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Maris Stella, Ratnayake Central retain titles

Oct 16 (Island) Asian Youth Games medallist Akila Ravishanka smashed Maleen Udaya Kumara’s meet record with a feat of 14.25 seconds in the Under-18 boys 110m hurdles to top best performers’ list in the boys’ category as Maris Stella College, Negombo and Ratnayake Central, Walala retained the overall boys’ and girls’ titles respectively of the Sir John Tarbet Senior Athletics Championships concluded at Diyagama on Wednesday. Maris Stella won the boys’ title for the second consecutive year more..

MillenniumIT, Sangakkara donate computers to rural school

Oct 16 (CT) MillenniumIT under the auspices of cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara donated computers to an under-privileged rural school in the Matale district. Donation was made in the presence of the Grama Niladhari of the Ambokke area, Neil Karunarathna, the principal of the Ambokke Primary School Upul Nayananda, MillenniumIT CEO Mack Gill, COO Hemantha Jayawardena, VP Faiq Faaiz, Chief Scientist Ajit Samaranayake, Kumar Sanagakkara & MillenniumIT representatives. more..

Dhammika via Hayleys effects another takeover with Alufab buy

Oct 16 (FT) Business leader and ace acquirer Dhammika Perera yesterday effected another takeover via Hayleys, buying 61% stake in Alufab for Rs. 168 million. The diversified blue chip with interest in aluminium manufacturing paid above market Rs. 23 per share for the stake amounting to 7.318 million. Alufab closed the day at Rs. 23.70, up by Rs. 4.70 or 25% topping the gained list with 9.78 million shares traded. more..

Lankan Architect wins Regional Award for recycled material design

Oct 16 (Island) Damith Premathilake, a member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, won the inaugural Architecture Asia Award for Emerging Architects at the recently concluded annual Architect Regional Council Asia award for Architecture 2014 held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was amongst eight winners selected from over 60 Asian countries. The Architecture Asia Awards for Emerging Architects was open to all architects professionally registered in Asia, who are 45 years of age more..

EXIM Bank Malaysia impressed by SL’s economic performance & Vision 2020

Oct 16 (FT) Following positive discussions with local authorities, EXIM Bank Malaysia President Adissadikin Bin Ali and Head of Banking Nor Shahmir Bin Nor Shahid ended an official visit to Sri Lanka with a press conference yesterday. Joined by High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin, the EXIM Bank representatives announced the bank’s expansion plans in Sri Lanka observing several conducive market factors. Representatives noted that more..

US-SL trade talks conclude in Colombo

Oct 16 (FT) Talks under the Sri Lanka and US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) concluded yesterday in Colombo, reiterating the commitment to foster greater bilateral economic engagement. “US-Sri Lanka TIFA is the premier dialogue for managing bilateral trade and investment relationship between both countries. This relationship amounts to $ 3 b” said Michael Delaney, visiting Assistant US Trade Representative more..

'Softlogic will increase Odel stake to 93%'

Oct 16 (CT) Softlogic Holdings hopes to increase its stake in premier departmental chain Odel to 93% with the completion of the mandatory offer. "We will be buying all the shares of the stake which was held by Parkson Retail Asia and all the other stakes of the other shareholders who are willing to sell out," Softlogic Holdings Chairman, Ashok Pathirage said. This is a sequel to Parkson Retail Asia wanting to sell its stake in SL departmental store, which was announced in the Malaysian Stock Exchange more..

Unity vital for country’s progress – Asgiriya Prelate

Oct 16 (DN) Although we have been born into three different communities, Sinhala, Tamil and Muslims, we are all Sri Lankan citizens belonging to a single nation. If we are united as one big family no force on this earth can retard our progress and forward march, said the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. He said this delivering an Anusasana when Deputy Minister V. Radhakrishnan called on him at the Asgiri Maha Viharaya in Kandy and more..

Anandasangaree commends President for returning to owners jewelry they pawned

Oct 16 (AT) V. Anandasangaree has thanked President Rajapaksa for returning to the owners the jewelry they pawned earlier in the Eelam banks of the LTTE, without recovering the capital and the interest on the borrowings. President Rajapaksa on Sunday at Kilinochchi symbolically inaugurated the return of gold jewelleries to 25 owners of the Northern Province. Earlier, President while addressing a public rally on Sunday more..

Time to cement Indo-Lanka ties

Oct 16 (NIE) After the successful culmination of the war fought over three decades with the LTTE, Sri Lanka today has started enjoying peace and normalcy. This is reflected in almost every aspect of individual and collective life throughout the country. The relationship of the central govt with the provinces and various social groups is gradually becoming harmonious. Normalcy and peace are prerequisites for economic activity and development of any country. more..

Police looking for woman swindler

Oct 16 (Island) The police seek public cooperation to nab a woman who had recently cheated several youth to the tune of Rs.800,000 promising to help them to pass an exam conducted by the British Council. The police said that the woman had left behind a two-month old infant in a rented house in Dehiwela a few weeks ago. Police also had received complaints against her that she had stolen goods worth over Rs.100,000 from four houses where she lived on rent in Maharagama. more..

Video: Work on Northern Expressway to start next month

Oct 16 (DM) Construction work on the Northern Expressway would start in November, Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said. Northern Expressway, from Enderamulla in Gampaha to Dambulla would be constructed in four phases and consist of four lanes initially. Chinese and local contractors would jointly undertake the construction of the expressway projects to the North as well as Kandy & was estimated to cost Rs 300 billion, more..

Cattle breeders protest in Ampara Over encroachment by paddy farmers

Oct 16 (CT) A protest was recently launched by cattle breeders in Thirukovil-Ampara urging a stop to illegal land acquisition by paddy cultivators and to continue to build fences to stop elephant infiltration. According to their complaint, during the war, cattle breeders could not enter into lands assigned to them. But on the flip-side, paddy cultivators had 'encroached' into these lands and had engaged in cultivation. Some 4,000 acres in Thirukovil-Vattamadu area was allocated for more..

Organic rice sold in supermarkets a sham

Oct 16 (Island) Some companies cultivated traditional rice varieties applied agrochemicals on the sly and sold their produce in supermarkets at Rs. 180 to Rs. 200 per kilo, the Ministry of Special Projects alleged. Secretary to the Special Projects Ministry T. Sakalasuriya, however, assured that from 2015 one kilo of traditional rice varieties would be available at Rs. 125. President Rajapaksa had called for the cultivation of traditional rice varieties such as Kaluheenaty, Puchaperumal, more..

Baggage pilferage irks Lanka expats

Oct 16 (AN) As if incidents of pilfering the baggage of workers returning from the Kingdom at Colombo BIA weren’t enough, passengers are now complaining of baggage being lost altogether at the other end. The latest victim was Rohaan Samath, who lost one of his suitcases at the BIA when he arrived in Colombo via SriLankan Airlines. Samath said that he lodged a complaint with the airlines, but after 21 days, more..

G20 to run UNP campaign

Oct 16 (DM) The UNP has appointed a committee known as the ‘Group 20 or G 20’ to steer the party’s campaign at an upcoming presidential election. In addition to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, the G20 includes all members of the Leadership Council. The others in the G20 are MPs Joseph Michael Perera, John Amaratunga, Palitha Range Bandara, Thalata Athukorale, Asoka Abeysinghe, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, P. Harrison, Eran Wickramaratne, more..

Nurses demand 5% of GDP for health sector

Oct 16 (CT) The All Ceylon Nurses' Union (ACNU) is demanding that the govt allocate 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the health sector in Budget 2015. ACNU President Gamini Kumarasinghe said that the health sector was currently in a crisis and there were a lot of issues remaining to be resolved, hence more funds should be allocated. "There is a dearth of drugs, medical equipment and laboratory facilities in many hospitals. As a result of shortage of funds, more..

Al-Quaeda suspect deported to Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (DM) Malaysian authorities yesterday deported the Lankan who is suspected of having indirect links with Al-Qaeda and planned terror attacks in India. The man was sent back to Colombo for further investigations. Mohammad Hussain Mohammad Sulaiman was arrested in May in Kula Lampur and is suspected to have been part of a conspiracy to carry out terror attacks on the US and Israeli consulates in South India. more..

Sri Lanka sets Guinness record

Oct 16 (DM) SL set a Guinness world record for the most number of participants in a hand-washing relay to mark Global Hand-washing Day which falls today. Sri Lanka’s leading health soap brand - Lifebuoy organised the event. “We brought together mothers from the Eladuwa Estate in Dodangoda, Matugama, to successfully break the Guinness world record for ‘Most number of participants in a hand-washing relay’ in a single location. Such an event was previously held in China. more..

SC orders policemen to pay woman Rs.150,00 each from personal funds

Oct 16 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered two officers of the Kottawa police station to pay Rs. 150,000 each from their personal funds as damages to a woman they had unduly kept in police custody, for two hours on Aug. 9, 2014. The payment is to be made within three months. The petitioner, Lakshika Kulatunga had, in a fundamental rights violation application, complained to the court that some person had complained to the police that her younger brother had more..

Joint Opposition front, not UNP, to select common candidate

Oct 16 (Island) UNP said that the joint opposition’s common candidate would be selected by consensus after it had formed a broad coalition of parties committed to the abolition of the executive presidency. "We have not yet decided who our Presidential candidate will be", Senior UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera said, adding that the party could not do so because in the first place an election had not been announced and secondly more..

The crisis of fake food and imitation milk

Oct 16 (DM) As we mark World Food Day today, we need to reflect deeply on what has happened to our traditional food and nutrition diets during the past 40 years of the globalised capitalist market economic policy which Sri Lanka swallowed wholesale after 1977. The people, Govt leaders and officials need to examine their conscience and ask whether we are, knowingly or unknowingly, allowing transnational giants to freely indulge in economic neo-colonialism in the vital areas of food and nutrition more..

Two fighters for children’s rights win Nobel Peace Prize

Oct 16 (DM) It was not long ago that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram was convicted and sentenced to a four-year jail term in a disproportionate case. It was lauded by many the world over as a loud and clear sign which shows what an independent, robust and vibrant judiciary could do in meting out justice, irrespective of status, station or standing of the person found guilty of crimes against the country and its people. Against this background and soon after more..

UPFA, UNP brace for presidential election

Oct 16 (DM) The ruling UPFA gave further rise on Monday to speculation in political circles about a snap presidential election in January next year. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the key personality involved in positioning the party for a snap election, convened a meeting with the private staff members of UPFA MPs, including those holding ministerial posts, at Temple Trees on Monday. more..

Ministry to ascertain condition of Sanchi Bodhi Tree

Oct 16 (DM) The Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry today said it would look into the reports of the dying and wilting condition of a Bodhi Tree supposedly planted near Sanchi in India by President Mahinda Rajapaksa a couple of years ago. The Indian media earlier reported that the Bodhi Tree planted by President Rajapaksa near Sanchi world heritage site in Madhya Pradesh, India was not looked after well. more..

Act legalising private universities to be passed in Parliament soon- SB

Oct 16 (ST) Quality Assurance, Accreditation & Qualification Framework Act drafted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to legalise non-State universities in the country, is to be passed in Parliament soon, its Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. Minister addressing the SAARC workshop ‘Innovation in Higher Education for Knowledge Based Economies and Economic Growth in the SAARC Region’, said that, more..

Tamil Nadu CM seeks Modi's help to secure fishing boats from Sri Lankan custody

Oct 16 (TOI) TN chief minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday sought PM Narendra Modi's intervention to secure 75 fishing boats from the custody Sri Lankan authorities. The boats have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy since May. In a letter to Modi, the chief minister said an alarming situation had developed over the past few months. The vengeful action of SL navy and authorities in that country had affected more..

Wimal for Friday's talks with President, won’t pursue Ven. Sobitha's initiative

Oct 16 (Island) With UPFA constituents pulling in different directions over the contentious issue of constitutional reforms as well as some opposing a premature presidential election, the SLFP has called for a meeting with the NFF tomorrow to discuss the situation. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister Wimal Weerawansa will lead the respective delegations. UPFA's dominant partner has sought the meeting in the wake of more..

A ‘Gem’ of a story!

Oct 16 (SL) Following the release of the Auditor General’s (AG) report on the corrupt activities at the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), it has now come to light how the management of the NGJA had been continuously violating government rules and regulations for their personal benefit, despite such illegal deals that they had been engaging in over the years, being exposed. This newspaper too, on many more..

Death threats en masse for SL journalists

Oct 16 (UCAN) The govt vowed to investigate after dozens of Sri Lankan journalists and rights monitors received death threats yesterday from an ultra-nationalist group. The journalists and civil society members recieved threatening text messages and phone calls from a group called Rata Beragath Deshapremi Balakaya ("patriotic force that salvaged the country"), which vowed they would “attack” should more..

JVP sees split in UPFA over 2015 polls

Oct 16 (CG) The JVP says there is a clear split in the ruling UPFA over the snap Presidential elections scheduled for next year. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena had also written to the President urging him to reconsider moves to hold a Presidential election next January. Dissanayake said that Sirisena feels Govt should first make constitutional changes as promised more..

'No evicted family will be moved out of city'

Oct 16 (Island) UDA officials denied that they had discriminated against any of the slum and shanty dwellers in allocating new houses. Addressing a media conference, UDA Unit Head E.R.C. Priyashantha said that all those evicted from their houses in some areas in Colombo taken over by the government for development purposes would be treated equally and each family would be given a housing unit within Colombo. more..

Sudden resignation of Immigration Head

Oct 16 (CT) Immigration and Emigration Department (IED) Controller General Chulananda Perera 'unexpectedly' tendered his resignation on Tuesday (14). He has been replaced by M. N. Ranasinghe, who was formerly IED's Controller of Border Management and Visa. Meanwhile, Perera was appointed as Additional Transport Ministry Secretary with effect from yesterday. more..

Wither the new turn?

Oct 16 (CT) Travel restrictions are back. Foreigners can no longer visit the North without Defence Ministry permission. Why re-impose such a restriction now, more than five years after the victorious end of the war? “Defence Authorities had received credible information that some elements were trying to destabilise the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities in the country”, claimed the military spokesman. That official explanation can be dismissed as more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards edge up on mild dollar buying

Oct 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards traded a tad firmer on Thursday as tepid dollar purchases and mild exporter conversions helped the currency edge up. Three-day forwards or spot next was traded at 130.80/85 per dollar at 0655 GMT, compared to Wednesday's close of 130.90/131.00. The spot currency was not traded on Thursday, currency dealers said. "There was no restriction from the central bank, but nobody wants to deal with the spot currency," a dealer said. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Treasure hunters misled by stone inscriptions

Oct 16 (Island) Inscriptions found in caves and rocks were records of offerings of money made to the Sasana by either kings or rich donors mislead the treasure hunters who believed that they could unearth treasure by digging up such places, Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake said. "Most epigraphical records found in Sri Lanka mentions of donating ‘ran kahavanu’ (gold coins used in medieval Sri Lanka) to temples for constructions and renovations. more..

PSM tutorial staff threaten TU action over broken promises

Oct 16 (Island) The tutorial staff of seven diploma awarding Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) schools yesterday warned that they would not help conduct examinations from next month if the Health Ministry failed to grant their demands which include the appointment of principals to thier institutions. PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said the union had held discussions with the tutorial staff and the principals on Monday. He warned that all tutorial staff would boycott more..

'Govt's agriculture policy, cause of CKD'

Oct 16 (CT) Three frontline university scientific experts blamed the govt's agricultural policy as the cause for the Chronic Kidney disease which has engulfed the North Central Province (NCP) and other geographical expanses of Sri Lanka. They attributed the use of excess and subsidized fertilizer as the cause, which flows down from the upcountry hills as Mahaweli waters and ends up in the paddy fields of the NCP more..

No access for the differently abled

Oct 16 (CT) A few days ago, Ceylon Today published a comprehensive article on the sad plight of differently abled people in Sri Lanka, specifically the near complete lack of access and the denial of the right to move around almost everywhere in public. Sri Lanka is supposedly a Middle Income Country. Amongst the many names that people use to describe this island, the word Paradise has often been bandied around. But a Paradise we are certainly not, if you happen to have even more..