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Tourism caught napping by northern travel restrictions

Oct 22 (ST) When top US trade official, Michael Delaney, the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and South Asia, visited Colombo this week for official talks with local counterparts, he was impressed by the level of development and the opportunities for US companies in infrastructure development. He was in particular enthusiastic about the surge in tourism which has grown to over a million arrivals more..

Vintage Teas moves Court for recall of search warrant and summons

Oct 22 (FT) President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe appearing on behalf of Vintage Teas Ceylon Ltd. on 17 October supported an application before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to have a summons and search warrant issued on a plaint filed by The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd. recalled on the basis that the complainant had obtained the search warrant and summons on a suppression of material facts and that therefore the complainant was not entitled in law to the relief prayed for. more..

'Learn from us to balance budget'

Oct 22 (CT) Highlighting the wage structure and low charges by the security industry of the country, a retired military official says that the Treasury Secretary should learn from the security services industry to manage the budget and deficit, claiming that they have mastered the art of balancing their budgets. Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLSSPA) Vice President Col. (Rtd) Jayavi Fenando told a CEO form in Colombo that security firms were managing more..

Parliament nod for DFCC-NDB merger

Oct 22 (FT) Paving the way for the proposed merger of DFCC Bank, DFCC Vardhana Bank and NDB Bank, the Repeal and Consequential Provisions Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday. Moving the bill that delivered the provisions for the registering of DFCC Bank as a public limited company with the name DFCC Bank PLC and to provide for the provisions consequential to such registration by repealing the DFCC Bank more..

DC issues Interim Order against former CEO of Serene Pavilions

Oct 22 (FT) The Colombo District Court issued an Interim Injunction against Anura Lokuhetty, the former CEO of luxury resort Serene Pavilions. The Plaintiff Serene Pavilions instituted litigation in the District Court alleging inter alia that the Defendant Lokuhetty was wrongfully representing himself as the CEO of Serene Pavilions consequent to being terminated from employment in August 2013. After considering extensive submissions made by parties, the District Court made more..

Four-legged, two-legged jumbos figure in Parliament

Oct 22 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday members of parliament should be able to distinguish the difference between ‘two’ and ‘four’. Speaker made this observation when UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said that there were two types of elephants- quadrupeds and bipeds in response to a remark made by Wildlife Conservation Minister Vijith Vijyamuni Zoysa, who said that an elephant problem was prevailing in Hambantota owing to actions of MP Sajith Premadasa. more..

'Equally important to promote private sector education'

Oct 22 (Island) ‘While protecting free education in the country, it is equally important to promote private sector education said Minister S.B. Dissanayake when he declared open a partnership venture between Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Nawaloka College of Higher Studies (NCHS). Speaking at the ceremonial launch in Colombo yesterday he said he believes that global education is of paramount more..

Live telecast of P’liment proceedings to return with Budget

Oct 22 (FT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa gave the approval to recommence live telecast of Parliament proceedings starting with this Friday’s Budget Speech. In response to a question raised by Opposition MP Ravi Karunanayake in the House, the Speaker has taken the decision to allow the live telecast in consultation with Party Leaders. Use of abusive language and unruly behaviour will terminate the transmission. The disruptive behaviour of certain members who violate the rights of more..

IRANU slams Wiggy, Ranil

Oct 22 (CT) The TNA and Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, by boycotting development projects in the North and the East, are working against the people's welfare, the Inter Religious Alliance for National Unity (IRANU) charged.Presidential Coordinator for Religious Affairs and IRANU Co-President/Co-Chairman, Father Sarath Hettiarachchi, said Wigneswaran had not even participated in the maiden journey of the re-established Colombo-Jaffna Yal Devi train. more..

Hindus asked not to deviate from spiritual life

Oct 22 (Island) The All Ceylon Hindu Congress issuing a Deepavali message has called on the Hindus not to deviate from spiritual life. Full text of the message: Yet our people have not been blessed to celebrate it. However they should engage in the prayers without deviating from their divine way of life. Mere lighting of the lamps will not be sufficient but they should light the divine light in their hearts and pray to His Almighty. more..

National Chamber bilateral session with UK High Commissioner

Oct 22 (FT) High Commissioner of UK will be the special guest speaker at a session on ‘Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and UK’ on Wednesday 29 October from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chamber Auditorium No. 450 D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10. High Commissioner will be accompanied by UK High Commission UK Head of Trade and Investment Gary Leslie. They will speak on the current business trend, trade potential, opportunities for export, import, investment more..

Allianz Lanka supports para athletes at 2014 Asian Para Games

Oct 22 (DN) 75 Sri Lankan athletes met the qualifying criteria for participation in the 2014 Asian Para Gamesthat begin on 18 October in Incheon, South Korea. Also known as the Second Asian Para Games, the 2014 Asian Para Games is a multi-sports event for Asian athletes with disabilities, held in parallel with the Asian Games. About 4,500 athletes from 41 countries will be competing in 23 sports events that is held from October 18 to 24th. Sports in which the Sri Lanka contingent more..

Sanga may miss India tour

Oct 22 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara has sustained a niggle in his spine while training and it might rule him out of the hastily-arranged five-match ODI Series against India if he fails to recover in time for the tour which starts in ten days, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya revealed. He admitted it would be great blow to lose the experienced star batsman for a difficult tour, but said they hope to bring in young wicket keeper more..

Sri Lanka takes anti-discrimination stride

Oct 22 (GNZ) Sri Lanka has, for the first time ever, acknowledged the non-discrimination provisions in its constitution protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Statement came in responses from the SL Govt to recommendations for reform during the country’s review by the UNHRC. Executive Director of Sri Lankan lgbti group Equal Ground, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, says it’s a positive outcome which takes the sting out of anti-gay more..

5 held for theatre bomb attacks in Kaththi

Oct 22 (TOI) Police on Tuesday arrested five members of the TPDK outfit for attacking two movie theatres in the city with crude petrol bombs in protest against the release of the film 'Kaththi' (Knife), starring Vijay, over the producers' alleged links to SL President Rajapaksa. Several Tamil groups have been protesting the past week against the release of the movie, stating that the promoters of Lyca Productions were close to Rajapaksa who activists hold responsible more..

'China, Japan say give us the fish'

Oct 22 (DN) Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said Japan and China, and two ‘major’ foreign companies, have already expressed interest in sourcing fisheries products from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will be cut off from a slice of the seafood market, the European Union, starting next January as part of the EU’s apparent sanctions on Lankan fish produce on ostensible grounds of conservation. more..

Deepavali, a day of great religious fervour and festivity - President

Oct 22 (DN) I am pleased to send this message on the occasion of Deepavali, which marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, according to the Lunar Calendar, and is a day of great religious fervour and festivity for the Hindu community, states President Rajapaksa in a Deepavali message.“The festival of Deepavali, or Festival of Lights, celebrates the victory of Goodness over Evil and Light over darkness. It is thus the deeper celebration of the Light of Knowledge over the Darkness of more..

Govt. to investigate attack on protesting fishermen

Oct 22 (DM) The govt would investigate the attack on the fishermen who were staging a protest in front of the Fisheries Ministry in Maligawatte yesterday, an official said. "The govt is very concerned about the attack on the innocent fishermen and decided to launch impartial inquiry into the attack," a govt spokesman said, while expressing concern over the attack. Stones and some other objects had been thrown at the protesting fishermen who were expressing their objection to issues more..

SL's snap poll casts doubt on Pope's visit

Oct 22 (UCAN) Catholic Church in Sri Lanka on Tuesday asked the govt to clarify its plans for a snap presidential election, amid fears the polls will scupper a planned visit by the Pope. Sri Lanka has not yet announced an election date, but the country’s information minister said Monday that the polls would be held in January, the same month that Pope Francis is due to visit. Church had earlier said it would be "inappropriate" for Pope to more..

Sri Lanka series may offset revenue shortfall

Oct 22 (Hindu) The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s revenue shortfall from its home broadcast partner STAR Sports — following the cessation of the series against the West Indies — would have been in excess of Rs. 200 crore. In normal circumstances BCCI would have earned revenue of a little over Rs. 360 crore if the full series had been played. The ongoing agreement between BCCI and STAR Sports, as part of a six-year contract (2012-18), would have resulted in a receipt of more..

'Doctors’ channelling fees will be regulated'

Oct 22 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Prof. Senaka Bibile 36th Commemorative Ceremony at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute condemned some doctors for charging extortionate fees. He said some doctors charged as much as Rs. 8,000 to 9,000 per person. Therefore, new rules and regulations to maintain a fee structure would be introduced for both the govt and private sector doctors, her stressed. Minister Sirisena said that when he wanted to more..

Prof. Peiris defends Kshenuka’s role

Oct 22 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris strongly defended Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne as regards the renovation of the official residence of the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2009. "Extensive publicity has been given during the last few days to a series of allegations that Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, has been guilty of impropriety in connection with more..

Give up veto for world peace

Oct 22 (DM) United Nations Day will be celebrated worldwide on Friday – marking the 69th anniversary of the world body that is widely accepted but unfortunately not so widely respected because of several political, economic and structural factors. Set up in the aftermath of the Second World War where millions were killed in one of humanity’s worst acts of madness, the UN indeed has played an important role in preventing a third world war which would be apocalyptic because more..

Increasing number of Cerebral Palsy patients

Oct 22 (DM) Recent statistics show that an estimated 40,000 people suffer from Cerebral Palsy in Sri Lanka. When this figure is compared with the 33,000 Australians suffering from Cerebral Palsy in a country with a similar population of 20 million, the situation in Sri Lanka cannot be considered as favourable. “In under-developed and developing countries like Sri Lanka, we see an increased number of children with Athetoid type of Cerebral Palsy which is caused by infection after birth. more..

18th Amendment: can Mahinda contest for the third term

Oct 22 (DM) Controversy has arisen in the political arena regarding the upcoming presidential election. According to the existing law, a person can hold the office of president twice. But with the 18th Amendment this position was changed. It enables a person to contest for the third time as well. Some of the legal luminaries are of the view that President Rajapaksa can contest for the third time while some say he cannot as this has more..

Court issues notice on AG

Oct 22 (CT) Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Attorney General with regard to the case against the 33 Northern and Eastern PC members, on 30 Oct. Bench issued the notice after considering a petition, filed against these members, complaining that they are signatories to a letter sent to the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, titled "Joint letter by Members of Northern and Eastern PCs." more..

Watering corruption

Oct 22 (SL) The Irrigation Department has come under severe criticism for releasing water from Parakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa to safeguard interests of a sibling of a powerful politician in the District thereby depriving farmers, who live along either side of the downstream, of water for their agriculture purposes. Irrigation Department has succumbed to political pressure & allow Hotel Sudu Araliya more..

EU red card on local fishing has Govt. reeling in frantically

Oct 22 (ST) Govt this week was making hurried plans to enact several regulations, in a bid to stay an upcoming European Union (EU) ban on the export of Sri Lankan marine products, but industry stakeholders said that the efforts were too little, too late. The EU has already issued a red card to Sri Lanka’s authorities with a grace period of three months to regulate the modus operandi of local fishermen, or face a total ban. more..

Aravinda’s safe opened; valuables, cash stolen

Oct 22 (Island) Former SL batsman Aravinda de Silva and his wife had a rude shock yesterday when they arrived at their Thurstan Road residence after holidaying in the UK. They found, to their horror, someone had opened their safe and removed all the valuables and cash they had kept there. Cricketer turned businessman has told police that the secret number to open the safe was known only to him, his wife and his mother. more..

JVP Leader takes up cinema cause: Govt. says everything under control

Oct 22 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said in Parliament that Lankan cinema industry was in its death throes as the government did nothing to help film artistes. Dissanayake, making a special statement, said the Sri Lankan cinema turned 67 this year but the industry was in shambles. From 1947 to 1972 the industry had been in the hands of private sector and as a solution to various problems National Film more..

Video : Ranil’s tour in London did not impinge on EU Court ruling : UNP

Oct 22 (DM) The UNP yesterday rejected the allegation that there was an invisible connection between the European Union General Court’s ruling to lift sanctions on the LTTE and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s trip to London. The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on the LTTE on October 16. The LTTE had been named a terrorist organisation by the EU in 2006. UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne said the party had nothing to more..

Govt says provided info to EU

Oct 22 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt today said it has already commenced the process of providing information to the relavent parties in relation to the EU court order on the LTTE sanctions. The Ministry of External Affairs said it was surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by the LTTE in 2011 at the General Court of the European Union in which the Council of the European Union was more..

UNP and EU discuss LTTE ban and fish

Oct 22 (CG) The UNP had talks with the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Head of Delegation David Daly on the EU court order over the sanctions imposed on the LTTE as well as EU moves to ban fish imports from Sri Lanka from next year. UNP LC chairman Karu Jayasuriya said that the UNP felt it had a responsibility to discuss the issue with the EU, particularly the issue on the sanctions on the LTTE. Govt has been pointing fingers more..

'Govt. abusing Ports authority funds, staff, premises for presidential election'

Oct 22 (Island) The Security Training Centre of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) at Slave Island was being used by the govt to prepare propaganda material for the presidential election, the UNP charged. R. Yogarajan, one of the four UNP MPs who visited the SLPA training facility yesterday morning on being tipped off that state resources were being used to prepare propaganda material for Rajapaksa’s re-election bid, more..

'Closer security ties with Lanka will be seen as major diplomatic blunder'

Oct 22 (ANI) National Committee Head of the Naam Tamilar Party (NTP), Ayyanathan, said that the NDA Govt must not commit a major diplomatic blunder by cementing 'so-called' security ties in the south with Sri Lanka and China. "So far, India has been telling that for our southern security, we need to have Sri Lanka on our side. Chinese are already in control of the southern tip of Sri Lanka, soon they will move closer. Now, what is the point in saying that this is for our security. more..

A presidency under threat: Money, populism and electoral considerations

Oct 22 (CT) When I wrote about corruption last week, I concentrated on the structural absurdities that have been introduced into the allocation of development funding. Given the blatant deployment of this for electoral purposes, many politicians have the liberty to award contracts for projects as seems most beneficial to them, rather than the people they are supposed to serve. And while of course some development will occur, and perhaps a lot in some areas, the bottom line is that more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Security Companies are an integral part of Country’s economic development: Official

Oct 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s private security companies are important stakeholders and an integral element in the ongoing nation building exercise, an official said in a media release. “The private security companies of this country are important stakeholders and an integral element in the ongoing nation building exercise and as such the CEO’s of these organizations bear a vital role of accountability and responsibility in reaching the country’s development goals.” more..

Sri Lanka to conduct a survey on loss properties and lands in Northern Province

Oct 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has taken steps to conduct a survey on people who have lost their properties and land in the Northern Province from 1980 due to terrorism, a media release said. The ministry says all Sri Lankan citizens who have lost their property and land are requested to submit details and forward such information to the Defence and Urban Development Ministry at 15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha, Colombo 3. more..

Sri Lanka: Cherished signs of yore

Oct 22 (NZH) "Move one small step to your left," suggests a senior hotel executive. "Now you're standing exactly where it happened." The bloodstains disappeared many years ago but I'm assured I'm where the victim knelt when he was executed. The scene of this murder most foul is now one of Colombo's classiest boutique hotels - in a country where historic lodgings are thick on the ground. 10-room Tintagel and others of its more..