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Sri Lanka close to winning WHO certification for eradicating filariasis

Sep 18 (Island) The Health Ministry, announcing its filaria control programme scheduled to commence on Monday from the Galle District, said that it would recive the WHO certification for eradicating filariasis. Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that Sri Lanka had one of the best programmes for filaria control in the Asian region. The disease could be cured at the early stages if people cared to have blood tests done, he said. more..

Anura Disanayaka on political reforms

Celebrating independent cinema in Jaffna

Sep 18 (CT) Madame Chairperson, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, distinguished film world personalities, popular artistes and my dear brothers and sisters, I am told Cinema festivals of this nature are normally opened by the Mayor of the city in which the festival takes place. Our local authorities unfortunately have been dissolved. Hence they have picked on me. Even though I am not glamorous enough to take the place of a Mayor, I hope I could make up for my cosmetic more..

Shares close at lowest since mid-July

Sep 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended at their lowest level in more than two months on Friday, slipping for a fourth straight session, led by diversified stocks as cautious investors awaited clues amid a weakening rupee and an upward trend in interest rates. The main stock index ended down 0.08% at 7,107.87, its lowest close since July 15. "There are not many local investors. They are awaiting clear policy direction," said Harsha Fernando CEO at the Sampath securities. more..

Sonia, Rahul invited to Sri Lanka by PM

Sep 18 (ET) In a significant development that could bring Congress role into India's neighbourhood diplomacy party president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi have been invited to Sri Lanka by their PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. Invite to Sonia & Rahul was extended by Wickremasinghe when he was here earlier this week on his maiden visit abroad after taking over as PM. more..

Lucky Lanka to introduce soya yoghurt

Sep 18 (DN) The Lucky Lanka Milk Processing Company will introduce Sogurt, the first soya based yoghurt in Sri Lanka. Lucky Lanka's latest product targets individuals who are predominantly concerned with health. Sogurt will be produced using Soya blended with milk and will attract those who are fans of Soya and yoghurt. It is believed that this product will help boost the company's sales considerably. Among its other new products Lucky Lanka has introduced Gedarata lucky more..

US$ 14 m simulator idling at Ratmalana

Sep 18 (DN) A US$ 14 million worth control tower airline simulator is idling at the Ratmalana Airport. This has been at the Ratmalana Airport for the past four years still in its package. This simulator is used to train personnel on the use of airport control towers. Currently the training for control tower personnel is being done in Malaysia, Singapore and Pakistan. "Sri Lanka is sitting on a gold mine since control tower simulator practical training is very expensive to obtain," more..

LIOC to keep fuel prices at current level

Sep 18 (DN) Lanka IOC (LIOC) will not be reducing local petroleum prices despite world oil prices going down. At present world oil prices have come down to US$ 60 a barrel. The company’s loss per litre loss has come down to Rs. 15 from the earlier loss of Rs. 30. From January this year the new govt reduced fuel prices by Rs. 48 per liter and also increased the Customs Duty by Rs. 25 per liter. This made company incur a loss of Rs 30 more..

Fake notes being pushed into India via SL

Sep 18 (Hindu) With the recent arrests of nine people in Ramanathapuram, on charges of circulating high-quality Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), and Zakir Hussain, a suspected ISI operative in April last year, the police have strong reasons to believe that Sri Lanka is the new hub for pushing fake notes into India through Tamil Nadu. The currency notes printed in Pakistan are now pushed into India via Sri Lanka and the route for the fake currency printed in Bangladesh more..

Car finance curbs seen reducing bad loans

Sep 18 (EN) Central bank restrictions on lending to import vehicles could restrain future credit growth of Sri Lankan leasing and finance companies but also reduce bad loans, Asia Securities (Pvt) Ltd. said. The central bank earlier this week imposed an upper limit of 70% on the price of a vehicle that can be financed through loans amid a balance of payments crisis triggered by loose fiscal and monetary policy. The country has seen a rising flood of vehicles imported in recent months more..

Sri Lanka has given approval for SAARC satellite project

Sep 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka has given its approval for SAARC satellite project, one of the mandatory requirements for ITU registration before the launch even as ISRO waits for nod from other countries. "We are hopeful that we can launch the satellite by December next year. As of now Sri Lanka has given its approval for the project," ISRO chairman and Department of Space (DoS) Secretary Kiran Kumar said. more..

Linked to illegal treasure hunt: AG orders ex-Vavuniya DIG’s arrest

Sep 18 (CT) Police are exploring the possibility of arresting former Deputy Inspector General of Vavuniya, U.K. Dissanayake on charges of aiding and abetting in an illegal treasure hunt in Vavuniya three months ago. Seven suspects including four civilians and three police officers attached to DIG Dissanayake's office have already been arrested following investigations into this case. The DIG was transferred to the Eastern Province in order to maintain the credibility of investigations. more..

Paddy warehouses full to the brim: PMB

Sep 18 (CT) Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison said that steps will be taken to convert stocks of paddy into rice and to distribute them to the three forces and to the police, prisons and govt hospitals to facilitate the emptying of the storage warehouses belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board which are full. He said that, through this programme, some relief will be provided to farmers who are unable to sell their paddy harvests to the govt at the guaranteed price. more..

SL fiscal deficit higher than budgeted: IMF

Sep 18 (EN) Sri Lanka’s budget deficit this year is likely to be around 5.5 to 6% of GDP- higher than budgeted, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, noting that higher interest rates may be needed given rising inflation and credit growth. A statement by a visiting IMF mission to Colombo said it strongly recommended the govt keep the 2016 fiscal deficit to 5.5% of GDP. “The mission found overall financial system stable more..

Kiriella tells RDA officials to give priority to Colombo-Kandy Expressway

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella on Wednesday directed the Kandy-based RDA officials to give priority to the construction of the Colombo-Kandy Expressway. Minister issued the directive addressing the Kandy RDA officials during an inspection tour. The construction of the Colombo-Kandy Expressway was the brainchild of the UNP-led UNF govt, which had inaugurated the project in 2002 but the change of govt in 2004 had resulted in it being shelved, Minister Kirielle said. more..

Airport security breach: Woman sneaks in lighter on Emirates Flight

Sep 18 (CT) A Russian national who boarded a flight and subsequently used a lighter to set fire to a piece of paper has been arrested by the police. Mezhen Alexandra who boarded Emirates flight 656 on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. had managed to sneak in a lighter on the flight. On board she set fire to a paper and was soon escorted out by flight officials and handed over to the Katunayake Police. Katunayake Police produced her before the Negombo Magistrate's Court later that day more..

Bahu rejects Hybrid Court proposal

Sep 18 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is a non racist who even signed an agreement with LTTE Leader Prabhakaran. nobody has the right to say that he should implement the hybrid special court. The war could have been prevented if he won the 2005 Presidential election which he lost because the Tamil community did not cast their votes, New Left Front (NLF) leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne said. more..

'Education sector needs radical changes'

Sep 18 (DN) The education sector will be driven on the correct direction aiming to reap the best outcome as the education sector is the principal driving force of the country's socio-economic development, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He made these remarks while introducing directions for education sector development at the National Institute of Education, Maharagama yesterday. The education sector should be subjected to radical changes to meet more..

HC dismisses appeal filed by SL fishermen

Sep 18 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a criminal appeal filed by 10 Sri Lankan fishermen, who were convicted of fishing in Indian waters without permission in 2006, after it was informed that they had gone back to their country after serving the entire sentence period in prison even as the appeal was pending adjudication for the last nine years. Taking up the appeal for final hearing now, Justice S. Vimala said: “It is represented that the accused persons had more..

Rapists to be registered in an index/registry

Sep 18 (CT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) acknowledged that they with the Ministry of Education, had not yet been successful in effectively introducing sex education in schools. Police said rapists in the future will be registered in a sex offenders' index and registry. There were no failures in investigations into cases of rape, adding that following an investigation, charges would be filed in Court and more..

German Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (CG) German Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the German Embassy said. During his visit Minister Steinmeier will meet President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickrememsinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan. Minister Steinmeier will also travel to Kilinochchi to inspect the SL-German Training Institute, currently under construction and scheduled to be opened in May 2016. more..

Legal action against 2,877 mosquito breeders

Sep 18 (DN) Health authorities will take legal action against 2,877 persons who were the owners of lands detected with mosquito breeding places during the National Mosquito Control Week held from Sept 10 to 16. During the past seven days, 567,399 premises had been inspected by special teams and found 16,286 premises which had mosquito larvae. Legal action will be taken against the owners of 2,877 premises. Notices had been issued for 20,609 premises. more..

'Rakna Lanka used firearms without licence'

Sep 18 (CT) Former Additional Secretary of the Defence Ministry Damayanthi Jayaratne confessed at the Special Presidential Commission that she had not issued licences for the Rakna Lanka Security Company to keep 3,384 firearms. She said at the PRECIFAC that she had issued licences only for 89 firearms. It was revealed in the presence of the Commission that, accordingly, 3,384 firearms had been illegal firearms more..

Commercial Bank to set up Maldives branch

Sep 18 (LBO) Commercial Bank is planning on setting up a banking subsidiary in Maldives in partnership with a Maldivian company. “We are delighted to receive a licence to operate a fully-fledged banking subsidiary in the Maldives,” Commercial Bank’s CEO Jegan Durairatnam said. “Sri Lanka and the Maldives enjoy the closest possible bilateral relations and are linked by extremely strong economic ties. Sri Lankan companies operate hotels in the Maldives, more..

War crimes in Sri Lanka: The first casualty

Sep 18 (Economist) It was a long time coming. Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s long civil war a new govt promised on Sep 14th to set up a “truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence commission” to investigate atrocities committed during the conflict. It is unlikely, however, to heal the deep wounds of that period. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva says the inquiry needs foreign judges. Sri Lanka’s leaders, fearful of upsetting nationalist voters, reject that. more..

Thajudeen’s body reburied

Sep 18 (DM) The exhumed body of Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen was reburied today at the Jummah Mosque Cemetery, Dehiwala 38 days after it was exhumed. Body was exhumed on Aug 10 as per the order of Colombo Additional Magistrate. CID earlier informed the Magistrate that Thajudeen’s death was not accidental but a murder. Ex–JMO Prof. Ananda Samarasekera in his final autopsy report filed in court asserts that more..

Seya’s Death: Who is to be blamed ?

Sep 19 (CT) It is an irony of sorts that a nation with deep buddistic roots which defacto had suspended the death sentence, is now clamouring for it. Some of the expressions of the masses aired over the national television channels demand the shooting of the accused in public at the Galle Face green. While others citing the law in the middle-eastern countries, vociferously advocate the beheading of such accused. The villagers want the accused for themselves to put him to death by torture. more..

Rationalising the irrational

Sep 19 (CT) J.R. Jayewardene’s victory in 1977 signalled a change of face in the UNP. It began a complete reversal of the policies which the defeated SLFP had embraced and introduced to the country in 1956 and went beyond just rejecting them. To say that the 1977 Constitution sought to facilitate this reversal would be putting things mildly. In all honesty, what Jayewardene envisioned was nothing less than the second biggest social, economic, and political revolution here after Bandaranaike. more..

Dismay as new breed of child molesters surfaces

Sep 19 (NS) A missing child that is never found or perhaps turns up lifeless is every loving parent’s nightmare. It is the sad reality that the parents of four- year-old Seya Bakmeewewa had to face on Sept 12 as her lifeless body was discovered in close proximity to her house after she had gone missing the night before. The fact that she was sexually molested by the cruel monster that had abducted her could have only deepened more..

Hybrid war crimes probe: No political will even for own domestic probe

Sep 19 (GV) “Don’t judge us on broken promises of the past govt.” Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the 30 Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on 14 September. ‘This is a different govt with a political will to solve issues’, was the gist of his statement made. If this was made to an audience here, it would not be anything less than a joke. After all, forming of the new govt was all about breaking the promise of a decent, reasonably small cabinet of ministers. more..

The death of good governance

Sep 19 (SO) While several Third World nations have been on a political trajectory from banana republics to pluralist democracies, Sri Lanka has, in recent decades, been moving in the opposite direction. Presidential Election of Jan 8 promised a reversal of this trend. However, political manoeuvres since the Aug 17 General Election threaten to undermine even the incremental progress made in the first half of the year. Most of the incompetent, dishonest and corrupt politicians of previous regimes more..

'We are the worst fielding side in Asia'

Sep 19 (NS) Interim head coach Jerome Jayaratne has described the fielding standards of the Sri Lanka cricket team as the worst in Asia. “We are now the worst fielding side in Asia, we were never behind Pakistan but now we have gone behind them. India proved that they were better than us and even Bangladesh are fielding better than us,” Jayaratne said. “Other than the bowling which is holding the team together the batting, fielding more..

Is the govt responsible for everything?

Sep 19 (NS) With the establishment of the new govt, among the favorites of people who voted for the opposition seems to be the pinpointing of weaknesses of the new govt. Discussions among relatives, office colleagues or even the walls of social media are filled with criticisms against the parliament, ministers or the new authorities. This isn’t something new, after every election we usually go through a period like this where voters try to dig the wrongdoings of people who were more..

Give us clarity Mr Prime Minister

Sep 19 (NS) In a meeting with media heads and editors Friday afternoon at the President’s House, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted to know where the media stood with respect to certain issues, in particular CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement). Showing much irritation, Wickremesinghe blasted the media in general for making an issue out of nothing and indicated that he was embarrassed by the brouhaha regarding CEPA before and during his visit to India. more..

Boston Lanka: Sept. 18, 2015

SriLankan Airlines invests in Continuous Employee Development

Sep 19 (Island) National carrier SriLankan Airlines has initiated a dynamic venture for harnessing the potential and talents of their employees, by proposing to fund their post graduate higher education under the Airlines’ Continuous Professional Development Programme. The objectives of the programme is aimed at developing a motivated and highly skilled professional workforce that would contribute positively to the growth and self-sustenance of the organisation, that is more..

Editorial: Dealing with Trojan horse

Sep 19 (Island) There is hardly anything devoid of politics in this country where fierce political battles are fought over national issues which require a consensual approach. Politicians seem to think that divided they stand and united they fall! The war which was thankfully brought to an end in May 2009 would not have dragged on for nearly three decades if govts in power and their opponents had joined forces to defeat terrorism and eliminate the politico-economic causes thereof. more..

Rajiva ousted from Liberal Party

Sep 19 (FT) The action that Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha had filed before the District Court of Colombo against the Chairperson and the General-Secretary of the Liberal Party and others was withdrawn by him on Thursday. He had filed this action seeking among other things to challenge a letter addressed to him by the General-Secretary ousting him from membership of the party. The said letter, sent by the General-Secretary to more..

Corrupt politicians, corrupt people or both?

Sep 19 (Island) This article is really in expansion of my previous one in the Island of Sept 12 in which I argued the case for what might be called meliorist politics. My purpose in that article was to establish that the present Govt should be judged by its fidelity or otherwise to the mandate given to it by the January 8 Revolution, and not by the Machiavellian means it might employ towards that end in accordance with principle that politics is the art of the possible. more..

Myriam Madden, CIMA President in Colombo

Sep 19 (DN) CIMA Sri Lanka's Golden Jubilee celebrations marking their 50 year presence in the country will be held under the patronage of Myriam Madden, CIMA President for 2015/16. Myriam has held global governance roles at CIMA since 2007, which include roles as Deputy and Vice President, chair of the global members' services committee and a board member of the audit and risk committee. She also served on the board of the AICPA. She now becomes CIMA's 82nd president, more..