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SL parliamentary delegation received at National Parliament of Switzerland

Oct 30 (IL) A cross-party Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation led by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was hosted by Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, Switzerland at the Switzerland National Parliament in Bern on 26 Oct. During the official meeting, Minister de Silva briefed the Swiss delegation regarding the steps taken to strengthen the parliament through constitutional amendments in recent times including 19th more..

How did Ram return to Ayodhya from Lanka in just 20 days?

Oct 30 (IE) Among one of the reasons Diwali is celebrated with such pomp and show is that mythologically, it is said to be the day when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Laxman after a prolonged exile of 14 years and defeating Lanka King Ravan. Dusshera, also celebrated as Vijay Dashami of the Durga Puja, was when Ram defeated the 10-headed demon god with the blessing from the goddess. In a way Diwali, is a continuation of Durga Puja as it is the more..

Tamils, Muslims hold talks

Oct 30 (NS) TNA and SLMC have commenced crucial discussions in order to reach an understanding pertaining to several key issues such as the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Discussions have commenced in light of the drafting a new Constitution which is currently underway. Discussions also focused on factors such as devolution and its extent, nature of State and the electoral process. However party officials declined to reveal the progress that had been made more..

'SL could reach Upper Middle Income status'

Oct 30 (DM) If the policy reforms in the areas of fiscal operations, competitiveness and governance which the Govt of Sri Lanka indicated as necessary, are successfully implemented it could help the country to reach Upper Middle Income status in the medium term, World Bank said. World Bank said that Sri Lanka’s GDP growth will remain flat this year compared to 2015, and will marginally improve more..

A Grama Niladhari wages committee soon

Oct 30 (CT) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara will shortly appoint a committee to prepare a new wages ordinance for Grama Niladhari officers, who are the leading field officers at village level, fully committed to meeting the people's needs to the extent that their official commitments demand. There are about 14,000 Grama Niladhari officers. Minister decided to appoint this committee as soon as he was fully briefed on the problems faced by members of All Ceylon Eksath Grama Niladhari Association. more..

Jaffna killings: Students want to meet Prez

Oct 30 (ST) Jaffna Uni Students’ Union, through the University’s Vice Chancellor, is seeking an immediate appointment with President Sirisena to ask for a fair inquiry into the alleged police killing of two undergraduates and for reasonable compensation to be given to their families. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 students have been boycotting lectures since Thursday in protest against the alleged killings of 23-year-old Natarajan Kajan & 24-year-old Pounraj Sulakshan. more..

Colombo’s underworld terror rearing its ugly head

Oct 30 (CT) In the not too distant past, citizens in the Southern Province were terrorized by an underworld gang of gunmen on bicycles. Thankfully though this dark period is finally over and the people can now breathe freely in the ensuing calm. But, alas, now this brutish terror has reared its ugly head in Colombo. Present IGP, Pujith Jayasundara appointed a Special Police Unit and conducted operations against underworld more..

Sayura and Suranimila back from India after completion of their visit in India

Oct 30 (SLN) The two ships of the Sri Lanka Navy; SLNS Sayura and SLNS Suranimila which were on an a training and goodwill visit in India, arrived at the Port of Colombo today (29) on successful completion of their visit. The ship's company of SLNS Sayura and SLNS Suranimila took part in wide range of programmes organised by the Indian Navy and also hosted a colourful reception onboard SLNS Sayura for the Indian counterparts on 26th October. The reception was graced by more..

2017 Women's World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (CB) The ICC on Sunday (30) announced Sri Lanka's capital Colombo as the host for the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers, to be held between February 7 and 21. The tournament will see the bottom-four sides from the ICC Women's Championship along with Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Scotland and Zimbabwe take on each other for the four remaining spots in the ICC Women's World Cup in the United Kingdom from 26 June to 23 July 2017. more..

Central Expressway: High ways above and beyond the call of tenders

Oct 30 (ST) Govt is to call for Limited Tenders (LT) from Japanese companies for the construction of the Section III of the Central Expressway, in a clear departure from the open bidding principle. LTs, as defined online, are not advertised in newspapers. As a result, other bidders generally do not come to know when such a tender is floated. Cabinet Subcommittee on Economic Affairs has recommended process, more..

Lawyers’ Collective to pressure Govt

Oct 30 (SO) Lawyers’ Collective has decided to pressure the Yahapalana govt to keep to its trajectory and to perform as promised during the election campaign, without deviating from its stance of uplifting and promoting yahapalanaya. Lawyers Collective is an association comprising members of the SL Bar Association, the largest professional body of lawyers. Highly placed sources within the Collective said more discussions will held to decide on the future course of action. more..

Presidential awards for inventors

Oct 30 (PMD) The first celebration of National Inventors Day 2016 and the Presidential awards Ceremony for the best inventions of the year selected from the local inventors held under the patronage of President Sirisena at Nelum Pokuna Theater on Oct 26. This awards ceremony organized annually by SL Inventors Commission under the guidance of Ministry of Science, Technology and Research with the aim of encouraging the local inventors. Six inventors received awards from more..

Govt will bring a people’s budget: Ravi

Oct 30 (AD) The forthcoming budget that will be presented on Nov 10 will be a people’s budget as it would incorporate ideas proposed by the people from all corners of Sri Lanka, Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. Ministry of Finance has already received over 2200 proposals from the people. This also includes proposals from other sectors of economy, trade unions; trade chambers corporate sectors, companies, individual more..

SL joins 70-nation Open Govt Partnership

Oct 30 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena will head a National Steering Committee that will monitor the Govt’s ambitious Open Govt Partnership, a programme that links 70 countries. Sri Lanka was invited to join the Partnership this month. Cabinet endorsed a declaration two weeks ago to join the Partnership. Its main aim is to “commit to foster a global culture of open govt that empowers and delivers for citizens while advancing the ideals of open and participatory 21st century govt.” more..

Health Ministry to crackdown on errant pharmacies

Oct 30 (CT) The Health Ministry is to launch an investigation to check whether the recent price reduction of 48 drugs has been put into practice by the pharmacies. Director General of Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said, the ministry had received complaints from the public stating that the price reduction had not taken place, and most pharmacies sell the drugs at the price prior to the price reduction gazetted recently by the Health Ministry. more..

Australia to ban all asylum seekers arriving by boat from ever visiting

Oct 30 (AP) Australia announced plans to ratchet up its tough policy against refugees by banning any asylum seeker who attempts to reach its shores by boat from ever visiting the country. A previous govt introduced a policy on July 19, 2013, banning refugees who arrive by boat from Indonesian ports after that date from ever being resettled in Australia. Under legislation to be introduced to Parliament next week, more..

Culture & Gender: A tale of two women

Oct 31 (CT) This essay can be understood at two levels. One is thematic and the other, personal. The essay is a note on the theme of Culture and Gender. It is also a tapestry of stories of the working out of the dialectic of these factors. The essay seeks to illustrate the points that complex and conflicted though the relationships between men and women may be, when the relationships operate on the terrain of shared cultural norms and codes, the effects and outcomes of these contradictions more..

Coping with a changing climate

Oct 31 (CT) A recent report issued by the UN Development Program, the Global Environmental Facility and the Govt of Australia, evaluating the preparedness of Sri Lanka to deal with Climate Change pointed out the a lack of “awareness about climate change impacts on the livelihood among farmers and local govt officials, especially those engaged in water management and agriculture extension”. This is not the first warning; we have had plenty of time to deal with this need. more..

'Govt should maintain Law and Order'

Oct 31 (SL) Minister Susil Premajayantha, is of the view that those trying to further split the SLFP are not truly committed to the party. “It is easier said than done and it is easier to break up a party than trying to patch up and unite a party,” he said. Premajayantha said, “In 1993, when I was just an ordinary member of the party, we took up that challenge and we succeeded because of our sheer commitment. more..

COPE, counter-terror and the karmic effect

Oct 31 (ST) There is a whiff of victory in the air. We are being told that this Friday’s report of the COPE on the bond fraud of the country’s premier financial institution, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was a singular gain for democracy. Former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran was found by the COPE to be directly responsible in allowing a dealer linked to his son-in-law to massively profit from the Bank’s bond auction of public funds last year. As we may remind ourselves, this deal more..

Beware: The Gods bearing gifts!

Oct 31 (SL) We are not using honorifics to address you in accordance to your request when you assumed office such exalted titles as Your Excellency should not be used .So like Americans we will address you as, Mr. President. Mr. President, we are a new organization – Non-Owners of Doubtful Property Balavegaya – to protect Sri Lankans from a law exploited by some with political agendas to violate our fundamental human rights. This law – the Declaration of Assets Law and more..

'We are taking the country forward'

Oct 31 (SL) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna, who is also a member of the CoPE committee, denies the allegations levelled against the UNP members of the govt that they are trying to safeguard the perpetrators of the CB Bond scam. He said the UNP is a party with integrity and that under no circumstance will it compromise the greater good of the country for political or personal gain. He further said the UNP was instrumental in more..

AAVA may come, AAVA may go but AAVA must be destructed, pronto

Oct 31 (ST) The tragic death of two university students in Jaffna after police opened fire when they failed to stop at a checkpoint brought to light this Tuesday the existence of a new Tamil terror grouping which claimed responsibility for the sword attack on two police intelligence officers in Chunnakam on Sunday. Calling themselves AAVA Gangsters, they said it was a revenge attack for the death of the two undergraduates. Posters on Jaffna walls which appeared on more..

Emerging scenarios of an independent Thamil Eelam

Oct 31 (SL) My intention here is to analyze a probable emerging scenario that could have the most consequential effects and decide our future for decades to come. This is in order to alert all concerned that unless serious and principled steps are taken to address and resolve the National Question on a democratic basis, we may be faced with some such eventuality as described here in the case of East Timor. It is to alert all concerned that if the govt fails to act resolutely in all good faith, more..


Independent Commissions have role in reconciliation

Oct 30 (Island) To my mind the most shocking news we have had of late is the death of the two Jaffna undergraduates who died on their way home from a get-together. Two young lives heading towards prosperity and renown, in a rough terrain had been nipped in the bud. I remember how I traveled the length and breadth of the Peninsula as a Cadet, when I was around their age. One day I had a tyre puncture on my way home and I was standing hopelessly near my car. more..

Bond theft and Foot & mouth disease

Oct 30 (Island) Bogus champions of good governance, all out to save the Treasury bond thieves, are suffering from the foot and mouth disease as it were. They are trying to defend the indefensible by shouting at the top of their voices and through footnotes in COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) report on the bond scam. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought to describe the recently released COPE report as a victory for his govt. He is only making a virtue of necessity. more..

Whither anti-corruption investigation?

Oct 30 (SL) The resignation of DG of CIABOC Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe has become a subject of too much discussion these days. She has justified her action by claiming that she resigned because of the statement made by President Sirisena about the actions of the Commission. She has said that she believes it is not fair for her to remain in office after the first citizen of the country has cast doubts on the functioning of more..

Deepthika’s Alcazaba gallops to Diwali title

Oct 30 (ST) Deepthika Jayakody’s Alcazaba claimed the RTC First Diwali Festival Cup in the Shubh Diwali Festival Race Day held at the Nuwara Eliya Turf Club yesterday. The 1600-metre race for Class 1 Handicap horses had five runners and thrills that was anticipated. L. Dayalan, who had run two races earlier in the day without success, waited till the right time to strike and guided Alcazaba after a relatively low key but an endurance start. The race was not Dayalan’s until halfway through, more..

Messy Zimbabwe's many misses

Oct 30 (CI) Here's how our ball-by-ball commentary recorded Zimbabwe's slew of fielding lapses in the Harare Test. 1.1: Mumba to Karunaratne, no run, very full, pitches on middle, 134ks, snakes away and rears up. Karunaratne is opened up completely. He hurriedly looks to work the ball to leg, falls over, and it takes the outside edge near the shoulder of the bat, then flies over gully. Williams runs back, stretches his left hand up, well over his head, but he was on the move. more..

SL strike after Tharanga ton gives them 537

Oct 30 (CI) For a brief period on the second morning, Zimbabwe made run-scoring look strenuous. For the rest of the day, Sri Lanka's batsmen enjoyed a placid Harare surface and a tiring bowling attack to pile on 537. Upul Tharanga, displaying admirable patience, reaped the most rewards on the second day to score to his second Test ton, an unbeaten 110. Tharanga milked the bowling for the majority of his innings, capitalising on more..

Bad light denies SL A in high-scoring game

Oct 30 (CI) Bad light denied Sri Lanka A in Colombo as they fell eight runs short of the Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 257, conceding the one-day series 0-3 to West Indies A. An interruption due to rain in the 12th over had reduced the match to 47 overs a side. West Indies A made 305 for 5 in that time with centuries from captain Jason Mohammed and Andre McCarthy. But Sri Lanka A were taking a right tilt at the target. They needed 58 runs in 54 balls with three wickets in hand, and more..

Seylan Bank records Q3 PAT of Rs. 2,828mn

Oct 30 (Island) Seylan Bank continued its growth momentum by recording a Profit after Income of Rs. 2,828 Million, for the 9 months ended 30th Sept. This is a 3.6% increase over the Rs. 2,730 Million reported for the corresponding period of 2015 and has been achieved despite rising interest rates. Interest income grew by 33.7% driven by the sustained credit growth achieved by Bank. Interest expenses increased at a faster pace of 59.5% during the year, thereby compressing margins. more..

Mobile phone bill charges to rise by 50%

Oct 30 (Island) All mobile phone bill charges will increase by 50% with the increase in VAT, Director General, Department of Fiscal Policy of the Finance Ministry A.K Seneviratne said. "With the increase of the VAT component, govt will be able to rake in an additional Rs 100 billion, which now stands at Rs 200 billion revenue, Seneviratne said. He said the annual VAT threshold on the wholesale and retail market would be Rs 50 million, more..

Colombo eyes Indian coastal shipping

Oct 30 (SO) Sri Lanka has the potential to take advantage of India’s initiative to shift freight movements from land to sea and serve as a transhipment hub for shipping between the Indian east and west coasts, according to Dr Piyush Raj, Head of Maritime Advisory DNV GL India, SL and Bangladesh. Already Colombo is the largest transhipment hub for the region, known as a low cost, high productivity centre for maritime services, with even information technology services being competitive with India, he said. more..

Two cops killed in head-on collision

Oct 30 (DM) Two Police constables attached to Negombo Police station were killed in a head-on collision of a motorcycle and a motor car at South Pitipana, Negombo on the Negombo-Pamunugama Road last night. The car on its way to Negombo had collided with the motorcycle heading towards Pamunugama. The victims, Saminda Bandara (32) and Ashoka Yasanayaka (39) were identified as residents of Dankotuwa and Anamaduwa. They succumbed to their injuries after being admitted to the Negambo Hospital. more..

Sri Lanka to raise minimum wages for Middle Eastern workers

Oct 30 (EN) Sri Lanka will raise minimum wages for workers in the Middle East from 2017. SL's govt claims there is a $300 minimum wage for expatriate workers. In SL due to high import duty protection for farmers and politically powerful domestic industrial lobbies living expenses and house building costs are high. Printing money by the central bank also constantly depreciates the rupee, forcing poor workers to seek work abroad. more..

Packed in Ceylon tag for blended Ceylon teas on the cards

Oct 30 (ST) The Govt is expected to introduce a number of measures to ensure the regional plantation companies (RPCs) in the tea sector would increase their income levels and production capacities in addition to opening the doors to tea blending. A re-introduction of the fertiliser subsidy for the RPCs is being worked out by Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake who is positive of regaining this facility in the next budget. He made these observations during an interview more..

Supply chain management vital in megalopolis programme: Minister

Oct 30 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka reiterated the importance of supply chain management in strengthening the activities of the megalopolis program. The Minister said supply and materials management will play a significant role in positioning Sri Lanka as the major naval hub and aviation hub in Asia between Singapore and Dubai. The Institute of Supply and Materials Management (ISMM), held its 44th anniversary at Water’s Edge, where Ranawaka was the chief guest. more..

Drug price revision: Pharma companies comply but want more time

Oct 30 (SO) Following NMRA warning that selling drugs above the maximum retail prices appearing in the recent gazette notification or raising them if below the minimum retail price, was a legal punishable offence, SO in a random survey found most leading pharmaceutical companies have fallen in line with the new prices. “We have already submitted our lists to our distributors,” they said but admit that the time given for more..