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All varieties of noodles under scan

June 23 (DN) Following the banning of the sale of Maggi Noodles in India, the Health Ministry has decided to subject samples of all varieties of noodles including Maggi noodles available in the market for a quality test, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Maheepala said. He said India had banned the sale of Maggi noodles after quality tests proved that it contained an excessive amount of lead in the additives which was harmful to the human body. As such, samples of Maggi noodles found in SL more..

20A not easily understood: PAFFREL

June 23 (CT) Polls monitors noted that the Gazetted 20th Amendment contained confusions and was not easily understood. Elections monitoring body, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) observed that the work cut out for the Delimitation Commission, which was to reduce the number of electorates from 160 to 145, was a sensitive matter. From which district and from where in the district do we do the delimitation, Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi queried. more..

UNHRC says not funding diaspora festival

June 23 (DM) UNHRC dismissed reports of having allocated funds for the proposed Diaspora Festival organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the end of this year. UN Human Rights High Commissioner's spokesperson Rupert Colville in a statement on the claim said it was completely untrue. "Neither the High Commissioner for Human Rights nor the UNHRC has provided any money for such an event," he has stated. more..

Japan provides Rs. 560 m grant

June 23 (FT) Govt of Japan has granted Rs. 560 million to the Govt of Sri Lanka under the Non Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese Local Products (2014) . The purpose of this grant is to support the promotion of development needs in various social and economic sectors of Sri Lanka by utilising the unique, efficient and user-friendly technology of Japanese local enterprises. The range of products provided under this scheme was selected by the Govt of Sri Lanka more..

Ranil invites Richard Branson

June 23 (FT) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended an invitation to iconic and flamboyant global business leader and philanthropist Richard Branson to visit Sri Lanka and explore prospects for investments. The invitation was extended last week when Wickremesinghe spoke with Branson over the phone. The initiative had been facilitated by a young entrepreneur who works closely with Branson and an advisor to Premier with strong links to the private sector. more..

'New govt will have only 30 ministers'

June 23 (DN) The new govt to be formed after the next General Election will have 30 ministers of whom the subjects will be drawn up in a scientific way, President Maithripala Sirisena said. The President also said that there would be a sound national policy under which all ministries have to function and the common national policies of a country need not change every time with the change of govt. more..

The my-way option for 20A

June 23 (DM) The 20th Amendment is in trouble. The 19th was also facing obstacles, one might recall. It is not easy to amend this constitution, need we remind ourselves? When the 19th came up we saw a lot of one upmanship. We saw gamesmanship too. There were threats issued. There was tinkering with the draft to suit party interests. It was eventually passed. Is it the same with the 20th? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The proposed 20th Amendment is being discussed in the midst of more..

Initiate a better future

June 23 (DM) The Political transformation that is taking place in the country today is undoubtedly a positive development, because it is mostly focused on the need to promote democracy and good governance. Yet, even if we succeed in establishing democracy and good governance on a firm footing, these alone are unlikely to bring about an improvement in the quality of life, the living environment and future prospects of the country and the wider population. more..

IUSF commemorates Shishya Weera Dinaya

June 23 (CT) On 20 June 1984, Comrade Padmasiri Abeysekara was shot and killed during a student protest. This incepted the unofficial inauguration of the Inter-University Student Activist Front. After 31 years of this incident, the student activism is still going strong and vigilant. The Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) recently commemorated Shishya Weera Dinaya (Student Heroism Day) last Saturday Ruhunu Uni more..

Raids reveal parts go missing before vehicles come to Hambantota port

June 23 (ST) Ports authorities have defended their workers against allegations that they were stealing expensive vehicle parts at the Hambantota harbour, saying inquiries had proven these components went missing before the cars were unloaded in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the Vehicle Importers’ Association of SL (VIASL) has submitted a list of proposals to Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to streamline vehicle clearing process, more..

COPA failed to probe customs, excise, motor and labour departments

June 23 (SL) Following our continuous exposes on how large scale frauds were ‘allowed’ to take place, in certain money spinning state departments during the previous regime, astonishing revelation have now come to the fore how the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) deliberately guarded these institutions that came under the purview of certain powerful Ministry Secretaries by not probing into the swindles more..

Opposition objects to adjournment debate on electoral reforms today

June 23 (Island) The Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday said that the Opposition would oppose an adjournment debate on electoral reforms today in Parliament and he had already objected to the proposal at the party leaders’ meeting yesterday morning. He told the media that the Leader of the House had yesterday informed the party leaders of an adjournment debate to be held today at the request of the govt. more..

Formation of CC unlikely before dissolution of parliament

June 23 (Island) The formation of the proposed 10-member Constitutional Council was unlikely before the dissolution of parliament due to disagreement between the govt and an influential section of the SLFP-led Opposition over the shaping of the high powered body, highly placed ministerial sources said. The dissolution of Parliament was imminent and likely to take place even without the passage of the 20 Amendment, sources said. more..

Prasanna doesn't want pavement hawkers

June 23 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has instructed Western Provincial Council Commissioner Chandrani Samarakoon not to allow pavement hawkers to conduct their businesses on the pavements of Colombo City. Colombo Mayor A.J.M.Muzammil had reportedly requested the Police Chief to allow pavement hawkers to sell goods on the pavement. more..

Rathana Thera storms out in high dudgeon

June 23 (Island) A tense situation arose at a party leaders’ meeting at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday with participants engaged in heated arguments. JHU representative Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera walked out in protest. The party leaders met at the Parliamentary complex with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presiding to allocate two days for a debate on proposed electoral reforms. more..

Nestle Lanka welcomes move to test Maggi

June 23 (LBO) Nestle Lanka, a unit of a Swiss-based food group said, they welcomed the move by the govt to test their popular brand Maggi for its lead content. “We welcome this move by the govt to test the product and it will act as an assurance to us,” Bandula Egodage, Spokesperson, Nestle Lanka said. “The quality and safety of our products is the top priority for the company,” “MAGGI Noodles is locally produced at our factory in Pannala, more..

Twelve Police OICs transferred

June 23 (AD) Twelve Police officers-in-charge (OICs) have been ordered transferred with immediate effect on exigencies of service by the IGP. Accordingly, the OIC of the Meerigama Police Station has been transferred to the Fraud Investigations Unit while the Fraud Unit’s OIC has been transferred to serve as the Meerigama OIC. Rambukkana OIC has been transferred to Nikaweratiya Division, more..

Gotabaya warns national security at risk

June 23 (CG) Former Defence Seretary Gotabaya Rajapakse today warned that national security is at risk since the LTTE international network is still active. A recent US report claimed last week that despite the military defeat of the LTTE at the hands of the Sri Lankan govt in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support still persists. “The fact that the LTTE’s international network and its sympathisers more..

Shares edge up on buying in Keells

June 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Tuesday to a near one-week high, led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, but trading was moderate due to political uncertainty ahead of the announcement of parliamentary polls. The main stock index ended up 0.2%, or 14.31 points, at 7,053.96, its highest close since June 18. Turnover stood at 810.5 million rupees, below this year's daily average of about 1.1 billion rupees. more..

Sharing Sri Lanka’s journey towards achieving peace

June 23 (CT) It is a pleasure for me to join you here at this High-Level Seminar on Peacebuilding, National Reconciliation and Democratisation in Asia, to share with you, details of Sri Lanka’s experience and our journey towards achieving lasting peace, reconciliation, prosperity and dignity for all our people. Ladies and Gentlemen, On the 6th of Sept 1951, the leader of the delegation of Sri Lanka, to the Conference for the Conclusion and Signature of the Treaty of Peace with Japan held in more..

Daily mirror Cartoon

India conducts search near Sri Lanka for missing fishermen

June 23 (CG) The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has launched a massive search around Tamil Nadu and near Sri Lanka for six fishermen who have been missing since last week. Machilipatnam Revenue Division Officer P. Saibaba told The Hindu that the ICG authorities had launched a massive search operation towards the TN coast and adjoining Sri Lanka coast. “Since there is no availability of helicopter at its Nellore and Kakinada battalions, the ICG has taken help from more..

Liberalising services could help overcome Sri Lanka skills shortages

June 23 (EN) It might be time for Sri Lanka to consider liberalising professional services with other countries doing the same and skills shortages hampering faster growth, an economist said. “Even in developed countries this is a sensitive issue because it involves foreign workers,” said Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the IPS. But he said liberalising professional services as the United States, Europe and countries like Australia have done, could be a way to overcome more..

Video: BBS meets CB Governor

June 23 (DM) BBS met Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to discuss the recent move to offer financial services under Islamic principles by private banks. “Islamic banking is a concept of Sharia Law, which prohibits the charging and receiving of interest rates. Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global banking industry and had been adopted by several countries, where the majority is not Muslim,” more..

SL electric car ownership doubles in May

June 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's electric car ownership more than doubled in May 2015 to 681 units up from 321 units in April, helped by relatively low taxes and cheap credit. 360 electric cars were registered in May 2015, up from 152 units in April. Until Mach 2014 there were only 169 electric cars in Sri Lanka. In a January 2015 budget taxes in electric cars were cut to 5% from 28%, but taxes were sharply hiked in hybrids, making electric cars relatively cheaper. "This has catalysed a massive increase in more..

Entrapped in 20A

June 23 (CT) The more controversies such as the proposed Twentieth Amendment (20A) bedevil the country's political landscape, the better it's for the Opposition and the worse it's for the UNP. The reason behind this deduction is to do with inflows. When there aren't inflows, the economy comes to a grinding halt. This is what has happened today. The reason behind inflows all but coming to a halt is the current, uncertain political situation in the country. This is more so applicable to foreign more..

Sri Lanka at high risk of heart diseases

June 23 (DM) People in South Asian countries including Sri Lanka have a higher risk of heart disease at an early age than any other ethnic group, says a report released by Stanford South Asian Translational Heart Initiative. Men appear to face a slightly higher threat of the disease than women, the report said. “People from South Asia -- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka -- have a four times more..

Over 100 in hospital after food poisoning

June 23 (CG) Over 100 people were admitted to hospital in Avisawella today following suspected food poisoning, the police media unit said. The police said that most of the people admitted to hospital are employees of a garment factory in the area. The police said that the employees had fallen ill after consuming food from the factory last afternoon and had to be rushed to the Avisawella Base Hospital today. The police are conducting further investigations into the incident. more..

'SL will strengthen rupee to 130 to the US$'

June 23 (EN) Sri Lanka will strengthen the rupee to 130 to the US dollar in two weeks from the current 133.90 to the US dollar Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament Tuesday. He said when the new administration came to power the rupee was 133.20 to the US dollar but it was now at 133.90 to the US dollar. "Within two weeks we will reduce this to 130," Karunanayake said. "Enough dollars are coming to the country. Investments are starting to come to the country." more..

Parliament expected to be dissolved on Wednesday

June 23 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed some minority political parties that the parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday even as it was meeting to debate key electoral reforms. Minority Tamil politician from Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Mano Ganeshan said that the PM had indicated that the reasons to dissolve the parliament this week was because the mandate for current govt had expired in April more..

Former Navy Chief Karannagoda’s bodyguard involved in abduction case: CID

June 23 (AD) A bodyguard attached to former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda’s security detail is wanted in connection with an abduction of a group of individuals in 2009, the CID informed the Colombo Magistrate on Tuesday (23). The CID apprised the Magistrate the preliminary inquiries into the abduction incident has disclosed that Sampath Munasinghe, who was a bodyguard attached to former Navy Commander Karannagoda, has allegedly involved in the case. more..

Former RADA director arrested

June 23 (DM) Reconstruction and Development Agency’s (RADA) former Finance and Administration Director Dr. Jayantha Samarasinghe was arrested by the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in connection with an alleged fraud that had taken place at the RADA in 2006. He was arrested on charges of having aided and abetted in the commission of this offence and approving vouchers issued to the contractors for the purpose of constructing houses for tsunami-affected more..

Sri Lanka to build second runway at BIA

June 23 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to build a second runway at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Shibly Aziz, chairman of CAA said. “BIA needs to be expanded as a commercial hub,” he said. “If so, it is imperative there should be a second runway.” BIA handles almost all scheduled commercial flights. Govt wants to build a second runway as soon as possible as passenger and freight traffic was growing but said more..

One dead after police fire on lorry

June 23 (NS) One person was killed after police opened fire on a lorry which did not heed orders to stop at a road block in Aranthalawa early this morning. The lorry had escaped despite being fired upon. However, police had later found it stopped on the side of the road at Borupola. Upon inspection, police has found an individual who had suffered gunshot wounds at the back of the lorry. He was admitted to the Mahaoya hospital but succumbed to his injuries. more..

Missing man’s body found in Kelani river

June 23 (Island) The body of a 52-year-old person who had gone missing several days earlier was found floating in the Kelani River on Saturday. The deceased was identified as Sumith Peiris, a resident of Weliweriya. He was unmarried and his relatives had complained to Weliweriya police that he had gone missing. According to the relatives he had been suffering from a mental disorder. The inquest was held by the Inquirer into Sudden Deaths of Biyagama, U.L. Gunasekera and more..

Linking SL’s South & North, the IRCON way

June 23 (ENS) IRCON International Limited, a Govt of India undertaking, has, in the last five years, rendered a yeoman’s service to Sri Lanka by rebuilding rail links between the Sinhalese-speaking South and the Tamil-speaking North, which had been disrupted for three decades by war and terrorism. Setting out IRCON’s achievements in Lanka in the past five years, Project Director Shyam Lal Gupta said that IRCON began its innings more..

Rs. 2,000 pay hike for govt servants

June 23 (DN) The Rs 2,000 salary increment for government servants will be added to their salary from this month, said Treasury Deputy Secretary S. R. Artigala. He was speaking in response to a question raised by a journalist at yesterday's press conference at the Finance Ministry auditorium. With this increment the Rs 10,000 increment pledged to public servants by the new govt is fulfilled. Rs 5,000 was added to the salary of the public servants in February. more..

Pakistan savour record-breaking Sri Lanka Test win

June 23 (AFP) Former Pakistan greats on Monday hailed their country's come-from-behind victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, which gave them the Asian record for most victories in the game's longest format. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by ten wickets in a match reduced to four days due to rain, dismissing their opponents for 206 in their second innings and knocking off the necessary 90 runs at more than eight an over without losing a wicket. more..

Six million votes not only for MS but also for UNP: Akila

June 23 (DM) UNP said today it was certain to obtain almost six million votes at the general elections similar to the Jan 8 presidential election where the UNP and the common opposition were able to muster the most number of votes for the then opposition candidate. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the people voted not only for President Sirisena as the common opposition candidate but also for the UNP. more..

KDU to get technical support from University of Karachi

June 23 (DN) International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) at University of Karachi will provide technical support to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) in setting up a research centre. This was stated by ICCBS Director Prof. Dr. Muhammad Chaudhry while talking to a delegation of KDU, in a meeting held on Sunday. KDU team was headed by Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris and comprised Director Prof. Roshan Perera and more..