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TULF, too, opposes meddling with EPF, ETF

Nov 12 (Island) TULF said it condemned govt moves to remove workers’ hard-earned EPF savings from the custody of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and hand them over to a new outfit to be formed. "We also urge the govt not to force a pension scheme on all workers because most of them will not opt for such a scheme," TULF leader Veerasingham Anandasangaree said. He pointed out that the Central Bank was still held in high esteem amongst all govt institutions in the country and more..

Video: Need a clear stance on Port City project: GL

Nov 12 (DM) The govt should make a clear stance promptly on the Colombo Port City project funded by China without sending mixed signals to Chinese Govt jeopardizing relationships with the two nations, Former External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris yesterday said. He said that 10 months had already passed since the govt suspended the project; a move which causes heavy losses in millions of dollars to China daily. more..

NFF claims its seminar series a huge success

Nov 12 (Island) NFF’s seminar series titled Giye Hitler da, Aave Chaplin da (Is it Hitler who left; is it Chaplin who came?) had attracted many participants, NFF propaganda secretary Mohamed Muzammil said. "We have already completed around 800 of 10,000 planned meetings covering all districts of the country. There is a huge response from the public," he said. "We want to enlighten the masses. We know that some people described former President Rajapaksa as another Hitler. more..

Primary students don’t attend school

Nov 12 (CT) Parents in border villages in the districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee and in the Verugal Division are not keen to send their children to primary schools. Only about 15% of parents are keen in sending their children to primary schools, said Verugal Divisional Secretary M.Thayaparan. He added that, primary education is a birth right of the children. Parents should send their children to primary classes without fail. Stern action would be taken against parents who fail to send their more..

Rajitha rubbishes claims by Wijeyadasa

Nov 12 (CG) Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne rubbished claims made by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha on Avant Garde issue. He said that Rajapaksha never spoke a word on the issue at the special meeting held yesterday with President. Justice Minister had told reporters the Govt had not decided to cancel all deals with Avant Garde and hand over the weapons on the floating armory operated by the company to the navy more..

Samantha Power and US Sri Lanka Policy

Nov 12 (TD) Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the UN, recently spoke at the Open Govt Partnership Global Summit in Mexico City. As she mentions at the outset, this is an initiative that deals with “the ideas of getting govts to work with civil society to create more open, accountable institutions and societies.” Officially created in 2011, Open Govt Partnership is something that merits support. Surprisingly, Power devotes a noticeable part of her remarks to Sri Lanka, more..

Coal: South Africa to provide concession

Nov 12 (DM) South African govt would provide high quality coal at concessionary rates to Sri Lanka in the future, South African High Commissioner Geoff Doidge has said. He said this while addressing a special meeting with Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya recently. “Sri Lanka has successfully focused on low-cost renewable energy sources as permanent solutions. Our govt also hopes to focus on renewable energy sources and to get help from SL,” High Commissioner said. more..

Video: 'KP not involved in 51 terrorist acts'

Nov 12 (DM) Police today submitted a report to the Court of Appeal that they had investigated 51 terrorist incidents and the investigations revealed that former LTTE arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP was not involved in those terrorist acts. Following the submission the Court of Appeal granted time till Feb 3 to the Respondents to file complete report ascertaining whether KP is involved any other terrorist incidents. more..

Video: No-fly zone declared tomorrow

Nov 12 (DM) A No fly-zone has been declared tomorrow between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. because a mysterious space debris named WT1190F is to hit Earth's surface near the southern sea area of Sri Lanka, Airport and Aviation Services Limited today said. It is said the object is suspected to hit the sea between Galle and Hambantota. The no-fly zone would not affect the operations of the BIA-Katunayake and the flight operators flying to Australia and Maldives have already found more..

President only asked to look at possibilities on Avant Grade: Wijeyadasa

Nov 12 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that President Maithripala Sirisena had only instructed the respective authorities to find out the possibilities of handing over the operations of Avant- Garde to the Sri Lanka Navy. Contradicting Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s claims, Minister Rajapakshe, who also attended the meeting with the President, said that no specific instruction was given to revoke the agreement with the Avant Garde Company. more..

Video: President promises to abolish Executive system

Nov 12 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today promised to make the changes expected by the late Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero. Speaking at the funeral of the late Venerable Sobitha Thero at the Parliament grounds, the President said that he will abolish the Executive Presidential system and make social changes. President, speaking in front of hundreds of people who attended the funeral, said that more..

Sobhitha Thera: The bridge between mosque & temple

Nov 13 (CT) The demise of the Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Nayaka Thera not only created a vacuum within the social fabric in fighting for social justice, but also symbolized the role of a Buddhist religious leader in creating national unity and ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the iconic monk told us a story how an extreme nationalistic fundamentalist could become a role-model in creating ethnic harmony and national reconciliation. more..

No man a judge in his own cause (Nemojudex in re sua)

Nov 13 (SL) Italic A judge is disqualified from any case in which he may be, or may fairly be suspected to be, biased. So important is this rule that Coke supposed, as we have seen, that it should prevail even over an act of parliament; and he reported a case where the Court of Chancery resolved that the equity judge of Chester was incompetent to judge a case in which he himself was a party. (Egerton Vs. Lord Derby 1613) (Wade and Forsyth on Administrative Law) more..

'I have an issue with Dilip'

Nov 13 (CT) Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera conceded that there was a rift and that there is lack of proper communication between him and Deputy Minister of Fisheries Dilip Wedaarachchi because both contested from the same district. Amaraweera stressed on the burning issues pertaining to the Indian fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan waters as well as other matters concerning his Ministry. more..

A heart-felt apology would still be in order

Nov 13 (SL) It’s anybody’s guess, why Eric Solheim, the controversial Norwegian peace envoy, should talk about the last days/weeks of the ethnic war, as he had not done before and with the not-so-unusual twist. At the launch of Marrk Salter’s book, To End a Civil War – Norway’s Peace Engagement with Sri Lanka, at a London function, Solheim is reported to have said: “Rajapaksa wanted to do a backroom deal to make Prabhakaran the leader there. He portrayed himself as the great saviour more..

Debt, Counselling and the Production of Neoliberal Subjects

Nov 13 (Island) Household debt has plagued the North and East since the war ended. Activists and journalists have long highlighted the consequences of predatory credit and the devastating indebtedness faced by the war-torn people; from rural indebtedness, to debt accrued from the Indian Housing grants to the debt trap with lease hire purchasing. More than such writings, the crisis on the ground, with increasing rates of suicide and attempted suicide, half built houses and more..

'Govt has become unpopular within just 10 months'

Nov 13 (FT) Leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa stresses the Govt that came to power to end autocracy is practicing the worst dictatorship ever experienced in the country. According to Weerawansa, the present Govt will not hesitate to act against anybody who poses a threat to it. “The country’s economy has collapsed. We need to make a force to stand against the injustice that is taking place in this country,” he said. more..

Crime and no punishment

Nov 13 (CT) Theravada Buddhism has answers to many of the problems parents face in their day-to-day lives. However, today Sri Lankans face more problems than they had in the past. One of the major problems parents face today is whether their children would return home safely. Child abuse, drugs and suicide are some of the dangers children are likely to encounter. In many instances the person living next door can be a potential rapist. Even drugs are introduced to children by more..

Remembering Ven. Sobitha Thero

Nov 13 (GV) Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero passed away on Nov 8 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, at 73 years old. A prominent social justice activist, Ven. Sobitha Thero has been described as a nonviolent revolutionary who helped bring about the change in Presidency, through his National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) which brought together a fragmented opposition. As he is laid to rest, today (12) has been declared a national day of mourning. more..

Sobitha Hamuduruwo

Video: The '90s show is back, so is the lost childhood

Nov 13 (CI) Some moments need to be frozen in time. Like at the start of the eighth over of the second innings in the second All-Star Series match in Houston, when Shane Warne brought himself on to bowl. Sachin's Blasters were 69 for 2, chasing a mammoth 263. Brian Lara was on strike. Sachin Tendulkar, who had just pounded his buddy Ajit Agarkar for two sixes and a four, was shadow-batting at the non-striker's end. Kumar Sangakkara stood behind the stumps. more..

Editorial: Confusion worse confounded

Nov 13 (Island) The floating armoury issue has taken a dramatic turn. President Maithripala Sirisena has yielded to pressure from some of his trusted lieutenants who are all out to bring criminal charges against the Avant Garde high-ups and their political associates including the Rajapaksas. There is an air of prosecutorial zeal and judicial abandon about the present dispensation whereas its predecessor was notorious for letting even criminals off the hook. It was only the other day that more..

Port City ready for take off

Nov 13 (SO) The stalled Port City project will get off the ground when the new Agreement between the Govt of SL and the Chinese Govt comes into operation, quashing scepticism that the former Agreement signed by Rajapaksa regime would stand. Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe refuted this claim and said a new Agreement has been drawn up clearing doubts and will be signed shortly after resolving legal, security & environmental more..

Farewell, noble peoples’ monk

Nov 13 (CT) As we bid farewell to a rare human being who probably changed the political landscape of Sri Lanka from disaster, it is time for us to reflect on his life, times and principles that he adhered to in the spirit of serving mankind and resolve to continue his work. Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha was one of those rare individuals who, despite his limited formal education possessed vast knowledge. He probably was the most influential Buddhist priest in Sri Lanka who was accepted by more..

Commercial Bank’s 9-month profit Rs. 12 b

Nov 13 (FT) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has reported profit before tax of Rs. 12.190 billion for the nine months ending 30 September 2015, achieving a creditable 8.72% growth despite narrowing margins and substantially lower capital gains in comparison with the same period of the preceding year. The bank’s profit after tax of Rs. 8.426 billion at the end the third quarter reflected growth of 7.96%, while gross income at Rs 56.694 billion was an improvement of 4.58%, more..

The slow death of politics as usual?

Nov 13 (FT) In the end it took only five days for the unthinkable to happen. For the first time in recent memory, a minister of Cabinet rank was forced to tender his resignation following a massive public outcry over his attempted defence of a private company implicated in a major arms scandal. After five days of intense public and civil society pressure and the threat of mutiny within their own ranks, govt leaders realised the wolf was more..

Lankan racing fraternity will miss Brian Elias

Nov 13 (Island) The entire motor racing fraternity in Sri Lanka was saddened when they heard that one of the most senior sports journalists in the country who had extended yeoman service to the well-being of the sport has passed away. Motoring Editor of The Island, Brian Elias ended his race of life at the age of 79 on Wednesday, and the loss is almost unbearable. Brian was a true lover of motor sports and there was no racing event on Lankan soil which he wasn’t interested in. more..

Asked to resign, existing Hilton Board members appeal to remain

Nov 13 (FT) Several existing Board of Directors of Hotel Developers, owning company of Colombo Hilton, have appealed to remain and continue serving amidst moves to reconstitute it by the new Minister of Public Enterprise Development. It is customary in public sector that Board of Directors are expected to resign when there is a change of Minister and in the case of Hotel Developers, it shifted from Finance Ministry to newly set up Ministry of Public Enterprise Development. more..

Mini-battles, cross-fire continue over Avant Garde

Nov 13 (FT) Avant Garde controversy continued to cause major divisions in the ruling administration, after Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa denied reports that President had ordered the cancellation of all govt contracts with the private security firm. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, yesterday contradicted Justice Minister’s remarks to the press, saying Rajapaksa had been present at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, more..

Expolanka 1H profit up 127% to Rs. 1 b

Nov 13 (FT) Expolanka has recorded a Profit Before Tax of Rs. 661 million for the second quarter of the financial year 2015/16. Group posted a cumulative PBT of Rs. 1,062 million for the first half of the financial year 2015/16 posting an increase of 127% over the PBT of Rs. 466 million recorded in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. “In this quarter we are seeing the fruits of our strategic approach to business growth, operational efficiencies and restructuring efforts." more..

HNB 9 months profit up 20% to Rs 6.8 bn

Nov 13 (Island) Hatton National Bank (HNB) continued its strong performance in 2015 with 9 months profit after tax increasing by 20.1% YOY over the corresponding period of 2014 to reach LKR 6.8 Bn. The Bank also reported a considerable growth of 21.6% YOY in assets up to Sept 2015. Commenting on the 9 months performance, HNB CEO, Jonathan Alles stated that "We concluded yet another successful quarter with significant growth witnessed in profits as well as a robust more..

Six years after a civil war, Sri Lanka bets on start-ups, lures investors

Nov 13 (TA) When you visit Sri Lanka, it’s hard to imagine that the beautiful, teardrop-shaped island was once the ground of one of the bloodiest civil wars in history. Two ethnic groups – majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil – were engaged in a bitter war that claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 people in thirty years. Since the war ended in 2009, however, the country has seen massive change. more..

Colombo DC refuses to restrain UNP leadership

Nov 13 (DM) A request by the Mahiyangana electorate UNP organizer to restrain the UNP leadership from naming members to the vacant position in the Uva PC was rejected by Colombo District Judge T.D. Gunasekera. The petitioner, Prof. Pradeep Wijewardena said he was voted to the ninth place in the last Uva PC Election for Badulla District. He said the UNP had nominated eight other members respectively from 1 to 8 in the list to various posts in Uva Provincial Council and more..

EBC relaunches its stations

Nov 13 (CT) EAP Edirisinghe Group of Companies, Shree FM, Ran 1 FM & E-FM relaunched its programmes to offer innovative radio promos and interactive programmes at a glittering ceremony recently. The network known as the EAP Broadcasting Company (EBC) boasts of an AIB Award (Association for International Broadcasting - International Media Excellence Awards 2010) and two NAB awards (National Association of Broadcasters International Broadcasting more..

J'pura University to get Engineering Faculty

Nov 13 (DN) Sri J'pura University will get an Engineering Faculty soon. The construction of the Engineering Faculty has been delayed due to various reasons, though the project received Cabinet nod during the previous govt. Authorities assured that funds to establish the faculty will be allocated soon. University administration hoped that they would be able to enroll students to the faculty after the buildings are constructed and more..

Russia mourns death of Ven. Sobitha

Nov 13 (Island) Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava issued the following statement: "It is that with profound sorrow I learnt about the demise of Venerable Maduluwawe Sohitha Thero. We join the Sri Lanka nation in mourning the loss of this great prelate, who had warm relations with my country. From 1980 to 1980 Ven. Sobitha Thera was the President of the Kotte Branch of SL-Soviet Friendship League among nations (Buddhist Priest Association of SL-Soviet Friendship). more..

SL seeks investment from Bangladeshi firms

Nov 13 (DS) Sri Lankan govt has invited Bangladeshi companies to invest in their country to boost ties between the two Saarc nations. The two countries have identified several areas of cooperation, including trade, investment, tourism, agriculture, education, culture, defence, health, air, sea connectivity and human resources development. Sri Lankan companies have already invested more than $300 million in Bangladesh, said its high commissioner, Yasoja Gunasekera, more..

EU evaluation team due in Sri Lanka on seafood exports ban issue

Nov 13 (Island) A technical evaluation team from the European Union (EU) is due to arrive in Sri Lanka this week to observe local fisheries activities following the ban imposed by the EU on Sri Lanka’s seafood exports. The objective of the delegation’s visit is to compile a report on the progress made by Sri Lanka in order to bring the local fish export industry in compliance with EU standards. more..

Health Walk to mark World Diabetes Day under President's patronage

Nov 13 (GDI) The World Diabetes Day falls on Nov 14. A Health Walk to mark the World Diabetes Day will commence from the Independence Square on Nov 14 at 7am under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. This was revealed by Dr. Uditha Bulugahapitiya, President of the Endocrine Society of Sri Lanka (ESSL) at a media conference. Ministers, MPs and a large crowd is expected to participate in the walk which will proceed up to the BMICH premises. more..

SA's largest beach sports festival in SL

Nov 13 (DN) South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) will sponsor the inaugural edition of Aqua Vida scheduled to be held at Jetwing Beach, Negombo on November 14. The event will bring together over 700 athletes in an exciting and fun-filled festival with live entertainment and activities. The beach sports festival will include a wide range of sports including - Beach Football, Beach Volleyball, Beach Waterpolo, Beach Handball, Beach Rugby and a Sea Swim. Over 10 teams in each sporting disciplines more..