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The lure of filthy lucre

Oct 28 (CT) Prof. Senaka Bibile's essential medicinal drugs policy enunciated by him over 40 years ago, though highly commended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and successfully implemented in many countries all over the world, yet it is still to be implemented over here. That is despite the relief it would bring to the poor and the sick by way of efficacious drugs at reasonable prices. However, the irony is, that it has remained unimplemented in the very land where it more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm celebrates Deepavali Festival

Oct 28 (IL) Ambassador of SL in Sweden, Oshadhi Alahapperuma, together with the staff of the Embassy, celebrated “Deepavali”, at the Ganesh Hindu Temple in Farsta, Stockholm on 22nd Oct. Large number devotees of Sri Lankan origin irrespective of their cast, creed or religion joined hands together in celebrating this hallowed festival spiritually signifying victory over darkness, good over evil and hope over despair. more..

Sri Lanka rupee slips; may fall further on rising imports

Oct 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded a tad weaker on Tuesday as dollar demand by importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters and banks. The local currency is expected to remain under pressure due to rising imports, they said. The spot currency was traded at 130.90/131.00 per dollar at 0700 GMT compared to Monday's close of 130.85/90. It was largely untraded last week on moral suasion by the central bank. "There is importer dollar demand. more..

Policeman’s body found on Wellawatte beach

Oct 28 (Island) The Police yesterday morning found the body of a police constable on the Wellawatte beach. Police identified the victim as 29-year-old K.J.S. Ariyaratne (77019) attached to Wellawatte police station. Official said that the public had alerted the police after seeing a body stuck in a rock outcrop on the beach near 42 nd lane, in the Wellawatta police area. “The constable was off duty,” he said, adding that the policeman had disappeared after going out for a meal. more..

China-SL FTA to be signed in June 2015

Oct 28 (Xinhua) A proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and China is to be signed in June 2015, Deputy Secretary to Treasury S.R. Attygalle said on Tuesday. President Rajapaksa also noted the same time frame during the budget presentation to parliament last Friday. The FTA, which was initially to be signed by the end of 2014, is expected to boost Sri Lanka's future development and promote trade between more..

Harun Lantra robbed

Oct 28 (CT) A group of people who arrived at the residence of veteran singer Harun Lantra in Kelaniya, has robbed Rs 70 000. The money was part of Rs 100 000 collected to use in case of an emergency, Mrs. Lantra said. The veteran singer is frail and had serious medical ailments. She said that the two men and a woman who arrived offering to assist the couple by cleaning the house had robbed the money. "My husband cannot even talk properly now. We live with so much hardship. more..

Nurses threaten strike in East

Oct 28 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday warned it would stage a token strike in all Health Institutions in the Eastern Province tomorrow (29) if their three demands including the implementation of transfer orders were not granted. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that 24 nurses had not been released by the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) though replacements were available though they had served there from four to 12 years. more..

'We vote against budget which is only a bag of promises made by maneuvering statistics'

Oct 28 (LT) The JVP would vote against the budget proposals presented by the President as it has been made a budget of the family says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. Speaking further he said, “Budget proposals point out the direction the country is moving economically in a particular year. However, the budget presented by the govt does not have any vision. As usual, it proves that President Rajapaksa has no programme to salvage more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen observe fast in Sri Lankan prison

Oct 28 (Hindu) 24 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by SL Navy on charges of violating International Maritime Boundary Line and lodged in a prison in Jaffna, are on a fast since yesterday demanding their release. The fishermen are demanding their immediate release along with their boats, according to T Sasuraja, president, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association. Fishermen, 16 from Pudukottai and eight from here, were arrested by the Navy on Sept 28 when more..

New Vice-Chancellor of University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Oct 28 (Island) Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Visual and Performing Arts by President Rajapakse for a period of three years with immediate effect. Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi had been working as the Dean of the Faculty of Dance and Drama, Director/Postgraduate Unit, Director/Career Guidance Unit, President/Sports Advisory Board and the Senior Student Counsellor of the university. An old boy of Pallewela Maha Vidyala, more..

Video: Rajapaksa is the ‘genuine’ common candidate: BBS

Oct 28 (AD) As the govt represents people from all social and ethical backgrounds, President Rajapaksa is the ‘genuine’ common candidate of the nation, BBS Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero said. While refusing that he would become the common candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, Thero said “By any mean, it is not our duty to contest for the elections. Even in the history, it was monks who guided their successors to more..

Sri Lanka wants decisive action on terror

Oct 28 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt today decisive and concerted action by the international community to eradicate the menace of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Sri Lanka strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Egyptian security and military personnel in North Sinai last week that claimed the lives of 31 soldiers and injured several others. A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said that the people of Sri Lanka, who had suffered immensely under the yoke of terrorism more..

President to help Muslims attend Hajj

Oct 28 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today announced that a new system will be introduced in the future where all Sri Lankan Muslims will be able to attend Hajj at least once in their lifetime, even if they cant afford it. Speaking at the Kanthale Al Tharik Muslim School, the President said he had found that mostly those who can afford and who have the money are those who attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. “Those who have money go 100 times. more..

Gender equality: Sri Lanka among top 10

Oct 28 (DM) Sri Lanka continues to make progress in closing the gender gap on health and survival, and has high involvement of women in tertiary education, ranking 13th in the world, stated the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap 2014 Report, published today. “Sri Lanka’s gender gap on Health and Survival remains closed. Its high performance on the Wage equality for similar work indicator is offset by a low score on more..

GMOA suspends rebel member

Oct 28 (Island) GMOA rebel group activist Dr. Upul Gunasekera was yesterday suspended as the union’s disciplinary committee had found that he violated the GMOA constitution. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that many GMOA branch unions had asked its parent union to take strict disciplinary action against the rebels who had tried to sabotage the activities of the union. During the GMOA General Election in June Dr. Gunasekere had led a team of rival doctors to more..

‘UNP only an LTTE puppet conspiring to defeat MR’

Oct 28 (Island) Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Minister Jagath Pushpakumara alleged that the UNP and LTTE front organisations were conspiring to defeat president Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election. Minister alleged that the UNP had become a mere puppet in the hands of the Tigers. Minister Pushpakumara was addressing the foundation laying ceremony to provide electricity to several villages at Wellawaya in the Moneragala district. more..

Wijeyadasa hands over Bill to abolish executive presidency

Oct 28 (Island) UNP Colombo District MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe handed over a private member’s bill to Secretary General of Parliament, seeking to amend the Constitution to abolis the executive presidency. The draft bill to be presented provides for the election of a president from among the members of Parliament through secret ballot. Upon his election, he shall perform his duties on apolitical basis. more..

Korean ODA : Sri Lanka becomes third largest recipient

Oct 28 (Island) Amidst Sri Lanka emerging as the third largest recipient country of Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), a steady increase in bilateral trade and investment is being predicted. The Korean Ambassador Chang Won-sam addressing a ceremony to celebrate his country’s National Day at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo recently, said that more Korean companies and tourists were visiting Sri Lanka either to seek business opportunities or enjoy the charm and beauty more..

TN fishermen in Sri Lanka jail call off fast after assurance of release

Oct 28 (PTI) Twenty-four fishermen from Tamil Nadu today called off their hunger strike in a prison in Sri Lanka after the island nation's officials assured a fishermen's body in the state that they would be set free in a week. The fishermen started fast in the Lankan prison yesterday demanding that they be released along with their boats. Manoharan, president of the Federation of six fishermen's associations in Nagapattinam, said officials in Sri Lanka had assured him that more..

SC dismisses Nalini's plea over release

Oct 28 (IANS) Supreme Court dismissed a plea by S. Nalini Srikaran, undergoing life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi killing, who had challenged a provision in the law that mandates the state government take prior consent of the centre before remitting the sentence of a convict whose offence was investigated by the CBI. "Sorry, we are not interested," the bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Madan Lokur and more..

UNP confident of a historic win at polls

Oct 28 (CG) UNP today said it is confident of securing a “historic victory” at the next Presidential elections. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at a UNP rally held at Hyde Park, said that his party has just a short way to go in its climb to the top of the mountain. UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said that the UNP cannot win without the support of the party organisers and supporters around the island and he called on them to rally around the UNP to ensure its victory. more..

PM says MR can contest January polls

Oct 28 (CG) PM D M Jayaratne says President Rajapaksa will be able to contest for a third term in office as a result of the constitutional changes brought by the Govt through Parliament. Speaking at an event in Kandy, the Premier confirmed that a Presidential election will be held in January next year and the issue being raised is if President Rajapaksa can contest or not. He said that there is enough legal backing to allow the President to contest for a third term despite arguments to more..

Nightclub in Anuradhapura: UNP

Oct 28 (DM) A nightclub is being operated within the Sacred City of Anuradhapura desecrating its religious, Parliament was informed today. UNP MP P. Harrison said it was unacceptable for anyone to operate a night club within the Sacred City where the hallowed Jayasri Maha Bodhi and Ruwanweliseya are located. He made these remarks when asking a question from Minister Salinda Dissanayake on the number of more..

KP’s frantic efforts to save the Tiger leaders

Oct 29 (CT) The recent ‘recovery’ of Fr. Gaspar Raj’s information on the various ideas and lines of endeavour directed towards saving the LTTE leadership in the dire circumstances confronting them in 2009, together with the interjections of PK Balakrishnan and Muralidhar Reddy that convey indirect information from other sources, provide one with significant wisps of data on the strategic “pursuits” favoured by USA in relation to Sri Lanka in 2008/09. more..

The hidden genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (CT) There is much debate going on in various circles, Human Rights Organization, Politicians, and Lawyers including International community on the question of genocide. It has therefore become an important question and issue to analyze and make an opinion as to its applicability and consequent culpability for Sri Lankan Govts. GENOCIDE IS DEFINED IN THE UN GENOCIDE CONVENTION AS FOLLOWS; Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole more..

'Sri Lanka is one of the safest countries'

Oct 29 (SO) Prof. Rohan Gunaratna who had served as an expert witness in a number of LTTE cases before Canadian Courts says the move by the Canadian Government to introduce tougher anti-terrorism laws, in the aftermath of the Jihadist gunman's attack in Ottawa, will certainly benefit Sri Lanka. Speaking to the Sunday Observer in an email interview from Singapore, Prof. Gunaratne who is also the Head of the more..

JHU strategy for Presidential Election – II

Oct 29 (CT) The members of the JHU passed a set of political proposals at its annual national convention on 19 Oct, to be included in the election manifesto of the presidential candidate supported by the JHU. We further said at the convention that we will first discuss these proposals with President Rajapaksa. That is because he is the only person who has the required power to make it a reality. However, there is a condition attached to our discussions with the govt, more..

India tour tough decision for SLC !

Oct 29 (CT) Sri Lanka's short tour to India just ahead of the England tour has had mixed reactions from some well known personalities. Whilst one of the true greats of Sri Lanka Cricket, the world cup winning captain Arjuna Ranathunga, who is a bitter critic of the SLC has questioned the thinking behind it, SLC had come out with a release giving the thinking behind the move! Kumar Sangakkara, a current great in the Sri Lanka camp, had also given his views on the decision, more..

'Bollywood styled Lankan plantation leaders'

Oct 29 (CT) Veteran plantation trade unionist, K. Velayutham, launched a scathing attack on his UNP trade union colleague, R. Yogarajan stating the latter was not important to the plantation sector. Yogarajan quit the trade union headed by Velayutham over differences. He claimed the absence of Yogarajan in the trade union made no difference. Talking about the welfare of plantation workers, Velayutham admitted that though more..

Piggybacking Mangala - style

Oct 29 (NS) UNP LC Member Mangala Samaraweera recently stated that the banning of the LTTE by the European Union was a result of diplomacy during his tenure as Foreign Minister and alleged that the lifting of the ban would benefit supporters of the govt. He has said that the LTTE had a strong fund raising network in Europe when he became the Foreign Minister in late 2005. This was mainly because the LTTE activities had been curtailed in both the US and the UK following more..

We shall not be re-named!

Oct 29 (NS) Don’t get me wrong. I prefer the ‘Nelum Pokuna’ to what it replaced. After all, that place was an eye-sore in the heard of Kolumbian Country. It used to be nice when the Nomads played cricket there, but that was such a long time ago. It’s pretty. Pretty impressive. It’s good to have something like that in my town. My problem is not with the facility. True, they show a lot of yakko stuff there. Sinhala plays, of all things! But we get to hear some good western classical music more..

Rajitha opposes presidential system

Oct 29 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, referring to the European Union's (EU) decision to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka, said Sri Lanka was being unfairly targeted by the EU to achieve its own political and economic agendas. He claimed the ban could have been avoided if the Sri Lankan Mission in Brussels had not forgotten to pass on a simple message to his ministry. The minister also said the President may have to more..

Editorial: Shirkers and skivers

Oct 29 (Island) President Rajapaksa boasted, in his budget speech, the other day, that his govt had increased the number of public employees to 1.3 million. He said the UNP-led UNF govt had once tried to reduce the state service to a mere 300,000 workers. But, the question is whether the country has gained in any way from that huge increase in govt servants or the productivity of the public sector has improved. If the state service can manage with 300,000 workers it doesn’t more..

Interpreting Bududahama

Oct 29 (Island) I thank Mr. Sena Mahwatta for responding on 24th October 2014 to my article on "Knowledge as construction" in The Island on September 10 2014. He says that he needs clarifications on two parts of my article. The first part is on my statement "I must admit that my Bududahama is not be the same as that of Budun Wahanse and I believe that only another Budun Wahanse and not even an Arahant can "know" the Budu Dahama of Budun Wahanse ". more..

Sri Lanka aims natural polymer hub status

Oct 29 (FT) Govt yesterday expressed confidence in the country becoming a natural polymer hub for the region but emphasised the need for a new round of promotion and global attention to take the sector forward. Capitalising on the opportunity and platform presented by the Global Rubber Conference 2014 that kicked off yesterday in Colombo, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen pointed out that by supplying ‘green’ & ‘synthetic’ rubber, more..

We need a leader who respects Constitution

Oct 29 (Island) The JHU is reported to have submitted its own proposals (19th Amendment) which they drafted to change the country’s Constitution, to the president about two weeks ago. These proposals have been referred by the president to the SLFP. Although, the JHU wants to pass its amendment in parliament before the next presidential election we should not forget that JVP and JHU are completely responsible for the present situation because they did not co-operate more..

SL v WI: Kaushal takes ten in drawn game

Oct 29 (CI) West Indies A drew the third unofficial Test with Sri Lanka A but not before collapsing from 217 for 3 to 234 all out in their second innings. Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal and left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva shared all those seven wickets between them. Sri Lanka took the series 1-0 after winning the first unofficial Test by ten wickets. West Indies A began the final day on 183 for 3 before Kaushal ended the fourth-wicket stand on 120 by having Jonathan Carter stumped for 78. more..

SLC wants 'unofficial' Senanayake re-test

Oct 29 (CI) Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake is to undergo unofficial testing of his bowling action after satisfying the SLC coaching staff with the remedial work he has carried out with them since being reported five months ago. "We are quite happy with the remedial work Sachithra has done with us on his bowling action and we feel he is ready for a re-test," SLC head of coaching Jerome Jayaratne said. more..

SriLankan, Qantas codeshare takes-off

Oct 29 (CT) A new codeshare agreement between SriLankan Airlines and Australia's flagship carrier Qantas Airways announced in September 2014, came into effect from 26 October paving the way for increased tourism potential between Sri Lanka and Australia, the national carrier said in a statement. Passengers travelling to/from Australia on Qantas will have the opportunity of connecting to/from SriLankan Airlines' thrice daily service from Singapore to Colombo. more..

Tax incentives failing

Oct 29 (CT) A senior tax expert highlighting several tax benefits given to promote more foreign direct investment, questioned the tax structure and asked why major multinationals did not enter Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa through Budget 2015 presented to Parliament last week announced several tax incentives for foreign direct investment and extended deadlines for completion. Senior partner Gajma and Company N.R. Gajendran highlighting the tax incentives questioned more..