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Risky business of price controls and guaranteed prices

Oct 23 (DM) The anticipated national elections have spawned a spate of misguided and unaffordable claims and counter claims. There have been calls for price controls for ‘essential commodities’ and a higher guaranteed price for paddy farmers as well as the introduction of a guaranteed price for fish. When considering such requests, it is important to learn from the mistakes of the past. Repeating policies, which have undermined the development of the country and ultimately imposed more..

Sri Lanka Army to assist Bangladesh Army to set up a women corps unit

Oct 23 (SLA) Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, currently in Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh’s Chief of Army Staff, General Iqbal Bhuiyan began his itinerary on Sunday by placing a floral wreath at the Shikha Anirban (Eternal Flame) memorial at Dhaka Cantonment in Bangladesh. Next, was his visit to the Senakunja, Station Headquarters, Dhaka Cantonment where a smart contingent of more..

A’pura period Buddha’s footprint found at Kosgoda temple

Oct 23 (Island) Anuradhapura Period stone slab on which the Buddha’s footprint is carved has been found from Ganegodella Purana Rajamaha Vihara in Kosgoda. Director General of Department of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake told The Island that artifacts of early Anuradhapura Period were rare in the South. "Both feet of the Buddha have been carved on the surface of the stone slab and between them is a carving of chatra (an umbrella or parasol) indicating that it more..

Damaged Adikarigoda mosque restored to its former glory

Oct 23 (MoD) Cementing the existing religious amity further and setting an example for continuous harmonious living, the Army-renovated badly damaged Masjidun Noor Mosque alias Adikarigoda Mosque at Aluthgama was reopened and facilitated again for conduct of prayers during a simple ceremony Friday evening, giving pride of place for religious observances. In June this year, ethnic tensions that erupted in Beruwala-Aluthgama areas caused extensive damages to the mosque, more..

Close range firing of tear gas against international protocols says undergrads

Oct 23 (CT) Not heeding the international manufacturer Norinco's warnings on the metal tear gas canisters stating that they should never be fired at close range or directly at persons, police opened fire at close range at the unarmed students who protested in front of Parliament on Tuesday. SSP Ajith Rohana said, the police anti-riot squads and STF personnel fired tear gas at close range at students who were behaving in more..

Remanded for posing as Namal’s secretary

Oct 23 (Island) The Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) on Tuesday (October 21) arrested a 37-year-old suspect, who had posed off as a secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son and cheated a person out of Rs. 240,000, promising approval for a restaurant with a permit to sell foreign liquor there. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said a complaint had been received by the SIU on Monday (October 20) and the arrest made on the same day. more..

SL celebrates two years without Malaria

Oct 23 (UCSF) Sri Lanka has not reported a local case of malaria since October 2012, according to the Sri Lankan Anti-Malarial Campaign. If it can remain malaria-free for one more year, the country will be eligible to apply to the World Health Organization for malaria-free certification. This remarkable success was achieved rapidly and largely during a protracted civil war. As recently as the year 2000, Sri Lanka had over 100,000 cases of malaria. more..

LTTE ban: SL to assist parties to the case

Oct 23 (DM) While claiming that 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, Sri Lanka said it would continue to assist the parties to the case in their future course of action over the court decision. “The Ministry of External Affairs is surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by LTTE in 2011 more..

Green groccer’s body found with throat slit

Oct 23 (Island) On a call received by the police emergency unit, Mount Lavinia Police recovered the body of a 43-year-old vegetable trader with his throat slit inside his shop at the Bakery Junction at Attidiya yesterday morning. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the victim, W. Wasantha Kumara of Panadura, a father of two children, had been drinking with a friend of his on Tuesday night inside the shop after his wife had gone back home in the evening. more..

Fishers demand justice for attack

Oct 23 (CT) Fishermen, who participated in the recent protest, opposite the Fisheries Ministry in Colombo, are demanding justice for the four fishermen who were injured in the protest, a spokesman for the protesting fishers said. All Island General Fisheries Federation (AIGFF) Convener, Ratna Gamage, explaining Tuesday's incident, which caused injuries to these fishers said, around 300 fishermen from Negombo were only carrying out a peaceful demonstration. more..

IUSF to hold bigger protests

Oct 23 (CT) The IUSF, whilst accusing the govt of apathy, with regard to the students' struggles, and granting their demands, also charged that the State had approved the recent brutal attack on undergraduates. "In the coming weeks, we shall field a wide front comprising students, teachers, health officials, fishermen, farmers, workers and trade unions, and take to the streets to fight for our rights," IUSF Convener more..

GMOA confident its proposals included in tomorrow’s budget

Oct 23 (Island) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that twelve proposals it had made to the govt had been included in the budget to be presented tomorrow. He said the proposals submitted would pave the way for a sustainable health care system if systematically implemented. The proposals submitted are: Initiating a mechanism to combat the onslaught of Non Communicable Diseases in a cost-effective manner as the current approach to prevent NCDs were ad-hoc; more..

Access Engineering nears completion of Kandana Water Treatment Plant extension

Oct 23 (FT) The extension of the Kandana Water Treatment Plant under the Kalu Ganga Water Supply Project is implemented by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and funded by the Japan Bank for International Development (JBIC). Access Engineering PLC along with Salcon Engineering Berhad of Malaysia is proceeding with the construction works related to the expansion of present water treatment plant. Once completed, by the end of the first quarter 2015, more..

Shots fired inside Canada parliament

Oct 23 (Reuters) At least one gunman entered Canada's parliament buildings on Wednesday and many shots were fired just outside the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing a meeting of legislators. Harper was safely removed from the building but parliament was locked down. Eyewitnesses said at least 30 shots were fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital. more..

Budget tomorrow

Oct 23 (CT) With a Presidential Election in sight, most likely in early January, President Rajapaksa will present Budget 2015 in the Parliament tomorrow. The Appropriation Bill, which is also referred to as the first reading of the Budget was presented to Parliament by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne recently. Accordingly, the second and third voting will be held on 30 Oct and 18 Nov. According to the Appropriation Bill, estimated govt expenditure is Rs 1.812 trillion for next year. more..

Controversial Kaththi screened in Tamil Nadu

Oct 23 (CT) Tamil superstar Vijay's new film Kaththi (knife) was released amidst prolonged protests yesterday, Deepavali day, sans the controversial Lyca tag being displayed on the movie and posters in Tamil Nadu. Claiming that Lyca International has contacts with the Sri Lankan Govt and does business with it, students and several film industry groups protested over the release of the movie directed by A.R. Murugadoss, who became famous with his Oscar nominated movie Lagaan. more..

Pope's visit: No response to Cardinal's letter

Oct 23 (CT) Confusion reigns heavy over next January's planned visit of Pope Francis, with the Catholic Church at crossroads, following the delay by the govt to confirm, whether the presidential election is likely to coincide with the Pope's visit. Catholic Church spokesman Rev, Cyril Gamini said that Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has written to President Rajapaksa asking the latter to inform the church about the date of election, more..

Lies and lies: who takes the responsibility for lives?

Oct 23 (DM) With the cost of living soaring to the highest levels, millions of people are suffering because their healthcare bills often are much more than their expenses for food, clothing, household utilities and education. One visit to a consultant at a private hospital often costs at least Rs. 5000 and if tests, some of them nonessential, are prescribed, the bill could be more than Rs. 10,000. All the needs of life are important while healthcare is often a matter of life or death. more..

Knowing when to compromise for a greater principle

Oct 23 (DM)This missive is addressed to Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka, the Leaders of the UNP and the JHU respectively. But it is not a “for your eyes only’ memorandum. Whoever wishes to read it could read the letter and draw his or her own conclusions and make their own assertions. The country is evidently heading for a crucial election. Presidential Election which everyone is talking about and getting ready for, is no election to elect Provincial Councillors or more..

Indian firms eye opportunity as Sri Lanka focuses on development

Oct 23 (LM) When the train “Queen of Jaffna” arrived in the city of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, home to the ethnic Tamil population, last week after a gap of almost 24 years, it not only marked a significant milestone for the country, but also for India’s contribution to rebuilding infrastructure in the island nation that has been ravaged by a three-decade-long civil war between govt troops and Tamil rebels. more..

UK still studying EU court ruling

Oct 23 (Island) Following the General Court of the European Union decision to delist the LTTE, key EU member, UK is now closely studying the judgment. The court also directed the defendant, the Council of European Union to pay the costs. The Council of the European Union was the defendant, supported by the Netherlands, the UK and the European Commission. A spokesperson for the British High Commission in Colombo said more..

Rudra seeks EU backing for Tamil issue

Oct 23 (CG) The head of the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, has urged the European Union to support to Eelam Tamils in their continuing struggle for justice. Rudrakumaran said that the TGTE and Tamils around the world welcome the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union annulling the ban on the LTTE and salutes the European Court of Justice (ECJ) more..

G20 UNP pacifies excluded MPs

Oct 23 (DM) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake received numerous telephone calls last week, inquiring about the exclusion of some MPs from the G 20, the team appointed by the party hierarchy to work out the campaign strategy for the snap presidential election to be conducted in January. The G 20 met for the third time last Friday. Right at the commencement of the meeting, Mr. Attanayake said he did not have a say in more..

Zeid refers to Lanka probe in UN report

Oct 23 (CG) UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has made a reference to Sri Lanka in his report submitted to the UN General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian, and cultural issues (Third Committee). He presented a report and made a statement yesterday on the work of his Office (OHCHR) between August 2013 and July 2014, under his predecessor, Navi Pillay. more..

Political cart before the developmental horse?

Oct 23 (SL) During the District Development Progress Review Meeting of the Northern Province (NP) held last Monday (13) in Jaffna, which the TNA boycotted, the President said that all politicians are duty bound to protect and safeguard the laws of the country and the people, without pursuing petty political agenda. According to the Jaffna District progress report, the Govt has invested Rs 89,021.2 million in seven key sectors more..

Rs 32.4B in foreign investments exit Govt. securities market

Oct 23 (CT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) statistics show that Rs 32,368.3 million (Rs 32.4 billion) in foreign investments have exited from the govt securities (Treasury (T) Bonds, T Bills) market in the past one and half months. Foreign investments in govt securities in the review period had declined by 6.5% (Rs 32.4 billion) to Rs 469.1 billion causing pressure on the rupee to depreciate," sources told Ceylon Today. more..

MR says he is disturbed over terrorist acts in Canada

Oct 23 (AM) President Rajapaksa has expressed his concerns over increasing terrorist activities in several countries, including Canada. President, in a twitter post, expressed his concerns and disappointment over this matter, stating every party should work together to being this to a halt. “Very disturbing to see increasing terrorist acts in many countries, now in Canada. Must unite as equal partners to fight menace,” more..

Polls law violations: UNP asks EC to act against President

Oct 23 (Island) The UNP challenged the Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya to take action against President Rajapaksa as concrete evidence was available that he had flouted election laws. Assistant UNP Leader Ravi Karunanayake said that the EC had once questioned what he could not do now but could have done if the 17th Amendment to the Constitution had still been in force. more..

Sri Lanka president prepares budget with eye on election

Oct 23 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to present on Friday a populist election budget for 2015 that manages to contain borrowing thanks to an expected pick-up in the pace of economic growth. The 68-year-old leader, who is also finance minister, will seek early re-election in January for an unprecedented third term, his party said on Monday, seeking to pre-empt any decline in support after nearly 9 years in power. more..

GMOF threatens legal action over new Service Minute

Oct 23 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) warned it would take legal action against the Health Ministry following the release of the new Medical Service Minute (MSM) of the Sri Lankan Health Service as it had failed to address the issues of medical administrators and specialist doctors. GMOF President, Rukshan Bellana said that the Gazette published on October 11 had created more salary anomalies. He said the Health Ministry had failed to pay any heed to the requests more..

A future bathetic?

Oct 23 (CT) It is another first – full-page, full-colour advertisements in daily papers, by the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Titled, ‘The Five Pillars that Uplift the Nation. Unstoppable Sri Lanka’ the ads laud Mahinda Chinthanaya and the upcoming budget. The now ubiquitous thugs attacked a group of UNP parliamentarians during a fact-finding mission to the Ports Authority. (The same week another group of thugs attacked fishermen engaged in a peaceful protest in Colombo). more..

Await Vega SL's first electric Lamborghini

Oct 23 (CT) It appears that Sri Lanka will be in the international spotlight this December when the Lankan owned company CodeGen International reveals its first fully electric super car, 'Vega'. Brainchild of CodeGen CEO Harsha Subasinghe, this project was initiated to show that Sri Lanka can take on projects of this magnitude and successfully deliver. CodeGen, privately owned by CEO Harsha Subasignhe, is one of the leading more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4%

Oct 23 (LBO) Stocks closed higher with index heavy John Keells Holdings gaining amid net foreign buying ahead of the 2015 budget. All Share Price Index closed 28.35 points higher at 7,189.51, up 0.4%. The S&P SL20 closed 12.94 points higher at 3,991.59, up 0.33%. Turnover was 2.29 billion rupees, up from 898.24 million rupees a day earlier with 131 stocks closed positive against 59 negative. National Development Bank closed 2.50 rupees higher at 242.50 rupees with more..

March of the Undergrads

Oct 23 (CT) On Tuesday evening, the streets around Parliament resembled a battlefield, as riot police and Special Task Force commandoes attacked university students who were intent on marching to the legislative house to demand settlement of various grievances.Rubber bullets mowed down students. Tear gas choked the area. Water cannons drenched all and sundry. Stones were thrown. More than 20 protesters were injured, some requiring hospitalization. more..

'JHU will not compromise on constitutional amendment'

Oct 23 (AM) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera said today that his party's position on a constitutional amendment before the next presidential election will not be compromised at any cost. Speaking to reporters in Colombo, Rathana Thera, who recently launched a set of proposals pertaining to a constitutional amendment, said his party made its position clear to the President yesterday at the meeting held between the two parties. more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards steady despite importer dollar demand; budget awaited

Oct 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards traded steady on Thursday despite dollar demand from importers as the central bank's intervention via moral suasion prevented a sharp fall in the local currency, dealers said. Exporters were reluctant to sell dollars ahead of the budget announcement for 2015 on Friday, dealers said. The spot currency was quoted at 130.75/95 per dollar but not traded, dealers said. It closed at 130.60/80 on Friday. The three-day forwards, or spot-next, more..

Commission obtaining advice of experts

Oct 23 (CG) Missing Persons Commission has begun obtaining advice from the foreign experts appointed by President Rajapaksa after the mandate of the Commission had been expanded. Commission spokesman H.W. Gunadasa said that an investigations unit has also been appointed to investigate some of the complaints mad by those giving evidence before the Commission. Gunadasa said that of the complaints and submissions made to Commission during the sittings held so far, more..

Russian Naval Ship Moskva in Colombo

Oct 23 (SLN) The Russian Naval Ship, Moskva, arrived at the port of Colombo on 23rd Oct 2014 on a replenishment and goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. To coincide with the ship’s visit, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Alexander A. Karchava and the ship’s Commanding Officer Captain (1st Rank) Sergey I. Tronev more..

Yuwanjana Wanasundara appointed AG

Oct 23 (CG) Yuwanjana Wanasundara was today appointed as the new Attorney General (AG) of Sri Lanka. Yuwanjana Wanasundara replaces Palitha Fernando who retired from serving the Attorney General’s Department for over 34 years. Fernando was promoted Senior State Counsel, Deputy Solicitor General, Additional Solicitor General and the Attorney General of Sri Lanka on July 16, 2012. In May 2007 he was appointed a President’s Counsel by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Police investigate Hussain’s phone calls

Oct 23 (CG) The police say they are investigating the telephone call records of Sakir Hussain, a Sri Lankan accused of being a suspected spy arrested in Chennai. SSP Ajith Rohana said that there were claims the suspect has had links with al-qaeda and as a result his telephone calls were being investigated locally. “Once investigations are over we will be able to see if he had such links or not,” he said. Indian media report had quoted Hussain as telling interrogators that terrorists planned to more..