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Disabled have a role to play in economy

Oct 24 (CT) People with disabilities should be encouraged to contribute to the country's economy in order to get the best out of them, said economist and Colombo University's Arts Faculty Dean, Prof. Athula Ranasinghe. Addressing a forum, to get the support of the private sector to enhance the living standards of the people with disabilities, he said, it is crucial to have a dialogue with the private sector as there are many graduates with disabilities who are unable to find employment. more..

Paddy farmers to benefit from budget 2015

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka paddy farmers to get seed paddy free of charge in the budget 2015, President Rajapaksa said. He said seed paddy for the 2014/2015 Maha Season will be provided free of charge to the farmers. Added to that he said the current fertilizer subsidy will be continued while ensuring minimum 40 rupees subsidy per paddy kilogram. Sri Lanka's rural economy, low on growth and high on labor relies heavily on agriculture more..

Special cabinet meeting hours before ‘budget 2015’

Oct 24 (AM) President Rajapaksa has convened a special Cabinet meeting just hours before presenting his 10th budget as the Finance Minister of the govt. During the meeting the President had obtained the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for his budget proposals for the year 2015. The President is scheduled to deliver his budget speech in Parliament at 1.30 pm. It is widely speculated that the budget 2015 will introduce a number of ‘people-friendly’ measures as it is presented more..

Garbage being dumped in Tewatte Church land

Oct 24 (CT) The dumping of garbage on a land belonging to the Tewatte Church in Ragama has irked residents of the area who say that the garbage dump is breeding flies and mosquitoes. Environmentalist Dilan Peiris told Ceylon Today that the dumping of garbage in the land belonging to the Church and the stench from it has caused much inconvenience to the area's residents. "This area, which is a rubber plantation, has been used as a garbage dump for the past two to three years. more..

UN working with Sri Lanka on concerns

Oct 24 (CG) The UN says it is working with the Sri Lankan Govt to address post war issues, including rising incidents of violence against religious minorities that have taken place since the beginning of this year. Subinay Nandy, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, said that as one looks at the breadth of the UN’s work with Sri Lanka, one can see a strong emphasis on the peace and reconciliation agenda. more..

Our eyes are blind to Tamil torture

Oct 24 (Age) Trevor Grant was the cricket writer when I joined The Age in 1985. I remember him as a friendly, independent character with whom I talked sport. In 1989, he joined News Corp, finally leaving in 2009 after he became "disillusioned with the direction of the newspaper [the Herald Sun]". I didn't know what happened to him thereafter and was somewhat surprised when, five years ago, he re-emerged as a human rights activist, particularly on behalf of Tamil refugees. more..

Travel experiences you’ll find only in SL

Oct 24 (WSJ) Sri Lanka seems to be at a tipping point. 5 years after the end of its quarter-century-long civil war, tourists are being lured back to Sri Lanka by friendly locals and an abundance of natural and man-made beauty. This petite island nation—totaling just 25,000 square miles but including the 4.5 million-resident city of Colombo—offers everything from leopard safaris and surfing to ancient temples and complex curries. Here, four experiences that would be more..

Only 5.9% of Govt. schools teach English

Oct 24 (CT) Only 584, out of a total of 9,905 govt schools, teach English, according to statistics found in the recently released Annual Performance Report of the Education Ministry, for 2013. This means that only 5.9% of govt schools teach English. Out of 9,905 govt schools, only 29 teach subjects in all three languages, that is, Sinhala, Tamil and English and only 403 offer subjects both in Sinhala and English. more..

Response from Fonterra

Oct 24 (CT) The article that appeared on the Colombo Telegraph website on 20.10.14 contained a number of false and inaccurate statements and we feel it’s important that readers know the truth. Providing our consumers in Sri Lanka and around the world with safe and high quality dairy products is our number one priority. This means conducting close to seven million tests on our milk and products every year to ensure that they meet rigorous international, and local, food safety more..

Mahinda’s Blitzkreig and Ranil’s Snailkreig

Oct 24 (CT) All good hearted people were longing to see an emergence of a powerful common candidate acceptable to all the ethnic groups who can defeat the incumbent President at the next Presidential election. It is tragic that all their hopes are fading away because of Mr. Ranil Wicramasinghe’s desire to sit in President’s chair. The UNP has unofficially confirmed that Ranil would contest the next Presidential election. UNP was boasting many a time that it was ready to face any election more..

October: The Reading Month

Oct 24 (SO) Reading is an important part of a person's learning process. Reading is a way for people to make connections between what they already know and what they read about in books. These connections help people understand the world around them. Through books we are exposed to characters and cultures that they may not otherwise interact with in real life. If a child likes to read, he is off to a great start in life! more..

Sampanthan's challenge to MR

Oct 24 (CT) President Rajapaksa, addressing a meeting in Kilinochchi during his tour in the Northern Province recently, said if the TNA was prepared to give up its demand for a separate State, the government was prepared to abolish the Executive Presidential system in the country. President Rajapaksa commenced his tour by attending several welfare programmes, which were aimed at enhancing the socio-economic conditions of the people affected by the war in Kilinochchi. more..

Despite Opposition conspiracies and Diaspora antics MR remains people's choice

Oct 24 (CT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) recently made a quick visit to Europe. Unconfirmed reports say that there he met some representatives of the LTTE Diaspora and sought their help to win the Presidential Election. It is also reported that RW has given many promises to LTTE supporters, including that he will merge the North and the East, fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and lift the ban on the LTTE and its supporting organizations. more..

Sri Lanka invites investors to be part of its growth story

Oct 24 (FT) The capital market came under fresh spotlight earlier this month when a forum was held to lure foreign investors. The Capital Market Conference 2014, organised together by the SEC and CSE was attended by 70 international fund managers from UK, US, Switzerland, India, Singapore, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Dubai and Bahrain. Signifying the importance of the opportunity, President Rajapaksa officiated more..

Editorial: Enforced morality

Oct 24 (Island) University students in Zimbabwe have balled their hands into fists and are gnashing their teeth over a govt move to impose Victorian morality on them. A new code of conduct has been slapped on undergrads with a warning that the students ‘caught in any intimate position such as kissing or having sex in public places’ will be punished. Well, discipline should be maintained in universities, but have we ever seen undergrads have sex in public places anywhere in the more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads

Oct 24 (Island) I will conclude this series of articles by focusing on two questions: firstly, what is the explanation for the anti-Muslim campaign, and secondly, what should be done about it? But before getting to that I want to make some preliminary clarifications. I have concentrated on the actual bilateral issues that have been bedeviling Sinhalese-Muslim relations. It might seem therefore to some readers that I have left huge lacunae about matters that have left huge lacunae about matters more..

Between a rock and a hard place: forest paradise vs quarry jobs

Oct 24 (ST) The mesmerising sound of the evening breeze sweeping through tree leaves, the gentle call of birds and the ripple of a nearby stream … peace reigns but for the loud thuds in the Kodigahakanda forest reserve – rocks being crushed under the hammers of villagers who work in giant quarries. Earning up to Rs. 3000-4000 daily, these villagers are not blind to the environmental impact that their hammers more..

Sri Lanka joins China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Oct 24 (FT) Sri Lanka as a founding member joined 20 other Asian countries Friday to sign the MoU to establish the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Representatives of China and 21 other Asian countries Friday in Beijing signed the MoU on Establishing the AIIB. Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan more..

Karu candidacy project: Is it a viable option?

Oct 24 (FT) Do you watch ‘Boston Legal’? We do, by which I mean my wife Sanja and I, and we like it. Of course it is one of the few programs we enjoy equally, since she finds my favorites, such as ‘True Detective’, ‘Breaking Bad’,‘ The Bridge’, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which reflect my obsessions with the dialectic of evil and justice, the figure of the anti-hero and the struggle for a code of violence, far too violent. I find Comedy Central too lightheartedly escapist. more..

Is Sri Lanka ready for Ebola?

Oct 24 (CT) Ebola is one of the most dangerous epidemics to scourge this earth for a long time. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 5,000-10,000 Ebola cases will occur in a week in worst-hit countries by December this year. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of this year as the outbreak spreads, WHO warned Tuesday. more..

NDB-DFCC merger: Case for a strong development bank

Oct 24 (FT) Parliament on Tuesday despite opposition from Opposition lawmakers that there was no rationale for a merger between a commercial bank and a development bank passed a bill to pave the way for DFCC Bank, the only remaining fully-fledged development bank in the country, to merge with the National Development Bank (NDB), a fully-fledged commercial bank to create a combined entity with a market cap of over 80 billion, around 3+% of the total market. more..

Sri Lanka Tourist Hotels Association elects Cooray as president

Oct 24 (LBO) Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) has elected as its president Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Hotels, a tour operator with a chain of hotels that's also promoting eco-tourism in a big way. “Now we are playing and batting on a smooth wicket and it is wonderful to see the association blossoming along with Tourism in our Island,” Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Hotels said. “We have been given a great opportunity and you have seen 5 years of tremendous more..

Jaffna IT Week to take IT/BPM sector north

Oct 24 (FT) The National IT/BPM Chamber, Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), in an effort to promote inclusive growth and reconciliation, will stage the Jaffna IT Week from 3-6 December at a number of venues across the region. The Jaffna IT Week will comprise the Future Careers Program on 3 and 4 December at the Vembadi Girls’ High School, an IT/BPM Export Forum staged at more..

Wake- up call to local banks

Oct 24 (Island) DFCC Vardana Bank launched Lanka Money Transfer on Thursday. Chief Guest, Deputy Governor, Central Bank, P. Somasiri said the banking system in SrI Lanka should develop to relate to international standards. There should be a system for virtual currency transfers. Banks here must develop this system if they were to enter already established areas of banking in context with banking development internationally. He made pointed reference to money transfers more..

Investing in Agarwood, a profitable choice if done sensibly: Sadaharitha

Oct 24 (Island) "Sadaharitha Plantations is a good choice for investment in Agarwood in Sri Lanka. Our service ensures every investor the security and ease of mind, Sathees Navarathna, chairman, Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd. told the media in Colombo Thursday. Agarwood is a key ingredient used in producing some of the most expensive perfumes worldwide as well as for various types of medicine, and growing and benefiting from it. "Agarwood is a resinous heartwood that more..

SLT connects Delft to information super highway

Oct 24 (FT) SLT announced the company has connected Delft Island, located in the east of the Jaffna peninsula, to the country’s national ICT backbone as part of the major post-war ICT development in the Northern Province. Delft Island has been identified by the Government as one of the key tourist attraction destinations as well as a key location in the country. Through this network expansion carried out under SLT’s more..

Farmers want more for onions

Oct 24 (CT) Lanka Sathosa on Wednesday started purchasing big onions, without any quota attached, at a fixed price of Rs 60 per kilo, from farmers in the Polpithigala, Kurunegala. Farmers, however, complain that given that the cost of production for big onions, which is in the range of Rs 40-60, the purchase price of Rs 60 was not sufficient to cover costs and are agitating for a price of Rs 80. Nevertheless, thus far, Sathosa has purchased over 600,000 kg of big onions with and without more..

Asiri Hospitals’ Group marks 30 years

Oct 24 (ST) Asiri Group of Hospitals recently celebrated 30 years of operations of its medical laboratories and is pursuing avenues to further expand and enhance operational excellence of its laboratories and maintain its market leadership in the country, the company said this week. The laboratories, which commenced with the opening of the first unit at Asiri Hospital on Kirula Road, Colombo 5, encompass units at 12 locations in the country including Jaffna, Anuradhapura, more..

‘Extremism may derail Lanka progress’

Oct 24 (AN) Rising extremism is causing significant concern among minority communities in Sri Lanka, particularly Muslims, Minister Rauf Hakeem said in Riyadh this week. “This is an unfortunate trend that needs to be addressed with great seriousness,” said Hakeem. He added that the tendency to engage in hate speech was continuously being tolerated without sufficient action being taken by govt to contain the situation.” more..

‘Sri Lanka’ Quiz: 6 Students selected

Oct 24 (NIE) Six students from various schools in the district were adjudged winners in the first session of ‘Knowing Sri Lanka’ quiz competition organised by the Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka the other day. The winners are: Abhiram Sankar S of Govt VHSS Kulathur, Amritha Raj B S of Govt HSS Kazhakkoottam, Abhijith V B of Govt VHSS & HSS Parasala, Ajay Pradeep of SMV High School, Amala V M Govt HS Vazhamutom and Praveen P L of Govt HS Kachani. more..

NCPA appeals to strengthen its research library

Oct 24 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) urged all govt and Non-Govt Organisations and individuals to submit any publications, audio and audio visual material to strengthen its Research Library. Assistant Manager Planning and Information, said that the NCPA aimed at increasing its efforts to protect children against all forms of abuse with the project. Unlike in other countries there are not many reports into research carried out into Child Protection. more..

No final word yet on Wigneswaran visit to New Delhi

Oct 24 (NIE) Officials in Delhi are trying to work out a schedule for northern province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to meet PM Narendra Modi next month. He was invited by an NGO, People’s Union for Civil Liberties to give a public lecture on Nov 9. While, PUCL claims that Wigneswaran has accepted the invitation, there is still uncertainty about the visit as PM’s office was still trying to find time for Wigneswaran in Modi’s schedule. more..

Taste of Sri Lanka at Carousel

Oct 24 (NST) The Palace of the Golden Horses is hosting a Sri Lankan food promotion at the Carousel International Coffee House until Oct 31. The promotion features dishes that are classified as masterpieces as they are concocted and prepared by celebrated Sri Lankan chef Dr Publis De Silva. Chef was flown in from Colombo to develop the menu for the promotion, which is a cultural collaboration involving the High Commission of Sri Lanka here, Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo more..

Four Sri Lankan films at Seattle festival

Oct 24 (LR) Acclaimed Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage will attend the 9th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival. In all, up to four Sri Lankan films will be shown at the festival. Vithanage is also expected to participate in a panel discussion on the final day of the festival. Anjula Rasanga, a filmmaker based in British Columbia, Canada will also participate in the festival as moderator and film curator representing Sri Lanka. Vithanage’s Sinhalese film, With you Without you, more..

The whitewashing of a war crime by corporate lobbyists

Oct 24 (Independent) Sri Lankan govt is hurriedly trying to boost the country’s image by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire corporate lobbyists as it awaits a UN report into alleged war crimes. A report in the US says Sri Lanka has recently agreed a contract with its eighth lobbying firm this year to change the way the country is perceived internationally. It also wants the companies to improve contact between more..

NFF member elected uncontested as Dy. Chairman Uva PC

Oct 24 (Island) NFF member Pathma Gunasekera was elected uncontested as the Deputy Chairman of the Uva Provincial Council (UPC) on Thursday. The UPC which adjourned following the appointment of the Deputy Chairman will meet again on Monday the 10th of November for the presenting of its 2015 Budget proposals. Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa and UNP Opposition Leader of the Council Harin Fernando were present for the election of the new Deputy Chairman. more..

UdaWalawe Park Warden accused of protecting suspects with venison

Oct 24 (CT) Reliable sources revealed that the Park Warden of the Uda Walawe National Park is trying to protect those involved in providing venison to the Seenukkgala Bungalow a few days ago. The venison was brought to the Bungalow by a group of people for consumption and it is believed to be from deer or sambhur killed inside the Uda Walawe National Park. "When the Uda Walawe Park Warden was informed about the incident it is learnt that he tried to prevent the venison and culprits from more..

'Lanka Coal has not followed tender procedure since 2012'

Oct 24 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka maintained that since 2012 the Lanka Coal Company (LCC) which was the sole importer of coal to Sri Lanka had been doing so without adhering to proper tender procedure. He was responding to a report that Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi as having said that the CID had commenced investigations into a recently imported consignment of coal for the Norochcholai Power Plant. more..

Tight security in place for ODI

Oct 24 (NIE) Ahead of the ODI between India and Sri Lanka at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on November 2, the Commissionerate Police on Friday reviewed the security arrangements. At the preparatory meeting it was decided that security at Mayfair Hotel, where players and staff will put up, would be taken over by the city police. The Sri Lanka team may get extra security in view of LTTE threat perception though Home Affairs Ministry has not issued any advisory in this regard. more..

Boat owners, fishermen meet Swamy

Oct 24 (Hindu) Representatives of the Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen Trust on Friday met BJP leader and former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy seeking his help for the release of 79 mechanised fishing boats now in the custody of Sri Lanka. The boats were impounded after they allegedly transgressed into the Sri Lankan waters for fishing. The delegation was accompanied by senior Tamil Nadu BJP leader H. Raja. A memorandum they handed over to Dr. Swamy more..