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Fruits, vegetable exports Losing competitiveness

Oct 3 (CT) Lanka Fruits and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association said the country was losing its competitive advantage for fruits and vegetable in the global market due to low production. Chairman of Lanka Fruits and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association, Annes Junaid said lack of land availability was one of the biggest problems they vegetable growers had to face. "Our competitiveness in the global market is coming down drastically. more..

Election season, external affairs and Modi-Obama

Oct 3 (FT) Forget the state of Denmark – something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka, and our enemies, the secessionists in the Tamil diaspora must be laughing, as they well might. Three recent events indicate the future of Sri Lanka. Two are domestic and one, global. Of the two domestic events, one occurred in an international space. The three events are the Chris Nonis-Sajin Vass episode, the BBS-Wirathu nexus and the Modi-Obama meeting. Sri Lanka’s external defences are crumbling, more..

Jaffna school girl Aniththa equals lowly SL national pole vault record

Oct 3 (Island) A school girl from Jaffna equaled the lowly Sri Lanka women’s pole vault national record at the Athletics Championship of the National Schools Games at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Thursday. 17-year-old Aniththa Jegatheeswaran of Mahajana College, Jaffna cleared 3.32 metres in the girls Under-19 pole vault to equal the existing record held by Anoma Karunawansa. more..

Bank of Ceylon rebuilds Jaffna Railway Station in Uthuru Mithuru project

Oct 3 (Island) BOC sponsored rebuilt Jaffna Railway Station will be opened on October 13. It is set to begin operations after 23 years of disuse, under the patronage of President Rajapakse. With the accomplishment of this project northern commuters will be able to get in touch with the rest of the country much more conveniently. Understanding its responsibility as the prominent govt bank, BOC proudly involved itself in the "Uthuru Mithuru project" by making a significant contribution in more..

Basil a dairy farmer

Oct 3 (CT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said he is a dairy farmer by profession, just like his father, denying allegations that he owns hotels, houses and a range of other businesses. Rajapaksa was addressing a gathering of dairy farmers at the BMICH when he made the above statement. He said, the foremost objective when President Rajapaksa assumed power was to fix the price of dairy products. That way, the govt had ensured that dairy farmers received a fair and just sum for more..

Northern biz grieve

Oct 3 (CT) Many businessmen and investors requesting support from the govt, complained to a senior minister about the lack of support by the local authority for projects initiated in the Northern Province. Investors highlighted the many obstacles placed in their way by the local authorities for their investments, at a forum organized by the country's investment promotion agency, BoI. According to them it was difficult to obtain approvals from more..

‘Many employers don’t report occupational accidents, breaking Labour Laws’

Oct 3 (Island) About 1,800 work-related accidents are reported in Sri Lanka annually and about 80 of those are fatal accidents. However, these statistics do not reflect the true picture as reporting of occupational accidents is poor in Sri Lanka. In any work place "Zero" accidents can be achieved only through "behavior based safety", Dr. Wajira M. Palipane, Deputy Commissioner of Labour, and Head of the Division of Occupational Hygiene of the Department of Labour said. more..

Pioneers in the industry garner greater strides

Oct 3 (Island) Two of Sri Lanka’s oldest financial institutions Arpico Finance Company and Associated Motor Finance Company, both listed in the CSE, have joined hands under the consolidation programme initiated by the Central Bank to harness the economic development in the country while enhancing the shareholder and stakeholder value of the respective institutions, an Ernst and young press release said. It adds: ‘Both these institutions were established more than 50 years ago by more..

SL to hold a Capital Market Conference

Oct 3 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange is set to host a capital market conference in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission which will provide an opportunity to understand the potential investments opportunities available in the capital market and post war economic growth. The conference which plans bring together capital market industry participants and Institutional investors, is scheduled to be held more..

Champika calls for probe on Nonis issue

Oct 3 (CG) Govt Minister and leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Champika Ranawaka, called for an impartial investigation on the issue concerning Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to London, Chris Nonis, if there is a formal complaint made at the External Affairs Ministry. Ranawaka said that Nonis played a crucial role for the country during the Commonwealth summit held in Sri Lanka last year where he made statements countering allegations raised against the Govt. more..

Richard Pieris restrained from using 'Arpico Finance'

Oct 3 (DN) Supreme Court in a landmark decision restrained Richard Pieris Arpico Finance Limited from using the words “Arpico Finance ” as part of its trade name, upholding the Interim Injunction granted by Justice M.C.B. Moraes of the Commercial High Court on July 30, 2013. After protracted argument in Case No.SC (CHC) Appeal 41/2013 in the Supreme Court, judgment was delivered on Monday by Justice B.P. Aluvihare with Justice Priyasath Dep and Sarath De Abrew agreeing. more..

Allegations of corruption: Directors sacked, SPC rudderless

Oct 3 (Island) The board of directors of Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation (SPC), which was functioning under the State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry, was dissolved on Wednesday. Minister Dayashritha Tissera had ordered the dissolution of the board in view of alleged corruption, sources said. Minister took that decision at a discussion with the Ceylon Estate Services Union (CESU) and more..

JVP complains of police inaction to IGP

Oct 3 (Island) Trade unionists who exposed corruption, political victimisation and malpractices prevailing at the Govt Press have been attacked by goons, but police have failed to arrest them, JVP MP Vijitha Herath has said in a letter to the IGP. MP Hearath has demanded that the IGP instruct officers at the Borella Police to take action against the assailants without succumbing to political pressure. "Trade unions at the Govt Press have brought to light various malpractices, more..

Russia opens seafood market for Lankans

Oct 3 (DN) Sri Lankan seafood exporters have been invited by Russia to export to the country giving a major boost to the industry. Russia's Ambassador Alexendra Karchava speaking at the Russia Sri Lanka Business Council AGM and a meeting with Sri Lankan seafood exporters said in current political and economic context, Russia is seeking to diversify its food items market and reorient it from European countries by reaching towards new suppliers in new regions, particularly, in Asia. more..

Court orders CAA to release unlawfully seized chocolate shipment back to Customs

Oct 3 (FT) A highly-significant case was reported from the Negombo Magistrate Court last week. It was a tussle between the Customs and the CAA, concerning the jurisdictions vested in the two govt institutions under the respective laws, under Consumer Affairs Authority Act and the Customs Ordinance. CAA investigators on 30 May apparently acting on information had raided a Customs bonded warehouse at Global Park and seized more..

Party old guard says: UNP must support common candidate

Oct 3 (CT) Former UNP MPs stated yesterday, that the UNP needed to support the common candidate at the next presidential election, in order to correct the historic mistake the party is guilty of; establishing the executive presidency. They further stated the opposition parties must unite in order to stand up to the Rajapaksa regime, which would unleash further violence at the upcoming presidential election. They made these comments during a media briefing on the abolition of the executive presidency, more..

Attorney in Korean job scam: Police

Oct 3 (DM) The CID told the Colombo Chief Magistrate today they were probing the alleged involvement of an attorney in the Korean job scam, to take appropriate action against the attorney. IP R.M.H.K. Ratnayake of the Computer Crime Investigation branch of the CID filing a reporting in court submitted that the attorney had fraudulently transferred a property worth Rs 600,000 belonging to W. T. Sandaruwan of Gampola in the name of the first suspect. more..

'Sri Lanka war probe lost in translation'

Oct 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's domestic probe into the disappearance of thousands of civilians during and after the island's ethnic war is being undermined by serious translation errors, a group of activists said. Testimony before the presidential Commission of Inquiry was marred by glaring mistakes in translating questions from English-speaking investigators to ethnic Tamil witnesses, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) said. more..

Explosive dump fire: Army does not suspect sabotage

Oct 3 (Island) Yesterday’s explosions inside the partly underground explosive dump in the Army Engineer Regiment Camp, Mattegoda weren’t due to an act of sabotage, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. A fire had broken out inside the explosive dump located in the camp. The explosive dump had been sealed and its keys left with the commander in charge and there were no civil or army casualties or damage to properties outside and, therefore, no police investigation was required, more..

Pakistan govt urged to tread carefully trade deal with Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (Dawn) Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama) has urged the govt to tread carefully on trade agreement with Sri Lanka as it indirectly provides market access to India which using joint ventures will dump its subsidised products in Pakistan. In a letter to the Ministry of Industries, DG Pama, Abdul Waheed Khan, pointed out that in January 2008, the Sri Lankan FTA negotiators admitted that Sri Lanka does not have the potential to export different auto parts. more..

US denies softening stance on Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (CG) US has denied reports it has softened its stand on Sri Lanka with USDS spokesperson Jen Psaki insisting that there has not been a change of US policy on Sri Lanka. Psaki said that US Secretary of State John Kerry had met President Rajapaksa during the recent visit to the US. Asked if, at that meeting, the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka as was reported in a local newspaper, Psaki said “absolutely not”. more..

BOI holds EU-Sri Lanka investor meeting

Oct 3 (GDI) Board of Investment of Sri Lanka held a meeting with major stakeholders of the European Union including Diplomats from member states of the European Union, Honorary Consuls representing EU Countries and EU investors. Also included in the discussion were important line agencies such as the UDA, EDB, and Tourism Authority. This dialogue was a brainchild of Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha, with the purpose of engaging Western European countries in order to address more..

Dilan on 'What really happened in Hali-Ela'

Oct 3 (DN) Uva PC opposition leader in waiting Harin Fernando and his supporters who went in an illegal motorcade after the conclusion of the election provoked the incident which took place in the Hali-Ela town, by attacking UPFA Provincial Council members, said Minister and SLFP Organiser for Hali-Ela Dilan Perera. During the incident both parties had attacked each other and Harin Fernando and another person called Aslam and his group ran away from the scene, more..

Myanmar website hacked for BBS story

Oct 3 (CG) A popular Myanmar news website was blocked Thursday by hackers angry at its description of hardline Buddhist monks as “radical”, as the publication said it had received threats of violence over its coverage. The Irrawaddy saw its main English-language website briefly replaced with a black screen and notice accusing it of being pro-Muslim and slamming a blog it ran in Burmese about Myanmar nationalist cleric more..

The cancer of corruption

Oct 3 (DM) At a time when the cancer of bribery and corruption has reached the worst proportions, the JVP on Wednesday made disclosures that were shocking. The JVP’s Voice Against Corruption unit gave documents with figures and details to the Commission appointed to probe allegations of bribery and corruption. The grave and the deadliest dimension of these charges are that they have taken place in the health service where for millions of people it is a matter of life or death. more..

US policy Promoting or perverting democracy?

Oct 3 (DM) US President Barack Obama in a recent speech and in a presidential memorandum has vowed to launch a counterattack to check threats to democracy worldwide. US president noted that oppressive govts were sharing ‘worst practices’ to weaken civil society. His remarks last week won much praise and stirred hopes of activists campaigning to end dictatorships, so much so that the Washington Post wrote an op-ed article that carried the byline ‘the Editorial Board’. more..

Setting examples to employers at large

Oct 3 (SL) The garment manufacturing factory of the Sri Lanka Air Force in Sigiriya has progressed rapidly from its humble beginnings five years ago to a company that provides direct employments to over 85 civilians in the area and indirect employments to many others now. The Air Force garment manufacturing plant was started in a building of just 1500 sq. ft. in 2009 by the then chairperson of AF Seva Vanitha more..

Oxford research on Lankan prehistoric men out soon

Oct 3 (Island) The Department of Archaeology had received findings of research conducted by two Oxford scholars using advanced scientific methodologies on prehistoric human behaviour in Sri Lanka, Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake said. He said that following an agreement reached between the Department of Archaeology and University of Oxford two researches on pre-historic more..

Suraj Randiv says he is perplexed over his removal from national team

Oct 3 (AM) Sri Lankan all-rounder and off-spinner Suraj Randiv has said that he still does not know the reason why he was removed from the Sri Lankan National Cricket Team when he was performing well. The all-rounder said that he was last given a chance to play in One Day Internationals (ODI) in 2011. His last ODI was the World Cup Final against India in Mumbai in the mid 2011. “Though I was selected for the squad a few times, more..

President arrives in Rome

Oct 3 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa beginning a three-day visit to Italy and the Vatican arrived in Fiumicino Airport in Rome last evening. He is accompanied by the First Lady. Head of Vatican Protocol Office, Msgr. Jose Avelino Bettencourt, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Italy Bennet Cooray and Sri Lankan Ambassador in Holy See Ravinatha Aryasinha warmly received President Rajapaksa at the airport. more..

Japan to set up coal-fired power plant

Oct 3 (Island) Visiting top officials of the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) have expressed willingness to set up the third coal fired power plant in Sri Lanka. JBIC Managing Director Yagima Koichi, who visited Power and Energy Ministry has assured Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Senior ministry officials and the CEB high ranking officials, that the Japanese govt will provide atest technology more..

Chic and stylish: SL's new breed of hotels

Oct 3 (CNN) Sri Lanka, the island that in 2009 emerged from more than a quarter century of civil war, has staked claim as one of Asia's most exciting new destinations. With the beaches of Negombo and Galle on the West Coast and World Heritage-listed ancient cities, SL is experiencing a tourism boom. As the country's tourism offerings have grown more sophisticated, so have its hotels. Here are a selection of the best. more..

TN CM reiterates demand for Katchateevu

Oct 3 (GT) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS) has swung into action, shooting off a letter to the prime minister in the style of his predecessor J. Jayalalithaa demanding that Katchateevu Island should be recovered from Sri Lanka. The govt led by Narendra Modi had taken the stand that the Indo-Sri Lankan agreements of 1974 and 1976, by which India gifted Katchateevu to the island nation, could not be annulled. more..

Sajin cancels media briefing, rushes to Vatican with Prez

Oct 3 (Island) UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, who is alleged to have slapped SL’s High Commissioner in the UK, Dr. Chris Nonis during a function in New York recently, hurriedly summoned press conference yesterday, but cancelled it at the eleventh hour. External Affairs Ministry official called The Island, to invite us for a media briefing to be given by Gunawardena at 9.30 am, but he said a little while later more..

No way, say industry groups to passing on fuel cuts benefits

Oct 3 (ST) Consumers will be denied the benefit of the govt’s decision to reduce fuel prices as industry groups ranging from bus owners to bakers lined up to declare that deeper cuts were needed to lower their charges. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said the association would not reduce bus fares despite the fuel price reduction. Price of diesel should be cut by Rs. 15 at least, not by Rs. 3, for bus owners to introduce a bus fare revision, more..

Govt. insists on third term

Oct 3 (DM) Ahead of a planned snap presidential election, the SLFP, the largest constituent party of the govt, will initiate a public seminar series to drive home the point that President Rajapaksa is constitutionally entitled to contest for the third time. The party has decided to take this initiative amid concerns raised by some legal experts that the President was ineligible to contest for the third time despite the enactment of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.8%

Oct 3 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.76% higher with banking stocks gaining amid continued strong foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 55.55 points higher at 7,406.60, up 0.76%. S&P SL20 closed 52.95 points higher at 4,160.31, up 1.29%. Turnover was 4.39 billion rupees, up from 2.46 billion rupees a day earlier with 120 stocks closed positive against 82 negative. Dialog Axiata closed 40 cents higher at 12.50 rupees with three off-market transactions of 1.66 billion rupees more..

Comment on Sajin-Nonis Affair

Oct 3 (CT) The questions that everyone should be asking is: “Why now? Why in New York? Why in the context of the UN General Assembly? Why during the UNHRC session in Geneva? Who benefits from the crime? What is the mission of Sri Lanka’s diplomacy?” Sajin Vass Gunawardena, the man who runs the Foreign Ministry, and Kshenuka Senewiratne, his number two, are two sides of the same coin. The assault of High Commissioner Chris Nonis is only one in a series of Acts in a more..

So who is Sajin Vass?

Oct 3 (CT) A man is often judged by the company he keeps. President Rajapaksa is no different. Already the President has come under heavy fire for his association with Ajith Nivard Cabraal, and questions have been raised regarding various business dealings of Cabraal and how it would impact on the nation’s economy given Rajapaksa’s recent appointment of him as governor, Central Bank. more..

Is the existence of Provincial Councils justified?

Oct 3 (CT) The UPFA candidates, who were successful at the Uva PC election, held on 20 Sept, were sworn in by the President last Tuesday. They, together with the winners, belonging to the Opposition, the UNP and the JVP, will administer the affairs of the Uva Provincial Council for the next four years. Some of them would be new to the business of serving the people, while a good proportion of them would be persons who have already served as councillors before. more..