned that due to asbestos poisoning a series of diseases such as Mesothelioma (an incurable form of cancer), Asbestos-related lung cancer, Asbestosis (difficulty in breathing) and Pleural Thickening (hardening of lung tissues) had caused more deaths in Sri Lanka. Dr. Gunathilaka pointed out that the exact figures more..