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Govt wants close ties with China

Nov 3 (CG) Govt noted the importance of maintaining strong economic ties with China. State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told Parliament that today some of the most powerful countries in the world have realized that they need to be close to China. Abeywardena, who was a Minister in the former Govt and later supported the new Govt headed by President Sirisena, said that a stable economy in China more..

Holder handed one-game suspension

Nov 3 (CI) West Indies captain Jason Holder has received a one-match suspension for maintaining a slow over-rate during the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Since it was Holder's second transgression of the year - he had been found guilty of a minor over-rate offence in the fifth ODI against South Africa in January - he will now miss West Indies' second match of the ongoing Sri Lanka series, on Wednesday. Holder was also fined 40% of his match fees, while more..

Sri Lanka shares at near-4-month low

Nov 3 (Reuters) Stocks ended at its lowest in nearly four months on Tuesday while turnover slumped as investors awaited a key govt policy statement later this week and also the budget for direction. The main stock index ended down 0.41% at 7,000.41, its lowest close since July 13. The index has fallen for four straight session through Tuesday. The day's turnover was 391.2 million rupees, the lowest since July. 14 and less than half this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. more..

Strengthened Sri Lanka eye series win

Nov 3 (CI) Spectators who came to the opening ODI spent much of their time wondering if the rains would relent long enough to allow the game's completion. In the end, they were rewarded for their patience with a shortened match that featured myriad peaks and troughs for either team, hairpin bends, collapses and dropped catches, all leading to a delicious climax featuring unlikely heroes. Sri Lanka should have sauntered to more..

Economic performance of U.S. and India - bright spots for Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (Hindu) The recovery of the United States’ economy and India’s growth prospects are bright spots for the Sri Lankan economy, Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, has said. The UK, buying a major chunk of apparel products from Sri Lanka, was faring well and this would also augur well for the local economy, Dr. Weerasinghe told the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently. However, he said the slow growth of the European economy could have more..

IUSF on protest march against privatizing free education

Nov 3 (DM) A massive protest march organised by the Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) and HNDA students against the privatization of free education began from the Sri J'pura University in Nugegoda and ended outside the UGC this evening. Thousands of university students belonging to the IUSF joined the protest march which caused heavy traffic along the High-level Road and in Town Hall. The protest march was not disrupted or dispersed by the police like what occurred last Thursday more..

'Is Sri Lanka slighting India’s request for release of fishermen'

Nov 3 (PTI) Against the backdrop of over 100 Tamil Nadu fishermen continuing to be in Sri Lankan prisons, DMK chief Karunanidhi wondered if the island nation was slighting India's request for their release. "Does the Central govt accord importance to the representations of political parties and the state govt over the travails of Tamil Nadu fishermen, or is the Sri Lankan govt slighting India's request (seeking fishermen release)," more..

Sampanthan seeks 100,000 jobs for N-E youth

Nov 3 (CG) Opposition leader R Sampanthan today urged PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to take measures to provide 100,000 jobs for the youth in the North and East. Speaking in Parliament, the opposition leader said that unemployment is a huge issue in the country. He said that Sri Lanka’s education system does not assure jobs for those who do well as so there needs to be an employment oriented education system. The opposition leader said that he had discussed the unemployment issue more..

Japan confers prestigious decoration on SL

Nov 3 (CG) Govt of Japan today announced the conferment of The order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette upon Lal De Alwis in recognition of his significant contribution in strengthening and deepening Japan and Sri Lanka relations. A congratulatory message was sent by Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign affairs in Japan today upon the announcement stating “Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, more..

Video: Three people electrocuted

Nov 3 (DM) Three army soldiers were electrocuted when a high tension electric wire fell on a van in Ginthota along the Galle road this morning. The vehicle belonged to a driving school at Ambalangoda and at the time of the tragedy there had been seven soldiers in the vehicle awaiting their turn to learn-to-drive. There were attached to Boossa Army Camp. Vehicle had stopped near the Ginthota Railway Station to allow another more..

Priest’s century guides White Ferns to comfortable ODI win over Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (SLC) A long-awaited maiden century for opening batsman Rachel Priest put the icing on the cake for New Zealand’s WHITE FERNS as a powerhouse top order set up an 96-run win at Lincoln’s Bert Sutcliffe Oval in the first ODI of their maiden bilateral contest with Sri Lanka. Priest had come into the game with a best of 96 not out, which she had recorded in a win against England last summer. As the hard-hitting Wellingtonian equalled that score, she also posted her 1000th run more..

Video: Actor Lal Weerasinghe reports to PRECIFAC

Nov 3 (DM) Veteran actor Lal Weerasinghe today reported to PRECIFAC to record a statement on a matter connected to SriLankan airlines. He said he was asked to report to PRECIFAC to obtain a statement about an event he had participated in. “I was only asked to give evidence about the event I participated in. I was told that the Commission was investigating an allegation against SriLankan airlines but that there was no allegation against me. I don’t know anything about this matter,” more..

TULF's appeal to Sirisena on Tamil prisoners

Nov 3 (Hindu) TULF has renewed its appeal to President Sirisena for the immediate release of over 200 Tamils, popularly called political prisoners, who have been experiencing imprisonment for a number of years. Prisoners have, essentially, been booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and when they undertook a week-long fast last month, they gave up their agitation after the govt assured them to more..

Fish rain in Medawachchiya

Nov 3 (DN) Villagers in Medawachchiya, Anuradhapura were astounded to witness a rainfall of tiny fish on Sunday night. Villagers said they heard something heavy falling on roofs and found scores of small fish when they went out side. The people described the fish as similar to Dandiya, a fresh water fish found abundantly in lakes in the North Central province. Some of the fish were still alive and were put in buckets of water by villagers. Prior to the falling of fish, villagers said more..

Monsoon makes adaptability matter: Baptiste

Nov 3 (CI) Through the course of their visit, West Indies have witnessed the gradual onset of the north-east monsoon. In Galle, the rains restricted themselves to night-time hours. In the second Test, bad weather began to affect the cricket, washing out one full day of play. The day-long deluges have not yet set in, but the limited-overs matches may be hampered by interruptions and delays, meaning shortened matches & Duckworth-Lewis calculations are likely to feature over the next week. more..

SL ranked 61st in World Prosperity Index

Nov 3 (DM) Sri Lanka has ranked 61st globally in the 2015 Prosperity Index released by London-based the Legatum Institute on Monday. The index measures the well-being of a country’s people and its wealth taking 142 countries across eight sub- categories into consideration: the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Governance, Education, Health, Safety and Security, Personal Freedom and Social Capital. more..

Sri Lanka’s credit card debt Rs. 60 billion

Nov 3 (CG) Sri Lanka’s credit card debt is at Rs 60 billion so far, Parliament was informed today. Responding to a question posed by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana, Govt said that the use of credit cards is high in Sri Lanka. Govt also noted that the high use of credit cards has also resulted in credit card fraud like in several other countries. Responding to another question on the use of pyramid schemes, Govt said that such schemes are banned in Sri Laka but continue to operate. more..

Jagath Pushpakumara gets sick!

Nov 3 (LT) Former Minister of Coconut Development Jagath Pushpakumara had been summoned by the PRECIFAC today regarding a complaint received by PRECIFAC that he had obtained a state land in his wife’s name and developed it incurring a loss of Rs.15 million to the govt. However, he has informed the Commission through his lawyers that he would not be present today. The lawyers have informed the Commission that Mr. Pushpakumara was unwell and he could not be present for the sessions. more..

President calls for strengthening Thai-Sri Lanka investment and business ties

Nov 3 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena invited Thai investors and business community to make use of highly liberalized economic policies of Sri Lanka and enhance bi-lateral trade relations. Addressing the Thailand – Sri Lanka Business Forum in Bangkok today, he expressed happiness over the fact that the Deputy PM of Thailand Somkid Jutusripitak, who has the responsibility for economic development has taken a personal interest more..

Law Faculty student case re-fixed for hearing

Nov 3 (DN) The lawsuit filed by Law Faculty student Achala Priyadarshani whose left hand was amputated due to alleged negligence on the part of the medical staffs of two govt hospitals was yesterday re-fixed for hearing by Colombo District Court. Colombo District Court Judge C.D. Gunasekara re-fixed the matter for hearing to be taken up again on Jan 22. Plaintiff had filed this lawsuit against the medical staffs and the state claiming Rs.100 million as damages. more..

European economy's slow growth likely to impact Sri Lankan economy: official

Nov 3 (Xinhua) The European economy's slow growth could have an impact on the Sri Lankan economy, unless the island nation gets the GSP plus trade concessions and the ban on fisheries exports to the EU region lifted, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe has said. Weerasinghe, however, said the U.S. economy and India's growth prospects were bright spots for the Sri Lankan economy, which is expected to grow above 5.5 percent during the year 2015. more..

Sri Lanka subscribes to the IMF’s special data dissemination standard

Nov 3 (IMF) Sri Lanka subscribed today to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), bringing the number of subscribing jurisdictions to 66. Sri Lanka is the 15th country to graduate to the SDDS from the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), in which the country has participated since July 14, 2000.1 Sri Lanka has benefitted from a project on the Improvement of Data Dissemination in more..

Police attacks & good governance

Nov 4 (CT) The brutal police attack on the HNDA student protestors on October 29 urges us to re-think of the fate of citizen-life in a country with an unbelievably corrupt political system such as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Especially, this allows us to safely assume that the police is no longer the agent of protecting law and order, as it theoretically promises. Political thinkers including Marx, Gramsci, Foucault and many others have said enough about more..

Paradox in Central Bank’s monetary policy

Nov 4 (CT) The IMF’s Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dr. Eteri Kvintradze, a former Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia Republic, opined in a recent seminar at the Postgraduate Institute of Management or PIM that Sri Lanka’s monetary policy should be forward-looking. What she meant by forward-looking was that the monetary policy, instead of focussing on day-to-day inflation numbers, should be based on medium- to long-term price stability aligning more..

No reprieve: TNA contemplates joining 217 Tamil prisoners on hunger strike

Nov 4 (SO) Release of political prisoners has remained a key demand of the TNA even after the formation of the Unity Govt post Jan 8. But last week’s stoic refusal by the administration to grant a general amnesty to the Tamil prisoners has shocked and dismayed the party. The surprise decision has also baffled civil society, sections of the international community and other Tamil political parties engaged for years in the advocacy of more..

Legal action against Ex-MPs: confusion most confounded

Nov 4 (CT) One cannot stop laughing reading a report in an English daily that the Ministry of Public Administration is planning to take legal action against former MPs, Deputy Ministers and Ministers who have failed to vacate and return their official residences to the relevant authorities. It said there were 25 in number who have ignored the notice to vacate those official quarters or bungalows. From the day the present Govt of Unity took office, we have seen former MPs, Film Stars, more..

'Uma Oya project caused landslides'

Nov 4 (SL) Sri Lanka’s economic growth and infrastructure development, resulted in urbanisation of Colombo and other areas, which created many environmental issues, surface and ground water contaminations and a vast change in wild life and their habitats. If we look at how urbanisation is affecting the country, with particular focus on environment, the damage to the environment is high and it will increase in the near future. The Uma Oya project has been highlighted in the media more..

'Media named me Kondaya'

Nov 4 (CT) Dunesh Priyashantha having been wrongfully accused of the rape and murder of five-year-old Seya Sadewmi, in an interview with Ceylon Today hit back at all those who not only vilified him, but also turned an innocent man into a notorious Kondaya. Q: What is your full name and date of birth? A: Illandari Jedige Dunesh Priyashantha and I was born on 23 December 1983. Q: How far have you studied? A: I studied up to Grade five. more..

Wimal’s patriotism in question

Nov 4 (CT) Ranil assured that he would create the necessary conditions for Wimal to travel abroad. When Wimal spoke to the media using skype facilities from the airport, Ranil did not respond to Wimal's comments. After Wimal was bailed out by Court, he too did not comment about Ranil's statement. On the day Wimal's passport was released by Court, the media asked him whether Ranil helped him. "You can see the extent of his help", Wimal scoffed with a smile. more..

In the name of assaulted HND students

Nov 4 (GV) The police treated them most inhumanely when they marched to the University Grants Commission with their grievances on October 29. Photos and video clips of this ruthless and inhuman police attack on HND and university students stole the day on both traditional and social media, and suddenly jolted the Colombo middle class from their comfort zones. Since electing a new President and government they expected them to be at least decent and civilised in their rule. more..

Injured Eranga targets

Nov 4 (CT) Q: What is your full name? A: Ranaweera Mudiyanselage Shaminda Eranga. Q: Why were you not seen in the international scene these days? A: I have got an injury at present, which has kept me out of the game. It is a bit of a rare sort of an injury. I was recovering from one injury and as soon as I started training this injury occurred. So doctors' have ordered me to stay away from cricket for a while. more..

Police and students need to be disciplined

Nov 4 (CT) Last Thursday many became the unwitting witnesses to a horrendous police onslaught on a demonstration organized by the Students Collective of the Higher National Diploma for Accountancy. In a matter of minutes, the university student activists who were beaten red by police batons became heroes for their juniors, while the general public managed to make a fool out of the Police Department. Police Department on several occasions asserted that none of the student more..

WBF suspension lifted

Nov 4 (CT) The suspension imposed on the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) by the World Badminton Federation (WBF) was lifted yesterday, Ceylon Today has learnt. The ban by the WBF was imposed in June this year due to direct political interference into the administrative affairs pertaining to badminton in Sri Lanka and amendments to the Sports Law which required a two-thirds majority for approval but was passed without it. The WBF has further informed SLBA to conduct more..

Logos Hope: Bringing hope to many

Nov 4 (DM) Francis Bacon said that Reading maketh a full man. Sri Lankans do love to read and the crowds which gather at the Colombo International book fair is the best evidence. Shopping for books is full of fun, when one gets to do shopping on a ship. Yes, that opportunity is available once again to Sri Lankans as the Logos Hope- which is the largest book ship in the world called at Port of Colombo on 22nd of Oct and will be berthed till 12th Nov. more..

Fairway to invest $15 m for Sri Lanka’s first saline manufacturing facility

Nov 4 (FT) Capitalising on the booming healthcare industry, Fairway Holdings subsidiary Fair Health Ltd. confirmed that it would invest over $15 million to set up Sri Lanka’s first intravenous solutions manufacturing facility. The firm has partnered with a Japanese expert to set up Sri Lanka’s first saline facility in Padukka, Fairway Holdings Chairman Hemaka de Alwis said. Commenting on the current status, he stated that the project was currently in the investment stage, more..

NDB appoints Angelo Mathews as Brand Ambassador

Nov 4 (DM) At National Development Bank (NDB) integrity and truthfulness even in the most challenging situations is important. NDB has the right attitude to diligently deliver what it promises while adding value that goes beyond what is expected. It is driven by a desire to reach beyond the norm. The bank believes in taking a futuristic approach and remains accountable and transparent in everything it does. NDB is willing to take ownership of its actions that affect more..

Colombo: Dive bars

Nov 4 (NGT) No menu, the waiter says, beaming at us. Neighbouring tables eye us inquisitively while we attempt to order a drink. As the only woman and one of just two Westerners in the room, it seems natural that we’d attract a few stares. To reach Slave Island’s Castle Hotel bar we’ve traversed dark streets lit only by the mauve sky and populated solely by soldiers standing sentinel outside the Sri Lankan Army Headquarters. more..

Model housing scheme for Mylambaveli

Nov 4 (CT) One politician lays the foundation for a project and another politician comes to declare the completed work. This uncivilized act of regional politicians should stop, declared, M. S. S. Ameer Ali, Deputy Minister for Rural Economic Development at an event held at Mylambaveli in Batticaloa after laying the foundation stone for the Sevatasevena model rural housing scheme. District Manager of the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) K.Jeganathan and more..

JKH ups pre-tax profit by 27% to Rs 4.64 b

Nov 4 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) reported a strong second quarter with its consolidated pre-tax profit rising by 27% to Rs. 4.64 billion. Resilient performance in the second quarter pushed the cumulative FY16 first half pre-tax profit by 17% to Rs. 7.83 billion. Last year’s comparative figure of Rs. 6.67 billion included a capital gain of Rs.389 million. Star performer in 2Q was JKH’s Consumer Foods and Retail industry group which saw its pre-tax profit swell by 109% to Rs. 1.04 billion. more..

One shot gunning for a firearm!

Nov 4 (CT) UNP Ministers have expressed conflicting views about the firearms privilege for MPs over last two days. Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Harsha De Silva, who is currently overseas, heading the Sri Lankan delegation to the 2015 UN Convention against Corruption in St Petersburg, Russia, participated in the discourse by tweeting yesterday, "I have never requested for a gun. Given the discussion on MPs receiving more..