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Study reveals over 3,600 HIV-positive cases

Nov 2 (FT) The latest local study on HIV/AIDS estimates that over 3,600 people are living with HIV in Sri Lanka and the majority of them are in the 15 to 49 age group. The 2014/2015 Annual Report of the National STD/AIDS Control Program of the Ministry of Health estimates that there were around 3,300 (ranges from 2,300-5,700) people living with HIV in 2014. “Of these, 76% are to be in the Over 15 year age group and more..

'Three cases reopened, investigation division to expand in Nov'

Nov 2 (LBO) SEC of Sri Lanka has reopened three cases as part of probes that will be carried out by an expanded investigations and enforcement division. An SEC reorganization will be completed in Nov, and an upgraded surveillance system will be in place next year, SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne said. “When the new commission took over I impressed upon them the need to revisit these cases,” he said. more..

President meets Thai PM: Bilateral talks begin

Nov 2 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a four day state visit to Thailand met the PM of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha at his official residence today (1). President who arrived at the official residence of the Thailand PM was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister Chan-o-cha. Welcome ceremony included a Guard of Honor. After the welcome ceremony, two leaders commenced bilateral talks. more..

Editorial: Yen for yuan

Nov 2 (Island) The Rajapaksa govt was notorious for ruffling the eagle’s feathers. The Rajapaksas and their lackeys would tuck up their sarongs and hurl abuse at Washington at the drop of a hat as if the biggest threat to this country had come from the US. But, some of those vociferous critics were American citizens themselves though they pretended that they had nothing to do with the US! The empire struck back in the end and they did not know what hit them! The big guns of the UNP, more..

Shares at 2-wk low; turnover slumps

Nov 2 (Reuters) Stocks closed weaker on Monday while turnover slumped to a near 3-1/2-month low as investors awaited a key govt policy statement and the budget for direction. The main stock index ended down 0.18% at 7,029.07, its lowest close since Oct.19. The day's turnover was 424.9 million rupees, the lowest since July. 21 and less than half of this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to announce the country's medium term economic policy more..

Ada Cartoon

Tigers scuttle Consul General’s speaking engagement at univesity

Nov 2 (Island) I was invited to speak at different events and to meet people and exchange views in Canada in addition to the several media interviews I gave in Canada. I not only met with people in Ontario but in Vancouver and Montreal. On most occasions I managed to convey the govt’s point of view and our thoughts. However, the LTTE and its active lobby kept in touch with our moves and tried to disrupt or get people to boycott such events and meetings. more..

Joint Opposition lambastes govt., police for attacking students’ protest

Nov 2 (Island) The joint opposition condemning the last Thursdays police attack on Higher National Diploma students at Ward Place in Colombo said that now the National Police Commission had the opportunity to prove its worth by investigating the incident impartially. The joint opposition said that the police had not only ruthlessly assaulted the students but also were telling stories to cover it up. "The entire nation saw what happened and more..

Sri Lanka deports Maldivian teen wanted in president's boat blast probe

Nov 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Monday deported a Maldivian teenager wanted in an investigation into an explosion on a boat carrying Maldives President Abdulla Yameen. The deportation comes after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had found no conclusive evidence that the Sept. 28 explosion was caused by a bomb. Yameen, 56, was unhurt in the blast as his presidential boat approached the capital Male more..

TULF puts Karuna on waiting list

Nov 2 (Island) No decision had been made to offer TULF membership to former SLFP Vice-President and ex- LTTE Military leader V Muralitharan, popularly known as Karuna Amman, TULF leader V Anandasangaree said. Confirming that Karuna Amman and the TULF had held discussions on the former joining the TULF, the 82-year–old TULF leader said he had requested Karuna to "wait for some time’. "I’m forming a broad platform of Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim political parties. more..

Anura Kumara in hospital

Nov 2 (DM) JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake was admitted to Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital late Sunday night following a sudden illness. According to party sources, Mr. Dissanayake’s condition was not serious. He is said to be suffering of an attack of gastritis. He was expected to undergo some medical tests according to sources. Dissanayake was treated and is in a stable condition, however he will have to undergo a CT scan, hospital Director said. more..

Video: NPC appoints 3 members committee on HNDA attack

Nov 2 (DM) A three-member committee comprising senior administrative service officers has been appointed by the National Police Commission to investigate the attack on the students of the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) in Colombo last Thursday. NPC Secretary N. Ariyadasa said today the committee would inquire whether a violation of police discipline had taken place during their more..

President emphasises need for new land policy

Nov 2 (Island) The highest percentage of prison inmates on death row had received their sentences for committing crimes related to land disputes, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday. Addressing a ceremony at Urubokka on Friday to distribute 4,000 land deeds among landless families. "Today, we hear that the country’s jails are bursting at their seams. Among those inmates are over 500 sentenced to death. I recently checked the records of the crimes committed by more..

PRECIFAC summons former Minister

Nov 2 (CT) Former Minister of Coconut Development, Jagath Pushpakumara has been notified to appear before the PRECIFAC on 3 Nov (Tuesday). General Secretary of the PRECIFAC Lacille De Silva said that the former minister has been summoned to appear before the Commission to provide statements on certain financial irregularities at the Coconut Cultivation and Development Board and claims of misusing of State resources. more..

UPFA will look to take control of CMC

Nov 2 (CG) UPFA will look to take control of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) which is currently governed by the UNP. Minister Faizer Mustapha said that the UPFA is determined to win the upcoming Local Govt (LG) elections under the leadership of President Sirisena. He said that the UPFA will look at taking control of the CMC through the election scheduled to take place in March next year. more..

Sri Lanka's new regime violates own laws to help Maldives autocrat

Nov 2 (EN) Sri Lankan authorities have today blatantly violated the country's own laws by forcing a Maldivian man out of the country at the request of an autocratic regime cracking down on dissent at home. Immigration officials backed by the Boralesgamuwa police station arrested Ahmed Ashraf, a Maldivian man closely associated with that country's Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, on Sunday night although he had not violated Sri Lankan laws. Sri Lanka's immigration controller had the audacity to more..

Retired Singapore doctor wins case against Lankan maid

Nov 2 (CG) Lawyers for a retired doctor in Singapore who suffers from dementia have won their case by default against her former maid from Sri Lanka, one of four people alleged to have enriched themselves by taking advantage of the doctor. The former maid, A. Kanthimathy, 55, had failed to file notice to defend her case when she was sued, together with K. Malayaperumal and G. Subramaniam, in June for the return of some $5 million – which Dr Freda Paul, more..

Sri Lanka should raise rates, not give rate cut sugar to diabetic: ex-CB Deputy Governor

Nov 2 (EN) Central Bank should raise rates instead of injecting sugar to an already diabetic credit system which is burning up with high loan growth, former Deputy Governor W A Wijewardene has said. Sri Lanka's high credit growth and central bank financing of the budget deficit is hitting the balance of payments and undermining overall economic stability and confidence. "It requires the bank to increase interest rates and not cut more..

Kodikara charged for obstructing police officer

Nov 2 (DM) Cinnamon Gardens Police today filled a charge sheet against UPFA western provincial councillor Upali Kodikara at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court for obstructing a police officer from performing his duty at the BMICH on Oct 16. Police told the Magistrate that they would process the computer evidence relating to the incident on the next calling date. Counsel R.A.P. Ranawaka appearing for Mr. Kodikara requested the Magistrate to remove the restraining order given by more..

SLINEX 2015 concludes successfully

Nov 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Navy Exercise (SLINEX 2015) concluded successfully yesterday in Trincomalee. The joint naval exercise had enabled both navies to rehearse and improve their capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region by integrating forces, the Sri Lanka Navy said. The events of the final day were witnessed by Secretary, Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Chief of Defence more..

United opposition for LG polls?

Nov 2 (EN) Several political parties of the opposition have already held a discussion with former President Rajapaksa on forming a united opposition before the Local Govt elections, UPFA MP Vasudewa Nanayakkara stated. Nearly 25 MPs of the SLFP too attended the discussion, he said. “All parties of the UPFA coalition, except the SLFP, are on the same page about the matter. We need former President Rajapkasa’s blessings to more..

SC issues notices on President, PM

Nov 2 (AD) The Supreme Court today issued notices on 75 persons including the President, PM, and several Cabinet Ministers. The notices were issued, after considering a petition which indicated irregularities when awarding tenders for the supply of coal to the thermal power plant in Norochcholai, was taken up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice K. Sri Pavan. Fundamental Rights (FR) petition has been filed by the Nobel Resources Pvt. Limited, according to the reporter. more..

Tax defaulters to get a wake up call

Nov 2 (CG) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says tax defaulters must be given a wake up call by the relevant officials. Speaking at a function held today to mark the 15th anniversary of the Inland Revenue Department, he said that it is those who can pay taxes who fail to pay.Minister said that some people take advantage of what the Govt has to offer but yet fail to pay their taxes on time. He said that tax defaulters must be encouraged to pay taxes on time and this is part of the responsibility of IRD. more..

Trouble brewing amid lukewarm demand

Nov 2 (Nikkei) At the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in a semicircular room reminiscent of an old university lecture hall, nearly 200 buyers sit at long tables listening to the commanding voice of the auctioneer. Standing behind a wooden platform at the front of the room, he calls out to one of them, a man to his right: "It is a superior tea, sir." The buyer apparently agrees. He accepts the leaves on offer, and the auctioneer bangs his more..

BASL slams police assault on students

Nov 2 (CT) Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) called on the National Police Commission (NPC) to take immediate action to interdict police officers who assaulted students recently or to at least place them on compulsory leave pending investigations. Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the BASL Lal Wijenayake said they condemned the attack on the protesting Higher National Diploma for Accounting Collective, more..

Will be sad if Dheepan does not release in India: Kalieaswari

Nov 2 (PTI) Jacques Audiard's French drama Dheepan has received rave reviews at various film festivals across the globe, but actress Kalieaswari says it will be sad if the film doesn't a get a release in India. Featuring former Tamil Tiger child soldier, Antonythasan Jesuthasan in the lead role, the film tells the story of three Tamil refugees who flee the civil war-ravaged Sri Lanka and come to France, in the hope of reconstructing their lives. "I wasn't thinking about whether there'll be a problem, more..

Mannar Island wind power project: CEB enraged losing it to private sector

Nov 2 (CT) Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers' Union (CEBEU) has stressed on govt the importance of preventing the production of electricity from the Wind Power Farm of 400MW, proposed to be constructed on the Mannar Islands, being given to the private sector. They laid emphasis on the fact that the absolute right to produce wind power on the Mannar Islands, which have the highest wind power potential in Sri Lanka, more..

Father-in-law Austin; White belly turns yellow

Nov 3 (CT) This commentary is an effort of plain speaking to repossess the spirit of the movement that made 8th January possible. In less than eight weeks, we will reach the first anniversary of the Maithri Presidency. The avidity of late January has given way to abject apathy in early November. The essence of what was perceived then as an epochal transformation is captured in this anecdotal point of reference with which the Time Magazine accentuated the Maithripala presidency. more..

Is the underworld emerging & active in SL

Nov 3 (CT) 5th Protocol on General Assembly in Bangkok describes this concept as organized crime – in other words the underworld as ‘an enterprise of group of persons engaged and continue in illegal activities which is active and primary purpose of generating profits irrespective of its boundaries.’ This shows that it has no boundaries and limitations. Profiteering process may be different but income may be enormous. In the present trend of most developed IT and connected technology more..

'War crime charges and white van abductions: I have spoken'

Nov 3 (SO) Former Minister Mervyn Silva who is known for making controversial statements said he is fully aware of the masterminds behind the abductions and killings during the previous regime. Early this year he alleged that former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were responsible for many abductions and killings. Former minister said he has informed he has informed law enforcement more..

Deals within deals, Troika panic, the royal bunker and Rugby getaways

Nov 3 (SO) It is no secret that investigations on the disappearance of Ekneligoda have ruffled a lot of feathers in the defence establishment. From the outset, several top-notch military figures attempted to put kakul maattu to the investigation claiming they posed a serious threat to national security and the intelligence agencies. A prominent figure among them was a certain Buzz Leader, a high profile State official, who had to bid adieu to his post in early September, mainly due to more..

Macroeconomic compulsions and structural challenges to generate economic growth

Nov 3 (ST) There is no longer a possibility of continuing foreign funded growth strategies or doing business as usual to achieve high economic growth. Fundamental flaws in the economy require to be addressed to benefit from the propitious global conditions that could enable Sri Lanka’s economic growth. The reduction of the fiscal deficit and appropriate monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies are essential in the short term. And in the medium term, structural reforms more..

'We are not here to take revenge from anybody'

Nov 3 (SL) Accusations have been levelled against the TNA by V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for deceiving the Tamils by taking a different stand before the election to get Tamil votes and another stand after the election in favour of the govt especially in terms of the investigation into the alleged war crimes and human rights violation. He accused the TNA of being Yes Men of the govt. more..

The case of passports lost and found

Nov 3 (ST) Alice thought things were curious. Well some things even curiouser. But the case of Wimal Weerawansa MP, known to one and all as the rathu sahodaraya sounds far more curious than anything Alice would have encountered in Wonderland. In fact it is so curious that it takes not only the banana but the kehel mala as well. To those who are colour blind-partially or fully – confusion over colour is natural. To the ideologically colour blind our rathu sahodaraya appears as blood red or more..

Plantation sector in turmoil

Nov 3 (SL) Being a frontline exporter of tea, Sri Lanka could be recognised as a country which has recognition for its plantations sector. That being a fact, over the past few years the headwinds coming in from Sri Lanka’s plantation sector was not entirely positive. With more and more estates closing down and plantation workers leaving the industry, concerns have been raised by various parties affiliated to the sector claiming that the momentum of the industry have been stinted due to more..

'Parliament not there to offer jobs'

Nov 3 (CT) The country is passing through an interesting period in which good governance has become the major slogan. Constitutional amendments were enacted and there are further discussions about constitutional reforms and maintaining the principle of good governance. Senior economist and former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, shares his thoughts as to how constitutional reforms more..

Editorial: A’pura killing

Nov 3 (Island) The police have, at long last, arrested the main suspect in the Anuradhapura nightclub killing. A Special Forces deserter known as SF Lokka, he is alleged to have been involved in underworld activities. Now that almost all wanted suspects have been taken into custody, it is hoped that they will be prosecuted expeditiously and justice done. Besides, drastic action is called for to neutralise the underworld and put an immediate end to the Wild West style attacks. more..

Achieving reconciliation

Nov 3 (Island) I was surprised to read about the possible return of Rev. Fr. S.J. Emmanuel to Sri Lanka, at the invitation of the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs. I was also diffident of the prospect of his coming. I was with Fr. Emmanuel in his small home for more than two weeks this last August. Together we watched the election results and discussed how a just era in SL could come about. As for him, it was not just a personal home-coming, however much desired, that mattered, more..

Mark Mobius shares his mantra for Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (FT) Emerging markets guru Dr. Mark Mobius declared Sri Lanka has great potential, provided the country gets its policies right, especially on taxation and infrastructure development to lure more foreign direct investment as well as bolster the local private sector. Mobius, who is on a five day visit to Sri Lanka, said that his Templeton Emerging Markets Group, which oversees nearly $ 40 billion in assets and is part of one of the more..

Need to safeguard multi-ethnic majority by keeping all sides in mind

Nov 3 (Island) The 25th anniversary of the Muslim expulsion from the north was observed last week through a number of events, including in the north. The most high profile commemorative event took place in Colombo with a panel discussion held under the aegis of the SLMC and its leader Minister Rauff Hakeem. The key speakers were political leaders from all communities and included Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, D M Swaminathan and TNA MP M A Sumanthiran. more..