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40 countries to invest in Hambantota IZ

Oct 7 (CT) Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe, informed Parliament that investments proposals, from 40 countries, have been received to set up and develop the planned Industrial Zone (IZ) in Hambantota. Two private companies associated with the Sri Lankan Govt and China would develop 15,000 acres adjoining Mattala Airport and Hambantota Harbour as an Industrial Zone. more..

Basil had secret deals with UNP: Dilan

Oct 7 (DN) Basil Rajapaksa had secret deals with the UNP, said SLFP Spokesman and State Minister Dilan Perera adding that Rajapaksa wanted to split the SLFP. Addressing the media, yesterday Perera pointed out that Rajapaksa who returned to the country and attempted to divide the SLFP ahead of the last Parliamentary election, failed. Perera said Rajapaksa is now making another attempt to split the SLFP by talking about the formation of a new political party. more..

SL teen lured to be prostitute in Singapore

Oct 7 (ST) A 16-year-old Sri Lankan, whose family was having financial woes, was recruited by her neighbours to work in Singapore as a prostitute. Over 12 days, she serviced 207 men in a brothel at 20 Jalan Suka in Geylang. The neighbours had promised the teen that she would be able to make $1,400 within a month. But she was arrested on the night of Aug 6 last year, after policemen saw her soliciting for customers in the area. She had yet to receive any earnings from her prostitution. more..

Video: Pavithra is lying: Minister John

Oct 7 (DM) SLFP Minister John Seneviratne rejected claims made by UPFA MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi regarding not releasing Seevali Ground in Ratnapura for JO rally on Saturday. “They had requested a land where lorries are parked, not the Seevali Grounds. Tiron Attanayake, a former MC member, had made a request to MC commissioner. The request letter which was dated on Sept 20, requested more..

Fresh impetus for financial sector consolidation from govt via new policy

Oct 7 (FT) Critical financial sector consolidation is to get a fresh impetus from the Govt with a new policy setting its future course. Govt is of the view that consolidation of financial institutions will be beneficial in the long term as it will enhance the size of the banks and increase their foreign borrowing and risk-taking capacities to enable private banks to participate in large State and private sector projects and finance emerging new industries to a greater degree than now.  more..

Auto giants eyeing Hambantota port for transshipment

Oct 7 (DN) World renowned automobile companies, Chrysler, BMW and Mercedes Benz are looking at possibilities to use the Hambantota port as a transshipment hub in the future, Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. Hambantota is gaining popularity as a transshipment hub, he said adding that China is also keen to develop an industrial zone in Hambantota area. He made these views speaking at a press conference on upcoming World Export Development Forum to be held in Colombo. more..

Relief for over 453,000 drought affected

Oct 7 (DN) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told Parliament that nearly 453,881 persons from 118,534 families in several districts have been affected by the prevailing drought and the govt has taken measures to provide assistance to these families. He said that nearly 187,536 persons from 46,624 families in the Polonaruwa, Trinco, Batticaloa, Killinochchi, Vavuniya, Kurunegala & Ratnapura districts are now facing more..

Lewke named presidential security advisor

Oct 7 (Island) Nimal Lewke formerly Senior DIG – Northern Province and Commandant STF, who was involved in counter terrorism operations until the country was liberated from terrorism has been appointed by President Sirisena as Security Advisor. Lewke, is a specialised officer in VIP Protection, handling of explosives, and  counter terrorism. He has undergone training in Israel, USA, UK and led many successful counter terror operations in the east and also attended many symposiums. more..

Meteor showers across Sri Lankan sky

Oct 7 (DM) Several meteor showers could be expected in the night skies above Sri Lanka in the upcoming days. Astronomical Association & Planetarium also confirmed that Sri Lankans would be able to witness two types of meteor showers, Draconid and Orionids, in October sky. “Normally meteor showers can be seen in the early morning sky, but Draconid meteor shower is different from others. We can see it in the evening sky. It can be seen in its extreme intensity on Oct 6. more..

MR assures Lankan Muslims of solidarity

Oct 7 (PO) The Muslims could be rest assured that they will be protected and given all their rights as much as the Sinhalese and Tamils. I have never been a communalist nor can I be one in the future said former President Mahinda Rajapakse while addressing the Muslims from all parts of the island. Over fifty thousand delegates from all parts of the country were present at the SLFP convention for Muslims held more..

SLATCA call off work-to-rule campaign

Oct 7 (DM) Sri Lanka Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (SLATCA) said they had received a favourable reply from Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and as such had decided to call off its work-to-rule campaign, SLATCA Vice President Tharindu Gajadeera said. He said at the second round of talks held at the BIA the minister had promised to grant the demands made by the SLATCA. Mr. Gajadeera said at yesterday’s meeting, minister had admitted to there being an anomaly in the payment more..

Former IGP summoned before PRECIFAC

Oct 7 (DN) Former IGP Mahinda Balasuriya was summoned to appear before PRECIFAC on Oct 10. He is to record a statement regarding the provision of armed police security to four members of NFF, who were not entitled to armed security, during the ast regime. Four members of the NFF were Udaya Padmashantha, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Jayantha Samaraweera and Mohamed Muzammil. Investigations revealed that they had been provided 15 armed policemen more..

Central Expressway Phase II to be completed in 2 ½ years: Kiriella

Oct 7 (FT) Construction of Central Expressway Phase II will be complete in 2.5 years, Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella said commencing construction work of the highway from Meerigama to Kurunegala, yesterday. For the first time the contract for such a project has been awarded to a local contractor, the minister  claimed adding that both President and PM are keen to involve local contractors. more..

Highway network to link North and East planned: PM

Oct 7 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Govt has planned a four lane highway network linking Jaffna and Mannar, Mannar, Kurunegala and Colombo and Mannar, Vavuniya and Trincomalee. “This will provide an immense boost towards the development of the North and East,” the PM said.  The Prime Minister disclosed this when he met India’s Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nithin Gadhkar for bilateral talks at the Taj Palace hotel in New Delhi on Wednesday. more..

Foreign jaunt by CPC members cuts short meeting

Oct 7 (Island) The meeting of Central Provincial Council on Tuesday was a flop due to poor attendance of members. The meeting chaired by the Deputy Chairman S.B. Ratnayake lasted for about 45 minutes from its beginning at 10 a.m. Poor attendance was due to at least 28 members of both the ruling UPFA and the UNP led opposition being on a tour of Russia. Some members were on leave obtained from the council. However, the people’s representatives from up-country plantation more..

Joyriding with public money: Unpaid SLAF flights by 10 top politicos

Oct 7 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumarathunga and nine other ministers had availed themselves of unpaid air travel by helicopters and planes from the SLAF from 10 January 2015 to 30 April 2016. Others named as having utilized State agency air travel without payment are Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Faizer Mustapha, John Amarathunga, Gayantha Karunathilaka, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Ravi Karunanayake, Harin Fernando, more..

Let us value teachers & improve their status

Oct 7 (DM) We have much to learn from October 5 which was the UN World Teachers’ Day with the theme for this year being Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status– highlighting the importance of the teaching profession for global development and the need for urgent action to address the shortage of teachers.  “Teachers not only help shape the individual futures of millions of children; they also help shape a better world for all,” said the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, more..

Lanka’s India policy: Mind the balance

Oct 7 (DM) Foreign policy making is like tightrope walking. Performing a balancing act in foreign policy making is not only a science that the mandarins at a foreign ministry need to excel in, but also crucial for a country’s survival. This week, the Indian media reported that SL had supported New Delhi in its conflict with Pakistan. This is only an interpretation of the Indian media and can be far from the truth, because mainstream media act like an addendum of the govt in times of national crises. more..

The war within

Oct 7 (DM) In compliance with conditions stipulated by the IMF, the govt decided to formulate the budget targeting the reduction of deficit to 4.5%. For that to be achieved, govt will have to raise revenue and to cut down expenditure. VAT (Amendment) Bill was presented in the House to be enacted. It is also to raise revenue. Alongside, the prices of cigarettes were increased by Rs. 7 per stick as a revenue generating measure. more..

'Punitive measures not to be strictly considered'

Oct 7 (DM) Retired High Court Judge, Maxwel Paranagama, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons discussed its mandate, final report, recommendations and other related issues with Dailymirror. Q: Could you please explain briefly the task former President Rajapaksa entrusted upon you? A: On Aug 15, 2013, former President Rajapaksa, established the Presidential Commission to investigate more..

Heed the voice from the North and answer allegations

Oct 7 (SL) Protest march and mass rally organised by the Tamil People’s Council in Jaffna has been criticised by the govt and generated misgivings in the rest of the polity. TNA, which is the main Tamil party in North has disavowed the protest.  It has said that launching a protest march like Eluga Thamil is not beneficial to the Tamil people at this time when discussions are being conducted for a new constitution. more..

Stiff winds hit Mannar wind turbine project

Oct 7 (ST) Gale-force winds of criticism are buffeting the proposed wind-turbine project of CEB on Mannar Island, known for its unique eco-systems. All environmentalists are in total agreement on the need for SL to make use of wind power, which is an environmental-friendly renewable source of energy, but controversy is creating turbulence about the proposed installation of more than 50 wind turbines on Mannar Island. more..

Sri Lanka ‘A’ beat West Indies ‘A’

Oct 7 (CI) First-innings centurion Dimuth Karunaratne scored an unbeaten 39 to guide Sri Lanka A to a seven-wicket win over West Indies A in the first match of West Indies A's tour of Sri Lanka. After taking the last wicket to bowl out West Indies A for 175, Sri Lanka A knocked off the 66-run target in 20.3 overs. The day began with West Indies A on an overnight score of 165-9 and a lead of 55. They added only ten more runs before more..

'JO won’t form a new party on Saturday'

Oct 7 (Island) Some MPs of the Joint Opposition (JO) had announced that a new party would be formed at the Saturday’s rally in Ratnapura, but its leaders including former President Rajapaksa clearly stated it would only be a political rally and such a thing would not happen there, the SLFP said yesterday. SLFP senior Vice President and Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne said his niece, more..

Japan grants more assistance to clear mines

Oct 7 (Island) Approximately 30 square kilometres of land in the Northern Province and some parts of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts had yet to be cleared of land mines and other unexploded ordnance which were the results of 30 year long war, according to Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) Programme Manager Ananda Chandrasiri. Addressing a media briefing held after signing the contracts between more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka tread the path of Buddhist heritage

Oct 7 (Dawn) Pakistan and Sri Lanka have embarked on a new journey in bilateral relations by benefiting from a common Buddhist heritage. Till the end of Lanka’s war with the Tamil Tiger rebels in mid-2009, the relationship was based on military support to the Lankan govt. However, a gradual cultural orientation was in the offing in Pakistan’s diplomatic policy with SL. In 2007, book Buddhist Gandhara — History, Art and Architecture, more..

CEBEU denies CEB requested PUCSL for tariff hike

Oct 7 (CT) The CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) said the CEB had not made a request to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) to increase the electricity tariff. President of the CEBEU Athula Wanniarachchi said the PUCSL seeks the views of the CEBEU before deciding on any electricity tariff hike. He was responding to comments, made to the media last Tuesday by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, more..

Sri Lanka regulators get US training on fighting capital markets fraud

Oct 7 (EN) The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) has trained Sri Lankan and regional market regulators on detecting and prosecuting offenders in capital markets. Part of the training was at a regional training conference in Colombo organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) in association with the US SEC from the 19-22 September 2016, a statement said. more..

Chanuka Ratwatte further remanded over multi-billion financial fraud

Oct 7 (CT) Chanuka Ratwatte and four other board members of Entrust Securities were ordered to be further remanded till October 21 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. They are charged under the Public Property Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, for allegedly committing a financial fraud amounting to Rs. 4.2 billion which belonged to at least 350 investors who invested their monies at Entrust. The money that has been swindled by Ratwatte and the others include pension fund more..

Hair dresser severely tortured for failing to give a haircut to HQI, Hatton

Oct 7 (CT) Kadireshan Ravishankar, 34 was severely tortured by the HQI and other officers of the Hatton police station merely for failing to provide a haircut immediately on his order a couple of days ago. The case exposes the dangers of not allowing lawyers from representing their clients at police station, an amendment Minister of Justice is championing and had gazetted in the criminal procedure code. The minister wants to prevent lawyers from representing clients at police more..

මහාචාර්ය පූජ්ය පාතේගම ඤාණිස්සර හිමි

Sri Lankan plantation workers’ struggle

Oct 7 (wsws) Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan tea estate workers have been engaged in protest actions since Sept 26, demanding decent pay and better working conditions, in opposition to the attempt by the companies and govt to impose a wage system tied to productivity. Initially, the local leaders of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC)—a widely discredited plantation trade union—called a protest for two hours at two estates in Bogawantalawa and Upcot in Nuwara Eliya more..

SL signs the D.C. Sustainability Pledge

Oct 7 (SLE) Demonstrating the Embassy’s support for the District of Columbia’s environmental and sustainability goals, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam joined over 62 Ambassadors and Embassy representatives on Oct 5 at the Embassy of Italy to sign the DC Sustainability Pledge. Signing ceremony was organized by the DC Greening Embassies Forum in collaboration with the District of Columbia and the Embassy of Italy. The event was also attended by senior officials representing more..

Hiring Helicopters: No payments due from ministers: Ruwan

Oct 7 (DM) State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene today confirmed that there were no payments due from any minister or professional for hiring helicopters from the Sri Lanka Air force. The following is his statement on this matter: "A front page story of the Daily Mirror on Oct 7,says, Several ministers, officials did not pay for hiring helicopters. This is in connection with the answer I tabled yesterday in relation to the question asked by more..

Gota to participate at the 7th Xiangshan Forum in China

Oct 7 (CT) Former Secretary to Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa was one of the prominent invitee at the 7th Xiangshan Forum, co-hosted by Chinese Association for Military Science and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies. The Forum will kick start in Beijing, China from Oct 10 to 12, 2016. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi, who attended the 6th Xiangshan Forum last year, will be present this time too, Defence Ministry confirmed. more..

Video: Bribery Commission files action against Fowzie

Oct 7 (AD) The Bribery Commission has filed action against State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, A. H. M. Fowzie, for the alleged misuse of a vehicle valued at Rs. 19.5 million.  He has been ordered to appear before courts on October 28, when the case will be taken up for hearing again. Fowzie, who is a senior member of the SLFP, is accused of misusing the said vehicle while he was serving as the Minister of Disaster Management in 2011.  more..

Pavithra responds to John Seneviratne on Ratnapura venue

Oct 7 (AD) UPFA MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi says that while it was her father who taught politics to Minister John Seneviratne, but it is not the kind of politics he is now engaging in.  She was responding to a question from journalists regarding the comments made by the Minister about her and the venue of the Joint Opposition’s rally on Oct 8. Seneviratne had said that Wanniarachchi was lying that the request for booking Sivali more..

RTI Act implementation to commence

Oct 7 (Island) The process of implementing the new Right to Information Act would commence next week with the establishment an office in Battaramulla the govt announced on Wednesday. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka told a press conference at the Information Department that Piyatissa Ranasinghe had been appointed to head the new office. Right to Information (RTI)  Officers who would  serve in various parts of the country would also be recruited, he added. more..

Indo-Lanka relations

Oct 7 (CT) During the post-World War II and prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in the November 1989 period, the world was divided into two camps. They were those supporting the USSR and the USA, respectively. Those two countries were the world's two superpowers. But after the collapse of Soviet Union (USSR), regional power blocks, divorced from either the USA or Russia (the former USSR sans the trappings of its previous satellite States, now, broadly identified as the Commonwealth more..

Collaborative robots to help Sri Lanka overcome severe labor shortage

Oct 7 (ENS) Sri Lanka faces an acute shortage of manpower in many areas, be it in agriculture, industry or construction. Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as sector-specific guilds have been making representations to the govt to import labor from labor-surplus countries like India and Bangladesh on a regulated and systematic basis to fill the labor gap which is expected to widen with post-war economic growth. more..