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Is ISIS at the doorstep?

Oct 4 (CT) A need has arisen to prevent the BBS – Muslim divide from becoming an inflection point for radicalization of youth, through indoctrination in the future, that could lead to penetration of ISIS in Sri Lanka, warns retired Brigadier of the Indian Army, Rahul Bhonsle. Brigadier Bhonsle, who is based in New Delhi, is at present, the Director, Security Risks Asia – A Pan Asian security risk management agency and author of more..

'Amended Constitution places no restriction on the President opting re-election'

Oct 4 (Island) The symposium titled ‘Mahindata Puluwan’ (Mahinda Can) convened by the Organization of Professional Organizations (OPA) last Friday featured Chairman, Seylan Bank, Nihal Jayamanne, PC, with Gomin Dayasiri and journalist, C.A. Chandraprema among others. Discussions were initiated subject to emergent controversial views that the presidency could not be contested more than two terms. This aspect of the presidential election was the subject for a wide more..

Sabaragamuwa University closed indefinitely

Oct 4 (AD) The University of Sabaragamuwa has been closed until further notice, following a tense situation which had prevailed within the university premises today, the Ministry of Higher Education said. It has been reported that the decision was taken after a group of female university students had forcefully entered a boys’ hostel at the university. Earlier today, police officers had intervened and dispersed a group of students who were obstructing the opening of a new hostel for girls more..

Extradition of SL accused hits roadblock

Oct 4 (PTI) India’s efforts to seek extradition of an accused from Malaysia who is wanted for alleged conspiracy of a terror strike on the US and Israeli consulates in south India, hit a roadblock with a top law office in Kuala Lumpur raising questions over the claim for his custody. Further more, the official interrogation report, which could have given clues to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its probe, has also not been more..

Bellana Gnanawimala Mahanayaka Thera passes away

Oct 4 (DM) Mahanayaka of the Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha the Most Reverend Bellana Gnanawimala Maha Nayaka Thera passed away on Saturday at the age of 94. The Mahanayake Thera is renowned as a great scholar, a highly skilled teacher, an accomplished astrologer and as a much respected Buddhist Prelate. The Nayaka Thera was the editor of the fifth part of the Mahavamsa which was completed in 2011. Born on March 26, 1920 as the youngest of the eight more..

Of 533 new graduate teachers for WP 289 as Maths tutors

Oct 4 (ST) Western Provincial Council (WPC) will grant Teacher appointments next month to 533 graduates, of whom a majority will teach Maths. October appointments will include 289 graduates for Maths, 176 for Information Technology, 53 for the Arts and 15 for Western Music. The Provincial Education Ministry said that the selected graduates are undergoing a comprehensive 10-day training programme starting September 25, at teacher training centres, which will mainly be on more..

Arrest, deportation continue after case

Oct 4 (CG) The arrest, detention and deportations of asylum seekers from Pakistan and Afghanistan by the Immigration and Emigration Department is continuing after the Supreme Court hadl last week refused to rule against the move. According to the S office of the UNHCR, as of Friday the total number of individuals deported between 1 August to 3 Oct are 312, as per the information collected by UNHCR. more..

Make Sajith PM candidate-Harin

Oct 4 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should name party’s Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate without delay at the forthcoming Presidential election, former MP and Opposition leader of the Uva PC Harin Fernando said on Saturday. Mr. Fernando said Mr. Wickremesinghe should name Mr. Preamdasa as party’s Prime Ministerial candidate at the beginning of the Presidential Election campaign. more..

High level Sri Lankan delegation at IPU

Oct 4 (CG) A high level Sri Lankan delegation is to attend the 131st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva from 12-16 October, the Govt said. The delegation will include top Govt Ministers but there was no word yet from the main opposition if they would also attend the session. The election of a new IPU president will be one of the main highlights of a content-rich 131st Assembly in Geneva on 12-16 October. The new president will take over from Abdelwahad Radi, who ends his three-year more..

Luxury VIP Airbus cabin for President

Oct 4 (ST) SriLankan Airlines has commissioned a “VIP conversion kit” for one of its new A330 aircraft so that President Rajapaksa and his inner circle can travel abroad in comfort. Conversion kit is produced and installed by the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC). Company is an Airbus subsidiary that offers “top-quality cabin outfitting and innovative packages of nose-to-tail services to VVIP and Head of State ACJ customers”. more..

Marvan: Work hard, pray hard

Oct 6 (SL) The only thing questionable about Marvan Atapattu’s appointment as Head Coach last week was why it took so long in coming. As far back as end-June he had emerged a strong candidate, shepherding Sri Lanka to a historic Test series triumph in England, as well as a 3/2 victory in the ODI series, not to mention of the success in the solitary Twenty-20 – an astonishing sweep for one who was hustled into the job scarcely a month before the English tour, a consequent of more..

Playing hot and cold with the UN

Oct 6 (SL) For a Head of Govt – and Head of State, to boot – addressing the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA), President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been more critical of the UN scheme than any other, possibly at any time. And at the same time, he has also invited UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Sri Lanka again, to study the ground situation again, after the latter’s post-war visit in 2009. Calling for “de-politicisation of the UN systems and mechanisms” and making them more..

'North and East investment hubs soon'

Oct 6 (SO) The business community in the North and expatriates were contented with the rapid development taking place in the North. They are also keen to invest in the North in the prevailing peaceful atmosphere. Govt has expedited infrastructure and livelihood development projects across the country including the N&E, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said following an investment promotion tour to North. more..

‘The money pipeline’: A worthy read by all

Oct 6 (CT) The former Central Bank Deputy Governor and presently Chairperson of HNB cum Presidential Advisor, Ranee Jayamaha, has shared her decades-long experiences in payment systems and banking stability with readers in Sri Lanka as well as outside. Her book, ‘The Money Pipeline: A Pillar of Financial Stability,’ containing her experiences on the subject has just been released. A reader might wonder how a pipeline has got any connection with money which is just a more..

Indian judiciary worthy of emulation

Oct 6 (NS) The imprisonment of Jayalalithaa Jayaram, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu last week sent shockwaves through the Indian political establishment. If there were some celebrations in Colombo for the same reason, perhaps they could be excused because of Jayalalithaa’s hostile attitude towards Sri Lanka. The day after the verdict was announced and Jayalalithaa was jailed, there was turmoil in Tamil Nadu with over a dozen people committing suicide. more..

Unity in diversity: It's UNP's strength!

Oct 6 (CT) Western Province UNP Councillor, S.M. Marikkar believes that the reunion of Sajith Premadasa and Ranil Wickremesinghe will drive the party ahead and the day is not afar to form a UNP Govt. Few excerpts of the interview with him. Q: Really speaking, what faction of the UNP do you belong to? A: What do you mean? Q: What I meant was, whether it's Ranil's faction, Sajith's faction or someone else's? more..

What exactly do we need from a presidential poll ?

Oct 6 (CT) Its a mad rush in Colombo these days to find out how Rajapaksa could be defeated at the next presidential polls, he would offer. In the South, there is the “Common Candidate” in Sobitha thero, still insisting he could be the winning horse. There is new hope in the UNP after the Uva PC elections. Ranil is seriously into the game, while opposition groups in Colombo have no confidence he could defeat Rajapaksa. Meanwhile, the JVP having accepted they on their own can not more..

What price does a country’s integrity command?

Oct 6 (ST) In these perilous times, Sri Lanka faces possibly its severest test of democratic strength since the granting of independence. A dearly loved judicial philosopher in the United States, the late Judge Learned Hand (1872 -1961) said it best when he warned that ‘liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.’ Has liberty died in our hearts and minds? This is a relevant question more..

'Can oust MR: Only a common opposition'

Oct 6 (CT) General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake feels the most suitable candidate, for the next Presidential Election, is party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. However, he firmly believed only a common Opposition alliance could oust incumbent President Rajapaksa. Q: Are you confident of winning the next Presidential Election? A: This Presidential Election is very decisive. We see a clear need for more..

Jaya jailed but graft rules ok in Lanka

Oct 6 (ST) Last Saturday a Special Indian Court in Bangalore gave manifest evidence to show that India truly deserves the accolade of being the world’s most populace democracy where the rule of law reigns supreme; and that each and every one without exception — no matter the power they wield, the riches they command and the political position they hold — is equal before the majesty of the law. In a land not unknown for its rampant corruption, the silver line in India’s black cloud of more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Oct 6 (NS) The Ministry of External Affairs is made of people who are careful about what they say or so we have been led to believe. Objections are made politely. You are not supposed to offend anyone. Maybe that was in a different era. Today, it seems, it is ok to lose your cool, to abuse and even assault. What would Lakshman Kadirgamar have said, one wonders! The true owners of the UNP: Ranil? Wrong. Sajith? Wrong. The Leadership Council? Wrong. Hold your breath. more..

From London Fashion Week to CFW

Oct 6 (ST) Charini Suriyage turns up for our interview wearing one of her own designs. A shift dress made of light fabric, with a geometric pattern and an asymmetrical hemline. It’s not what you might expect to find in the wardrobe of a microbiologist or the corporate look the Head of Design at MAS Intimates would opt for on a working day (the former being the career Charini turned her back on to go into fashion, the latter her more..

Editorial: Dons reborn as dogs

Oct 6 (Island) Those who stole public funds, a Speaker once said in Parliament, would be reborn as buffaloes. We argued in these columns that if so, bovines would one day outnumber humans in this country. Buffaloes are, in fact, far superior to most politicians in many respects though there are some similarities between the two species such as their thick hides and predilection for wallowing in mud. A Maha Nayake Thera also said something similar a few moons ago. more..

Japanese offer of a coal power plant

Oct 6 (Island) A news item in The Island on a coal-fired power plant to be built by the Japanese reminds me of an incident that took place over 25 years ago at the Treasury. At that time, as a Deputy Director at CISIR (now ITI) I was asked to go to the Treasury to attend a meeting to discuss foreign assistance requested by CISIR. When I walked into the room at the scheduled time, the party summoned before us i. e. CEB, was still having discussions with a Japanese delegation, more..

The obligatory Hajj pilgrimage

Oct 6 (Island) It is compulsory for every Muslim to make at least one journey in their lifetime to perform Hajj if they can afford it both physically and financially. Hajj pilgrimage is performed by millions of Muslims from around the world at the holy city Makkah –Saudi Arabia, chanting Labayk Allahuma Labayk, La shareeka laka Labayk. Innal hamda wannimata laka wal mulk. La shareeka Lak (meaning: Here I am at more..

'Govt policies arbitrary and unfriendly'

Oct 6 (CT) A foreign investor raised concerns over the ban on foreign companies purchasing land, and pointed out that it makes almost impossible to build and grow business in Sri Lanka. Singapore based Calamander Group Incorporated (CGI) Founder and Chairman Roman Scott speaking to Ceylon FT said the new land law made it very difficult for foreigners to invest here in sectors like hospitality, which require land to build. "I understand, and approve of preventing the purchase of non-productive, more..

Hayleys Free Zone to take Sri Lanka’s logistics industry to the next level

Oct 6 (FT) Hayleys Free Zone opened its doors for business recently, with a ceremonial opening held at its new facility located within Zone 1 of the Katunayake Export Processing Zone. The first phase, once fully-developed, will offer a sprawling 170,000 sq. ft. warehouse for foreign and local companies to carry out entrepot trade, where merchandise can be imported and re-exported tax free. The fully-owned subsidiary of Hayleys Advantis Ltd., was officially declared open by more..

Army athlete comes close to Olympic qualifying standards

Oct 6 (Island) Experts stressed the need to look after latest Sri Lanka women’s marathon record holder Geethani Rajasekara in a quest to qualify country’s first women’s marathon participant for Olympics after the Sri Lanka Army athlete produced a stunning performance close to Olympic ‘B’ grade qualifying standard at the Colombo Marathon yesterday. Many times national cross country champion in women’s category, more..

Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project to accelerate

Oct 6 (GDI) The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management has taken steps to implement a Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project. This project will ensure water for existing cultivated lands during both Yala and Maha Season while providing water for 8500 ha of new land for agriculture in Hambantota District and increasing agricultural productivity and positive environmental benefits due to increased ground water level in Hambantota District. more..

World’s tallest vertical garden in Colombo

Oct 6 (SL) Property seekers with a love of the great outdoors could call the world’s tallest vertical garden home, with a unique sustainable development currently on the market in Sri Lanka, when the fifty-floor Clearpoint Residencies near Colombo city, when the construction is complete in April 2016. The exterior of the building, billed as Sri Lanka’s first sustainable high-rise, is covered in planted terraces and mango trees, giving the property its unique appearance. more..

Tourism boom ticking

Oct 6 (FT) Post-war rebound in tourism continues to sustain the momentum as arrivals in the first nine months have reflected a healthy 22.45% growth, crossing the 1.1 million mark. The country saw 105,535 tourists in Sept, up by 17%, bringing the January to Sept figure to 1,107,178, up by 22.4% from the corresponding period of last year. Eight of the nine months (except May) have produced over 100,000 tourist more..

Some parts of Matara still submerged

Oct 6 (Island) Several parts of the Matara Divisional Secretariat have gone under water following torrential rains during the last couple of days. About 2,618 persons from 955 families have been affected by the floods. The flood victims would be provided with cooked food and other facilities, Director of the DMC in Matara said. Matara District and Divisional Secretariats had commenced several relief programmes to help the flood victims. five deaths had been reported following stormy weather. more..

Sri Lanka will outperform majority of IT markets in APAC region: Report

Oct 6 (FT) A recently-released market report in the IT sector says Sri Lanka will outperform the majority of IT markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region due to a convergence of factors. The Sri Lanka Information Technology Report Q4 2014 from Business Monitor International (BMI) forecasts a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.5% for IT market spending during the period from 2014-2018. The IT market is expected to increase to a value of Rs. 163.8 billion in 2018. more..

Pelwatte and Sevanagala sugar mills turnaround brings sweet success

Oct 6 (ST) A complete turnaround in Sri Lanka’s sugar production following the takeover of private owned Pelwatte and Sevanagala factories by the govt and bringing it under the management of state owned Lanka Sugar Company Ltd in 2012 has met with sweet success. Pelwatte and Sevanagala Sugar have recorded a profit before tax of Rs.1,341 million in 2013 and the company is now paying dividends to the Treasury, more..

‘Forty SMEs in pre-budget consultations’

Oct 6 (Island) Sri Lanka's SME sector is moving into high gear in the coming fiscal year-and wants it to be heard loud and clear in the country's fiscal budget for Y2015, as revealed on 30 September. And an increased presence of Lankan women entrepreneurs in the effort is also reported with 40 SMEs in pre-budget consultations. "In Sri Lanka's context, more than 65% of its GDP comes from the SME sector-such as yours. NEDA under my Ministry has already received your inputs for more..

Unseen blind side of Sri Lanka

Oct 6 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that around 150,000 people in Sri Lanka were totally blind and approximately 400,000 people were suffering from various eye diseases. He said the Kandy Teaching Hospital had set an example by performing about 10,000 eye operations including cataract surgery annually. On the instruction of President Rajapaksa the Sri Lanka Eye Bank had been established to prevent corneal blindness among the people, the minister said. more..

Villagers keep a watchful eye over jumbos

Oct 6 (TS) Human-elephant conflict remains an enormous issue in Sri Lanka, a country with about 6,000 wild elephants. Dr Prithiviraj Fernando says this is due to elephants being restricted to protected areas and the use of confrontational methods of crop protection such as translocation of animals and use of fire crackers to scare them away. “In the last decade or so, we found that using electric fencing to drive more..

'Gandhian ideals more relevant now'

Oct 6 (Hindu) Magsaysay Award winner and founder president of the Sri Lanka-based Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement A.T. Ariyaratne has said Gandhian thoughts are gaining more importance all over the world since those thoughts have the potential to solve many of the contemporary global problems. He said this during the inauguration the Gandhi week celebrations organised by the United Religions Initiative (URI) and other voluntary organisations at Karickam near Kottarakara. more..

President returns after a brief Sojourn to Italy and Vatican

Oct 6 (AT) President Rajapaksa and First Lady returned to Colombo yesterday, after successfully concluding a three day visit to Italy and the Vatican. During the visit, President extended the official invitation to Pope Fancis 1, who is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in January. President explained the post war progress of the country during his meeting with the Pope. The Pope expressed his desire to visit Sri Lanka. President also met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. more..

SB wins the day; Sabaragamuwa university closed

Oct 6 (Island) Sabaragamuwa University was shut down until further notice yesterday when pandemonium reigned with students staging an aggressive protest against a visit by Minister S. B. Dissanayake and his deputy Nandimithra Ekanayake to the varsity. Police fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse the protesting students who had hurriedly put up barricades on the road near the Pambahina more..