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Exim Malaysia pumps US$ 10 m on CPC lube blending

Oct 27 (DN) One of Malaysia’s leading development financial institutions, Exim Bank Malaysia will invest US $ 10 million for a lubricant blending plant as a joint venture project with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). “Once the plant is setup here, the CPC will export lubricant to countries in the SAARC region initially and other countries afterwards," Exim Bank Malaysia President Adissadikin Bin Ali told the Daily News. more..

CEA to strengthen National Environmental Pioneer Programs in Schools

Oct 27 (GDI) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has taken steps to strengthen the National Environmental Pioneers Programs in schools. The programs have been organised to communicate the latest knowledge on environment to school children as they are a target group in environmental conservation efforts. The CEA works to strengthen the island - wide network of environmental pioneers through the environmental pioneer commissioners while integrating all schools to this program. more..

Free medical camp for low-paid SL workers

Oct 27 (TP) A free medical camp exclusively for low-paid Sri Lankan workers will be held on Friday by Sri Lanka Majlis Qatar (SLMQ) in association with Atlas Polyclinic. A team of more than 20 doctors, and medical staff will be available to see around 1,500 people from 7am to 3pm at West End Park Atlas Polyclinic, First Floor, Grand Mall Building. Companies have been informed to bring their workers to the camp. Walk-in patients will not be refused admission. more..

'I will expose more corruption'

Oct 27 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that he was prepared to expose more large scale frauds and corruption in detail, in the electricity and petroleum sectors involving billions of rupees. Addressing a gathering at the launch of his book Power and Power, he said that govt was unable to give concessions to the people in respect to the petroleum prices and the electricity cost due to a few people who dominate these sectors. more..

People have welcomed train service despite TNA boycott

Oct 27 (Island) In spite of those running the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) boycotting the recent commencement of train services to Jaffna after a lapse of 25 years, the people of the North had joined in celebrations organised by the govt, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha said yesterday. Minister Premjayantha said that their participation reflected the thinking of the ordinary people, though the NPC administration followed the polices of the pro-LTTE diaspora. more..

Trillium Property Management to invest Rs 1 bn on two projects

Oct 27 (DN) Trillium Property Management & Services would invest over Rs one billion to launch two mixed development properties in Colombo 7 and Nugegoda. Trillium Colombo 7 is a Super Luxury Apartment Complex comprising of 20 units including two penthouse apartments on the rooftop with an infinity swimming pool and a fully quipped gym. The completion of the total project would be in 18 months. The Melda place Nugegoda project would consist of eight exclusive single villa houses more..

SL to raise gaming tax to 10% of turnover

Oct 27 (GGR) President Rajapaksa has proposed to impose a US$100 entrance fee for the country’s casinos and raise the gaming levy to 10% of turnover. The proposals were set out in the 2015 budget announced on Friday, but did not give any further details on the casino entry levy, including whether it would apply only to Sri Lankan residents or also to foreigners. The levy payable on gaming activities was raised to LKR100 million more..

Missing foreign tourist rescued

Oct 27 (Island) An SLAF Bell 212 helicopter from No 7 Squadron, SLAF base Hingurakgoda was dispatched on Saturday afternoon in response to a request from AFHQ from the Police who were carrying out a search operation in the Knuckles range to locate a female tourist who had gone missing. Having picked up a policeman the helicopter took off around 1.35 p.m. to carry out reconnaissance of the area for about 30 minutes. One of the Regiment Special Forces more..

'Budget deficit to surpass Rs 1,300 B'

Oct 27 (CT) 2015 Budget has completely neglected the debt trap Sri Lanka is caught in, as the individual debt of a Sri Lankan would exceed Rs 400,000 in 2015, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said.Budget deficit mentioned by the govt is Rs 521 billion, but that does not include the loan installments which the govt has to pay. He said that the annual loan installment for the debt amounts to Rs 840 billion, once it is added to the govt expenditure; Budget deficit would exceed Rs 1,300 billion. more..

UNP for common candidate

Oct 27 (DM) Coming up with the UNP’s latest stance on the presidential elections, party’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the party was for the fielding of one candidate representing all opposition political parties. Mr Wickremesnghe came out with this while addressing a meeting of women in the Colombo District organised by the Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil and his wife Feroza Muzammil more..

Top Chinese military delegation here

Oct 27 (Island) A six member delegation from China Headed by Lieutenant General He Lei, Vice Chancellor of Academy of Military Science of Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday on a three-day official visit. The delegation comprises Major General Ciien Rongdi, Deputy Chief of Department of Operation Theories and Doctrine Studies, Colonel Zhang Liting, Deputy Chief of Comprehensive Planning Section in the Department of Research Guidance, more..

Govt slams NPC over funding

Oct 27 (CG) Govt has accused the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) of not using the funds allocated to it for the people in the North like other PCs. Minister Susil Premjayantha said that the NPC had been allocated funds by the Govt but only a portion of it had been used. He said that it seemed the NPC did not want the funds or did not know how to manage it and utilize it like other provincial councils. Minister also accused the NPC of looking to work on the agenda of the diaspora more..

Ananthi wants UN probe deadline extended

Oct 27 (Island) Accusing the military of suppressing information as regards war crimes allegedly committed by the military during the last phase of the Vanni assault, Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthy Sasitharan has urged Geneva-based OHCHR to extend the deadline for the completion of the ongoing investigation. Ananthy has made her appeal to OHCHR through three senior external experts, more..

Govt. says, no confusion over Pope's

Oct 27 (CT) Govt confirmed yesterday that the govt is taking necessary steps, including necessary infrastructure arrangements, as planned, to facilitate the arrival of Pope Francis. Minister Susil Premajayantha, dismissed rumours that the Pope might not arrive in Sri Lanka as the government had not confirmed the January date of the Presidential Election to the Vatican, which according to Archbishop of the Catholic Church, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, must be urgently executed. more..

China’s growing submarine capability throws others off-kilter

Oct 27 (WSJ) One Sunday morning last December, China’s defense ministry summoned military attachés from several embassies to its monolithic Beijing headquarters. As the WSJ’s Jeremy Page reports: To the foreigners’ surprise, the Chinese said that one of their nuclear-powered submarines would soon pass through the Strait of Malacca, a passage between Malaysia and Indonesia that carries much of world trade, say people briefed on the meeting. Two days later, a Chinese attack sub more..

'Will never compromise on national security of India'

Oct 27 (ANI) SL's Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera on Monday allayed India's fears on increasing Chinese military presence in Sri Lanka, as he categorically stated that his nation will never compromise on India's national security or for that matter of any other country. "We have very good co-operation with India. We will never compromise on national security of India. India's security is our security. more..

Budget 2015: A policy document or something else?

Oct 27 (DM) Despite the earlier claims that the 2015 budget wouldn’t be a “bag-full of election goodies,” the budget presented by President Rajapaksa to the Parliament on Friday, in his capacity as the country’s Finance Minister, proved largely otherwise. It is widely believed that Rajapaksa will hold a Presidential Election in January 2015, two years ahead of his second term finishes. The proposed pension scheme for apparel sector workers, EPF hike for employees, 12% guaranteed interest more..

The State, the Market and Civil Society

Oct 27 (DM) It was interesting to read a news item in this paper a few days ago reporting that a new UNP govt would deviate from neo-liberalism and move in the direction of a socially regulated market economy. Many others and I have written extensively in the columns of this paper emphasising the need for social regulation of the market. This is not an issue just for Sri Lanka but for almost the whole world where unregulated markets have played havoc creating great uncertainties and more..

The Budget: Why Rajapaksa is good for economy

Oct 27 (DM) On Friday, after reading the budget 2015, President Mahinda Rajapaksa turned towards the Opposition and asked: “Kohomada baiyange budget eka,” (How is bumpkin’s budget?). He was taking a swipe at his upper-middle class critics who think he is a baiya, who implements his medamulana thinking on a national scale while those in the West consider him a populist despot, who turned Asia’s more..

Presidential polls ahoy: All hands on deck at the SLPA

Oct 27 (ST) Opposition parties have charged that the misuse of state property has already got under way with the unofficial announcements that early presidential elections were due. Misuse of state property to prepare election propaganda material and the summoning of state sector employees to Temple Trees, were considered preparations for elections. Already, nurses, pirivena teachers and more..

Agriculture at risk

Oct 27 (SL) The Government’s failure to interrelate all departments in the agriculture sector with one ministry has put the country’s agro-industry at risk, one time Agriculture Minister, Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged. According to Dissanayake, it would have been easier to deliver effective services if lands, irrigation, livestock and other agriculture sectors have come under Agriculture Ministry rather than dividing them more..

Budget 2015: 'Three out of five demands met'

Oct 27 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said that the 2015 budget had only granted three demands out of the five demanded by them. Wijeratne said those demands were the duty free import of an engine and a gear box for a bus which had been in operation for more than five years, a loan at 6% interest for a bus owner who had operated a bus for more than 5 years more..

JHU to hold break-or-make meeting with President today

Oct 27 (AM) The JHU – which is at loggerheads with the govt over several contentious matters – is to meet President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees for a make-or-break meeting this afternoon. The meeting, according to highly placed sources, will decide the political future of the JHU and its support to President Rajapaksa at the presidential election. He meeting will also attended by Minister Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Restriction of private consultation fees: GMOA asks why other professions exempted

Oct 27 (Island) Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) Director Dr. Mrs. Kanthi Ariyaratne said that all private hospitals Chairmen, CEOs and Medical Directors attached to hospitals had been asked to charge Rs. 250 as administrative cost and not more than Rs. 2,000 as consultation fee per person. Dr. Mrs. Ariyaratne pointed out that the PHSRC had received many complaints from patients, more..

Geneva issue: Susil refuses to play CID role

Oct 27 (Island) Declining to comment on a simmering controversy concerning the External Affairs Ministry, Minister Susil Premjayantha yesterday said that he couldn’t perform the duties of the CID. A smiling Premjayantha said that he wouldn’t intervene in a matter which wasn’t his responsibility. He was responding to a series of questions as regards a recent statement attributed to External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris. more..

Vaiko confident of getting ban on LTTE lifted

Oct 27 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko is confident that he can get the ban on the LTTE lifted. He was talking to journalists after the opening session of a sitting of the Justice G.P. Mittal-led Special Tribunal constituted by the Delhi High Court under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to look into the ban. Mr. Vaiko said NDA govt was keeping the ban wrongly imposed by UPA govt. Arguments for retaining it were not more..

Sharma briefed on post war situation

Oct 27 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma was briefed on the post war developments in the North when he toured Jaffna today as part of an official visit to Sri Lanka. In Jaffna, the Commonwealth Chief had talks with the Northern Province Governor Major General (retired) G.A. Chandrasiri on the resettlement of war displaced people and other issues. Sharma also had closed door talks with civil society more..

SB slams Amnesty for backing protest

Oct 27 (CG) Minister S B Dissanayake slammed the Amnesty International for issuing a statement in support of the university students who staged a protest near parliament recently. Minister said that a responsible human rights group like Amnesty International must first study the Sri Lankan university system and be fully aware of the background. “If they just issue statements they will become a joke and lose credibility. more..

Why the Northern Tamils are not allowed to exercise the devolved powers

Oct 28 (CT) The President says he allowed elections to the Northern Provincial Council. But what he ahs given with the right hand he has withdrawn with the left hand. The NPC is hamstrung because the power is exercised by the Governor. Provision was made legally for it by the Provincial Councils Act of 1987 which undid the devolution to the PC under the 13th Amendment. We have had a highly centralized state during the colonial period as well as after Independence. more..

Crony Capitalism: Are we waiting for an Arab Spring or a Hong Kong type uprising?

Oct 28 (CT) The Arab Spring has turned out to be a great disappointment. It is fast turning out to be a winter of great discontent and suffering for the poor people who threw out a bunch of dictators with great aspirations of establishing an accountable and responsible liberal democratic govt. However, the dark clouds have a silver lining. Two classic examples of crony capitalism were exposed. After the dictator Ben Ali was thrown out in Tunisia in 2011, a total of 214 businesses and more..

Linking India again by rail

Oct 28 (SO) It was exactly a century ago during the British colonial period, on February 24, 1914 that Ceylon (Sri Lanka) created historic relations with neighbouring India by constructing a railway line up to Talaimannar to connect the train services of India and Sri Lanka via a ferry service. The relationship that was created centuries ago however ground to a halt due to LTTE terror that engulfed the entire North in 1984. more..

People’s Choice stands at the end

Oct 28 (NS) Many people have different dreams about the country. But it all depends on the person who rules the country. But people are the judges who determine the final verdict and decide the ruler of this country in the end. A people’s leader will always mingle with people. This is the common feature of a people’s leader. This country has seen many leaders in the past. If you look at J R Jayewardene (JR), he was said to be the most intelligent person, but unfortunately , more..

Does ‘sorry’ swansong soap Sarath Silva’s sins?

Oct 28 (ST) The Hindus cleanse their sins in the flowing waters of the sacred Ganges. The Catholics use the private confessional box to confess, repent and, through the sacrament of penance, atone for their sins. Lanka’s former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva does it in public, basking in the limelight and loving every minute of the attention he so desperately craves. Last Saturday at a public seminar organised by his new found comrades, the JVP, at the New Town Hall in Colombo, more..

Until investigations are over Political prisoners cannot be released

Oct 28 (CT) Former Attorney General, Palitha Fernando, who retired on the 14 October, said during his recent visit to the North, the members of the Bar there had made representations to him to reconsider the pending cases of the prisoners who were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations and to see whether some of them could be released. "I told them I will pass the message to the AG's Department team that more..

Confronting the ‘banality of evil’

Oct 28 (ST) During last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Govt meeting, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was so bold as to state at a news conference broadcast around the world that Sri Lanka has a legal system and “if anyone wants to complain about human rights violations, whether it is torture, whether it is rape … we have a system…we will take action against anyone. So we are open. We have nothing to hide.” The truth however belies the brashness of this claim. more..

Budgeting and balloting strange bedfellows

Oct 28 (ST) Political compulsions rather than economic imperatives determine an election year budget. Despite official statements that it will not be a giveaway budget, the estimates, recent policy decisions and budget proposals show clearly that financial discipline is overshadowed by political pressures to accommodate an election friendly budget. Readers could judge whether this column’s expectations written before the budget have been confirmed by the Budget. more..

Sampanthan talks to Mahinda Ranil

Oct 28 (CT) "Every country appoints the wisest section of the individuals for the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. No cohorts and associates are appointed to these positions. But this does not happen in Sri Lanka. If this go forth, all powers will be amassed by one centre and a total dictatorship will be the result. People will have no powers. We can vote at the election but after that the powers will be taken away from the people. more..

Editorial: Fleecing the public

Oct 28 (Island) Doctors have looked askance at a govt proposal to introduce regulations on channelling fees to prevent the exploitation of patients. Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya has taken exception to the proposed regulations and asked why other professionals like lawyers and architects have been exempted. Doctors, he has said, are being discriminated against. Yes, they must also be made to realise that the sky is not the limit. more..

The Gathering: The Unknown Story

Oct 28 (Island) ‘The Gathering’ (of elephants) at Minneriya National Park takes place from around June to October each year and has today become a well-known phenomena in the world today. During the drought in the central province of Sri Lanka, some 150-250 wild elephants gather around this ancient man-made reservoir, covering approximately 8,900 hectares, which was constructed by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD. This large reservoir fills up during the north-east monsoon around more..

'GL's problem is not his inability, He does not exercise his ability'

Oct 28 (CT) The General Court of the European Union (EU) also known as the Court of Justice of the EU on 16 Oct annulled measures taken by the Council of the EU by lifting certain restrictions placed against the LTTE, namely the designation of them as a terrorist organization and the freezing of their funds. The Court in addition ordered the Council of the EU, which lost the case filed by the plaintiffs, the Tamil Eelamist pro-LTTE Diaspora, more..