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Students of medical faculties launch a silent protest

Nov 8 (NR) The student collective of medical faculties have commenced a silent protest opposite the Supreme Court. The students are engaged in the protest opposing the operation of the Malabe South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine or SAITM. A case filed by two passed pupils of SAITM calling for the institute to be legalised will be taken up for hearing later today. The case was filed claiming the Medical Council did not allow the two individuals to practice medicine. more..

මහාචාර්ය ගුණපාල මලලසේකර සිහි කිරීම

Shares end slightly lower ahead of budget

Nov 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended marginally lower on Tuesday, down from a more than two-week closing high hit in the previous session, as investors turned cautious ahead of the national budget scheduled on Nov. 10. Sri Lanka's 2017 budget plan will seek to boost revenue through a capital gain tax on properties, simplify tax collection and offer incentives to spur exports, though progress will depend on the coalition govt agreeing on economic priorities, analysts say. more..

Ordinary citizens bailed out govts

Nov 8 (CT) Year after year, SL is victim to one natural disaster or the other. We have being continuously victimized by floods and landslides, which have and continue to claim many lives. This has become a recurring issue which only grabs the limelight when the death count goes above two digits. These types of events seem to be scripted and fated: a landslide occurs with the monsoonal rains and an entire village disappears overnight. Govt would deploy military forces for more..

Govt under pressure to halt drug price reductions: LSSP

Nov 8 (Island) Leader of LSSP and JO stalwart Prof. Tissa Vitharana said the govt was under pressure from some pharmaceutical products importers, western diplomats and business chambers to change its decision to reduce the prices of some drugs. Prof. Vitharana, addressing journalists, said the drug companies were selling the same products under different brands at different prices thus making exorbitant profits. more..

No- confidence motions by the number cannot topple govt: Harrison

Nov 8 (CT) The current govt cannot be toppled, even if anti-govt groups bring in a number of No-Confidence Motions against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, P. Harrison said. He added the law should be equal for all. Therefore, investigations should be thorough even on the corrupt within the govt, as well. He further said that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran cannot be solely blamed for the bond scam as many other officials were involved. more..

Non- availability of cancer drugs Rajitha orders probe

Nov 8 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne had ordered his ministry officials to conduct investigations into several oncologists, who had provided false information about availability of drugs. During a recent meeting with his ministry officials, Minister had instructed the Secretary to the Health Ministry, Anura Jayawickrema, to conduct an investigation. Ministry had received complaints saying that the certain doctors informed patients that certain drugs provided to cancer patients are not available. more..

Two remaining intelligence officers in Eknaligoda case granted bail

Nov 8 (AD) Two military intelligence officers who were in remand custody in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, have been granted bail by the Avissawella High Court.  They were ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 1 million and three personal bails of Rs 3 million each after being produced before High Court Judge. Avissawella High Court had also granted bail to two army intelligence officers on Oct 24 more..

Nestlé opens Rs500mn milk plant

Nov 8 (EN) Nestlé Lanka said it has opened a milk plant in Sri Lanka’s Kurunegala area with an investment of Rs500 million that will expand its capacity to make popular dairy-based beverages. The UHT or ultra-heat treatment plant will manufacture Ready-To-Drink (RTD) products like Milo, Nespray Nutri-Up, NescaféIce and Nestomalt. “The new UHT milk plant will positively impact the farmers we work with daily, strengthening our efforts to develop the local dairy industry,” more..

No place for nepotism: Champika

Nov 8 (NR) Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Champika Ranawaka says Sri Lanka will not be dragged back to the Dark Age where a single family governed the country. Addressing an event held in Homagama today, Minister said the present good governance govt was established to develop the country. Minister said several factions continue to criticise the present administration however he said Sri Lanka is marching forward towards prosperity. more..

Govt claims tense situation at Presidential Secretariat a conspiracy

Nov 8 (PMD) Govt says that yesterday’s tense situation occurred near the Presidential Secretariat premises is a conspiracy against the Govt intended to create a division between it and War Heroes as well as to inconvenience the Govt, despite the agreement to provide pension benefits to the differently abled War Heroes. “It is clear that the innocent war heroes did not know who led them and this situation more..

National Management Conference 2016 commenced under patronage of President

Nov 8 (PMD) The inaugural ceremony of the National Management Conference 2016 organized by the Institute of Management of Sri Lanka (IMSL) was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the Galadari Hotel, today.  This year’s Conference is being held under the theme Resolving Contemporary Management Challenges.  IMSL is the national apex body in the field of professional management in SL, dedicated to promoting professional management in the country. more..

Three suspects arrested over Aawa links remanded

Nov 8 (AD) Three suspects arrested in connection with recent violent incidents in Jaffna have been remanded till Nov 16 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. The suspects were arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) and produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris on Tuesday (8). TID informed the court that further investigations pertaining to the incident are ongoing and therefore requested that the suspects be placed in remand custody.  more..

China defends Sri Lanka envoy's comments over Chinese loans

Nov 8 (PTI) China today defended comments by its ambassador to Sri Lanka over criticism against high interest rates charged on Chinese loans to the country, saying he had only clarified some misunderstandings and misleading remarks on bilateral cooperation. "Chinese Ambassador to SL exchanged views with friends from the media on China-SL relations and the status quo of bilateral cooperation and clarified some more..

President worships Sacred Kapilavasthu Relics at Indian national museum

Nov 8 (PMD) President Sirisena who is on a two-day State visit to India worshiped the Kapilavastu Relics placed in the Indian national museum in New Delhi today. Later, the President and his delegation visited other sections of the Indian National Museum. After the visit to the Museum the President arrived at the  Indian Maha Bodhi Centre at the Birla mandir in New Delhi. President Sirisena is the second SL leader to visit the Maha Bodhi Viharaya in New Delhi after former president Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

A National Aesthetic Center in memory of Pandit Amaradewa: President

Nov 11 (GDI) President Sirisena says he would establish a National Aesthetic Center to take the voice, knowledge and the vision of the great musician of the country, W.D. Amaradewa to the future generation. He requested all artists and scholars to guide the govt in this regard. President made these remarks at the cremation ceremony of late great musician W.D. Amaradewa. The cremation ceremony was held yesterday (5) at the Independence Square with full state honours. more..

School uniform vouchers on 15 Nov

Nov 8 (CT) Education Service Ministry said that Principals of schools have been provided with instructions to hand over, by 15 Nov, vouchers to enable school children to obtain material for uniforms for the year 2017. The distribution of vouchers to schools will commence from today, through Zonal Education offices, to enable all students from Grade 2 to 13, except for students being admitted to Grade 1 in 2017. more..

Dengue possible with heavy rains

Nov 8 (DN) Health Ministry has warned of a possible dengue outbreak, with heavy rains currently experienced across the country. A special dengue eradication programme would be held in the Colombo district on Nov 10 and 11 to minimize the danger of an outbreak. Over 44,000 people were reported to have contracted dengue this year. Health authorities have paid strong attention to controlling disease, have inspected over two million premises to ensure an end to mosquito breeding. more..

Federal experts in sub-committee: Threat to SL's unitary nature

Nov 11 (DM) PHU General Secretary and MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed there would be a risk to the unitary nature of Sri Lanka because of the intervention of federal experts in the proposed new constitution based on the resolution approved in Parliament on March 9. Mr. Gammanpila said the proposals in sub-committee report on the Central Government and Provincial Councils had proved that there was a conspiracy to include federalism in the proposed new constitution. more..

'No one will be allowed to challenge the sovereignty'

Nov 11 (NR) Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana has rejected the statement made by CM CV Wigneswaran who claimed that international intervention is necessary for activities in the North. He said the govt has taken measures to implement the law properly from the North to the South. CM CV Wigneswaran had held discussions with British Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN Baroness Anelay more..

Principal’s transfer being blocked: Stalin

Nov 11 (CT) General Secretary of the SL Teachers' Association Joseph Stalin alleges that a powerful minister from the Galle District and an organizer of the UNP are attempting to prevent the transfer of the Principal of the school who tried to cover up the incident of a group of students bringing beer into a class room and consuming it during school hours at a girls' school in Ambalangoda. Ministry has launched investigations into a number of corrupt incidents, frauds and irregularities more..

Herath enters select club with 5-wicket haul

Nov 11 (MO) Rangana Herath became just the third bowler in history to pick up five-wicket hauls against all nine other Test countries as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 272 in Harare on Tuesday. Herath recorded figures of 5 for 89 - his first five-wicket haul against Zimbabwe - to bowl Sri Lanka to a 232-run lead in the first innings on the third afternoon of the third Test. After the tourists opted not to enforce the follow-on, openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva them to tea on 13 without loss more..

Govt can’t control North, international intervention needed: Wigneswaran

Nov 11 (DM) The international community needed to intervene in the incidents taking place in the Northern Province as the government was no longer in control, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said.  Speaking to the UK’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Baroness Anelay yesterday, the CM said the citizens in the province more..

Sri Lanka may retire bunched up bonds around 2021

Nov 11 (EN) Sri Lanka may retire dollar bonds that are bunched up and maturing around 2021 with dollar inflows and sovereign offerings in 2017, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. In 2017, there are no sovereign bonds maturing. But on July 27, 2021, there is a billion dollar bond maturing. Another $500 million bond is due on January 2017, and on July 25, another billion dollar bond falls due. In the 13 months to July 22, there is about a $2.5 billion of bonds maturing. more..

Sri Lanka welcomes first KLM flight after nearly 20 years

Nov 11 (LBO) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines resumed flights to Sri Lanka on 01 Nov with a twice-weekly service between Colombo and Amsterdam operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, a statement said. On board were KLM VIPs and Joanne Doornewaard, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka and Maldives. Throughout the winter season, KLM will operate a twice-weekly service on the route operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner, departing from Colombo on more..

Central Bank considers new bond tender system to stabilise long term rates

Nov 11 (Reuters) Central bank is working with the IMF and the World Bank to introduce a new system for selling bonds to bring down sharply higher interest rates in long-term govt securities, Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said. The move comes after yields in long term bonds have significantly outpaced the rise in policy rates since the central bank switched to purely auction-based sales of debt in February last year, more..

Remembering Premadasa

Nov 9 (CT) A World Bank (WB) representative paid tribute to President R Premadasa's 200 garment factories programme at a seminar in Colombo on Monday. WB lead economist Vincent Palmade, though getting the number wrong (he referred to the number as 500 industries) whereas the number in actual fact was 200, was however, specific in his praise. Palmade in his speech however, didn't refer to garments per se, nor to Premadasa by name, but those inferences were clear in his speech. more..

Intelligence more important than strength

Nov 9 (CT) The most precious things in human life come free or to put in another form, the things people value least are those very things they get free. When these two phrases are equated together what do we get in Sri Lanka? It is the university education. What are glaring in front of our eyes at present are the symptoms of the malady, which is plague-ridden within a certain section of our young university student population. Society is divided into two schools of thought. more..

'North and East merger non-negotiable'

Nov 9 (CT) Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam stated that merger of Northern and Eastern Provinces is non-negotiable. "We are not even ready to talk about dividing the North and East. From S.J.V. Chelvanayagam to the LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran, a solution, based on a merged North and East has been continuously raised. They considered the North and East as the homelands of the Tamil Speaking People. more..

Jackboot off Journalism?

Nov 9 (FT) DEAD AND ALIVE: The ghosts of a generation of lost journalists still haunt the corridors of power today. Their deaths, or abductions, or disappearances, may have taken place under a previous govt’s myopic watch. True enough. However, the 8th of January socio-political revolution-in-waiting rode into power championing their cause – truth with justice, penalties for the perpetrators. Be that as it may, with two months to go to the second anniversary of the coalition more..

Diplomatic dilemma

Nov 9 (FT) The Convention on Diplomatic Relations was ratified on 4 April 1961 at the UN to streamline the powers and functions of the diplomatic missions and relations in the world family of states. Any member of the UN family, small or powerful are obliged to follow the convention based on customary international law in setting up, functioning diplomatic missions and maintaining diplomatic relations among member states. Diplomatic missions are set up, ambassadors are appointed and more..

The role of the joint opposition in Parliament

Nov 9 (CT) One of the reasons for the aggravation of current issues of national importance, and the elusive nature of practical solutions before problems assume alarming proportions, is the situation in Parliament today. This is well worth reflecting on, as the budget is presented, and the debate gets underway. When COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti tried in Parliament to make reference to some aspects more..

A miscalculated salvo

Nov 9 (DN) China’s Ambassador to SL, Yi Xianliang, stirred up a hornets’ nest last week, by voicing his opinion on SL govt’s position on the much-debated Chinese loans. The outspoken diplomat told Lankan reporters it was unfair for SL to term loans given by China’s EXIM Bank expensive and questioned the govt as to why it had sought fresh loans from China if the interest rates were too high. “I have noted that some media and ministers have described these loans as expensive. more..

Editorial: Lanka’s day of shame

Nov 9 (Island) Perhaps, no other country in the world has ill-treated its disabled service and police personnel in a more shameful and despicable manner than SL. It was with shock and dismay that we watched the police using water cannon and tear gas to disperse a protest march conducted by a group of disabled soldiers and policemen who were denied pensions because they had retired due to permanent injuries before completing the stipulated periods in service. Hunger strike had more..

Prof. Nalin De Silva

Budget 2017: Towards a better economic and fiscal policy

Nov 9 (DN) The immediate policy priority should be to restore emphasis on exports: Liberalise the trade and investment framework to attract FDI. Public sector reforms to cut costs are vital. While tax increases may be unavoidable, the additional burden on the public must be minimised: Reforms for the public sector to reduce its size, cut corruption and improve efficiency are essential. The current tax structure is incoherent and chaotic. It must be reviewed and policy grounded on more..

Ignoring the sovereignty of the SL nation

Nov 9 (Island) The contempt in leading elements of the current govt for the interests of Sri Lanka as a sovereign nation had long puzzled and worried me. A clue to its possible origins emerged recently when I was looking at Michael Roberts’ collection of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950. Roberts has there, on p 2802 of Volume 4, an article by J R Jayewardene that recommends An Indo-Lanka Federation. more..

Floating armoury controversy – Part I

Nov 9 (Island) Though much has been said and written in the past two years about the opaque operations of Avant Garde Maritime Services, most people know little or nothing of what it was all about – a classic case of a controversy creating more confusion than enlightenment. This article traces how SL got drawn into the murky world of maritime security and the roles Rajapaksa govt and private sector played in the operation. more..

Herath completes the five-for set

Nov 9 (CI) 3: Bowlers to have taken a five-wicket haul against all Test-playing nations. Rangana Herath joined Dale Steyn and Muttiah Muralitharan to be part of this elite club. Herath also picked up his 27th five-wicket haul, equalling Ian Botham, and is sixth in the overall list. 272: Wickets taken by Herath since Muralitharan's retirement. He is the third-highest wicket-taker during this period, behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad. 23: Out of his 27 5-wicket hauls, Herath has taken 23 of them more..

Pandit Amaradeva & SL National Character

Nov 9 (Island) Sri Lankan music has doubtless been one of the significant ways of influencing the national character of the nation from early times. Sinhala music idiom is intimately tied up with the lyrics. Late Tissa Abeysekera wrote once that a singer who understands the words in the marrow of his bones produces an emotional meaning, which becomes profoundly satisfying to the listener grounding him squarely in the national milieu or ethos. In Amaradeva’s the melody, the lyrics, more..