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Private and CTB buses to operate under joint timetable

Oct 12 (SO) Discussions are being held at provincial level to operate the private and CTB buses under a joint time schedule. A special meeting was held at Private Transport Ministry under the patronage of Minister C.B. Ratnayake to introduce the joint timetable throughout the country. Separate meetings will be held by Provincial Transport Commissions with the CTB. The first discussion will be held between the Western Province Transport Commission and the CTB on October 14. more..

BASL urges 'merit appointments' to superior courts

Oct 12 (CT) The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), is planning to pass a resolution in regard to appointments to the country's superior courts. The resolution demands that all appointments of judges, to the superior courts, are made adhering to merit and seniority and that only persons with unblemished professional and personal records should be appointed. BASL has planned to set forth this resolution at a special meeting to be held on Friday. more..

President declares open three MTLs in Kuliyapitiya area

Oct 12 (IL) Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories (MLTs) built at three schools in the Kuliyapitiya Educational Zone in North Western Province (Wayamba) were vested in the students under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday. The President declared open the MLTs in Kuliyapitiya Kanadulla Dharmaraja Maha Vidyalaya, Baragedera Anagarika Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya and more..

Witness Protection Bill to compensate crime victims

Oct 12 (SO) The Witness Protection Bill now before Parliament proposes a special fund to compensate victims of crime and also the setting up of a special division under the IGP to provide speedy assistance to victims in need, official sources said. The Bill titled, “Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses” drafted by the Justice Ministry in keeping with the LLRC recommendations has been hailed by local and international human rights champions. more..

Hela Urumaya holds its national convention

Oct 12 (NS) A constituent party to the ruling UPFA; Hela Urumaya will hold its national convention on October 19 at 2.30pm at the NYSC Auditorium in Maharagama. The event will be chaired by the party leader Dr Omalpe Sobhitha Nayaka Thera, and all other leaders in attendance. Party’s National Organiser, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that an ambiguity has been created in the country over the direction in which the country leads today after defeat of the LTTE, five years ago. more..

Villagers attacked students: SB

Oct 12 (SL) Minister S.B. Dissanayake denied allegations directed at him in connection with the assault on the Sabaragamuwa university students on Friday night and blamed the villagers in the area over it. An unidentified gang had attacked the students late into the night while the students were engaged in a Satyagraha campaign. At least 11 students sustained injuries and were admitted to hospital while a three-wheeler parked in more..

A weakened Jaya & the need for re-assessment by the World Tamils & TNA

Oct 13 (CT) Jaya’s fall from grace after her conviction for corruption is reverberating in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere particularly among the Eelam Tamils Who are distressed and feeling the loss of a strong supporter. However the past history shows that the Delhi govts have always taken steps to cut down the size of Tamil Nadu leaders. Many past chief ministers have been victims of their moves. Annadurai has to abandon the seperate Dravida Nadu slogan due to legislation by Nehru. more..

With elections imminent who is afraid of whom?

Oct 13 (SL) President Rajapaksa has directed that the price of cooking gas should be reduced. This time there was no Chinese President to share the credit with. During the Uva PC election last month the President Rajapaksa thanked the visiting Chinese President for having bestowed economic assistance lavishly on the country and reduced the price of petrol and electricity. However, whether these concessions actually led to an increased level of electoral support for the govt is more..

Serenity pervades Delft Island

Oct 13 (SO) Delft Island known as Neduntheevu or Neduntivu is famous for its natural beauty and can be developed into a tourism destination on the same lines as Hikkaduwa. The island is in the Palk Strait of Northern Sri Lanka. It occupies an area of 50 km and the length of its rough oval-shaped is 8km and width is about six km. Neduntivu is surrounded by shallow waters and beaches of coral chunks and sand. more..

A try short, yet Bronze was far

Oct 13 (SL) THAT Sri Lanka rugby got within an ace of an Asian Games bronze medal last week is commendable, and should the SLRFU want to claim bragging rights for the performance in Incheon, that’s understandable. Remotely adrift of a medal at every Games before, getting within one try of an Asian bronze is no doubt worthy of boast. Arguably, were the opponent not the host nation South Korea, or were the venue someplace else, the outcome might’ve been different. more..

Sri Lanka needs tightening, not relaxation, of the electoral scheme

Oct 13 (ST) Strenuous efforts are being made by the Government and its propagandists in the state/private media to justify planned attempts to amend Sri Lanka’s election laws, legalising what are currently classified as election violations. But such prohibitions did not come about by a casual throw of the dice as these rude proponents of government power appear to believe. They were carefully and meticulously thought out in order to ensure free and fair elections at a time when more..

A lone battle to abolish Executive Presidency!

Oct 13 (CT) UPFA MP Wasantha Senanayaka who proposed Constitutional Amendments to reduce number of Ministers says that he withdrew the proposals since there was a Parliamentary Select Committee which called for proposals to amend the Constitution. Q: Is it true that the bigwigs are not letting you to work? A: There is no such issue. Q: Then why did you revoke much hyped proposal to minimize cabinet? more..

Quandary in finding a common candidate

Oct 13 (NS) The political discourse in the country currently revolves around the next presidential elections, expected early next year, sandwiched between Christmas and the papal visit on January 13. Invariably, however, these discussions end in one topic: the so-called ‘common candidate’. The ‘common candidate’ was mooted a few months ago by several opposition and non-governmental groups who argued that it would take the collective vote of everyone else to defeat incumbent President more..

The President’s choices get explained

Oct 13 (NS) There was animated conversation in the Senior Common Room of a prominent State University. This was unusual because academics had long since given up on debate and discussion of any kind let alone scholarship and matters concerning academics. Understandably the topic of conversation was politics; not political philosophy, ideological preferences, the worth of this system over that or trends in international politics but the intellect-deadening opinion tossing about a more..

'Futile to field common candidate sans UNP and JVP support'

Oct 13 (CT) Convener of NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, who is tipped to be the common candidate at a forthcoming Presidential Election, said the entire discussion on fielding a common candidate would be futile if the UNP and the JVP were not involved in the entire process. Q: Are there any obstacles that prevent you from becoming the common candidate at a forthcoming Presidential Election? more..

Harnessing the diverse economic potential of the North

Oct 13 (ST) Although five years have passed since the end of the war, the full development potential of the North and East has not been harnessed. Most investments have been for rebuilding and reconstruction of infrastructure and housing – areas that were indeed priorities and prerequisites for economic development. Now that much has been achieved in developing infrastructure, a new focus and long-term investment plans are needed for the economic development of these two regions. more..


Oct 13 (CT) The signs proliferate. After the announcement of an early budget with a pared down debate came the reduction in gas prices. The President himself proclaimed the reduction, as if it was his ‘personal’ gift to the consumers. There will have to be an election soon, so that the regime can jack up prices again. Even a short term price reduction, especially in such essentials as electricity, fuel and gas, is nothing to scoff at. But the sheer blatancy of the tactic demonstrates, more..

Cheaper in the long run

Oct 13 (NS) With the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai now fully online, Sri Lanka has taken another step towards meeting its increasing electricity demand. The coal power plant is expected to add 900 MW to the national grid. Meanwhile, work is also continuing at the country’s second coal fired power plant, located in Sampur, which is expected to add 500MW to the national grid when completed. more..

Universities: A mirror of overall discontent

Oct 13 (CT) Our universities are on the boil forever. Hardly a day passes without any incident in the universities that result in demonstrations and protests being organized either in front of the Ministry of Higher Education or the UGC. They have become common place occurrences with the police mercilessly attacking the students and using water cannons to disperse them. It makes one ask why university students, who on passing out from the university will form the cream of society, more..

Cleaning actions needs close attention

Oct 13 (CT) Suspect bowling actions seem to be the topic of the day on the lips of not just the administrators but the umpires, coaches and players too. It appears that suddenly the ICC has woken up from deep slumber and is looking to clean up the cricketing stable and the victims have been the modern off spinner! Coaches would tell you, that the off spinner of past used to bowl with the drift rather than spin and will not depend too much on turn. His role was more to contain than be more..

Sri Lanka restores blood-soaked railway to Tamil heartland

Oct 13 (AFP) A railway in Sri Lanka that runs through mine-fields and snake-infested jungle is to reopen on Monday, nearly a quarter of a century after a bloody ethnic conflict shut it down. Trains to the northern peninsula of Jaffna ground to a halt 24 years ago after dozens of passengers were killed in attacks by guerrillas seeking an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils. The railway was ripped up to make bunkers after more..

150 years of railway but no celebration in sight

Oct 13 (ST) Colleagues who worked in neighbouring India, particularly the bustling commercial capital Mumbai, speak enthusiastically about the efficiency of the railroad. Most workers – big or small; ordinary workers or CEOs – commute by train to the city from distances as far as 40 to 80 km covering the distance in minutes due to the speed of the trains and the frequency. Almost every 4 minutes during rush hours (morning and evening), a train pulls into a station. more..

MTD Walkers expands into marine sector

Oct 13 (ST) MTD Walkers PLC (MTD), the infrastructure development company, in a bid to expand its core competencies is actively looking at expanding to the Middle East and Africa, while also eyeing Myanmar in the construction sector, officials said. “We are in discussion with construction companies in the Middle East and African region,” Jehan Amaratunga, Deputy Chairman MTD Walkers said. They are also exploring the option of going to some of these countries on their own. more..

Powerful motorcycles soon on local roads

Oct 13 (ST) Sri Lanka is to allow the import of high powered motorcycles with engine capacity ranging from 450cc to 1001cc with the approval of the Treasury under a gazette notification stipulating the new duty and taxes, Motor Traffic Department (MTD) sources revealed. A new duty structure for motor cycles is expected to be announced in the upcoming 2015 budget revising applicable duties, taxes and registration fees with MTD. more..

Pakistan sore at Indian auto invasion via FTA with Sri Lanka

Oct 13 (ENS) The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has urged the Pakistan government to put automobiles and auto parts in the negative list of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka to safeguard Pakistani manufacturers against the entry of cheaper Indian products manufactured in Lanka. PAMA Director General Abdul Waheed has written to the Industries Ministry saying that Lanka is setting up automobile manufacturing plants more..

IWS Aviation launches helicopter charter operations

Oct 13 (CT) IWS Aviation (Private) Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of IWS Holdings recently commenced domestic helicopter charter operations in Sri Lanka with a total investment of over US$ 10 million. With the immediate commencement of commercial helicopter operations, IWS Aviation will manage charter services with their Bell 206 B3 Jet Ranger III helicopter from their operational base at Ratmalana Airport. The initial roll out of Heli chartered services has the capacity to more..

NMPSR wants seeds and food production resources restored

Oct 13 (CT) National Movement for Protection of Seed Rights (NMPSR) will shortly urge the president and policy makers to handover the ownership of all resources utilized in seed and food production to the farmers. Co-Convenor of the NMPSR, Chinthaka Rajapaksa said due to pressure brought on the govt the Seed and Planting Material Act Draft Bill had been suspended. The objectives are to enhance the policies more..

Major challenges confront Sri Lanka’s spice exporters

Oct 13 (ST) Major challenges confront Sri Lanka’s spices’ industry with regard to production, productivity, quality, value addition and branding and if these challenges are successfully tackled, production could be doubled. This was pointed out by Sarada De Silva, out-going Chairman, The Spice Council (TSC) at its 11th AGM held in Colombo last week. Nanda Kohona was elected as the new Chairman for 2014/2015. Mr. De Silva stated that on the production side, 70% of the industry are more..

Jacqueline Fernandez offered British Movie

Oct 13 (ARY) Former Miss Sri Lanka and Bollywood babe Jacqueline Fernandez has been offered a lead role in British film The Definition of Fear. The ‘Kick’ star revealed that the film’s makers approached her from London, India Times reports. “They were keen to sign me. The offer came from them, without me taking any initiative. It came as a shock to me. They have offered me the lead role. “I am excited to work with Simpson, who has directed actors like Al Pacino and Penelope Cruz,” she added. more..

PB defends new land law

Oct 13 (CT) Treasury Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundera earlier this week defended the proposed new land law that has agitated the business and investor community. The business community has said the proposed new law will be an obstacle to attracting the much needed foreign direct investments to the country. "Short-term concerns expressed by a few affected parties and certain capital market experts on several legislations more..

FDI growth nearly 50%

Oct 13 (CT) After receiving more than US$ 1.36 billion during the first three quarters through Foreign Direct Investment, the govt now needs US$ 640 million more to achieve this year's revised FDI target of US$ 2 billion. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena recently told journalists that the country received US$ 1.36 billion during the three quarters ended 30 September, which was a nearly 50% increase over the FDI received during the same period last year. more..

SL Rotary signs Rs. 300 m deal with India

Oct 13 (FT) Rotary Sri Lanka is taking a lead to bolster bilateral ties by signing an Indo-Lanka partnership agreement which is worth over Rs. 300 million covering 60 clubs across the country. The areas covered in the partnership include economic development, sharing of services, best practice learning curve development, sports, peace and reconciliation for the year 2014-15. Rotary Sri Lanka Governor Gowri Rajan said: “We must make this year’s agreement to cross a half a billion more..

Private sector speaks up before Budget 2015

Oct 13 (FT) A top group of business leaders on Friday presented key insights and suggestions for Finance Ministry consideration at a unique forum organised by the Daily FT and Colombo University MBA Alumni Association. Eighteen leaders drawn from different economic sectors and businesses shared what they view as the most critical issues that the Government must address in Budget 2015, to be presented by President more..

Namal Rajapakse tours Trincomalee District

Oct 13 (CT) UPFA MP Namal Rajapakse paid a one day visit to Trincomalee last Friday and addressed several meetings in the district. He also engaged in the task of reorganizing the SLFP branches in the district. Namal toured in the areas of Pulmoddai, Kinniya and, Muttur in the Trincomalee District with Eastern Province Chief Minister, Najeeb Abdul Majeed. Addressing the rallies in Trincomalee Namal Rajapakse pointed out that the President has worked out the plans to improve more..

SLMC says no move to topple govt

Oct 13 (SL) SLMC says it has no plans to topple the Govt and its proposed talks with the TNA is only part of a wide range of talks the SLMC is to have with other political parties. “Many have slammed the SLMC that the SLMC has plans to join the TNA to topple the govt. We have no such intentions,” SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali said. According to him, the SLMC intends to meet all other political parties including Lefties Parties, JHU and UNP to build a general dialogue about more..

No Ebola check at airport

Oct 13 (SL) Immigration Officers at the BIA, Katunayake are accused of not directing passengers who arrive from African countries to the airport health office for Ebola virus clearance, airport sources said. The sources who wished to remain anonymous said that although instructions have been given to all Immigration officers to direct all passengers arriving from African countries, there are instances where these officials have failed to more..

One way traffic between Wellawatte-Kollupitiya

Oct 13 (DM) Police would implement one way traffic between Wellawatta to Kollupitiya along the Marine Drive in the morning and evening during weekdays starting tomorrow due to ongoing road repairs along the road. According to the new plan, road between Nelson Road junction to Charliment Road junction on the Marine Drive will be allowed for motorists travelling towards Colombo between 7 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. In the evening, between 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. the same road section will be more..

JVP alleges huge frauds in CT scanners, dialysis machines

Oct 13 (ST) In one of the worst ever cases of the current pandemic of corruption, the JVP has alleged that as much as Rs. 970 million has been defrauded from the money given to buy CT scanners and dialysis machines for the treatment of kidney patients. The JVP’s Voice Against Corruption Unit in petitions to the Commission probing allegations of bribery and corruption has charged that most of the money defrauded was part of the funds donated by the Japanese govt. more..

New trains, new hopes, old anguish

Oct 13 (IPS) The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days. For hours on end, they wait expectantly at the edge of the rails for a track construction engine to pass by; when it nears, they rush to place metal coins on the track and when the trundling vehicle has passed, they run back gleefully to pick up the disfigured money. more..

After fags, arrack, beer go up

Oct 13 (CT) The Government yesterday announced a price hike on arrack and beer just days after cigarette prices were also increased. According to the Excise Department, the tax on a proof litre of arrack has been increased by Rs 90 and foreign spirits by Rs 120 per litre with effect from October 10 while the tax on beer with over 5% alcohol has been increased by Rs 15 and less than 5% alcohol by Rs 10. Prices of cigarettes were increased by Rs 1 and Rs 2 per stick on Friday.