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MR highlights vulnerability of children

Oct 6 (DN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a meeting that followed the distribution of gifts to children at the childrens ward at Tangalle base hospital to mark international childrens day said he saw for himself the dead bodies of children as a result of the Kebithigollawa bomb explosion by the LTTE terrorists. He said that he brought to an end the ferocious LTTE terrorist war for the sake of the children of this country. He said that the children are an asset and a legacy for a country more..

We didn't play the Australian way in SL: Lyon

Oct 6 (CB) Nathan Lyon, Australian off spinner, is confident Australian can rebound during a crux home summer after suffering a shock thrashing in SL recently. Australia came into the tour of SL as the number one ranked Test team and hadn't lost a Test match in almost a year but were humiliated during a whitewash of the three-match series. As the team's main spinner, Lyon copped a fair amount of criticism for being unable to replicate the type of devastating spin SL's slew of slow men conjured. more..

Govt expects GSP+ by Feb-Mar next year

Oct 6 (CG) Govt expects to obtain the GSP plus trade concession by February or March next year. Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the application for the trade concession has already been presented to the EU. Once Sri Lanka obtains GSP plus once again from the EU, Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is expected to see a massive improvement. Sri Lanka lost the EU GSP plus when former govt was in office more..

SriLankan to add Gan Islands

Oct 6 (DN) SriLankan Airlines will add Gan Islands in the Maldives to their route network soon. SriLankan will thus become the first international airline to fly to this second airport of the Maldives. With several international hotel chains having resorts around Gan, the airline will have additional business. Ratwatte said they are also planning to increase fights to London from 7 to 9 from Nov. “We have asked for a double daily flight but we have not received the green light from Heathrow. more..

SL media lacks pre-disaster reporting skills

Oct 6 (ST) Rathupaswala protests over a drinking water pollution crisis in which three persons including two students were shot dead in Army shooting could have been preempted if there was early reporting by the media on the issues, research has shown.  The above comment was made by Prof. Lakshman Piyadasa, Head, Dept of Mass Communication, Kelaniya Uni while addressing a workshop on Media Sensitivity in Emergency Response & Disaster Risk Reduction. more..

Outstation school students carry away honours at Grade 5 exam

Oct 6 (Island) As in previous years, students from outstation schools have obtained highest marks at the Grade 5 Scholarship exam 2016, according to the cut-off marks released by the Examinations Department on Tuesday night. Sithija Samarawickrema of Urugamuwa Methodist Kanishta Vidyalaya at Dickwella in the Matara District has scored the highest marks. He obtained 196 out of 200 marks. more..

Govt to retain family background reports despite protests

Oct 6 (FT) All female migrant workers will need the controversial Family Background Report (FBR) in the future, under new proposals approved by the Cabinet this week despite the report coming under fire from activists for its alleged discriminatory and regressive nature which specifically targets women. The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Athukorala to retain the FBR as a means of evaluating eligibility for women to go abroad. more..

Sri Lanka moving into a middle income country fast: WIEF Chairman

Oct 6 (DN) Sri Lanka is developing into a higher middle income country with strong economic growth over the last five years, driven to a large extent by the development of MSMEs, World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation Chairman, Musa Hitam said. He said that there is certainly a lot of potential for foreign direct investments and public-private partnerships with the country now focusing on infrastructure development like roads, highways and power generation. more..

Video: Probe if there was excessive profits by Perpetual Treasuries: Rajitha

Oct 6 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said if there was an issue with regard to the massive profits made by Perpetual Treasuries, they would request the President for a probe on the matter. Perpetual Treasuries earlier linked to former CB Governor Arjua Mahendran's son-in-law had recorded a profit of more than Rs.5.3 billion as at March 2015 while it had received its license to engage in bond trading only in 2013. more..

Special RTIA office in Battaramulla

Oct 6 (DN) The govt is to establish a special office to disseminate information on the Right to Information Act (RTIA) in Battaramulla, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. “This office will be headed by Piyatissa Ranasinghe (former Secretary to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications) and we hope to set it up by the end of the month,” added the minister. With the ministry on a tight rope to meet the deadline for implementation of the RTI, Karunathilake also said ; more..

Nigerian naval ship NNS Unity arrives

Oct 6 (SLN) In accordance with naval traditions, a Nigerian naval ship was welcomed by the SL Navy at the Port of Colombo on Wednesday. Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), NNS Unity, arrived at the Port of Colombo today (5) on a goodwill visit. Ship which was just constructed in China, is on its maiden voyage to Nigeria and is scheduled to pay port calls on some ports of friendly nations before arriving in the country in the first week of November. The departs SL Oct 7, more..

SriLankan chief sweeps salacious allegations under the carpet

Oct 6 (EN) Chainman of SriLankan Airlines Ajith Dias side stepped allegations contained in a govt commissioned report which found that airline illegally provided services of air hostesses to politicians while it was also a paradise for sexual predators. He was irked when questioned on the action he had taken in respect of the Board of Inquiry conducted by legal J.C. Weliamuna who reported last month on massive corruption more..

Was Dayasiri's mouth full of pittu as a Rajapaksa minister: Rajitha

Oct 6 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne asked whether Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had pittu in his mouth when he was serving in the Rajapaksa Govt. He accused the sports minister of seeking cheap publicity by publicly claiming there were crooked and corrupt ministers in the unity govt. Responding to a journalist about the remarks made by sports minister, Dr. Senaratne asked where Mr. Jayasekara was when the entire country and the global community were accusing Rajapaksa regime more..

Sri Lanka keen to invite Indian companies to develop ports

Oct 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka has invited Indian companies to participate in its port development projects and other infrastructure building programmes. Visiting SL PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his meeting with Union Shipping and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari discussed the prospects of Indian companies in building two to three ports in Sri Lanka. Wickremesinghe wants Indian companies develop a few ports in SL including Colombo Port and Gadkari conveyed his willingness to partner and more..

Indian and Sri Lankan foreign and fisheries ministry officials to meet in Delhi on Nov 5

Oct 6 (ENS) Indian and SL Foreign and Fisheries Ministry officials will meet in New Delhi on Nov 5, to find practical solutions to the problems faced by fishermen of India and Sri Lanka. This was stated in a press release from the SL PM’s office, following a meeting between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The two PMs  agreed to make  SAARC an effective bulwark against more..

India interested in setting up a refinery in SL

Oct 6 (PTI) Indian Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is visiting India to participate in Indian Economic Summit. Oil Minister Pradhan discussed various Indian proposals, including utilisation of Upper Tank Farm by LIOC in Trinco, setting up of LNG terminal at Kerawalapitiya, by Petronet, setting up of City Gas Distribution network by GAIL and use of CNG in the automotive sector in Sri Lanka, more..

White Cane Day first flag pinned on President

Oct 6 (PMD) The first flag of the flag’s sales week, organized to mark International White Cane Day was pinned to President Maithripala Sirisena today (4) at the Presidential Secretariat. The flag’s sales week organized annually to raise funds for the Vision Impaired Student’s Welfare Fund and to make attention of the general public regarding the visually impaired persons. President of SL Council of Visually Handicapped Graduates, Mr. Sugath Vasantha de Silva pinned more..

Termination turbulence!

Oct 6 (FT) SriLankan Airlines justified the termination of its lease agreement on four Airbus A350 saying it was in the best long term interest though industry experts were wary. Shielding itself behind a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the lessor AerCap, the national carrier said the cost of the termination agreement, finalised on Tuesday cannot be disclosed. However there have been reports to suggest that cost was more..

Weerawansa, Samaraweera further remanded

Oct 6 (CT) FCID informed the Fort Magistrate's Court that a probe conducted by them had revealed that NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera had illegally earned money from two vehicles which he had hired in the names of friends. FCID made these submissions to Court, in the Case filed against the NFF MP at the Fort Magistrate's Court. MP Samaraweera had allegedly earned money through the illegitimate use of these vehicles which had been initially provided for use of his Party, the NFF, more..

Govt baffled at big fish escaping bribery net

Oct 6 (Island) Govt said that it was as baffled as the public at the investigative authorities giving priority to corruption cases running into a few million rupees while ignoring the billions that had been stolen from state coffers. Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Senaratne said that the FCID had been set up primarily to inquire into the large scale frauds, but somehow that was not happening. Asked what the govt was doing about it, he replied that the issue had been discussed at the highest levels. more..

Explosive report on CB bond scam revealed

Oct 6 (Island) Alleging that a confidential investigation report in respect of operations undertaken by the Perpetual Treasuries pertaining to Central Bank bond scams in 2015 had been held up by an interested party, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, urged the Monetary Board of SL to take up follow-up action without further delay. Weerawansa said that the on-site examination had been carried out by Public Debt Department more..

We can’t ignore the ageing population

Oct 6 (DM) Two news items about the ageing population in Sri Lanka points to the bleak picture of a section of Sri Lankan society that had been neglected after rendering a great service to society. As pointed out by the Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy in one of those stories, this is a grave issue that “could be considered the single most serious socio-economic issue faced by policy makers in Sri Lanka at this juncture and probably in the future.”   more..

The unsolved Panama land struggle

Oct 6 (DM) Around 111 families in Ragamwela and Shastrawela have been displaced due to the land disputes, and they are now compelled to live in their relatives’ or rented houses. As this predicament occurred amidst the all-powerful Rajapaksa regime, the politicians of the rival parties spoke much about this concern in their election campaigns, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Minister Daya Gamage who is a prominent politician in the Ampara District had told the victims of this problem that more..

'Secularism will erode moral values espoused by religions'

Oct 6 (DM) Eminent Buddhists monk Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, who has spearheaded national movements for decades against separatism, said Sri Lanka should never be made a secular state. He said he had sensed the govt’s approach for such a constitution, and vowed to defeat it. Also, he said devolution of political power was dangerous for the country as it could make way for the partition of the country. more..

Animal fossils thousands of years old found in Yala

Oct 6 (ST) Bone fragments believed to be animals that died thousands of years ago were discovered from a rock pool in Yala this week. They are parts of skeletons of elephants, tortoises, wild buffaloes, spotted deer, wild boar and other animals, say students of the Kelaniya University Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology who are studying the fossils. The level of fossilisation indicates the animal bones are more..

Estate worker TU, Labour Ministry talks end in deadlock

Oct 6 (DN) Discussions between the estate workers unions and the Labour and Trade Union Relations Ministry on wages ended in deadlock yesterday, as the govt insisted that the companies could not afford to increase the wages of tea estate workers. Ceylon Workers Red Flag Union, General Secretary Menaka Kandaswamy said they held discussions with the Labour Commissioner General, members of the Ministry of Resource and more..

All Island School Games from 13-17 October

Oct 6 (CT) The All Island School Games are scheduled to take place from 13–17 October at the Bogambara Stadium Kandy. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said he hopes to submit a Cabinet Paper for the recruitment of 5,000 Physical Education Teachers who will be responsible for the development of sports, and once Cabinet approval is received it will be Gazetted. The Physical Education Teachers will be recruited based on their more..

IGP snubs orders from Minister

Oct 6 (SL) The death of a youth in police custody in Pussellawa, Nuwara Eliya recently created a stir among the villages as to how a prisoner could commit suicide when in custody. They protested that the police had not done their duties in the appropriate manner. The villagers gathered in front of the police station demanding the two officers in charge of the station at the time of the youth’s death to be handed over to them. more..

Doubt over SLC payments to CCC 

Oct 6 (WI) A communique between Cricket Australia (CA) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has brought into question the nature of a payment made by SLC to the Gymkhana Club, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest sports clubs, and clears any doubt of whether the Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) Grounds was ever under consideration to host a practice match – as claimed was the case by SLC – during the recent Australian tour to Sri Lanka. more..

Karu accuses Wimal of threatening him

Oct 6 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya accused MP Wimal Weerawansa of threatening him when he attempted to restrain the govt and opposition MPs over the gazette notification on the VAT Amendment Bill. However Mr. Weerawansa denied the allegation. However, the argument flared up when Minister Lakshman Yapa presented the observations of the govt printer and the Attorney General (AG) with regard to more..

Govt lack a political will to meet Wigneswaran’s challenge

Oct 6 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris faulted the govt for not tackling the threat posed by the likes of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran propagating separatist sentiments. Prof. Peiris alleged that the govt lacked the political will to counter the ongoing eelam campaign. He asserted that the country was in turmoil for want of proper political leadership. Commenting on Senior Vice President of more..

Loss due to bond issue is Rs.1.6 billion: AG confirms

Oct 6 (LT) The Auditor General has confirmed that the loss to Central Bank due to the controversial bond issue is Rs.1.6 billion. The AG had submitted a similar report earlier but the COPE had wanted a confirmation of the details given in the earlier report as it was disputed by Parliamentarians of the govt. A report on the Central Bank bond issue is to be presented to parliament by COPE soon. It had been reported that Perpetual Treasuries more..

India, Sri Lanka to sign economy, technology pact by year-end

Oct 6 (LM) India and Sri Lanka will sign the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) by the end of this year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday as both countries look to cement ties further. Addressing the India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Wikremesinghe said, “We are cognizant that the economic asymmetry between Sri Lanka and India will increase in the future more..

Drought drives Sri Lanka monthly tea auction average price to new high

Oct 6 (EN) The monthly average price at Sri Lanka’s tea auctions in Colombo hit a new high in September owing to a sharp downturn in production because of drought amid strong demand, brokers said. Demand was also propped up by some panic buying owing to a strike by workers wanting higher wages and the onset of winter orders by tea importing countries. But the brokers said regional plantations companies remain unprofitable because of poor crops. more..

Former MMC alleges no protection for women

Oct 6 (Island) Former CMC member (UNP) Sharmila Gonawela said crime, violence and rape against women in the country had reached an unprecedented level and in some cases the perpetrators were politicians and they went scot free with the police not even caring to obtain a statement from the offender. "A woman is raped every 90 minutes in this country and the authorities have miserably failed to address the issue effectively and in some cases lawmakers themselves more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Shares end weaker on profit-taking

Oct 6 (Reuters) Stocks ended lower for a second session on Thursday, on profit-taking in mainly blue chip consumer shares. The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.19% down at 6,566.96. It hit a six-week high on Tuesday after gaining for six consecutive sessions. "It is healthy profit-taking. There was not much trading volume because institutional investors are not there," said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers. "Still, the sentiment is bullish." more..

Geneva, You, Me and Sri Lanka incorporated

Oct 6 (CT) In his fascinating book Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind Israeli Historian Yuval Noah Harari remarks “You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.” Obviously the celebrated historian is not well informed of the island republic of Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapaksa is probably the least highbrow or cerebral leader to have led independent Sri Lanka. He was also the beneficiary of a cruel twist of fate. more..

SL to build 100,000 bpd refinery with India

Oct 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will build a second refinery with a capacity of at least 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in a tie-up with Indian Oil Corp, a top SL official said, a move that strengthens New Delhi's engagement with Colombo. India has been vying for major projects in the island nation where China has secured multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects including a $1.4 billion high-end property development and others more..

IMF budget

Oct 6 (CT) Economy next in an article filed on Monday, quoting Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that Budget 2017 will target a deficit equivalent to 5.4% of GDP, down from the Budget deficit of 7.4% recorded in 2015 (Central Bank 2015 Annual Report). Budget 2017 is due to be tabled in Parliament on 10 November. Meanwhile, CBSL Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told reporters recently that he expected the budget deficit this year to be equivalent to 5.4% of GDP. more..