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It is the public policy maker who gets into trouble

Oct 20 (CT) Private sectors in modern economies are branded as ‘Engines of Growth’. They have earned this brand name due to their innovative power, resilience, foresight and ability to assess and mitigate future risks. In the opposite, the govt sectors lack these attributes. As a result, when they take part in economic activities, they very often end up in disasters requiring taxpayers to put their hard-earned money into them continuously to keep them afloat. more..

'Ranil, most suitable presidential candidate for UNP'

Oct 20 (SL) Sunday Leader talks to one of the strong main female characters in the political arena of the country, UNP MP Rosy Senanayake, on her views on the oncoming Presidential Election and the country as a whole. Q: We saw that you worked with dedication for Uva Provincial Election. Are you content with the post-election changes in the UNP? A: UNP is now more organized and the way they work is very good. more..

President inspects Northern ‘spring’

Oct 20 (NS) President Rajapaksa visited the Northern Province last week and attended many programs. He visited Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Delft and several other locations inspecting the development programs which were implemented by the govt, just after the defeat of LTTE in 2009. President Rajapaksa, who was in Anuradhapura on Sunday, arrived in Kilinochchi to distribute gold items which had been pawned by Tamil owners in so- called LTTE banks during the war. more..

Mahinda’s election and Rajapaksa future

Oct 20 (CT) No one wants an early presidential election, except the Rajapaksas. There is no national need or a popular clamour for an early election. The opposition is not demanding one. The SLFP and the UPFA are reportedly extremely unhappy about the prospect. But the Rajapaksas seem determined to hold a presidential election at the earliest possible constitutional time. Perhaps it is the stars. That superstition apart, two other reasons, both extremely rational, may be compelling more..

'Benefits of development not trickled down to the masses'

Oct 20 (NS) Chairman of the the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), C.V.K. Sivagnanam, says that the funds allocated to the council was very much less than what the Govt claimed it to be and denied accusations that the money allocated was underutilized. In an interview, Sivagnanam also spoke about the reasons behind the TNA’s absence at the recommencement ceremony of Yal Devi’s operations to Jaffna. more..

Wearing sackcloth and ashes as we apologise

Oct 20 (ST) Piquantly enough, this seems to be the week of apologies and confessions for Sri Lanka. First, we witnessed the nationalist JHU MP Rathana Thera’s confession in his capacity as convener of the Pivithuru Hetak (For a Better Tomorrow) movement, that it was wrong to have supported the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This was followed by ex-CJ Sarath Silva apologizing for judicial decision-making on his part in 2005. This somewhat cryptically worded apology more..

New avatar looms over Rama’s Bridge

Oct 20 (ST) It is not so much a few Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in the Palk Straits that Lanka will have to worry about but rather the resurrection this week of an Indian plan to dredge a canal through the narrow stretch of sea that separates India and Lanka which will enable future ships to give Lankan ports a welcome miss. On the cards is not the issue of a few TN boats in Lankan custody or a few TN fishermen in Lankan cells but an issue of more serious import which is set to more..

Sports minister contemplating resignation?

Oct 20 (AM) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said that he is fed up with his post to such a degree that he is contemplating retirement. He has said there was no dispute with the govt but there were recurring conflicts with many sports officials and associations that almost urge him to resign. However, he is not leaving as it would be interpreted as a conflict with the govt, Aluthgamage has added. more..

Editorial: What’s in a ban?

Oct 20 (Island) The EU General Court has recently held that no thorough examination had preceded the imposition of sanctions on the LTTE and ‘the contested measures [proscription etc.,] are based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, as required by Common Position 2001/931 and case-law but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet’. (Emphasis added) Far be it from us to question the learned judges’ wisdom. more..

Sri Lankan journalist lauds Haj services

Oct 20 (AN) A Sri Lankan journalist who has come for the Haj for the first time has expressed awe at the outstanding services rendered by the govt to pilgrims who had come from all parts of the globe. Badoordeen Mohammed Murshideen, who performed his maiden Haj this year, said that he never knew that such a gigantic plan has been drawn up by the Saudi govt to serve both foreign and local pilgrims. “From the airport to the holy sites, we were treated so well,” he noted. more..

'I’ve never had an audience like you !'

Oct 20 (ST) Lionel Richie is tired of the centrestage. He runs to the right ramp and parks himself in the middle. “This is my new favourite side,” he declares, and the audience to the right roars in approval. There’s a slight pause and then he’s running to the left ramp, positioning himself at approximately the same distance from centrestage. “And this is my other favourite spot!” he grins. The reason soon becomes apparent- more..

Kapil Dev tips Sri Lanka to win World Cup

Oct 20 (Island) World Cup winning former Indian captain Kapil Dev has tipped Sri Lanka to win next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. The former great was part of a discussion that India Today hosted titled ‘"Seven Wonders: All World Cup Winning Captains on One Platform". The former all-rounder, who led India to World Cup glory with a shock win in the final against the mighty West Indies in 1983 had high praise for the Sri Lankan cricket team. more..

Niluka and Thilini win Badminton Nationals

Oct 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Badminton Association’s annual flagship event, the National Badminton Championships was staged at the Jayathilaka Sports Complex in Nawalapitiya. This was the second consecutive year the event was staged out of its traditional location – Colombo. The organizers of this event had taken the initiative to enliven the contest by conducting the tournament on a grand scale. The new initiative also provided a novel experience to most of the players who more..

Brandix i3 opens new Innovation Center in Minnesota, USA

Oct 20 (FT) Brandix i3 further expanded operations in the US by opening its new ‘Innovation Center’ at the Minnesota Bio Business Center in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. The opening drew the participation of key representatives from the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, local community leaders, members, clinicians from several local healthcare facilities as well as key executives of the Brandix Group. more..

Rural bridges get $ 162 m boost

Oct 20 (FT) Deutsche Bank AG (London) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFG Ltd., has agreed to provide a credit facility of $ 162 million (over Rs. 21 billion) to finance the construction and rehabilitation of 537 rural bridges with lengths of 6 to 30 metres countrywide. Finance Ministry said the construction of these bridges will immensely facilitate the creation of opportunities for rural and estate communities residing in remote areas connecting with a number of other villages. more..

Take advantage of low labour costs

Oct 20 (CT) A top businessman says the country's taxation and labour regimes were conducive to investment although the tax structure was 'puzzling'. Chevron Texaco Global Lubricants, a US based locally incorporated company, Managing Director Kishu Gomez said that despite the country's tax structure which was puzzling, with different payments to many institutions involved, Sri Lanka had some of the lowest business friendly tax rates when it came to corporate & personal taxes. more..

Gammanpila says JHU will not support Wickremesinghe at presidential polls

Oct 20 (AM) Western Province Minister and JHU stalwart Udaya Gammanpila stated the JHU will not support opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe - who was once dubbed by the JHU as "Don Juan". Gammanpila added that if the govt is not ready to accept the proposals put forward for constitutional reform, and decides to call a presidential election instead, his party will have to look into an alternative step. more..

Plumbago signs largest graphite exploration drilling deal worth Rs. 56 m with GSMB

Oct 20 (FT) Plumbago Lanka recently announced that it has signed a landmark contract with the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) to the value of Rs. 56 million, the largest graphite exploration drilling contract signed to date with the GSMB. Under the terms of the contract the GSMB will provide Plumbago Lanka with the necessary drilling equipment and labour required to drill designated land areas in the Dambulla and Kurunegala region. more..

Global cross currents and local political trends

Oct 20 (CT) The verdict delivered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to lift restrictions imposed on one of the world's most ruthless terrorist organizations, the LTTE last Thursday raised many an eyebrow in Asian countries and sent shockwaves across the globe. The news of the verdict reached Colombo in the afternoon and security circles were busy checking the veracity of the news. The judgment came as a surprise with a ban continuing on the LTTE even in the Western region. more..

Emerging markets guru Mobius upbeat over Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (FT) Dr. Mark Mobius, widely considered one of the best emerging markets gurus, has expressed growing optimism over Sri Lanka, two top officials said. Executive Chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, Dr. Mobius was in Sri Lanka on Friday in his private jet on a planned visit arranged by CT CLSA Securities. He met with Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal and SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa. more..

Lakthilaka says ‘third term fight’ has limits

Oct 20 (NS) Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka says that the Lawyers for a Just Society will continue with its campaign to create awareness among the masses of the illegality of President Rajapaksa running for a third term for presidency. However, he acknowledges that there are limits to their struggle. Lakthilaka said that the question is not about whether the president can win, but whether he can contest. On legal grounds, he cannot contest because the 18th Amendment was passed more..

BOI represents Sri Lanka at WIF 2014

Oct 20 (DN) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena highlighted the importance of private sector engagement in achieving ‘Sustainable Development Goals’. Minister Yapa led the Sri Lankan delegation to the World Investment Forum 2014 (WIF) which was held recently in Geneva. Minister addressed the Ministerial Round Table as part of the Investment Forum. The event gathered over 30 ministers from many countries as well as heads of International Organizations to debate the need of more..

SL pays high price for north-south friendship

Oct 20 (ST) Transport Ministry is seeking an additional sum of Rs.6.8 billion from the Treasury to bridge over-spending on the Northern railway line which was opened by the President this week along with the resumption of the Yal Devi train service to Jaffna with much fanfare. Minister Kumar Welgama recently forwarded a cabinet memorandum seeking approval to present a supplementary estimate in parliament to get more..

International Day of Air Traffic Controllers

Oct 20 (Island) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was on a visit to Sri Lanka and on the 7th of September he joined President Rajapakse to open a new stage in the Katunayake International Airport. A long time ago, 1939 to be precise, 40,000 coconut trees of a Negombo hamlet were felled and a clearing was made to build a runway. It was the ‘Rule Britannia’ era. Today that strip is a sophisticated International Airport with a monthly load of more than 500,000 passengers going to and fro. more..

What’s there to ‘learn from Sri Lanka’, Asks MDMK Chief

Oct 20 (NIE) MDMK chief Vaiko here on Sunday termed the recent comment that ‘India has to learn a lot from the Sri Lankan Army’ by the Indian Defence Secretary “humiliating”. Vaiko also raised concern over the latest diplomatic move of the Centre towards Sri Lanka. Waving a copy of Express and showing the news report on Defence Secretary R K Mathur’s statement in the presence of Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa a few days ago, he asked, “The Sri Lankan Army had killed more..

Tit-for-tat: Govt officials boycott NPC programme

Oct 20 (ST) Central Govt officials boycotted a Northern Provincial Council mobile service, in what has been described as tit-for-tat, after Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran kept away from the District Development Council (DDC) meeting presided over by President Rajapaksa in Jaffna on Monday. The mobile service was organised in Nedunkerny in Vavuniya to resolve public problems related to land, passports, more..

UNP woos disenfranchised SF

Oct 20 (Island) Close on the heels of the Attorney General’s decision that Democratic Party (DP) leader General (rtd) Sarath Fonseka couldn’t exercise his franchise at the next national election, the UNP and former army chief’s party are exploring the possibility of involving the former army chief in the Opposition campaign. Well informed UNP sources said that talks would begin shortly. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilleke said that he couldn’t comment on the matter. more..

Indo-SL navies discuss maritime issues

Oct 20 (DM) The 24th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Navy / Coast Guard was held onboard SLNS Sagara at the Indo- Sri Lanka IMBL off Kankasanthurai. Sri Lanka Navy delegation was headed by the Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake. The Indian delegation was headed by Naval Officer in Command Commodore AK Mahadevan. Navy Headquarters said that Indo-SL IMBL more..

'UNP will stage Show of Force in Colombo next week'

Oct 20 (Island) In preparation for the forthcoming presidential election, the UNP has summoned those in charge of polling booths countrywide to Colombo. They’ll converge at Hyde Park on Oct 28 afternoon, in accordance with UNP’s overall strategy meant to be what newly appointed Deputy National Organizer, Harin Fernando called a ‘show of force’. Pointing out that the Hyde Park meeting would take place less than a week more..

Consensus on inter-country grid with SAARC countries

Oct 20 (BS) Union govt finalised a long-pending consensus over an inter-country grid connecting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries in a meeting held with the representatives in the annual meeting of Saarc energy ministers in New Delhi. The member nations, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and SL, arrived at a consensus on Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation, which has been pending since 2010. more..

'Lifting sanctions on LTTE benefits Killers'

Oct 20 (CT) The decision taken by the European Court of Justice to set aside the EU's restrictions on the LTTE was similar to releasing murderers, and such a decision will never be accepted by peace loving people, Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stressed. He added there were people who support the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora, both in Sri Lanka and abroad. There are those who want a resurgence of the LTTE to start collecting money and procure weapons. more..

TNA vs. MR: 'We have given up Eelam'

Oct 20 (CT) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan yesterday threw down a challenge to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, demanding for the latter to abolish the executive presidential system, claiming the TNA had given up the demand for Eelam. Speaking to our sister paper Mawbima, the TNA leader said his Party and all Tamil political leaders and the majority of the Tamil Diaspora had given up the concept of Eelam. more..

Govt faces its moment of truth

Oct 20 (DM) JHU MP and the ‘Pivithuru Hetak’ (Clean Tomorrow) National Council leader, Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera dropped a political bombshell to a packed audience, including several ministers and opposition leaders at the main hall of the BMICH last week. The outspoken monk, in a hard-hitting speech, said he was presenting the 19th Amendment with sweeping reforms to the Executive Presidential system. He warned that if the main proposals in 19th Amendment were not more..

The poor have suffered enough!

Oct 20 (DM) Living a lavish life is a dream for anyone and everyone on earth. Yet, unfortunately, not many can see this dream come to reality within their lifespan. While some are fortunate enough to travel in SUVs and dine out at the best hotels in the world, many others are destined to walk till their soles wear off and thrive on a slice of bread and a few drops of water. The unequal distribution of power, wealth and resources has been responsible for the millions of lives that are left to die, more..

'EU ban on Tigers lifted to influence Tamil voters at next presidential election'

Oct 20 (Island) Following last week’s ruling by the General Court of the European Union that the proscription of the LTTE should be reversed, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa alleged that the move was meant to ensure UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe would receive the support of pro-LTTE voters at the next presidential election. EU announced its decision to proscribe the LTTE on May 30, 2006 more..

Students implicate PS member

Oct 20 (SL) A set of Sabaragamuwa university students who were engaged in a Satyagraha campaign came under attack about a week back adding to the list of incidents of assault targeting university students. The students alleged that a local Pradeshiya Sabha member namely Indika Jayamanna was directly involved in the incident and the students pointed the finger at the Higher Education Minister for being behind more..

Ebola: Don’t panic but be ready

Oct 20 (ST) Is Sri Lanka ready for the Ebola virus? This is what is on the minds of a large number of doctors, as public concern grows with this virus spreading in several continents. In Sri Lanka, people do not know the gravity of Ebola and its deadly trail, pointed out many doctors while there were mixed reactions whether the virus (Ebola Virus Disease) would come to this country. While some felt that it would only be a matter of time more..

Trinco Port to become industrial harbour

Oct 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is now planning to transform the Trincomalee Port, which is one of the biggest natural harbours in the world, into an industrial port. “As the port is not seeing much exploitation as of current, we have decided to bring into existence a strategy that will see future benefits to the country’s economical status,” SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama said recently. more..

SL has no lab to test organically grown food

Oct 20 (Island) A large scale racket carried out by some leading agrochemical companies claiming to produce organic rice sold at supermarkets has surfaced as there is neither a laboratory to test those products nor a competent authority to certify them. National Project for the Prevention of Kidney Disease Director Dr. Channa Jayasumana said that some agrochemical companies had been supplying more..

'Over 15000 people without NICs in Trinco'

Oct 20 (AM) CaFFE has revealed that there are over 15 157 eligible voters without national identity cards in the Trincomalee district. During a discussion between Trincomalee District Secretary, Divisional Secretaries, Head of the Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) and representatives of Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR). Meeting was held 17th of Oct as a precursor to a series of mobile clinics to more..