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Is India backing the wrong horse?

Oct 12 (Island) The casual disregard with which India treated the two regional and global forums South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summits was an overt expression of the new Indian approach to its external relations, of becoming the deputy sheriff of the US in the Indian Ocean Region. Obviously with the strength of the neocon empire behind, India now feels that it will only engage with the region on their own terms. more..

Hunt for water

Oct 12 (SO) Months-long drought ravaging the provinces has hit the Puttalam district worst. One of the drier regions in SL due to its low annual rainfall, Puttalam district, nevertheless had an efficient system of irrigation in place to save water usually comes with the monsoon rains to meet agriculture demands. Not this year, however, when South West Monsoon failed across the country and even drinking water supplies are now low. more..

Constitution should reflect real needs

Oct 12 (CT) At a seminar organized by young professionals, Geneva and You, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke observes that Sri Lanka is in a perpetual cyclical pattern. First, we prepare, learn from our mistakes and achieve a significant victory that could change the course. Yet, we are unable to maintain our victory. The third phase is a 'period of appeasement and unilateral retreat'. However, in the final phase we are back on the path of recovery, resistance and victory. more..

Regulatory reforms to assure due compliance with laws, transparency & ...

Oct 12 (CT) It is reported by professional analysts and also commonly believed by intellectuals, that; the significant fall in tax revenues to gross domestic product ,from around twenty percent to around ten percent, may be due to a high level of tax, customs duty and excise evasion / avoidance, grant of excessive and unjustified tax holidays and specific exemptions; and the share of the informal black economy has increased significantly over the last several decades; and a significant more..

'Allegations against my family politically motivated'

Oct 12 (SL) While he and his family are being pulled into court and in front of various commissions unabated, Joint Opposition MP Namal Rajapaksa insists his family is clean. He also says the govt has painted the wrong picture of the previous govt led by his father Mahinda Rajapaksa. He claims that people have now realised the truth and are aware of the rogues by looking at the rate of corruption taking place today. more..

Children of a lesser god

Oct 12 (DN) One of the realities, preferably glossed over, but due to its sheer scope and fundamental importance to the country’s economy, unavoidable, is surely the large and complex story of our exported labour; mostly blue collar, mainly to the Middle Eastern countries. Every year domestic helps, minor staff at hotels, road workers, drivers, clerical and bank employees go in their thousands, to a hot and arid land, in search of a better pay and hopefully a better life. more..

A struggle for Rs. 1000 pay hike

Oct 12 (SL) A discussion on a salary hike for plantation workers between trade unions and the Minister for Labour and Trade Union Relations John Seneviratne ended in failure last week after the plantation companies refused to agree to the demands of the plantation workers. The discussion was a result of a continuous protest by the plantation workers demanding an increase in their salary from Rs. 620 to Rs. 1000 LKR. The talks held between plantation trade unions and employers more..

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Has CBSL facilitated another scandal ? – Arbitraging & increase in money supply

Oct 12 (CT) The country must be unified to stop paying homage to political leaders elected to power or thrown out of power. They must be respected for what they have done or what they have been doing for the country. The character of the nation must be to stand up against any wrong doing professes by any leader. It is because of this character that Mr. Arjuna Mahendran had to leave the office of Governor of the CB even though PM Ranil Wickremesinghe strongly stood by him. more..

Editorial: Aiyo!

Oct 12 (Island) An exclamation with Sinhala and Tamil roots is reported to have been assimilated into the English language. Oxford English Dictionary has recognised Aiyo as a legitimate English word. It has been etymologically categorised and defined as a word expressing distress or regret or grief and described as a substitute for the English phrases, Oh no! or Oh dear! This polysemous exclamation has other meanings and nuances as the native speakers of Sinhala and Tamil are aware. more..

Time to make trade happen

Oct 12 (FT) A robust trade agenda is essential for Sri Lanka to leapfrog competitors, believes International Trade Centre (ITC) Executive Director Arancha González, who is in Colombo to attend World Export Development Forum sessions today that will also focus on SMEs and foster direct engagement between businesses.  ITC is the joint agency of UN Conference on Trade and Development and World Trade Organization. more..

Army Para Games from 12-14 October

Oct 12 (CT) Athletic championship of the Sri Lanka Army Para Games will be held from 12-14 Oct 2016 at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama. Para Sports was initially introduced to the SL Army in 1991 with the main motive of reinforcing the process of rehabilitation of officers and men injured in the battlefield. Over the years Para Sports has gone from strength to strength at SL Army, with 8 out of 9 competitors at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games emerging from the Army. more..

Players asked to pocket-out expenses

Oct 12 (CT) The Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) has informed parents of players who have been selected to participate in the World Junior Badminton Championship to be held in Bilbao, Spain from 8-13 November, that a sum of Rs 311, 400 will be levied from each member of the Sri Lankan Team. According to reports, ten boys and nine girls have been selected to participate in the championship, and three officials including a coach, will also join the tour. more..

Accuse ministers of imposing wage hike agreement

Oct 12 (CT) Hill Country Society Action Group (HCSAG) issued a warning to the govt of serious consequences emerging from any adverse plantation wage hike collective agreement between Trade Unions in the plantations sector and Plantation Employers' Federation (PEF) if such an agreement contravenes labour law provisions. "We have heard that a new collective agreement that violates the provisions of existing collective more..

Constitution does not help cultivate moral values

Oct 12 (DM) I refer to Kelum Bandara’s  Interview with Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera of Oct 5, which is a stage-managed one for propaganda purpose. Being a foremost placed person, he  enjoys the privilege and the prerogative to express his views. But our counter views, contradictions and rebuttals will not find a place in the pages of this newspaper. Nevertheless, I wish to do so, with reference to a few points expressed by him. He says Secularism will erode moral values of all Religions. more..

Q & A: WHO has declared Sri Lanka Malaria-free, but expert warns diligence still crucial

Oct 12 (CT) Malaria has been eradicated from this tropical nation, and, because the country was known as a hot spot for the disease for decades, health officials are celebrating. The country was officially certified by the World Health Organization as malaria-free on Sept 5, 2016. There have been no cases of indigenous malaria on the island for nearly four years. Even so, health experts say, people in Sri Lanka should remain vigilant. Prior successes in limiting the number of more..

No houses for Northern IDPs Massive protests imminent

Oct 12 (CT) IDPs in the North will stage a massive protest demonstration demanding houses if the govt does not implement housing projects meant for IDPs with immediate effect, sources said. Sources also said over 20,000 persons will engage in protests demanding houses in the North. Furthermore, over 97,000 applications have been received when a model house of the 65,000 housing project was opened for the public. more..

Finance Minister, Dy. Minister in assault case

Oct 12 (CT) Fort Magistrate ordered Slave Island Police to send to the Attorney General, (AG) case documents relating to a probe conducted into an incident in which UNP MPs are alleged to have assaulted some employees of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) after entering its premises forcibly. Police making submissions to Court in this case stated that investigations into the incident have been completed and the case documents were being compiled and will be soon sent to the AG. more..

SLFP to discuss budget proposals and ECTA

Oct 12 (FT) SLFP will meet and discuss the budget proposals and the ETCA between India and Sri Lanka. SLFP member and State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that President Maithripala Sirisena, as head of the SLFP, would discuss the budget and ECTA proposals with the party. He said that once the views of the party members were obtained they would be discussed with others in the Govt in order to reach a compromise on the budget proposals and the ECTA agreement. more..

Sri Lanka needs to grow at 5% till 2021 says economist

Oct 12 (FT) A top economist has called for fresh impetus to be injected into sustainable development, noting that it was crucial for Sri Lanka to survive in a highly volatile external sector and a growth projection of 5% in the next five years. Former Central Bank Deputy Governor W.A. Wijewardena said Sri Lanka could sustain its projected growth rate only if the govt implements conscious policy action in immediate future. more..

President plans hospital for underprivileged prisoners

Oct 12 (CT) President Sirisena is in the process of establishing a fund to build a hospital to provide quality medical facilities for the underprivileged prisoners. In order to work out a programme for this project lawyers will through a petition, under Article 129(1) of the Constitution, seek the Supreme Court's advice on the matter. According to Article 129(1) of the Constitution, President is entitled to seek advice from the Supreme Court with regard to a project connected to the legal sector. more..

John Amaratunga’s plea rejected

Oct 12 (CT) Divisional Coordination Committee of the Nuwara Eliya DS at a meeting on Monday rejected a request by Minister John Amaratunga, for the allocation of some land in an environmentally sensitive area in Nuwara Eliya to a private agricultural institution on a long term lease for agro- industrial purposes. Amaratunge had requested the Divisional Secretary of Nuwara Eliya to keep him informed about the proposal to hand over on a long-term lease basis the barren lands located more..

SPB magic, live in Jaffna

Oct 12 (Hindu) It was 4.30 p.m. on Sunday and thousands had already queued up outside the municipal grounds here for a show that was to begin two hours later. Jaffna has had its share of high-profile visitors from abroad, mostly politicians and diplomats, but none that has held a huge audience captive for 5 hours. Excitement began that morning, when singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam’s chopper landed in Jaffna. more..

Isipatana, St. Joseph Vaz’s cricketers win major schools cricket awards

Oct 12 (Island) Former Sri Lanka Under-19 and Richmond College skipper Charith Asalanka won the School Boy Cricketer award at the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association conducted Singer Schools Cricket Awards ceremony held at the Musaeus College Auditorium on Tuesday. Asalanka was not physically present to collect his award. While cricketers of Isipatana and St. Joseph Vaz’s College, Wennappuwa won at least two major awards each in Under-19 Division I category, more..

Algeria’s Cevital enters Sri Lanka with Euro 150 mn sugar refinery

Oct 12 (DN) Ninth wealthiest businessman in Africa, Issad Rebrab, founder Chairman, Cevital Food Processing Industry will invest in SL on a sugar refinery and a vegetable oil plant in the Southern Province. He said that if all approvals are given Sri Lanka could taste its first sugar in 24 months from now. “I have already found a local partner and he has identified a 100 acre land for the project.” He said that it was the SL investor who first told him about SL and its pluses and minuses. more..

PUCSL welcomes sub-sea power cable

Oct 12 (FT) SL’s power regulator welcomed a possible move to lay an undersea power cable connecting India and Sri Lanka, which it believes will give the country access to a larger energy market and purchase electricity at lower prices, with discussions between the two parties on the revised proposal likely to take place later this month. Proposal to establish a submarine power cable line for 500 MW of power, more..

China gets 16,000 acres in South

Oct 12 (CT) Sri Lanka will soon sign an agreement with China to lease out to China 15,000 acres of land in the Southern Province for the creation of a Special Economic Zone, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He said that Govt has focused on increasing revenue by increasing exports and expanding the industrial sector. "The entire world is still struggling to recover from the economic decline it suffered in 2007. As a small country we also cannot escape its effects. more..

Tourism Promotion Authority case : Kithsiri Ranawaka further remanded

Oct 12 (DN) Kithsiri Ranawaka, a former director of the Tourism Promotion Authority arrested in connection with an incident where Rs. 5.7 million of public funds were allegedly misappropriated after being utilised for the 2014 Uva Provincial Council Election propaganda activities, was yesterday ordered to be further remanded till October 25 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. Ranawaka was the former Director General of Divi Neguma Development Department who has several Court cases. more..

New system to detect speeding vehicles on expressways

Oct 12 (DM) Steps were being taken to establish a speed detector system at the Southern and Katunayake Expressways so that the speeding drivers could be fined at the exit points. Steps were taken to minimize the increasing number of accidents on the expressways involving speeding vehicles. Most of the accidents reported on the expressways during the last three months had been caused by speeding vehicles. more..

World Export Development Forum begins

Oct 12 (DN) The globally represented World Export Development Forum 2016 (WEDF 2016) begins in Colombo today. This is the first time SL is hosting an event of this stature, and the resulting export opportunities are expected to be hugely beneficial to the economic development of the country. Forum facilitates int'l trade and provides a platform for open discussions on the most pressing trade issues and challenges faced across the world and especially in developing countries today. more..

Media censorship enforced by govt: MR

Oct 12 (CG) Former President Rajapaksa accused the Govt of enforcing media censorship. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe are putting pressure on the media and preventing them from reporting on some issues. The former President said that the private media are facing the most amount of censorship by the Govt. Rajapaksa said that some newspapers have even been forced to remove political columns as a result of pressure being exerted by the Govt. more..

IT professionals warn govt against signing ETCA

Oct 12 (Island) SL Information Technology Professionals’ Association called upon the govt against entering into controversial Economic & Technology Cooperation Agreement. They warned that the pact at issue would be more harmful to the national economy than the hedging deal under the previous govt. President of Association Indika Gamage said their association would do everything in its power more..

Axiata says for long term in Sri Lanka, no plans for exit but moots consolidation

Oct 12 (FT) Telecom giant Axiata insisted it was in SL for the long term with no plans for exit, but called for consolidation in the mobile telecom market for the benefit of all stakeholders. “We don’t have a desire to leave any market. Indeed on SL we are there for the long term and will continue to maintain majority stake,” Axiata Group CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim said. “We may only consider shedding a nominal stake to increase the public float in SL and raise cash for further reinvestment,” more..

Prison phone jammers affect Govt Press

Oct 12 (Island) Employees of the Govt Press complain that their human rights have been violated as they cannot use their mobile phones as the neighbouring Welikada Prison authorities have installed jammers to prevent prisoners from using mobile phones. Prisons Department in Borella have erected a few communication towers to jam the mobile phone frequencies with a view to blocking inmates’ from communicating with outside using mobile phones, says General Secretary of more..

Now, govt postpones LG polls till next June

Oct 12 (Island) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena gave the country another surprise when he declared that the long overdue local govt polls would not be held till June, 2017. The govt said last month that the local govt polls would be held in March next year. He said that an election could be held before June if it was to be held under the existing electoral system, but the govt had obtained a popular mandate to change more..

Ugly Sri Lankan: Racism and its uglier profile

Oct 12 (DM) It is an accurate description of this phenomenon that has elevated some communities to the pinnacle of glory; it has destroyed some helpless minorities and reduced them to hapless men and women meandering in the lost streets of civilization. While the concept of race has bonded man with man of similar traditions, histories and traits, colour of skin, lineage, language and culture, it has also destroyed fellow humans who did not belong to the same category of traits etc. more..

A new man in the White House? God forbid

Oct 12 (DM) The run-up to the US presidential election in November has reached fever-pitch. The election to be the president of the world’s only super power pits Republican Party nominee Donald Trump against Democratic Party nominee Hilary Clinton.  The tussle is being played out not only in full view of the American people, but on the world stage, before the young and the old and that’s part of the problem. Most parents would have to ban their young children from following the debates.   more..

'Freedom of speech cannot be the privilege of Southern politicians only'

Oct 12 (DM) Mano Ganesan, Minister and Leader of DPF and TPA, is well-known for his campaign for unity and a united Sri Lanka while respecting the rights of all races and religions. Akilan Manoharan Ganesan, trade-unionist turned politician, explains why the voice of politicians in the North should also be heard, and justifies the need of having a Tamil minister accommodated in the national reconciliation policy making. more..

'New Constitution Federal in content, Unitary in name'

Oct 12 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila said the results of elections to various Cooperative Societies were reflective of the ground support swelling in favour the political camp represented by him. He also argues against the govt's claim of winning over the international community. Q: What is the way forward for the Joint Opposition in the present political context? A: The JO is the only hope for patriotic people in the nation more..

Probe on how Yoshitha, grand aunt built palaces in Mt. Lavinia

Oct 12 (SL) Investigations carried out by the FCID have unearthed how the grand aunt of former President Rajapaksa offspring – Daisy Forest – had paid millions of rupees to nine individuals to acquire a land to extend a family property at Dehiwela – Mt. Lavinia. Daisy Forest, aunt of Mary Laud Wickremasinghe alias Shiranthi Rajapaksa, is now under an intense probe as to how she collected Rs. 49.52 million to purchase a 30-perch land more..