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Agriculture: Old is best

Oct 21 (CT) Research, conducted by a group of Ruhuna University undergraduates, has shown that traditional agriculture methods give better productivity than that where chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used. Ravi Dickmadugoda, an undergraduate involved in the research, said they were involved in related research work for a period of three months. It was also found that rice produced by using traditional agriculture methods was more nutritious. more..

The gang rape of a 14 year old school girl...

Oct 21 (CT) Ceylon Today records a shocking story of how a 14 year old girl was gang raped by 'influential' men who managed to get bail in Court for a non-bailable offence under the Penal Code. Police had not objected to bail for the 'influential' except for the cashier of the hotel who was remanded. According to police, cashier had only concealed information that a minor was brought to the hotel. He had not raped the girl. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.7%

Oct 21 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.72% lower with banking stocks losing ground despite net foreign buying, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 52.29 points lower at 7,161.16, down 0.72%. The S&P SL20 closed 25.09 points lower at 3,983.07, down 0.63%. Turnover was 898.24 million rupees, up from 864.49 million rupees a day earlier with 35 stocks closed positive against 160 negative. First Capital Holdings closed 2.50 rupees lower at 50.40 rupees and Madulsima Plantations closed more..

Akila enters wedlock

Oct 21 (Island) The govt yesterday congratulated UNP MP Akila Wiraj Kariyawasam on his entering into wedlock with Utthara Wijenayake. MP Kariyawasam’s wedding was held at Mount Lavinia Hotel yesterday and a large number of Opposition MPs had attended the wedding before coming to Parliament. Senior Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama commencing Second Reading debate on Land Bill said: ‘I have something special to say before commencing the debate. more..

Ganasara thera says BBS will not contest presidential election

Oct 21 (AM) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thera denied media reports claiming that the BBS will contest the forthcoming presidential election. Gnanasara thera said such reports were false and they are aiming to create a confusion. “BBS has no intension of presenting a candidate for the presidential election and we have not extend our support to any political party”, more..

The danger of the third term: South Korean experience

Oct 21 (CT) UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, appears to be quite naïve to talk about the winning prospects of the UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, against President Rajapaksa, without challenging the ‘illegality and immorality’ of the incumbent contesting for a third term. As many have already pointed out, his statement was an indirect legitimation of Rajapaksa candidacy for a third term. Then the party had to do some damage control. more..

Govt urged to have a regulatory friendly environment to facilitate SMS’s growth

Oct 21 (LBO) Govt urged to create a friendly regulatory framework to drive the growth of the small and medium enterprises in the island, chamber chief said. “Tilt the policy framework in favor of SME’s,” Suresh Shah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. “This is only fair since many other factors are tilted against them,” “Let the policy framework facilitates growth of firms both into the SME sector and out of it. Most importantly make it easy for SME’s to do business and grow.” more..

Video: Balasuriya vows to combat drugs and crime

Oct 21 (DM) Former IGP Mahinda Balasuriya who assumed duties today as the new Law and Order Ministry Secretary vowed to combat drugs and organised crime in the country. “We have identified that these factors are a main obstacle that prevents people from carry out their day to activities. We will take steps to arrest drug traffickers and criminals who are involved in these activities,” he said. more..

Thorough security checks in Parliament on Oct. 23

Oct 21 (Island) Rest rooms, lockers of MPs and the whole Parliament complex would be inspected on Thursday in view of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budget speech on Friday, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced in the House yesterday. On the day the President is scheduled to deliver the budget speech, galleries of Parliament would be restricted strictly to invitees. The car park of the MPs would be kept closed and the vehicles of MPs would be directed to the relevant car parks. more..

Mohan De Alwis: new Sri Lanka Consul General in Toronto

Oct 21 (LR) Mohan De Alwis Sri Lanka’s new Consul General here says he is keen on developing trade ties with Toronto, home to one of the largest expatriate communities. De Alwis who comes from a strong business background was the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation’s CEO prior to his appointment to Toronto. “I look forward to working with all Sri Lankans in the Greater Toronto Area,” De Alwis said. “I hope to bring about togetherness and harmony among the Sri Lankan community.” more..

Protesters demand higher salaries in SL

Oct 21 (Xinhua) Trade unions affiliated to Sri Lanka's opposition took to the streets, demanding a salary increase, an official said on Tuesday. Hundreds of protesters representing trade unions affiliated to the main opposition party, the UNP, gathered in downtown Colombo. They were demanding an increase of 10,000 rupees in salaries for all 1.3 million of Sri Lanka's public workers in the govt's budget presentation on Friday. more..

More rain consigns game to draw

Oct 21 (CI) A rain-hit game was further interrupted on the fourth day by showers, allowing only 25 overs of play and the game meandered to a draw. In that time, Sri Lanka A's batsmen could not get going once again, as the team went from an overnight 63 for 4 to 161 for 9. The innings was in particular strife at 103 for 7, but Niroshan Dickwella and Tharindu Kaushal produced cameos to ensure they lasted the day. For West Indies A, part-time offspinner Jermaine Blackwood finished more..

Pharmacy dispensing pain killers to kids raided

Oct 21 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday raided a pharmacy situated in Wolfendhal Street, Colombo 13, which dispensed vitamin B12 syrup and painkillers without doctors’ prescription. Media Secretary of the Ministry of Co-orporatives and Internal Trade, Nipun Ekanayake said that vitamin B12 was prescribed by doctors as an energy giver and to increase the apatite of patients, while the pain killer was a tablet given to patients following surgeries. more..

Drought drives 42% crash in crop production in Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (TRF) An 11-month drought, considered by experts to be the worst in recent history, has forced sharp increases in food prices in Sri Lanka – and the worst may be yet to come, according to recent updates. Rice, island’s staple food, has seen double digit price hikes in all varieties compared to a year ago. Some of the more popular varieties such as Samba have recorded price increases of 30% compared to a year back, more..

Nutmeg production hit by blight

Oct 21 (Island) Destruction of the nutmeg plant by a blight in the Kandy district has caused alarm among the nutmeg producers and the authorities of the district. The blight has already caused heavy damage to the nutmeg production in the district. It causes the leaves of the nutmeg plant to drop and the nuts shrink. As the crop failed the nutmeg producers of the district have lost their revenue by many folds this season. Nutmeg is a popular cultivation and money spinner in the Kandy more..

Dhoni opts out of first three Sri Lanka ODIs

Oct 21 (CI) MS Dhoni has opted out of the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka, citing the need for a break to freshen up ahead of the tour of Australia and the World Cup. Virat Kohli will stand in as captain, and Wriddhiman Saha, who scored a century in the IPL final earlier this year, will take care of wicketkeeping duties. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been rested, making way for Varun Aaron. Sri Lanka are touring India as a replacement for West Indies, whose players refused to more..

With eye on China, India to step up military ties with Sri Lanka and Maldives

Oct 21 (TOI) India will further step-up defence cooperation with Sri Lanka and Maldives, including assistance in "capacity-building" of their armed forces through both training and supply of equipment, in tune with the overall policy to steadily boost military ties with countries in Indian Ocean to counter China's strategic inroads in the region. Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Monday held a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan more..

Sri Lanka represented at the largest SME Fair in the Asia Pacific region in Guangzhou

Oct 21 (GDI) Sri Lanka participated for the first time at the 11th edition of the China International SME Fair (CISMEF) in Guangzhou from 11 to 14 Oct 2014. The Sri Lanka Pavilion was jointly organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Guangzhou and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and had strong representation from business leaders of the SME sector, showcasing premium products from thrust export sectors such as gems and jewellery, tea and spices, handicrafts, more..

BCCI finalises venues for SL tour

Oct 21 (CI) Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad will be the venues for Sri Lanka's five-match ODI series in India early next month. In return for Sri Lanka Cricket agreeing to step in after West Indies pulled out of their India tour, the BCCI has agreed to tour Sri Lanka in July-August 2015. Sri Lanka were scheduled to tour India for Tests next year, but the BCCI has accepted SLC's proposal of swapping countries for that trip. Cuttack was scheduled to host the only T20 more..

Iran, SL underscore expansion of relations

Oct 21 (FNA) Iranian and Sri Lankan officials voiced their enthusiasm for widening and deepening of Tehran-Colombo ties in all domains. In a meeting between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour and SL Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris on Monday, the two officials underscored that expansion of bilateral ties has been always atop agenda both countries. Rahimpour underlined progressive trend politico-economic relations more..

Pacers, Chetty give SA Women series 2-1

Oct 21 (CI) A sharp performance from South Africa Women's pacers, combined with a fifty from opener Trisha Chetty gave the team a 2-1 series win in the fourth and final ODI of the series against Sri Lanka Women in Colombo. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 137 after they were put in to bat and South Africa chased the total down with five wickets in hand, and more than 15 overs to spare. Sri Lanka were rocked early when medium-pacer Shabnim Ismail took the first two wickets in her consecutive overs, more..

G.L rejects allegations over Kshenuka

Oct 21 (CG) Minister G L Peiris has strongly rejected “malicious news reports” appearing in certain sections of the media recently, imputing impropriety on the part of the Secretary to the Ministry, Kshenuka Senewiratne in the award of a contract for the renovation of the official residence of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva. Minister Peiris has stated that while wrongdoing should not go unpunished, it is important to ensure that officials performing their public duty more..

PM assures no exodus from govt

Oct 21 (Island) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne at a meeting of the Kandy district ruling party political leadership on Saturday expressed confidence that no one from the govt would cross over to the UNP. Govt with the leadership of President Rajapaksa was strong and stable having won the confidence and blessings of the people of the country, Jayaratne said. UNP’s claim that many stalwarts of Rajapaksa govt were about to more..

JHU and MR discuss demands of JHU

Oct 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa met the JHU today and discussed the demands put forward to the Govt by the JHU. At the talks it was decided to appoint a committee to evaluate a set of proposals submitted to the Govt by the JHU. The President’s office said that more talks will be held in future between the JHU and the Govt regarding the proposals. The JHU had recently warned that it will not hesitate to back another common candidate at the next Presidential elections if more..

University students attacked with tear gas and water canons

Oct 21 (NS) The Police prevented another attempt by university students to reach the Parliament premises in a march of thousands of students this evening. Police Anti-riot Squad had to fire tear gas and water cannons on students who were marching towards the Parliament premises. IUSF had organized the protest march and students began their march at the Nelum Pokuna premises and had planned to reach the Parliament protesting against suppression of student activism more..

Tuna importers surprised over EU ban on Sri Lanka, warn of market impact

Oct 21 (UCN) Two European importers of Sri Lankan tuna expressed surprise at the timing of the European ban on fisheries imports from Sri Lanka. UK-based Le Lien, which has a plant in Sri Lanka, and French fresh tuna specialist Comptoirs Oceaniques, which has a long historical sourcing arrangement with the country, warned of the measures’ “devastating impact” on livelihoods in the Asian nation. more..

Developing the varied resources of the Eastern Province

Oct 22 (ST) The potential for developing the Eastern Province’s varied resources is immense. As in the North, a political solution to the ethnic discontent is an essential precondition for sustainable economic development of the Eastern Province that has the most diverse ethnic and religious composition. Regaining peaceful conditions has provided an environment for economic development. New economic activities and modes of production have to be designed and effectively implemented more..

The size of the Cabinet and the allocation of departments to ministries

Oct 22 (CT) Northcote Parkinson in his book published in the 1980s gave the size of the Cabinet of Ministers in several countries in 1978.It was seven in Switzerland, 12 in the USA,20 in Great Britain and France, 37 in the USSR and 44 in China. He says that the coefficient of inefficiency must lie between 19 and 22. He says we should draw a line under the 20 for beyond that number the Cabinet is not the real seat of power. In such countries there is an inner Cabinet or more..

Enormous potential for aquaculture

Oct 22 (SO) Half of the total global seafood supply for human consumption is now produced by aquaculture. In Sri Lanka, commercial scale aquaculture is still at an early stage of development, with commercial shrimp, fresh water fish, and ornamental fish farming being the main areas practiced in Sri Lanka. Since there are vast natural resources and suitable environmental conditions available for aquaculture, more..

Crime to call President an Ekadhipathiya?

Oct 22 (CT) On the 19th Oct 2014 BBC Sinhala Service broadcast, UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, complained that there was a plan to assassinate him due to his participation in a televised debate. On air, he had provided details of the information he had received regarding the alleged assassination plan. Replying to these allegations, Cabinet Minister Johnston Fernando, said that Ranjan Ramanayake had called the President - who had saved the nation – an ekathipathiya (authoritarian ruler) more..

Did the European Court of Justice slip Mahinda a trump card?

Oct 22 (NS) Here’s the ‘word on the street’ or rather ‘word on the walls’ on Saturday October 18, 2014: ‘hqfrdamd ix.uh LTTE ;yku bj;a lrhs rks,a hqfrdamfhka jev wrUhs.’ (The EU lifts LTTE ban – Ranil embarks (on campaign) from Europe).’ It is a neat juxtaposition. The first part is true in part. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE but did so with an important rider, ‘on fundamentally procedural grounds’ with the decision more..

TNA not decided on presidential polls - Sumanthiran

Oct 22 (CT) Q: What is your opinion on the European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulling the restrictive measures taken against the LTTE ? A: The European Court of Justice in its verdict has stated that the objective test which had been carried out by the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member States , the UK and the Netherlands were unsatisfactory in the decision taken on proscribing the LTTE. more..

Both cand dates will win

Oct 22 (SL) We are living in interesting times. But as Chinese wisdom holds, there is a curse on interesting times. This Confucian wisdom has come down unchallenged for five millennia and probably guides mighty China today. No doubt election times are interesting times. But one wrong prediction about the winner or loser in the forthcoming election and you will be kaput for the next six years. Thus, when we were asked by dyed deep blue UPFA activist: ‘So, how-how, do you think more..

DMK’s Thi Mu Ka factor

Oct 22 (NS) Much focus has been given to Tamil Nadu and its political environment which took an unexpected turn when its chief minister was put behind bars after having been found guilty of corruption. A lot has been said about the future of AIADMK after Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s prison sentence.Another factor that is being debated is the possibility of DMK re-establishing its dominance using the vacuum created by Jayalalithaa’s absence. The DMK has been a force to be more..


Oct 22 (CT) What appeared to be an about-turn on the issue of the executive presidency, CP stalwart, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara disclosed that the executive presidency was only one issue of the many. In a dramatic turn of events, the Communist Party now seems to track on a path with the UPFA, which Gunasekara claimed as 'going by the realities'. On the issue of the incumbent President seeking a third term, more..

Editorial: An insidious killer

Oct 22 (Island) Much concern has been expressed about the presence of high levels of arsenic etc. in some food items in this country. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease has also been attributed to water contaminated with heavy metals among other things. Scientists, doctors and the media have succeeded in raising the level of public awareness of the dangers of heavy metals and other harmful substances in the widely used agrochemicals. But, the danger posed by lead has apparently more..

Nobel Prizes, Spices and Steroid Hormones

Oct 22 (Island) On my return from Lanzhou, Gansu Province in China after attending The 3rd International Culture Industry Summit (ICIS) & The 7th International Culture Expo from the 8th to 11th Oct, I commenced catching up on the issues of THE ISLAND, which had appeared during my absence. In the issue of 7th Oct 2014, I came across an article with the intriguing title "Nobel Season opens with Snowden, chili research spicing up predictions’. This attracted my attention since during more..

The JHU critiques the Rajapakse Presidency

Oct 22 (GV) The barbs and criticisms of a political ally can in politics often do greater damage than even the more forthright criticism of an opponent. The reason for this has all to do with political constituency. When the opposition criticizes the Rajapakse presidency, it resonates mainly with those that are already politically in disagreement with the president anyway and is only effective to the extent that it actually is deemed more..

People’s Bank cuts pawning exposure by Rs.120bn

Oct 22 (DM) The second largest state sector bank, People’s Bank has cut its pawning exposure by as much as Rs.120 billion from January 2013 through Sept 30, 2014, but said the bank is actively encouraging the loans against the precious metal, which is losing its glory days. End of Dec 2012, People’s Bank – the largest gold-backed lender in the country – had a gold-backed lending portfolio of Rs.250.8 billion, which accounted for 33.9% of its total advances. more..

Food poisoning in factories: Are we ignoring the larger picture?

Oct 22 (ST) As is often the case, the death of an employee, Ms.S. Gunawathie, of “Next” export manufacturing facility in the Katunayake EPZ on Sept 7, after she was admitted to the Negombo District Hospital, blew up large with some who thought they could capture headlines and then fizzled off, leaving the FTZ and General Services employees union to fight for compensation. Her death was due to a rupture of a blood vessel in her brain, according to the Consultant JMO, more..