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Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.44%

Oct 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's indices closed in the red with telco and banking stocks losing ground despite strong foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 31.76 points lower at 7,257.07, down 0.44%. The S&P SL20 closed 8.45 points lower at 4,056.39, down 0.21%. Turnover was 1.54 billion rupees, down from 1.59 billion rupees a day earlier with 47 stocks closed positive against 154 negative. Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed 1.80 rupees higher at 165.00 rupees with four more..

Video: 'Govt trying to hide borrowings'

Oct 16 (DM) UNP today charged that the govt had adopted a fraudulent approach of hiding the borrowings made by various state institutions from the 2015 budget. UNP MP and Economist Dr. Harsha De Silva told a news conference that expenditures pertaining to projects done using funds generated from foreign borrowings made by a number of ministries and borrowings made by state institutions from private banks were not more..

Grand preparations to celebrate 50 years of Sri Lanka – Maldives diplomatic ties

Oct 16 (Island) Grand preparations are on to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Ambassador at Large at the Maldivian Foreign Ministry, Abdullah Hameed said that even though July 26, 1965 marked 50 years since the establishment of formal ties between the two countries, relations had existed for centuries. "Maldivians consider Sri Lanka their second home and attach great importance to our close and historic friendship. Grand preparations are more..

Five UPFA politicians hold secret discussions with opposition for a crossover

Oct 16 (AM) Five ruling party MPs including three ministers are presently holding discussions with the UNP for a possible cross over ahead of the next national level election, highly placed political sources said. The group of Ministers include Senior Minister Piyasena Gamage, Education Services Minister Duminda Dissanayake, MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe, Mirigama SLFP Organizer Vasantha Senanayake and Minister of State Management Reforms Navin Dissanayake, sources also added. more..

Video: Ravana Balaya confronts FEB officials

Oct 16 (AD) A group of monks representing the Ravana Balaya Organisation, this afternoon, met the Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB), and alleged that the FEB not doing enough to protect the Sri Lankan employees in the Middle East countries. Convener of the Ravana Balaya, Ven. Ittakande Saddhatissa Thero, said that the employees in the Middle East are harassed daily and suffer a lot, however, more..

N’Eliya hospital gets Rs. 6.6 bn upgrade

Oct 16 (Island) Health Secretary Sudharama Karunaratne said that under the five-year Health Sector Development Plan, the Nuwara Eliya District Hospital would be developed at a cost of Rs. 6,600 million to cater to the medical needs of 700,000 people. Nuwara Eliya District hospital had been playing a vital role in rendering health care services to the up country people, but it found it difficult to cater to the increasing demand for health care. Steps were being taken to refurbish more..

CWC offers MR unconditional support

Oct 16 (CG) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) today offered unconditional support to President Rajapaksa, the President’s office said. CWC leader and Minister Arumugam Thondaman had met President Rajapaksa today and thanked the President for the assistance he had given the estate community. Thondaman had said that the President had addressed road, housing and infrastructure issues faced by the estate community. Meanwhile Senthil Thondaman, the nephew of more..

Moves to patch up with Nonis

Oct 16 (DM) Moves are a foot with the use of certain channels to re-instate Dr. Chris Nonis as the SL High Commissioner in Britain after the last month’s incident that led to Dr. Nonis to submitting his resignation. A minister said on condition of anonymity that attempts are being made to persuade Dr. Nonis to forget what happened and continue as the High Commissioner but he is said to have been non-committal up to yesterday. more..

Goans seek to meet Pope in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (CG) Goa Church will lobby with the Sri Lankan Catholic Church authorities to organise a meeting for 1,000 Goans with Pope Francis, who will visit the country in January next year for the canonisation of Blessed Father Joseph Vaz, reported. Vaz, the country’s first saint, was incidentally of the Goan origin. After the sainthood is conferred on Vaz, special prayer services would be held in Goa, especially in the parish church of Sancoale where more..

UK takes note of land issue in Jaffna

Oct 16 (CG) British Govt, in a statement issued by the British High Commission in Colombo, said that land issues continue to prevent some communities from rebuilding their lives in Jaffna. British Deputy High Commissioner Laura Davies visited the Jaffna town and called on Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, District Secretary Suntharam Arumainayagam and Bishop Thomas Saundaranayagam and also visited the Sabapathipillai Welfare Centre, more..

Sri Lanka's grand tourism plan faces hurdles

Oct 16 (AJ) Late last month, Sri Lankan tourism officials welcomed the arrival of its millionth tourist for 2014 at BIA. The tourist, who was travelling with his partner, was received with a special dance and was given a complimentary vacation package. The event set the South Asian island nation en route to achieving its target for 1.5 million arrivals this year and on solid ground to meet its 2016 target of 2.5 million arrivals. more..

'Uni's need capable problem solving admins'

Oct 16 (CT) Universities should have administrators, who are able to resolve students' problems instead of accommodating the agendas of ministers, said Anuruddha Pradeep, lecturer and educational secretary of the JHU. Pradeep based his comments on the recent problems in the Sabaragamuwa University. He added that many universities have Vice Chancellors and Deans who act in a manner that does not befit academics. Current university administrators are quick to get ministers more..

Another feather in our cap

Oct 16 (CT) Ceylon Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd, publishers of Ceylon Today and Mawbima, has been honoured yet again as its Director Marketing, Saranga Wijeyarathne, will today give the keynote address at the World Printers Forum (WPF) in Amsterdam. The Expo which is being held over three days, up to today (15), is the largest global trade exhibition for the news publishing and media industry and it brings together all the key players in the WPF. The WPF guides the activities of more..

85 school bowlers with suspect action

Oct 16 (AP) Sri Lanka has identified 85 school cricketers bowling with suspected illegal actions in its campaign to clean up the cradle of the sport in the country. The bowlers include 60 spinners and 25 seamers, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement on Thursday. Sri Lanka boasts of a strong schools cricket structure, with many players entering the national team direct from schools, with little or no first-class experience. more..

Central Bank chief says t-bill yield rise a signal for rates

Oct 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan central bank chief said, a day before a scheduled announcement on interest rate policy, that a rise in the yield at a 364-day treasury bill auction this week was a signal where the authorities want rates to be. While the central bank has held its policy rates unchanged since Jan. 2, the yield on the 364-day t-bill had fallen by up to 240 basis points before rising at Wednesday's auction. The govt's public debt office surprised the market at the weekly auction by more..

Ashok Leyland gets $17 million order for 630 buses in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (PTI) Hinduja group flagship company Ashok Leyland has received an order worth $17 million to supply 630 buses to Sri Lankan operators. The company, through its joint venture in Sri Lanka, has received an order for 630 buses worth $17 million from private bus operators, Ashok Leyland said in a filing to the BSE. Coming on the heels of the order for 2,200 buses, the company further consolidates its position as the market leader in the Sri Lankan market, it added. more..

EU court overturns Tamil Tiger sanctions but maintains asset freeze

Oct 16 (Reuters) European Union judges struck down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers that were imposed by the EU but said on Thursday that the assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being. The court said a decision by EU leaders in 2006 to place the LTTE on a list of terrorist organisations had been based on "imputations derived from the press and the Internet" rather than more..

Court orders CID to arrest lady lawyer who tried to influence Korean job scam case

Oct 16 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate today ordered the CID to arrest a lady lawyer who has allegedly attempted to influence a CID investigative officer in the Korean Job scam case. The racketeers had perpetrated a financial fraud using a false website purporting to be the official website of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya made this direction following a complaint to Court by the CID saying that the lady lawyer Inoka Gamage had more..

World Buddhist event opens in Shaanxi

Oct 16 (Xinhua) Hundreds of the world's Buddhists gathered at an ancient temple in Shaanxi Province on Thursday to open the World Fellowship of Buddhists' (WFB's) 27th general conference. Congregating around a relic said to contain one of the Buddha's finger bones at the Famen Temple in Baoji City, more than 600 representatives from 30 nations and regions were in attendance. The three-day event marks the first time the Bangkok-headquartered WFB has held more..

Sri Lanka concerned at EU court ruling

Oct 16 (CG) Govt of Sri Lanka has noted with concern the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 16th October, to annul the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE. The defendants of this case have been the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member states, the Netherlands and the UK. The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that expectedly, the ECJ judgment requires in-depth study by more..

Warmongering and statesmanship

Oct 17 (FT) In defeating the LTTE, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, then Army Commander and the then military leaders did a wonderful job by way of strategic military plans and implementing the same. Sun Tzu, a military commander who lived in China in 5th century BC wrote a book called ‘The Art of War,’ where he discussed military strategies at length. This book is used today as well not only in war but also in marketing, management, sports and statesmanship. more..

'Come. The pear is ripe. Danger in delay'

Oct 17 (CT) With impending elections and scenes changing by the day in Sri Lanka, a look at parallels is interesting. The caption is the text of the telegram sent to Bismarck in 1862 by Von Roon, Minister for War in the cabinet of King William of Germany. The occasion was the threatened abdication of the King frustrated at Parliament’s strong opposition to a proposal considered vital for Germany’s future. The issue at hand was increasing the period of conscription from two to three years. more..

CCD rescues Mannar student from international abduction drama

Oct 17 (SO) It was 21-year-old Malcom Denver’s dream to find an overseas job after completing his A/L exam. It was also the wish of his parents and close relatives to support him in his endeavour. Mannar-born Tamil student who followed his dream to an overseas country ultimately fell into a hellhole of treacherous men who acted as good samaritans and caused undue problems for him. Fortunately, he returned to his family in one more..

Somehow winning approach has no currency for UNP

Oct 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa is already on his campaign journey up North. He boarded the Yaal Devi train that reached Jaffna after a 24 year lapse, handed over pawned gold jewellery to 25 individuals in Jaffna (MoD says they have identified 2,377 such owners who had pawned their jewellery to LTTE banks) to mark such handover, toured Delft island to check development, opened 03 “Mahindodaya Technology labs” in Delft, Kayts and Karainagar schools, visited Nagadeepa temple and more..

Tribute to Navaliyur Selladurai

Oct 17 (SL) To write a tribute to an old teacher is always a daunting task. After all, our teachers are the ones who knew us during a time when we were still discovering ourselves - replete with all our faults and our occasional strengths! Teachers like Mr. Selladurai touched our young lives in so many different, but wonderful ways, that even today, the values they taught us live in us through the special way we Trinitians relate to the world around us. Trinity College, with its long tradition of more..

'Rajapaksa regime is running scared'

Oct 17 (FT) The UNP’s biggest stumbling block has been the deep divisions within the party, especially between the Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa factions, said newly-appointed Deputy National Organiser of the UNP and Opposition Leader of the Uva Province Harin Fernando. “Sajith Premadasa’s re-entry and appointment as the Deputy Leader is indeed a positive move and a popular choice, for which more..

Treasury elements blocking ‘decent work’ proposals, unions claim

Oct 17 (ST) Powerful elements in Sri Lanka’s Treasury Department are blocking approved proposals to ensure permanency for workers from manpower agencies, says a grouping of trade unions. In a letter to President Rajapaksa, the appeal said that, “Reasons for such long delay in approving the amendment by the cabinet of ministers, as we have come to know is a sad fact. Powerful elements in the Treasury believe this country needs an unregulated labour force to more..

How a weak Opposition could still play it smart

Oct 17 (CT) It was exactly 50 years ago, in 1964, when I was seven years old, that my father introduced me to the political personalities who would visit our Ward Place flat and took me around for public rallies including election meetings. Having closely observed Sri Lankan politics for half a century, I cannot but conclude that taken as a collective (and with a few individual exceptions) Sri Lankan politics today has the dumbest opposition I've ever seen in this country. more..

'We can bring most Tamil votes to the UNP'

Oct 17 (Island) Leader of the DPF and former MP Mano Ganesan who now commands over 15% of the Colombo city vote speaks about his choice of a common opposition candidate for the forthcoming presidential election and the logic of ethnicity based politics. Q: If we start off from the most important current controversy, are you in favour of an apolitical common candidate from outside the party system or are you more..

Editorial: Resilience of terror

Oct 17 (Island) It is feared that a massacre of unprecedented proportions is waiting to happen in Kobane, a Syrian town, with the Islamic State (IS) fighters making a determined effort to march on it. The US-led coalition has chosen to fight the Jihadists from a safe distance. Having intensified its air raids during the past few days, it now claims it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the IS advance. But, the threat is far from over. More than 400,000 Kurds fearing slaughter more..

'Electricity tariff reduction is cost reflective'

Oct 17 (DM) An independent study carried out by a leading energy consultant with international repute shows that the recently announced electricity tariff reduction is reflective through the reduction in cost of production and thus, could not completely attribute to merely a politically-motivated election goody as claimed by many. According to a study carried out by Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, the total cost of producing a unit of electricity is estimated to have come down by 22% for 2nd half of 2014 more..

'More than 50 companies in IPO pipeline'

Oct 17 (DM) As a result of the continuous awareness campaigns conducted on the benefits of listing on the CSE, there are now more than 50 companies in the pipeline seeking listings on the bourse, according to the capital market regulator. Since end-2012, SEC in collaboration with CSE has been conducting listing forums for the prospective companies in various parts of the country to create awareness on the benefits of listing. more..

Budget 2014 must articulate sound labour market strategy

Oct 17 (DM) Treasury Secretary DR P.B Jayasundra last week highlighted the need to brand Sri Lanka as a knowledge destination. The veteran public servant knows very well that the key to improving labour market competitiveness in the economy lies in raising human resource capabilities; that is, to make appropriate investments in human capital through higher education and professional training in order to more efficiently generate and manage new technologies to create wealth. more..

Sampath Bank re-builds Navatkuli Railway Station

Oct 17 (Island) Sampath Bank generously contributed towards the re-building of the Navatkuli Railway Station; a key station on the Yal-Devi route connecting Jaffna and Colombo which is resuming train services after a lapse of 24 years. The grandly improved station was declared open by President Rajapaksha on 13th of October, who alsopaid a memorable visit to the newly installed Sampath ATM at the premise to make a transaction. Sampath Bank took up this CSR initiative under more..

US happy over TIFA talks with Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (FT) The US yesterday said it was happy with the latest Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks with Sri Lanka and acknowledged post-war economic story was positive though growth could be accelerated with right policies. “We had a very useful discussion with regard to finding pragmatic ways to boost bilateral trade and investment. Some issues were resolved and others were left for better understanding more..

Felicitation event for Professor Indraratna

Oct 17 (CT) A felicitation committee, set up by the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) has organized an event to honour Prof. A.D.V de S. Indraratna, "the doyen of teachers of economics in Sri Lanka today". The event marks Prof. Indraratna's 10th year as the President of the SLEA and his immense contribution to popularizing economics as a subject and to promote a dialogue on economic policy issues in SL. Prof. Indraratna is a founder member of SL Economic Association. more..

Docs on cloud nine

Oct 17 (Island) The GMOA yesterday declared victory in an eight-year-old battle with the Cabinet approving the Doctors’ Service Minute last week. A special gazette notification of its implementation was issued by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (15). GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that in accordance with the provisions included in the service minute, a doctor should be promoted to Grade 1 after 12 years in service instead of 18 years. more..

Dairy farmers to get 20,000 milch cows

Oct 17 (FT) Sri Lanka and Australia yesterday signed an agreement to import 20,000 milch cows for uplifting small- and medium-scale dairy farmers under a program to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in liquid milk by 2016. Importing Australian milch cows of superior breeds to help dairy farmers and improve the livestock industry began two years ago in accordance with President’s Mahinda Chinthana Vision. more..

BOI Company, clients cry out against bureaucrats

Oct 17 (CT) Owners of vehicles assembled by Vehicle Lanka Pvt Ltd., alleged that they were being treated unfairly for no reason, as authorities failed to allow these vehicles to be registered, while the BOI approved company alleged that certain bureaucrats harboured a personal vendetta against it. Vehicle Lanka, a BOI company, imports second hand vehicles to the country, fits new spare parts and sells them at affordable prices. The company has been trying since 2012 to convince the more..

MRL acquires high-grade Aluketiya graphite project in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (EBR) MRL has completed purchase of the rights of high-grade Aluketiya graphite mine in Sri Lanka. Located in Meegahatenna within the Walallawita District, the project has the potential for graphite veins which extend over large distances. MRL has purchased the lease covering Aluketiya, providing it with the right to explore, develop and mine the graphite, as part of the deal. A lease fee of $3,500 a month will be paid by MLR during the exploration phase. more..