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Parliament divided on implementing death penalty

Oct 6 (CG) Parliament was divided today when the death penalty was discussed with some for and others against its immediate implementation. MP Hirunika Premachandra, who put forward a motion on the death penalty, noted that most people in the country feel the death penalty should not be implemented as it goes against Buddhist culture. She insisted that religion and law and two different subjects and should not be more..

Video: Kondaya’s brother brought to do a DNA test

Oct 6 (DM) The elder brother of Kondaya, who was arrested in connection with the murder and sexual assault on the five-year-old child in Karandeniya, has been brought to the Genetech Molecular Diagnostics Research Institute (GMDRI) in Colombo for a DNA test, the police said. CID yesterday apprised the Court that Kondaya’s brother has confessed to the crime. Victim Seya Sadewmi was found strangled to death on September 13 while she was reported missing from her home more..

Don’t let fruit exports rot in foreign ports, Sri Lanka trade officials told

Oct 6 (EN) New Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs has warned export promotion agencies to not let shipments of food by exporters rot in foreign ports because of red tape. Harsha De Silva, an economist, said he had been told by exporters that despite a plethora of trade deals between Sri Lanka and other countries, shipments are often held up by non-tarif barriers. Govt agencies need to get their act together and do what’s necessary to promote the island’s exports whose share of more..

E01 Kokmaduwa- Imaduwa still closed for traffic

Oct 6 (DM) The Kokmaduwa and Imaduwa sector of the Southern Expressway (E01) near the 114 km post would be remain closed until further notice due to landslides, the NBRO said today. The segment was closed for traffic on Oct 2. NBRO said they were taking precautionary measures in the area using heavy machinery to prevent any possible landslides. “Precaution methods such as sub surface water more..

Over 20 school children attacked by wasps

Oct 6 (Xinhua) At least 26 people were injured, including 21 school children when they were attacked by wasps in Ella, in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the police said. An official from the police media unit told Xinhua that out of the total school children injured, 13 were male and 8 were female. They had arrived in the area on a school visit. Four men and one woman were also injured in the attack and they were all rushed to nearby hospitals. more..

Hangman interviews on the 13th

Oct 6 (DM) 24 applications had been received for two vacancies for the post of hangman in the Department of Prisons, Prisons Commissioner Rohana Pushpakumara said. He said the applications would be short-listed selected persons would be called for interview. He said the interview would be held on next week (13). “The main criteria for the positions are psychological and physical fitness, while other requirements are secondary,” the Commissioner said. more..

CaFFE and CHR welcome release of commission reports

Oct 6 (AD) The CaFFE and the CHR today welcomed the decision to release the reports of the Udalagama and Paranagama Commissions on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Various reports published on Sunday indicated that three govt-mandated reports regarding missing persons and human rights violations; the Udalagama Commission report, Paranagama report on the second mandate and the report by more..

Anura slams CEA over Kelani river contamination

Oct 6 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake slammed the Central Environment Authority (CEA) today over the contamination of the Kelani river. He accused the CEA of failing to take appropriate action against the Coca Cola company after it was reported that the company was the cause for the contamination. He said that residents living around the river had also complained on several occasions that the river was being contaminated through waste dumped from the company factory. more..

Video: IGP told to pay Rs.25,000 each to two JVP activists

Oct 6 (DM) Supreme Court said the ignorance of the law was not an excuse and ordered the IGP to pay a compensation of Rs.25,000 to each of the two JVP activists arrested by Police for pasting posters which read, Stop Media Oppression and Restore Democracy. Justice Priyasath Dep with Justices Sisira De Abrew and Anil Gooneratne delivered the judgment in a fundamental rights petition filed by JVP activists Joseph Benedict Silva and Chandrasena Hettiarachchi. more..

Japan agrees to help Sri Lanka on economy, maritime security

Oct 6 (Kyodo) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed Tuesday that Japan will cooperate in shoring up the South Asian country’s economy through infrastructure development and strengthening its maritime surveillance capability. Their talks were held at a time when Sri Lanka’s new govt under President Maithripala Sirisena is shifting away from a pro-China policy and trying to strike a balance more..

Threats emerged within National Govt

Oct 7 (DM) Why is a National Govt needed? An average view of the General Public is that a National Govt is better than a weak Govt formed by a single party which has only a thin majority in Parliament. A National Govt would be stronger and more capable of tackling national issues effectively than that of the Govt based on a single party, and in that context, National Govt is the need of the hour. In addition to the plus factors and benefits of National Govt above referred to the intention of more..

Maithri, Castro and family bandyism

Oct 7 (SL) Nodath Pandita, well known TV personality in wedding dress – full suit and red tie – was conducting his weekly talk show on current affairs: How Do You Know, on the Bookie Channel. The Panel comprised: Dr. Havana Bahubootha (Specialist in all subjects), Hival Beerabangsa (Revolutionary and Specialist of Conspiracy Theories) Amana Baldhihila (Oriental philosopher, embryonic politico) and Bucket Gorynayake (Actor and Con artiste). more..

US resolution on Sri Lanka: The good, the bad and the ugh!

Oct 7 (SO) US Resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and adopted by a consensus at the UNHRC's 30th session last week, has been given different colours and hues by various stakeholders and critics of the Govt. While former SL's Ambassador to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, a strong critic of Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the National Unity Govt, opined Resolution that was passed without a vote more..

Independence of the judiciary & the BASL on hybrid judges

Oct 7 (CT) Independence of Judiciary concerns the entire judicial system as, when the judges are not independent, not quality and not living up to the expectations, the administration of justice will collapse. Judges are charged with the ultimate decisions over life, freedoms, rights, duties, and property of citizens. The 6th United Nations Congress called upon the Committee to create guidelines relating to the independence of judges and selection of professional training more..

A wall between No. 4 and top three

Oct 7 (SL) The return of skipper and playmaker Fazil Marija for the second of the three-tournament Asian Sevens Series in Thailand last weekend, injury having kept him home for the opener, a step up in the Asian rankings of Sri Lanka wasn’t exactly a fanciful prospect. For one thing, in the first-leg of the series, in Qingdao China in early September, Sri Lanka had finished fourth; so, with the inventive Marija back and four significant changes in the squad’s personnel, more..

'Sensation drowns sensibility in Parliament'

Oct 7 (CT) Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle is one among the handful of female ministers and MPs in govt. While the Yahapalanaya Govt promises a new country for women, it has few women running the show. In an environment where women are judged more harshly than the men for the same mistakes, she said that it is not that women are incapable of running the country but that that the work they do is not valued much. more..

Tourism is a masala tea

Oct 7 (FT) We sat in the newly-opened restaurant, styling itself on the trendy Indian fast food concept, quick, clean and easy on the purse. My companion wanted a typical vegetarian meal – the kind of meal they used to serve at Greenlands, a popular eating place in the austere 1970s for the middleclass. Born a Sri Lankan, Peter has chosen Australia, where he has now resided for over 35 years, as his country of domicile. He was 16 when he arrived there. The adopted country has been good to him. more..

What is the American agenda?

Oct 7 (CT) Different views and thoughts have surfaced amongst top govt ranks in Colombo over the conduct of the US with regard to the recent developments in Geneva and New York. Prior to the tabling of the UNHRC Resolution, US Senior Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal arrived in Colombo and stated that a resolution would be moved in support of Sri Lanka. She became popular here over that positive assurance at a time Colombo was placed in an embarrassing situation more..

'CWC won't downplay plantation workers'

Oct 7 (CT) President of CWC and MP, Muthu Sivalingam said his trade union will not downplay the plantation sector people. He also said his union will act firmly to do away with the new proposal that has been adopted by plantation companies in some estates thus forcing the employees to retire before the usual age. "These poor people work for money, without consulting us, they gave in writing that they are retiring. more..

Prime Minister’s Clarion Call

Oct 7 (CT) As one of the three world leaders to address the Japanese Parliament PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called for the international community's support for the country's forward march, having taken into consideration the rapid improvement in the country's human rights situation over the last ten months. Premier Wickremesinghe who on his five-day official visit to Japan, spoke to a packed house at the 12th Annual General Meeting of Science and Technology in Society Forum more..

Selling SriLankan Airlines in grand mother country

Oct 7 (CT) The current cause célèbre over the position of Sales Manager of SriLankan Airlines in London is a reaffirmation of the hopelessness, futility and the sheer lunacy of hoping to run an efficient, profitable state owned airline. A state owned enterprise is everybody’s business and nobody’s liability. The UK has the largest Sri Lankan diaspora community. Sri Lankan airlines with daily flights to London is the umbilical cord that keeps all those of Sri Lankan origin in the UK more..

Outer Circular Highway phase II daily revenue tops Rs. 2.5 m

Oct 7 (FT) RDA said that the authority receives a daily revenue collection of over Rs. 2.5 million from the second phase of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kaduwela to Kadawatha. The revenue collected was above the authority’s expected revenue target. There were 10,000 vehicles using the Kaduwela to Kadawatha OCH daily and the number of vehicles during the weekend increases to 12,000. more..

Can sell Golden Key Hospital at right price, at right time

Oct 7 (CT) The govt will kick-off the second phase of the failed Golden Key Credit Card Company's (GK) repayment procedure this month, govt officials confirmed. "We have already settled GK depositors, who had deposited up to Rs 2 million," sources said. According to sources, the govt has paid up to Rs 540 million among 1500 GK depositors, who had deposited up to Rs 2 million each. Those who had deposits between Rs 2 and 10 million, will get 41% of their repayment within this month while more..

Brandix to sponsor Sri Lanka's safety & health program

Oct 7 (F2F) Sri Lanka's largest apparel exporter, Brandix will be the principal sponsor of the 2015 National Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Week. “This will support Sri Lanka's efforts to promote occupational safety and health at workplaces across the island,” the company informed. Organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Ministry of Labour, this year's National Occupational Safety & Health Week is scheduled for Oct 12-16, 2015. more..

'Teacher can make a child a worthy man'

Oct 7 (PMD) School is the place where the child, given birth by mother is converted to a philosopher, scholar, intellectual, artist, politician and leader of the people, while teacher is the one who makes the child a true human, says President Maithripala Sirisena. It is the teacher’s main responsibility to develop the student with knowledge, disciplines, skills and thoughts, he added. That is why the teacher is respected in society more..

MTD Walkers PLC rebrands as Walkers CML

Oct 7 (FT) MTD Walkers PLC, one of pioneer integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions providers in Sri Lanka, re-branded as Walkers CML by consolidating two of its strong brands. New brand, Walkers CML, will bring all MTD Walkers subsidiaries under one uniform identity and one umbrella. MTD Walkers Executive Deputy Chairman Jehan Amaratunga addressing the gathering said that the new brand identity would open more opportunities to the Group, more..

First three-day game ends in a draw

Oct 7 (DN) The first three day game between the Pakistan under 19 team and the Sri Lanka under 19 team ended in a draw at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Sooriyawewa as predicted. Pakistan team chasing a victory target of 350 to be scored in a minimum of 41 overs were 142/3 in 40.4 overs when play was called off. Play resumed at 9.45 last morning and Sri Lanka continuing from their overnight score of 10/0 lost opener Kavin Bandara for 16 half hour into the game. more..

Sri Lanka and Windies rely on youngsters

Oct 7 (DN) Two equally matched teams, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will be hoping that their youngsters will inspire the country to victory when the two Test series gets underway on October 14 at the Galle International Stadium. Series is also of great significance considering the fact that the two teams will be battling for the Sobers-Tissera Trophy which is named after two former great cricketers who represented more..

Sri Lanka, Poland to expand trade ties

Oct 7 (DN) Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Leszek Soczewica said Sri Lanka is an ideal economic partner for many polish companies looking for diversification of their trade destinations. Addressing the ‘Sri Lanka-Poland Business Seminar and Business Networking Session’ with potential Sri Lankan and polish companies held in Colombo, he said Poland considers Sri Lanka as a potential destination for trade and investment in the South Asian region. Minister also reiterated more..

Ranil to address Japanese Parliament today

Oct 7 (FT) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a State visit in Tokyo will address the Japanese Parliament today, followed by top level meeting with Premier Shinzo Abe. Today’s address in Parliament and meeting with Abe are key highlights of Wickremesinghe’s five-day visit that began on Sunday. After the meeting the two Prime Ministers will hold a joint press conference. Thereafter Abe will host Wickremesinghe to an official banquet. more..

SL’s spending on R&D lowest in the region

Oct 7 (DN) Sri Lanka lags in innovation and technological adoption in the Global Knowledge Economy Index of the World Bank, ADB’s Outlook for 2015 said. Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranks Sri Lanka behind other countries in university–industry collaboration in research and development (R&D), Patent Cooperation Treaty patents and applications, corporate R&D more..

Sanga opens Murali Cup 2015 in Kilinochchi

Oct 7 (IC) Kumar Sangakkara opened the fourth edition of the Murali Harmony Cup on Tuesday. Sangakkara travelled to Kilinochchi to meet the players participating in the five-day tournament and took part in a question and answer session with the young cricketers. He emphasised that the tournament was about building friendships with teams from all across the island. Murali Cup is a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, spirit of fair play more..

Raghuram Rajan bares Japan deflation paper tiger in Sri Lanka oration

Oct 7 (EN) Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan dealt a decisive blow to interventionist criticism of Japan's deflation showing that growth was no lower than inflating developed nations, but unemployment was sharply lower. He said authorities in developed nations were obsessing for growth fearing deflation. "The canonical example here is Japan, where many are persuaded that the key mistake it made was to slip into deflation, which has persisted and more..

President discusses on Sri Lanka development with UN officials

Oct 7 (PMD) Relationship between Sri Lanka and the United Nations was strengthened as a result of the discussions had with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during the UNGA sessions, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He was speaking to the officials of UNDP who met him at the Presidential Secretariat today (6). During this discussion, attention was paid on required facilities for drinking water projects more..

New DFCC Bank aims big with overseas assignments

Oct 7 (DN) The DFCC Bank hopes to entrench its footprint firmly in the country and also focus on financing international projects with its amalgamation with the DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB) last Friday. DFCC Bank CEO Arjun Fernando said the bank will also be focusing on international markets as well. “DFCC was chosen by two financial institutions overseas to provide consultancy and management services and this has already established the banks’ credentials overseas, more..

NCE commends CB proposal to merge EPF, ETF pension funds

Oct 7 (FT) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) yesterday commended the proposal of the Central Bank to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds. According to media reports, it is proposed to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds, which collectively accounts for more than Rs. 1 trillion, with a view to simplify the operations of the two fundsand provide more benefits to employees in the private sector, the NCE said in a statement. Through this move it is envisaged that more..

Finance Minister warns of vehicle tax hike in November budget

Oct 7 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake had warned that new vehicle taxes would apply from the day of the budget on November 22, seen as an indication that taxes would go up. The warning to citizens of an impending tax rise is an improvement on the earlier practice of hatching taxes in secret and slamming them on the people through a mid-night gazette while the citizenry is sleeping, a practice more..

Kaushal could be picked for West Indies tests despite ban

Oct 7 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews gave his backing on Tuesday to spin bowler Tharindu Kaushal despite a ban for one of his bowling actions, raising the prospect of him being selected for the upcoming test series against the West Indies. The ICC has banned Kaushal's way of bowling a doosra — a ball delivered with an off spinner's action but which spins away from a right-handed batsman - because it exceeds the level of allowed elbow flexion. more..

Motor traders call for policy consistency from govt

Oct 7 (FT) Ahead of Budget 2016, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) yesterday called for policy consistency to continue healthy growth in the industry and raised concerns over recent policy changes made by the Govt. Noting that the ad-hoc policy changes were disturbing the free-trade flow of the industry, the association said it hoped to see long-term policy measures in the upcoming Budget. “A stable policy framework will greatly enhance the development of the industry and more..

JVP brings the plight of unemployed graduates to national attention

Oct 7 (Island) More than 20,000 unemployed graduates will gather in Colombo today for a demonstration, demanding jobs in the public sector, and the formulation of a national job policy for graduates. Convener of the JVP led Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe told The Island that their protest would be held in front of the Fort Railway Station at 10.00 am. more..