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Hemas 1h earnings up 47% to Rs. 1.5 b

Nov 4 (FT) Hemas Holdings reported a 47% growth in earnings to Rs. 1.5 billion for the first half of the year. During the first six months of FY 2016/17, Hemas and its subsidiaries achieved consolidated revenue of Rs. 20.6 billion, up 12% year-on-year (YoY). Operating profit rose by 29% to Rs. 2.1 billion.  Hemas CEO Steven Enderby said overall the group has grown well despite lower than expected economic growth at 3.9%, unfavourable weather conditions, VAT uncertainty and more..

BOI approves $ 75 m tyre plant in Horana by Steel Corporation

Nov 4 (FT) The BOI has approved a project by Steel Corporation to build South East Asia’s biggest fully integrated tyre manufacturing plant in Horana with an investment of $ 75 million. Its primary aim is to leverage on the global reputation that the country enjoys of the quality natural rubber produced here and take it to a higher level of value addition. Foundation for the venture will be laid in January. Project promoters said the tyre plant will create over 3,000 job opportunities, more..

JKH's delayed $ 850 mn luxury project to be completed by 2020

Nov 4 (Island) A major investment venture of SL's premier blue chip, John Keells Holdings (JKH), the $ 850 million Cinnamon Life project will be delayed by one to one and half years due to an issue with its contractor, Korea based Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. "We have already resolved the problem with the contractor and now all the construction work has started and the luxury mixed development project will be more..

Sierra Cables ventures into Fiji

Nov 4 (DN) Sierra Cables will invest US$ 4 million to set up their second overseas cable manufacturing plant in Fiji. This will be for a joint venture with three other Fijian companies. Sierra Cables Managing Director Shamendra Panditha said that Fiji infrastructure is taking off and they see a great local demand in Fiji for their products. Fijian Govt has signed FTAs with Australia and NZ. Hence the company will be able to automatically gain access to these new markets as well, in addition to Fiji. more..

'Country indebted to maestro Amaradeva'

Nov 4 (PMD) The nation is stricken by the news of the demise of maestro W.D.Amaradeva; he was an unparalleled genius in music that we witnessed, President Sirisena said in a condolence message on the death of Pandit W.D. Amaradeva. The message read as follows: Maestro Amaradeva belonged to the generation of pioneers, whose quest was the Sri Lankan identity and the indigenous character. The country is indebted to him for the exceptional service he rendered to us by exploring the roots of more..

Marriage & Divorce Laws Muslims: Protest against proposed changes

Nov 4 (CT) Thowheed Jamath organization led a protest against the proposed changes to be made, by the govt to legislations pertaining to the Marriage and Divorce (Muslim) Act. According to General Secretary of SL Thowheed Jamath, Abdul Razeek, govt should not adhere to the conditions of EU, stipulating that Islam marriage laws in SL should be amended to ensure that the rights of children and women are protected, more..

Lankan in Dubai accused of biting part of ex-girlfriend's ear off

Nov 4 (TN) A 34-year-old SL man is accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend and biting off a part of her ear. On April 28 the woman said she was walking to work in Al Satwa when the cook’s assistant attacked her from behind, restrained her arms and tried to snatch her purse. When she tried to break free, he bit off a bit of her ear, she said. "We were in a relationship about three years ago but we broke up and since then he has been stalking me and attacking me and even stealing my money," more..

SC grants leave to proceed with PAFFREL FR case against delay in holding LG elections

Nov 4 (Island) SC granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by the PAFFREL, and its chief executive officer, Rohana Hettiarachchi against the delay in holding LG polls. The hearing of this petition was fixed for Jan. 30, 2017 and the respondents were given time to file objections before the date of hearing. Counsel Hasthika Devendra, who supported the petition, told the Court that the parliament had prescribed that LG polls be held every four years. more..

JO delighted by Chinese envoy disproving UNP accusations

Nov 4 (Island) JO thanked China for publicly countering lies propagated by the UNP- led govt as regards loans received by the Rajapaksa administration. JO spokesmen Minister G.L. Peiris and MP Bandula Gunawardena said that China had set the record straight. Recollecting the dirty UNP campaign in the run up to two national level polls in Jan and Aug 2015, Prof. Peiris said that some had gone to the extent of alleging that corruption more..

Drug addict sells kidney to satisfy heroin craving

Nov 4 (DN) A drug addict who sold his kidney for Rs. 500,000 and used the money to satisfy his heroin addiction was taken into custody by Galle Police with several packets of the drug in his possession. Investigations revealed that the unmarried man who engaged in manual work used to spend all his earnings to satisfy his addiction. 36-year-old man from a village near Galle, had come to know that an individual from his own village was suffering from a kidney ailment and was looking for more..

SJB to fast-unto-death Over hotel near Adam’s Peak

Nov 4 (CT) Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa (SJB), a nationalist group, has decided to launch a fast-unto-death campaign in order to express their vehement opposition to the destruction caused to the environment through the construction of a hotel complex near Sri Pada Holy Site (Adams Peak). Secretary of SJB, Ven. Arambepola Rathanasara Thera, said that the fast unto death campaign will be launched after a protest march, which will kick off in front of Sri Dalada Maligawa at 8 am today. more..

Video: No reason to create Aava: Gotabaya

Nov 4 (DM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said there was no reason for the Army or Military Intelligence to create a gang like Aava-- though Minister Rajitha Senaratne had alleged that Mr. Rajapaksa had created the gang. Mr. Rajapaksa said Minister had made a direct accusation against army & military intelligence. “There was no reason for the army or for army intelligence to create a gang like Aava. more..

CA issues notice on Minister Vijithamuni

Nov 4 (Island) The villagers of Kalu-Oya, Wattala, Wennappuwa have complained to the Court of Appeal that the flood retention area of the water body is being filled by a private construction company. The petitioner villagers have cited the Minister of Irrigation, Gamini Vijith Vijithamuni Zoysa, the Central Environmental Authority and several others as respondents. The petition has requested the Court to issue a mandatory order on the authorities to halt the harmful practice. more..

Unemployed graduates assert right to work

Nov 4 (FT) The Unemployed Graduates urged the Govt to establish regulations to consider employment as a right of the people. Staging a protest in front of Fort railway station, Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Media Spokesman Anurudda Wickramarachchi said that the all unemployed graduates have a right to work. He also said Govt should draw up a national policy to monitor the recruitment process of unemployed graduates. more..

6% growth target for 2017: CB

Nov 4 (FT) Central Bank is projecting SL’s economy to grow at 6% in 2017 amid expectations of Hambantota port sale to China bringing in much needed foreign exchange that will strengthen the rupee and stabilise local interest rates. CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was upbeat over Sri Lanka’s prospects at a media briefing, insisting that unless there are major shocks we will do better than 2016. more..

Attempt to smuggle elephant calf foiled

Nov 4 (CT) Officials attached to the Department of Wildlife Conservation successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle an elephant calf last Wednesday in Udawalawa. The wildlife officials had intercepted the smugglers with the assistance of the Hambegamuwa residents in Udawalawa. The residents had seen a three-month-old elephant calf, which had been tied to a tree by several unidentified individuals. After notifying the authorities, the calf was released from its fetters. more..

Tissa’s bail plea decision today

Nov 4 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge Kusala Weerawardene yesterday said she would announce her decision today, on whether to grant bail or not to former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, who has been remanded till 5 Dec. She made this announcement after listening to submissions made on behalf of Attanayake, by his counsel, who claimed that the Attorney General (AG) had filed the said case in contravention of the law, hence, the former MP ought to be released on bail. more..

'Loss due to bond scam exceeds Rs. 125 bn'

Nov 4 (Island) Joint Opposition acknowledged that none of those who had faced serious accusations during the previous SLFP-led PA and UPFA administrations had given up portfolios and positions temporarily to facilitate investigations. Asked whether those in the JO had practised what they preached now, top JO spokesmen G.L. Peiris and MP Bandula Gunawardena said CB bond scam couldn’t be compared with any other case more..

Tamils in SL offer prayers for Hilary’s victory

Nov 4 (EIN) Tamils in the Northern town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka offered prayers at a famous Hindu temple for Hilary Clinton’s victory in the upcoming Presidential elections in the US. Led by two NPC members, Mr. Sivajilingam and Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan - whose husband disappeared seven years ago - broke 1008 coconuts as per Hindu tradition to fulfill their wishes. These prayers took place at one of the famous Hindu Temples called Nallur Kandasamy Kovil close to Jaffna town. more..

Alleged irregularities in procuring CTB spare parts

Nov 4 (FT) SC re-fixed the fundamental rights petitions filed by former Transport Minister Kumara Welgama and former SLTB Chairman’s nephew Shashi Welgama to 8 Feb 2017. The duo complained against the FCID inquiry into the alleged irregularities of the procurement and supply of tax-exempted motor spare parts to SLTB. The former Minister and his nephew alleged that they are being discriminated against because of their political views, violating their fundamental rights. more..

Japan confers a prestigious decoration on Karu Jayasuriya

Nov 4 (Island) Govt of Japan has announced the conferment of The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun upon Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament, as recognition for his significant contribution in promoting bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. A congratulatory message was sent by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on 3rd Nov upon the announcement stating more..

Thank you for the music, for the songs we are singing

Nov 4 (DM) Rising beyond political or other differences, Sri Lanka yesterday bade farewell to Pandit W.D. Amaradeva, whom the equally famous cinema legend, Dr. Lester James Peris described as a man whose magic voice was the greatest musical instrument we have ever produced. The magic of his voice, the exquisite permutations and combinations of notes that comprise his melodic creations, the pristine perfection of his pitch and his impeccable phrasing added up to make him the greatest more..

Let's prove Kuveni wrong

Nov 4 (DM) Recently I wrote an article for another publication titled, Curse of Kuveni. I wrote this article being convinced that most of the problems confronting our beautiful island are the results of her curse, and nothing else. Over a period of several years I have occasionally pondered on the history of our country. With history being my pet subject in school I often feel compelled to dwell on the country’s history, about the various govts, about the various efficient & the not so efficient leaders more..

'North-East must be recognized as Tamil homeland'

Nov 4 (DM) Leftist leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne speaks about the causes of the national question, its origin and the way forward for a resolution. He also speaks of Tamil people's identity. Q: How do you analyze the root causes of the ethnic problem? A: We are a very old society. From the very beginning, there were racial differences of so called Aryans and Dravidians. With the passage of time, more..

'English-speaking Tamils created what is called ethnic problem'

Nov 4 (DM) An academic with a strong national bent Dr. Nalin De Silva, who has done extensive research and studies into history , speaks about the origin of what is called national question, the way forward to address it and the chronology of events that led to the present situation. The excerpts of the interview are as follows Q In your view, what is the root cause that led to the emergence of what is called ethnic problem in the country? more..

Increase in supply causes 32% drop in heroin prices

Nov 4 (Island) There had been a 32% drop in the price of heroin in the local market last year due to an apparent increase in supply of the deadly narcotic, Handbook of Drug Abuse Information (HBDAI) for 2015 reveals. Average street price for one kilo of heroin last year was Rs. 6.5 million. However, average street price of heroin decreased by 32% in the same year in comparison to 2014. more..

China betting on a Rajapaksa return in SL?

Nov 4 (EN) The highly unusual outburst by China's ambassador criticising SL's finance minister and the island's economic policies is seen by many analysts as a sign that Beijing may be expecting a regime change in Colombo. Chinese ambassador Yi Xianliang called a rare press conference Tuesday and criticised Minister Ravi Karunanayake by name, not once, but thrice. Colombo-based diplomats were aghast while more..

3 to 5 innocents sexually abused every day

Nov 4 (ST) At least three to five children are sexually abused every day, with statistics showing that approximately 800 cases of child rape were reported between Jan and Oct this year, while more than 1,550 such cases were reported last year. More than 85% of all reported abuse cases involving children involved sexual abuse. In 70% of those cases, attacker was someone known to the family; in only 5% of was the attacker a stranger. more..

Tissa Attanayake’s bail application rejected

Nov 4 (NR) The Colombo High Court has rejected a bail application filed by Former MP Tissa Attanayake. He is currently in remand custody on charges of releasing forged documents via media during the period leading up to the 2015 Presidential Election. High Court Judge rejected the bail application filed by the MP during the court hearing this morning. Charges were filed by the Attorney General at Colombo High Court on 3 counts. more..

PRECIFAC probe complaint against Wimal W.

Nov 4 (NR) PRECIFAC has initiated an investigation into a complaint lodged against MP Wimal Weerawansa and 16 others over the misuse of state funds during the tenure of UPFA led govt. MP is currently recording a statement pertaining to discrepancies reported at the National Housing Development Authority. MP had allegedly transferred houses worth millions built by a govt-owned company under Housing Ministry, more..

Hotline to complain about high priced medical drugs

Nov 4 (NR) The Ministry of Health has issued two special telephone numbers for the public to lodge complaints against traders who sell medicinal drugs above the stipulated prices. Health Ministry said traders must adhere to the special gazette issued to reduce prices of drugs. The gazette notification on the reduction of prices of 48 medicinal drugs was issued on the 21st of Oct. Ministry said following the issuance of the gazette, more..

Health minister blows fuse over publication of an erroneous docs’ transfer list

Nov 4 (Island) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne ordered an investigation into erroneous publication of a 2017 Annual Transfer List which had included the names of top officials of the Ministry. Minister at the meeting with institutional heads yesterday had asked his officials to find out whether any of the doctors’ trade unions had intervened in preparing the list. Minister instructed his officials to only accept written more..

Ranil to dodge Bond Scam through AG bureaucracy

Nov 4 (CT) Following the comprehensive report by the COPE on the scam involving the sale of the Treasury Bonds in the Central Bank, Colombo Telegraph learns that Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe has no procedural authority to forward a report to the Attorney General. “This sending of the report is a complete sham by Ranil, who seems to think the people are fools who don’t understand nuances. more..

Commercial Bank offers exciting revamped website

Nov 4 (CT) A comprehensive revamp of the website of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon has dramatically changed the look and feel, as well as the functionality of the online portal through which the Bank offers information as well as access to a wide range of services. A stand-out feature of the overhaul is the website's enhanced responsiveness to access via phone devices and tabs, in acknowledgement of the growing popularity of mobile banking. more..

Sandya Ekneligoda’s motion accepted by Supreme Court

Nov 4 (Island) A motion filed by Sandya Ekneligoda in the Supreme Court, requesting the permission of the Court, to be made an added respondent, in the fundamental rights violation application filed by a group of Army officers, who are in detention custody over the alleged disappearance of her husband, Pradeep Ekneligoda, was allowed yesterday. The applicant Ekneligoda has said that her husband disappeared in 2010 and no proper investigations were done. more..

News Line: Bond Scam

EU linking Shariat law to GSP+

Nov 4 (CT) The govt has appointed a committee to consider reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act though there are many burning issues which needs immediate attention. This new committee was appointed despite the fact that an earlier committee chaired by former Supreme Court Judge Saleem Marsoof has been involved in deliberating amendments for last 7 years. The delay being due to the controversial and sensitive nature of the issues involved and the need to more..

$ 2.4B from ADB

Nov 4 (CT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged lending to the tune of US$ 2.4 billion spread over a period of three years, beginning from next year. This was said by ADB's Senior Country Economist SL Resident Mission Tadateru Hayashi yesterday. Speaking at a European Chamber of Commerce of SL organized seminar yesterday, he said that the projects cover agriculture, SMEs, transportation, energy, education, capital market development and public-private partnerships. more..

Corrupt politicians will be jailed: Rajitha

Nov 4 (DN) New political party will not be in existence once its leaders are put behind bars for alleged involvement in corruption, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said allegations against them are being investigated. “The alleged black money is now deposited in seven banks in Dubai and the bank account numbers and amounts of deposited funds have already been provided to the govt. Investigations should be accelerated,” more..

Sri Lankan shares fall from near 2-wk high

Nov 4 (Reuters) Shares fell on Friday from a near two-week high hit in the previous session as investors waited for cues from the national budget scheduled on Nov. 10. Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.11% weaker, or 6.92 points, at 6,435.17, slipping from its highest close since Oct. 21 hit on Thursday. Turnover stood at 275.7 million rupees, less than half of this year's daily average of 718.9 million. However, foreign investors bought beaten down stocks for a third straight session, more..