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Orange raises copper alarm!

Oct 5 (NS) As shortages loom, firm urges authorities to prevent illegal exports of copper waste. Renowned electrical products manufacturing firm, Orange Electric last week announced it has set up a state-of-the-art copper waste recycling plant to tackle the shortage of copper which has hindered the expansion of traditional and small industries in the country. The new plant if utilized to potential, could enable a foreign exchange saving of US$ 16 million as it has the capability of more..

2015 Budget bag-full of election goodies

Oct 5 (ST) With the Presidential election around the corner, Treasury officials headed by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera are fine-tuning the 2015 Budget on the directions of the President enabling him to unveil it in Parliament in two weeks. Officials of the Department of National Budget and Department of Treasury Operations are under pressure in compiling final amendments to the draft Budget estimates, annexure and tables more..

Migrant workers to reap more benefits

Oct 5 (SO) There are important positive policy changes in Middle Eastern (ME) countries which would benefit Sri Lanka's migrant workers, said an expert of the migrant worker sector, L.K. Ruhunuge. The new policies target protection, social security and wage issues of migrant workers. Sri Lankan migrant workers in Middle Eastern countries especially Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar can expect better working conditions and labour rights, said Ruhunuge, a former GM of SLBFE. more..

SLR makes progress, cuts delays

Oct 5 (SO) Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) has increased revenue, the number of passengers, trains, improved rail tracks and reduced the delay time, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. However, he said there is room to improve the standard of comfort and increasing the per passenger kilometre revenue which is low at present. That there is a considerable reduction in delay and added that there is still room to improve the service. more..

Nonis’s resignation letter yet to reach MEA

Oct 5 (Island) The resignation letter submitted by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK Chris Nonis to President Rajapaksa on Sept 24 had not reached the Foreign Ministry in keeping with normal procedure, as of yesterday.  Ministry sources said that they were yet to receive the High Commissioners quit notice. "Maybe, it would reach us after the presidential delegation to Vatican, which includes Minister G.L.Peiris more..

Export vegetable varieties up from 12 to 135

Oct 5 (LBT) Sri Lanka exports nearly 90% of fruits and vegetable production to Middle Eastern and the Maldivian market, while 75% of the processed items are exported to the European Union, according to a new study by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The study titled ‘Fruit and Vegetable Sector Analysis 2013’ reveals that Sri Lanka, per annum, produces around 800,000 metric tons of fruits and vegetable for the purpose of exports to many countries around the world, more..

TNA yet to reach consensus

Oct 5 (SL) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is yet to reach a consensus on registering the alliance as a political party in Sri Lanka. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that, all except one political party in the alliance had agreed to register the TNA as a political party. “One party in the TNA has not yet taken a decision regarding registering the TNA as political party. We don’t know why they are unable to come to a decision on the matter,” he added. more..

Presidential Poll: Chandrika tells Ranil to quit

Oct 5 (CT) In a dramatic turn of events involving the top rung of political entities, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had talks with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in London, had advised the latter to quit the contest, likely to be held in January, to elect a President, sources in London disclosed. Kumaratunga had told Wickremesinghe that the time was opportune to scrap the executive presidential system more..

Chris Nonis to leave London?

Oct 5 (Island) Speculation is rife in London that Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner, Dr. Chris Nonis will be leaving his station shortly as he has already tendered his resignation. He has quit complaining of an assault by Sajin Vas Gunawardena, MP, at a private dinner party in New York, a charge denied by the UPFA parliamentarian. Foreign Ministry officials in Colombo remained tight lipped on whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa had accepted the resignation of Nonis. more..

Pay your taxes and get special benefits

Oct 5 (ST) Govt is to offer more concessions for those paying more than Rs. 250,000 as tax annually in a fresh bid to raise revenue, a senior Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officer said. Accordingly, an extra tax rebate on duty free vehicles, extra discounts for early payments, special facilities at the airport and concessions on import of goods via the harbour are among the concessions which will be offered, Senior Commissioner P.L.S. Liyanage told the Sunday Times. more..

With polls coming, Rajapaksa seeks communal harmony

Oct 5 (ST) With an early presidential election on the cards, the UPFA Govt wants to launch a campaign to win the hearts and minds of different communities. At the political level, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will head a Cabinet Sub Committee “on social reconciliation and co-existence” among communities. A similar Committee at official level will be headed by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga. more..

CID arrests Buddhist monk for defrauding Rs. 7.5 million

Oct 5 (NS) A Buddhist monk, who had allegedly defrauded Rs.7.5 million from a person after selling a plot of land belonging to a temple, has been arrested by the CID. Police said the suspect was the chief incumbent of the temple. He had sold the plot of land for Rs.7.5 million. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the monk could not sell the plot of land as it belongs to the temple and as such, its sale is prohibited under the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance. more..

Diaspora urges Commonwealth

Oct 5 (CT) The Tamil Diaspora urged the UK Commonwealth Office to urgently call upon the Sri Lankan authorities to withdraw the proscribed prominent Diaspora organizations and individuals as 'foreign terrorist entities'. In a letter to Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office MP Philip Hammond dated 1 Oct, 2014, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) President Rev. Dr. S. J. Emmanuel said that while all the assistance the UK Govt more..

UPFA spin doctors bring shame on Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (ST) President Rajapaksa left little doubt in the minds of the UPFA partners that a presidential election early next year was a certainty. He, however, carefully avoided any references to timing. He met them after the weekly ministerial meeting, rescheduled for last Tuesday. This was on account of his absence from Sri Lanka in the past week to address the 69th sessions of the UNGA. Rajapaksa said, 2015 budget presentation, more..

Lanka bristles with expectations of change

Oct 5 (Island) Uva declared that the tide had turned, but the flood gates have not ruptured; it may be imminent or months away. The point is not 20% decline in UPFA vote from 2009 PC or 14% drop from 2010 general elections; rather it is the dynamics. The political stage is changed acutely; the Rajapaksa game has reached terminal decline. Lanka’s egregious misery cannot last, it has to snap. The worm, the pliant citizen, has turned, but when will chrysalis turn angry wasp? more..

Victims & Witnesses Protection Bill

Oct 5 (CT) Parliament recently spoke about the proposed "Victims and Witnesses Protection Bill". Other than tabling this Bill in Parliament last month, it's yet to be debated. Though talks of this Bill have been doing the rounds for months, if not for years, it's yet to see the light of day. It may not be surprising if the very lawmakers themselves have not seen the proposed Bill, or are vague about its contents, though it has already been tabled in Parliament. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 5 (ST) Information that Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena was holding a news conference at 7.53 a.m. on Thursday. The briefing was to take place in one hour and 30 minutes. As last-minute advisories went, this one took the cake. But the media were raring to go. By now, it was widely known that Gunawardena had assaulted Chris Nonis, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain, after an argument in New York. more..

'India should assert role as regional leader'

Oct 5 (DC) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesperson, Suren Surendiran, presently in Chennai on a private visit, speaks about the Sri Lankan Tamils gaining new hope from change of regime in Delhi. Q: TNA recently met Indian PM Narendra Modi. How do you view this development? A: GTF believes that Mr Modi meeting TNA members, who are the democratically elected representatives of Tamils in Sri Lanka, more..

3,000 square foot mosque for Shanty dwellers

Oct 5 (NS) The phase-I of the Slave Island Station Passage Redevelopment Program is to end soon, and the UDA has planned to hand it over to the people by December this year. Another complex nearby is to be completed by May in 2015. The project is run by a Pakistan firm; Imperial Builders (Pvt.) Limited as a BoI Project At the end of phase-I, Imperial Builders had upgraded the railway quarters from 28 houses to 48, more..

Deputy finance secretary of BBS arrested for misappropriating Rs. 7.5 million

Oct 5 (AM) Deputy Finance Secretary of the BBS, a monk named Wellampitiye Sumanadhamma, has been arrested by police last night on charges of fraud. He has been allegedly involved in a financial misappropriation of 7.5 million Rupees. The monk has been arrested on Friday night by a special Police team. A businessman named Mervyn Perera has lodged a complaint with Police with regard to the fraud. more..

Interest-free loan schemes for undergraduate studies in Budget in 2014

Oct 5 (ST) University students will benefit from this year’s Budget which will introduce a loan scheme for undergraduates for their studies, to be paid once employed, said a Higher Education Ministry senior official. Higher Education Ministry Secretary, Dr Sunil Nawaratne said that the final proposal for the scheme has been sent by Minister S.B. Dissanayake and awaiting approval to implement the scheme. more..

Frightened and starving jungle giants turn on their predator

Oct 5 (ST) Irangani Siriyalatha, 54, a mother of three, was among hundreds who gathered in the village of Polpithigama in Kurunegala to watch the rescue of a wild elephant that had fallen into an irrigation tank. She little knew that she would fall victim to the same elephant half an hour later. Villagers had gathered at the spot despite repeated warnings by wildlife officials and police that the elephant could go berserk after the rescue. more..

COI rejects allegations

Oct 5 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons, dismissed the allegations raised by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), noting that there were translation errors during the sittings held in Killinochchi, last week. CPA had questioned whether the Commission is able to conduct investigations into its now expanded mandate, more..

Ban spoke on Aluthgama with Mahinda

Oct 5 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had raised concerns over the Aluthgama incident when he met President Rajapaksa at the UN last weekend. Ban’s spokesman Farhan Haq said the UN Chief had raised his concerns with the incident of religious violence that took place in June and noted that he counted on the President’s leadership to keep reaching out to minorities. Haq said Ban also wanted Sri Lanka to engage more..

Anchor consignment detained over contamination fears

Oct 5 (Island) A consignment of Anchor milk powder imported from New Zealand has been detained at the Colombo port following fears of possible contamination, health officials said last week. "It is still too premature to determine the nature of contamination as laboratory examinations are ongoing", they said. In the backdrop of the Dicyandiamide (DCD) contamination scare in 2013, all possible precautionary measures are more..

President pledges to restore dual citizenship from January next year

Oct 5 (AM) President Rajapaksa has pledged to restore dual citizenship for Sri Lankans from January next year. He made these remarks addressing a meeting in Milano, Italy, which was attended by members of the SLFP branch in Italy. President said that the govt was well aware of the issues faced by Sri Lankans living abroad. He also revealed that the govt was exploring the possibility to introduce new legislative measures more..

Leadership Council is the pivot to party success - Ravi K

Oct 4 (NS) UNP MP and member of the party’s ‘Leadership Council’, Ravi Karunanayake said that subsequent to the Uva PC elections, the role of the Leadership Council (LC) in the relative success of the party as evidenced by the results has not only been acknowledged but it has become even stronger. ‘The main objective of the LC is to do everything possible to help the UNP form a govt. The members of the LC have been working tirelessly and in concert to ensure this,’ he said. more..

Political success (Modi), pathos (Jayalalitha), and disgrace (the New York slap show)

Oct 4 (Island) The stories about Indian PM Modi’s roving success, Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha’s legal troubles, and the disgraceful slapping feat of a Sri Lankan presidential pipsqueak – are as much about personal character as they are about political circumstances. Modi is a quintessential political being, but he did not get where he is now on a sudden flight but along a long road of political training, toil and trial. That is also the root of Modi’s still remarkable performance more..

'May be considered only if useful'

Oct 4 (CT) Head of the Presidential Commission, probing complains on Missing Persons, Dr. Maxwell Paranagama, says the advice and inputs from individuals in the five-member panel of international advisers, given on their own, would be considered only if useful and have relevance to the Commission. If not the Commission will only consult them, going by the agenda. "They are strictly to be part of advisory committee more..


Oct 4 (Island) I take greater pleasure watching people on their early morning and late evening walks in the Independence Square area than actually walking myself. The area, among others in Colombo and in the outskirts, have been so wonderfully re-done for strolling, cycling or running. Different circular paths give us amblers an outer path of safety from being knocked down by an over enthusiastic walker or marathon runner. The cyclists mercifully have their own path. more..

Sri Lanka under 19 demolish Australia

Oct 4 (NS) Sri Lanka outplayed Australia to win the five-match Under-19 one-day series 3-1 with one game washed out with a clinical finish at the SSC ground in Colombo yesterday. The result of the match was never in doubt after the Australians were bowled out for 203 inside the 50 overs and it was only a matter of time before the Sri Lankan youth posted the win in the 39th over. The Sri Lankan second wicket pair of Kaveen Bandara and Akeel Inham from the same school DS more..

68,000 slum families to be relocated by 2015

Oct 4 (NS) UDA has plans to relocate over 68,000 shanties or makeshift slum families by May 2015. The deadline has been recently announced by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Confirming above note, UDA Senior Consultant Weerasena Adikari said that govt has planned to construct 68,812 housing units for almost all families living in shanties in the Colombo city and UDA is currently in the process of more..

Illegal abortions on the rise

Oct 4 (SO) Around 35,000 illegal abortions are carried out annually due to young women becoming pregnant over clandestine love-affairs and irresponsible sexual relationships. Some female teenagers are duped by their lovers who make them pregnant. Ultimately, they seek illegal medical support from quacks to get rid of their unwanted pregnancies. Many women have died of excessive bleeding while undergoing illegal abortions. Due to lack of knowledge on maternity among more..

Dinesh to address water problems in North

Oct 4 (SO) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on an inspection tour of Kilinochchi on Friday to address the acute water problem of farmers said that he met a cross section of people and they expressed their gratitude to President Rajapaksa for launching development programs in the North. He was happy that their views about the Govt and its development programs were quite opposed to that of the TNA. They are happy about the prevailing atmosphere of peace and brotherhood and rejected any more..

New regulations undermine welfare of elephants - ECT

Oct 4 (NS) The govt’s decision to introduce changes to the present regulations governing registration and keeping of tamed elephants is one of the most serious threats to the welfare of the country’s elephant population in recent times, the Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) charged. Director of the ECT, Sajeewa Chamikara claimed the decision to ‘update’ the regulations which were approved last week after a Cabinet paper more..

Sri Lanka’s biggest international tourism research conference to be held on Oct 7 & 8

Oct 4 (Island) TIIKM’s second international conference on Hospitality and Tourism Management(ICOHT) will be held on Oct 7 and 8 at Hotel Galadari by the International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM) with the help of Master of Tourism Economics & Hotel Management, University of Colombo, Management & Science University of Malaysia (MSU), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Journalists’ Association (SLTJA). more..

'Quran helps Muslims to live in harmony'

Oct 4 (SO) The teachings of the Holy Quran have helped the Muslims of Sri Lanka to live in harmony with other communities in our country through many centuries as they continue to do so today. This spirit of harmony nurtured by their religious teaching has enabled them to make a significant contribution to the progress of our country, said President Rajapaksa in his Haj message. The following is the text of the message: “As the Islamic community of Sri Lanka joins its brethren in faith more..

Top Seven Wild Sri Lanka named

Oct 4 (CT) Wildlife Department has identified seven species with distinguished characteristics as flagship species for conservation. 7 species will be known as the 'Top Seven Wild Sri Lanka' and will be given special attention to ensure their survival in the wild. Under the 'Top Seven Wild Sri Lanka', the black necked stork, the leopard, the Asian elephant, the leatherback turtle, the sloth bear, the salt water crocodile and more..

Video: 'Country embarrassed due to low grade group coming to power'

Oct 4 (LT) The foreign service and the country has been disgraced due to a low grade group coming to power says the JVP Leader Anura Dissanayaka. Sajin Vaas assaulting Dr. Nonis is not an issue between the two individuals but as they represent Sri Lanka the country has been embarrassed before the world pointed out Mr. Dissanayaka. The JVP Leader said this addressing a seminar in Doha during his visit to Qatar. Speaking at the seminar held regarding ‘Our Vision’, more..

Sri Lanka to launch a National Housing Policy to mark World Habitat Day on Oct.06

Oct 4 (GDI) Sri Lanka will celebrate the World Habitat Day 2014 on Monday (6) at 9.00am. under the theme “Habitat Sound-Future from Janasevana”. The National conference on the World Habitat Day will be held Monday, at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. A National Housing Policy for the country will be launched for the first time in Sri Lanka on World Habitat Day at this national conference. more..