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Gotabhaya to meet NSA in New Delhi

Oct 17 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will visit New Delhi early next week for high-level talks with India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, according to reliable sources. The agenda for the meeting is unclear. Sources in New Delhi confirmed the visit, but declined to “get into the details” of the meeting. This is Mr. Rajapaksa’s first meeting with India’s NSA after the NDA formed the govt. more..

Yala opened for six hours

Oct 17 (DN) The Yala National Park opening hours for visitors have been restricted to six hours daily. The park which was closed for about one and half months was re-opened yesterday. However she said the department decided to restrict the opening hours from 6.00 a.m. to noon due to dry conditions prevailing in the park. No visitor would be admitted into the park after noon, adding that all the visitors who entered the park must leave by noon. New time schedule would continue till adequate rains more..

Peradeniya Uni taken for a three wheeler ride

Oct 17 (Island) The authorities of the University of Peradeniya are perturbed over how they were misled by a forged letter that led to over one hundred junior employees to deposit Rs. 25,000 each to receive a tri-shaw each from the govt. The university received a letter printed on a Presidential Secretariat letterhead stating that the junior employees were to be given tri-shaws at concessional price of Rs. 25,000. A current account number of a bank was stated in the letter. more..

Animal rights activists accuse Wildlife chief

Oct 17 (DM) Animal rights activists today accused the Wildlife Ministry Secretary and Wildlife Conservation Department Director General (WCD) of being directly involved in providing a legal standing to the baby elephants that are smuggled out of national parks and sold off for domestication. Animal rights activist, Pubudu Weerarathne told a media briefing today that the latest evidence of their involvement in the racket surfaced through more..

President praises education in North

Oct 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa praised the Northern education sector for producing students in increasing numbers, who do well in the GCE A/L exam, becoming eligible to enter university. President said this while addressing the District Development Committee meeting, at the Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna, on Monday. Following the end of the war in 2009, the govt had made an allocation of Rs 7,331 million to develop the education sector in the Northern Province, more..

Bone Marrow Transplant Surgery now in SL

Oct 17 (DN) For the first time Bone Marrow Transplant Surgery will be available in Sri Lanka under a program initiated by Nawaloka Hospital. Bone Marrow is responsible for many vital tasks in the human body. Though a wide range of treatments exist to treat various ailments in the bone marrow, the only reliable method to completely cure bone marrow related illness is the bone marrow transplant surgery. Until now, this surgery was not available in Sri Lanka. more..

'All hospitals on alert for Ebola'

Oct 17 (DM) While the authorities were now maintaining a 24/7 special medical unit at the BIA to track Ebola patients, the Health Ministry said all hospitals in the country had been issued with detailed instructions on how to deal with a patient suspected of contracting Ebola. The ministry was now maintaining a special medical unit comprising doctors, trained nurses, PHIs and attendants to take immediate action in a worst case scenario at more..

Expert to advise BASL today

Oct 17 (CT) The minority who argue for the constitutional legality of a third term for President Rajapaksa are either advisers to the President or UPFA associates, Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) charged. BASL's Rule of Law Standing Committee Chairman and Lawyers for Democracy Convener, Lal Wijenayake, said the BASL has sought an independent opinion from Queensland University's Public Law Professor Suri Ratnapala, an international constitutional law expert, more..

Uva Ministers finally appointed

Oct 17 (Island) The much delayed swearing in of the Board of Ministers of the recently elected 6th Uva Provincial Council (UPC) took places before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning in the presence of the Governor of the Province Nanda Mathew. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians, fellow Provincial Councillors, family members, friends and well-wishers were also present at the ceremony. more..

Sarath Fonseka disfranchised

Oct 17 (DM) The name of Sarath Fonseka the former army commander and the leader of the Democratic Party is to be removed from the voters list by the Election Commissioner on the instructions of the Attorney General. This decision had been taken after the Elections Commissioner requested AG for a ruling on whether Mr. Fonseka was entitled to vote. Sources close to the Elections Commissioner’s office said that more..

Lessons on Sri Lankan reconciliation by the Cabinet Minister in the midst

Oct 17 (IAN) On Oct 9, the Asia Society held a gathering, at which Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a Senior Cabinet Minister from Sri Lanka, addressed the efforts at reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Minister was introduced by Charles Foster, Chairman of the Asia Society and by the Honorary Counsel General of Sri Lanka, Bandula Wijay with special thanks extended to attorneys George Willy and Rajneesh Chaudhary for making the event possible. In his address, Nanayakkara pointed out more..

Canada and India sign historic cricket agreement

Oct 17 (LR) Cricket Canada received a massive boost this week after Canadian Foreign Minister signed an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest and most influential board in the sport. Cricket Canada was dealt a major blow when they lost ODI status this year following a run of poor performances, which resulted in a failure to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, a tournament that Canada has consecutively played in for the past three editions. more..

President tells govt. members: Don't complicate politics before presidential poll

Oct 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa told the Govt Parliamentary Group to not complicate political issues when there is a presidential poll just around the corner. This issue had been discussed at the Cabinet meeting held at Temple Trees yesterday. President had been responding to questions from govt members about the forthcoming presidential poll which is billed for 8 January 2015 and also in the light of leftist more..

Ceylon Tea promotional campaign at Dubai and Sharjah airports

Oct 17 (DN) Ceylon Tea advertising program for the Middle East and Gulf Region was launched by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, with the erection of twenty massive light boards of 6.5meters x 2.4 meters each at Dubai International Airport and twelve illuminated scrolling mupies at Sharjah International Airport from October. The Dubai International Airport which was registered as the second busiest after London, Heathrow for international passenger traffic with almost more..

CTTU threatens trade union action Unless salary issues are resolved

Oct 17 (CT) Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has warned the govt that it would embark on an extensive trade union action, unless their salary anomalies and promotion issues are resolved and that increments to the teachers and principals in 17 educational zones under its purview, are paid with immediate effect. The CTTU has appealed to the principals and teachers to get themselves prepared for a trade union action to win their demands. The union says the govt owes several millions to more..

Restrictions on travel to North aimed at rigging presidential election - UNP

Oct 17 (Island) This week’s sudden directive that foreign nationals and organisations have to obtain Defence Ministry permission to visit the North clearly indicated that the govt was preparing the ground to rig the next Presidential Election,the UNP charged. Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella said that the new regulation was aimed at preventing unbiased foreign monitors from observing the presidential election. more..

ISIS Crisis: Who’s battling whom for what?

Oct 17 (DM) All fish live in water; dolphins are fish; therefore dolphins live in water. The construction of logical arguments such as this may not apply to politics. Don’t they say that politics defies logic? Nowhere is this truism more evident than in the crises involving ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian govt fights ISIS a.k.a as ISIL and IS. The United States also fights ISIS. Therefore, a logical conclusion could be that the US is with the Syrian govt. ISIS fights Bashar al-Assad regime more..

Ebola; Are we ready?

Oct 17 (DM) In a video summit on Wednesday the leaders of the US, Britain, Germany, France and Italy said the raging Ebola pandemic was the most serious international public health emergency in recent years and the international community needed to do much more and faster to check the calamity. The first outbreak of this deadly disease took place in 1976 near the river Ebola in Zaire now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and more..

At the 'mercy of god…’

Oct 17 (SL) The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka recently dismissed a plea against the deportation of the Pakistan and Afghanistan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka, shadowing the small degree of hope that had been harboured by those who had tried to escape prosecution in their country. A young Pakistan activist, Sadia Khan, who had been writing about abuses carried out by fundamentalists and members of the govt in her country, had fled more..

Cats and rats jump out of the Mervyn bag

Oct 17 (DM) Well-known for his conduct and controversial statements Minister Mervyn Silva has come to the limelight once again with yet another allegation that there are some people who prevent him from carrying out his duties as a people’s representative. Recently, we had the opportunity of seeking the minister’s views on the subject and on a range of other issues at a face-to-face session with him when he did not mince his words. more..

Schools for 50,000 ‘Out-of-School Children’, School for all by 2015

Oct 17 (ST) Gramasevaka’s and Divisional Secretaries island-wide have been instructed to submit names of children not attending school, and assist the District Secretary compile a list to find schools in their respective areas, the Education Ministry said. The Ministry said, though the country’s school attendance is foremost among fellow South Asian countries, there are about 50,000 local children not attending school. more..

Vehicle buyers protest, unable to have their vehicles registered

Oct 17 (Island) Over 70 buyers of motor vehicles assembled by Vehicles Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a BOI - approved company in Sri Lanka had not been able to have them registered with the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) for over two years. They said they sought President Rajapaksa’s intervention to solve the matter immediately. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Vehicles Lanka, Harsha de Silva said some high ranking more..

FUTA hold SB responsible for violence against undergrads

Oct 17 (Island) Condemning last Sunday’s attack on a group of Sabaragamuwa University students the FUTA alleged that Higher Education Minister was responsible for the incident which had come close on the heels of his statement that he knew how to treat violent students if not for the upcoming elections. FUTA Secretary Dr. Rohan Fernando said that it was a clear indication that the Minister himself should be held responsible more..

JVP explains why masses should fear Mahinda

Oct 17 (LT) JVP is carrying out a campaign stating that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest the forthcoming presidential election and if he contests the presidential election would be illegal. The JVP campaign is to build an opposition to the move and is creating a point of view that Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest for a third term. Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters come out with various arguments. more..

Anura Yapa flatly denies crossover claims

Oct 17 (AM) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said flatly denied rumours that some ruling party members were holding discussions with the opposition saying none of the UPFA MPs wanted to end up on the losing side. He said he was certain that the UNP had no chance of winning the upcoming elections and that the government would secure a resounding victory. “I do not know whether there were any more..

Supreme Court grants bail to Jayalalithaa

Oct 17 (Hindu) In a big relief to former TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered her release on bail in the Rs. 66.65 crores disproportionate assets case in which she was sentenced to undergo four years' simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 100 crores. A three-judge Bench also granted bail to the three other accused Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi on their furnishing two solvent sureties to more..

Sri Lanka holds rates at record lows as credit picks up

Oct 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank kept key policy rates steady at record lows for a ninth straight month on Friday, as expected, saying that private sector credit growth is picking up and that longer term lending rates are adjusting downwards. The standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) or repurchase rate and standing lending facility rate (SLFR) or reverse repurchase rates were left unchanged at 6.5% and 8%, respectively. more..

Take up GoSL ban on Diaspora with UN Security Council – GTF tells UK

Oct 17 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has urged the UK to intervene on its behalf at the UN Security Council to prevent the Sri Lankan govt exploiting UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of 2001 (UNSCR 1373) to attack 16 Diaspora groups as well as 424 individuals. The UK based outfit registered under the UK Companies Act of 2006 alleged that UNSCR 1373 was being used by Sri Lanka to intimidate Tamil speaking more..

Set the stage for investment to flow in

Oct 17 (CT) The govt is upbeat that the macroeconomic indicators point to a thriving economy, with inflation contained to single digit, and the low interest rate, would attract foreign investors to the country. The govt's expectations have not been realized over the past two years with investments being meagre and falling below target. However, with the North now open for development there are indications that govt's aims would be achieved soon. more..

Stocks close lower on profit-taking

Oct 17 (Reuters) Stocks fell for the second straight session on Friday, led by profit-taking in select shares such as Sri Lanka Telecom and John Keells Holdings, although foreign investors bought into risky assets. Sri Lanka's main stock index fell 0.31%, or 22.60 points, to 7,234.47. Foreign investors bought a net 15.9 million rupees ($121,792) worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 10.13 billion rupees, exchange data showed. more..

Ada Cartoon

The constitution as a cause for the violence and bloodshed

Oct 17 (CT) As the possibility of an election has become a “hot topic” of the day, with it has emerged the problem of the 1978 Constitution and the system of the Executive Presidency, as a sharp point of contest and debate in Sri Lanka. In the midst of this unfolding scenario, President Rajapaksa, in a much publicized speech, stated that he would be willing, more than any other person, to abolish the executive presidency if, the TNA and the diaspora give an undertaking that more..

Moves to re-export vehicles from H’tota

Oct 17 (DM) Vehicles exporters of Japan and Thailand were mulling the idea to send vehicles to Hambantota harbour to re-export them to other countries, Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. Representatives of the Associations of used vehicles in Japan and Thailand arrived in the Hambantota harbour and observed its facilities yesterday. The minister said that 547 re-exports have been completed by the Colombo Harbour in 2011 while 144,851 vehicles were re-exported more..

Sri Lanka to fill West Indies void in India

Oct 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have agreed to fill the void that has been created by West Indies abandoning their current tour of India because of a payment structure dispute between the players and the WICB and WIPA. They will play a series of five ODIs in November. "In principle we have agreed to accept India's invitation to play five one-day internationals," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said on Friday. "Initially India wanted us to play more..

Western Province gets cracking with mobile kachcheris

Oct 17 (Island) A mobile kachcheri will be held at the Kalutara Vidyalaya on Oct. 25 from 9.00 am. Sunil Abeywardena, Secretary to WP Governor Alavi Moulana said that the Governor would be present at the mobile service and help solve people’s problems. He said that Chief Minister of the Province Prasanna Ranatunga and ministers, too, would be present along with officials from the Department of Registration of Persons, Department of Motor Traffic, Dept of Immigration & Emigration, more..

Ex-combatants trained as bulldozer operators

Oct 17 (Island) Ten LTTE cardres who had been rehabilitated at Boossa would be employed as bulldozer operators here and abroad shortly, Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said last night. The SSP said that the former combatants had been trained at a Vocational Training Centre in Galle and they had successfully completed their courses on Oct. 13. They would undergo training at govt work sites around the country and they would be employed thereafter, the SSP said. more..

Northern farmers look for markets in South for their organic products

Oct 17 (Island) General Manager of the Vavuniya North Fruit Growers Cooperative Society U Kirupakaran appealed to traders, supermarket chains and exporters in the southern parts of the country to come forward to help them market their organic products. "When the farmers receive good prices for their produce, the rural economy will improve and the beneficiaries will be the ordinary people." more..

Woman’s body found wrapped in clothes; lover decamps

Oct 17 (Island) Weligama police found the body of a 48-year-old woman wrapped in clothes inside a house behind a temple yesterday morning. SSP Ajith Rohana alleged that the woman had been the paramour of the owner of the house where her body was found and he had fled the area. The victim was identified as Kamalani of Embilipitiya, he said. The main suspect aged 32 had been living with the victim for about four years and he was an accused in the killing of his wife a few years back. more..

Lankan navy hands over Indian fishermen to Coast Guard

Oct 17 (PTI) Sri Lankan navy on Thursday handed over 94 Tamil Nadu fishermen taken into custody by them to the Indian Coast Guard at the IMBL, police said. The fishermen, belonging to Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts, were taken into custody by the navy last month on charges of violating IMBL, Police Inspector Kennady said. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa had on August 13 ordered their release as a goodwill gesture ahead of India's Independence Day. more..

Video: SF to take disenfranchisement to Geneva

Oct 17 (DM) DP Leader Sarath Fonseka said he would complain to the UNHRC in Geneva regarding the decision to disenfranchise him because he had no confidence or faith in Sri Lanka’s judicial system under this govt. “I will complain to the UNHRC stating that this govt is depriving us of our democratic rights and peoples’ sovereignty by holding elections, which are blatantly corrupt. We have enough evidence to prove this more..