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Over 200 garment workers hospitalised with food poisoning

Oct 4 (AD) Over 200 employees of an apparel factory have reportedly been admitted to the Dickoya Hospital due to suspected food poisoning.  The employees of a garment factory located in Newweligama, Norwood have been hospitalized in this manner after several of them had fainted and shown symptoms of food poisoning.  The workers had fallen ill after consuming the food provided by the factory this morning. Norwood Police is conducting an investigations. more..

Namal makes interesting poser to yahapalana Leadership

Oct 4 (Island) Having censured former President Rajapaksa for seeking a third term, yahapalana leadership had congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently elected for a record fourth term, UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said. MP pointed out that Merkel, too, had assumed the German leadership in 2005, the year Mahinda Rajapaksa won the presidency. Every yahapalana speaker had found fault with the former Prez for introducing 18 Amendment more..

Ravi instructed state banks to bid low at bond auctions

Oct 4 (AD) It has been revealed at the PCoI that former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed state banks to bid at low rates during the bond auction held on March 29, 2016. The Chairman of People’s Bank, Hemasiri Fernando, made this revelation while testifying today at the PCoI. During proceedings today, it was revealed that senior executive members from People’s Bank, National Savings Bank and more..

JVP prepares to table the Audit Bill

Oct 4 (NR) JVP charged that the present govt is deliberately delaying the submission of the National Audit Bill. MP Sunil Handunnetti said as a party, the JVP, has decided to submit the draft of the National Audit Bill as a private member bill. He said the draft is scheduled to be submitted before the Cabinet this week. However, MP Handunnetti said if the govt continues to delay the tabling of the bill; the party will not hesitate to submit the draft before the parliament. more..

The business case for tackling childcare

Oct 4 (FT) My friend Kavi, a senior manager with one of Sri Lanka’s top service-industry companies, is going through difficult times. Both of her parents recently passed away – an incredibly sad series of events. If losing one parent after the other was not traumatic enough, she also lost a vital support system. Kavi found herself without the support she needed to care for her children while working and so faced a critical decision about her more than 15-year career. more..

Building SL’s young programmers, bit by bit

Oct 4 (AFP) Winning an award for creating a digital dictionary while he was still in school has inspired Prabhath Mannapperuma to foster a legion of budding young programmers in remote corners of Sri Lanka. Mannapperuma, 24, heads a team of volunteers who fan out all over the country firing up students with the Microbit, a tiny programmable device, and the message that writing computer code is no arcane art but within more..

Finance ministry staff goes nuts

Oct 4 (EN) Finance ministry employees went nuts when a mini forutune was offered to them by Chilaw Plantations company which offered precious coconuts at a near 50% discount. Some 1,200 employees at the General Treasury Building in Colombo Fort had the good fortune to double their money buying coconuts at 65 rupees each and flipping them at double the cost. However, the party was short-lived when the vendor got wise and restricted the number of nuts each treasury more..

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana visits Bosnia and Herzegovina

Oct 4 (MFA) Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana paid an official working visit to the Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina from 28th to 30th Sept on an invitation extended by its Govt. Foreign Minister met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia & Herzegovina Igor Crnadak on 28th Sept. The one to one meeting between the two Foreign Ministers was followed by formal discussions between the delegations of Sri Lanka and Bosnia & Herzegovina. more..

Govt begins drafting separate legal framework for Financial City

Oct 4 (DM) Amid the controversy surrounding the draft new constitution, govt behind closed doors is drafting a new legal framework to administer the China-backed Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), the 500-acre Colombo sea front reclaimed for a special economic zone. A team of international consultants are said to be already in town sketching the new piece of legislation and the policy framework under more..

Sri Lanka can take momentum forward on all formats: Tharanga

Oct 4 (TN) Victory can do wonders for a team’s mindset: restoring confidence, putting a spring in the players’ step. Particularly when it ends a run of nine straight defeats. SL’s 21-run win over Pakistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi earlier this week ended a run that saw the islanders whitewashed across all three formats by India this summer and endure a humiliating 3-2 ODI series defeat to lowly Zimbabwe. “We were in need of that result badly and it was achieved in no small way,” said Tharanga, more..

JO charges of being at a disadvantage in COPE

Oct 4 (NR) UPFA Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage says the Joint Opposition is at a great disadvantage over the appointments of members to the Committee on Public Enterprise. He noted the Joint Opposition that holds 54 seats in Parliament has been accorded only one seat in the COPE. MP said there are four members of the JVP, the Chairman, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, MP Nalinda Jayatissa and MP Bimal Ratnayake who are part of the committee. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Chinese request for local fuel sales

Oct 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has blocked a proposal by Chinese firms bidding to build the island’s biggest oil refinery to sell fuel locally, fearing a threat to domestic firms that dominate the small but growing market. The veto is the latest in a tussle over Chinese investments in Hambantota, a southern town near an important shipping route, where China controls the sea port and plans an industrial zone for Chinese firms and more..

Asiri Surgical to start comprehensive cancer treatment

Oct 4 (LBO) Asiri Surgical Hospital has divested half of its stake in Asiri AOI to India-based Cancer Treatment Services Hyderabad for 212.5 million rupees. In Dece 2016, Asiri Surgical Hospital entered into a joint venture agreement with Cancer Treatment Services Hyderabad for the purpose of forming a joint venture company. The joint venture company is to establish and manage cancer treatment centres in Sri Lanka, which provide radiation oncology, medical oncology, more..

World Bank loan for financial sector reforms

Oct 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is to get US$75 million from the World Bank for financial sector reforms that will modernize regulatory frameworks and infrastructure and improve access to affordable finance especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The loan, which amounts to about Rs11.4 billion, is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s grant and low-interest arm, with a maturity of 25 years that includes a grace period of five years. more..

Kiriella has no authority: GMOA

Oct 4 (DM) The GMOA charged that Minister Lakshman Kiriella has no authority to declare about the concluding dates of cases which were ongoing in courts. While referring to a media statement claimed to be released by Minister Kiriella asking the State university students to attend to lectures, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that in the same statement, minister had assured that the case filed at the Supreme Court on more..

SAITM responds to self proclaimed SAITM Parents Association

Oct 4 (AD) In an official statement circulated, SAITM management declared that the SAITM Parents Association headed by Gemunu Wijeratne has no relation to SAITM nor is it the official association for the parent body of SAITM students and that it was merely a platform where Mr.Wijeratne expressed his personal opinion.   SAITM management and majority of the parent body expressed their support to a solution put forward by the Sri Lankan government. The conjoined committee expressed more..

Fort Railway Station 100th Anniversary: New access road commissioned

Oct 4 (DN) A new access road from Bastian Mawatha to Colombo Fort railway station was commissioned today by Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Colombo Fort railway station. Opened in 1917, Colombo Fort is the Colombo's main railway station commencing train journeys to all parts of the country except the coastal railway line. The station handles around 320 train operations per day with over two million daily commuters.  more..

'Basil's comment was politically motivated'

Oct 4 (DM) Field Marshal Minister Sarath Fonseka said today that former minister Basil Rajapaksa’s remark made in Jaffna over individuals within the army committing crimes during and after the war was politically motivated to win the hearts of the Tamils in the North. During the weekend in Jaffna, Mr. Rajapaksa was quoted as saying that he thinks forces didn’t commit war crimes but individuals might have committed crimes. more..

'Constitution protects Unity & Buddhism'

Oct 4 (NR) Minister Mano Ganesan says priority given to Buddhism and unity in the country will not be hindered through the proposed new Constitution. Minister said the govt has no intention of joining the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. He noted the Local Govt Election will likely be held in the 3rd week of January. Minister Ganesan said the govt is engaged in efforts of formulating a new Constitution adding that various proposals have been submitted. The Minister noted that more..

Calf injury rules Mathews out of Dubai Test

Oct 4 (CI) Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of 2nd Test against Pakistan, although it was earlier hoped he would have sufficiently from a calf injury to join the team in Dubai. Team management has confirmed his unavailability. Mathews' absence will leave SL with decisions on the make-up of their top order. With Thirimanne and Kaushal Silva having had modest outings in the Abu Dhabi Test, chances of either Roshen Silva or Sadeera Samarawickrama making a debut, have risen. more..

Malinga dropped for Pakistan ODIs

Oct 4 (CB) Sri Lankan selectors have dropped veteran seamer Lasith Malinga from the ODI squad for the five-match series against Pakistan in UAE. Malinga, who has shown indifferent form since making his comeback to the national set-up, had an ordinary series against India at home last month and as a result, has fetched the axe. Angelo Mathews, who couldn't feature in the ongoing Test series due of a calf injury, more..

An open letter to my Muslim community

Oct 5 (CT) Our community is currently divided over debates regarding reforms to the Sri Lankan Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). The discussions are happening at multiple levels, these include whether or not the MMDA needs to be reformed, the reasons why and what kind of reforms are actually needed. There are perhaps as many opinions as there Muslims in SL, however in my observations over the past one year, majority of our community refuses to support and/or advocate more..

Emperor’s new parking lot

Oct 5 (CT) In a country in a distant part of the world, there lived an Emperor who called all his advisors to solve the irritating and recurring problem of his subjects not being able to park their vehicles wherever they wanted. Whether it be to do their groceries, their shopping, the school of their children or their office, they were unable to find space to park. He ordered the advisors to come up with a solution forthwith or be prepared to relinquish office. The next day, the advisors lined up more..

Mahaweli Week for food self-sufficiency

Oct 5 (SO) On a directive of President Maithripala Sirisena, Govt will launch Mahaweli Week- October 5 to 12 to coincide with the National Food Production Drive. It is expected to give a boost to food production and offset the setbacks in the country’s food production due to adverse climatic conditions, experienced in the last few seasons. The program, represented by all Mahaweli zones will primarily involve the agriculture sector, more..

The seeds of Japanese soft power

Oct 5 (DN) He goes by Peter though it’s not his name on his identity card, and he has no left arm. He lost it seven years ago while Chena farming near a swamp, when a crocodile took a bite. He also lost his job as a Chena farmer. Chena farming— the practice of clearing virgin forest area, setting it on fire, and cultivating it immediately after—is arduous, back breaking labour which pays a menial wage. Still, until his fateful encounter with the crocodile, Peter went to work every day more..

Short Story: AU PAIR

Oct 5 (DN) I had an American au pair. It was the result of my constant search for an au pair with the consent of my family members. Bandulakumara Gurugamage, my worthwhile friend, made my dream come true through a friend living in The United States. My children Amalka, Navoda, son in law Thisara and my beloved wife Somalatha were on cloud nine with the happy information of her arrival. Our little Hima, the only grandson, Amalka and Thisara’s first baby, a toddler of four more..

A forgotten chapter in Buddhist education

Oct 5 (ST) Shell of a school building adorned with a swastika symbol still stands, the few remaining chairs and tables awaiting the footfall of youngsters. The school laboratory, once the pride of the South is a store room. As if in a mismatch of architecture, parallel to the colonial-looking buildings, a new single storeyed block shelters five classrooms, 157 children and a tutorial staff of seven. Raised concrete beams tell of more..

Editorial:  Auditor General and empty wallet

Oct 5 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has recently been adjudged Ada Derana Public Servant of the Year. Public officials of his calibre and integrity with an unfaltering resolution and courage to carry out their duties and functions without fear or favour in the face of political pressure and other such evil influences deserve to be honoured. Let Wijesinghe be congratulated and Derana thanked. Derana should thank the incumbent govt for making the task of selecting the Public Servant more..

The absence of ideas

Oct 5 (CT) National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) endorsed in its entirety, at its last meeting, the report of the Committee it set up to explore new ways of working in the Public Sector. I was pleased that its more distinguished members congratulated me personally on the report, but I had to respond that I had had excellent support from the committee that the NHRDC had appointed. We were also given valuable advice from distinguished public servants of past eras, including Dharmasiri more..

Jayampathy Wickramaratne

Towards a culture devoid of violence and freedom from fear for all

Oct 5 (NS) Reconciliation is a process which can rebuild the jagged relationships between diverse groups that have been victims of violence in Sri Lanka. International Human rights organizations maintain that the reconciliation efforts by the SL Govt should be a wake-up call for President and PM. The slow pace of transitional justice in Sri Lanka and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to address accountability for past crimes risk derailing the momentum towards lasting peace, more..

The Cheap Minister of Osari Pota and Governing Kekille Style

Oct 5 (Island) I am sure my dear Sri Lankan people wondered all these days where I was -- Your Minister for Nothing to Do At All in the Anti Socialist, Undemocratic Republic of Sri Lanka. I have enjoyed my life thanks to you and my dear two leaders for life, Ranil and Maithri, one not so honourable and the other not so excellent. My Benz, BMW and the Hummer are in excellent condition. My palms are well oiled thanks to the money I have earned from the Bond Scam, and money I hope to earn more..

How Sanga backed Herath when he was out of the radar

Oct 5 (Island) It is a shame that Kumar Sangakkara’s captaincy lasted for less than two years. However, in that short period, Sanga introduced a new culture into the team. With firm backing from coach Trevor Bayliss, he supported those who were committed to the team’s cause and in the meantime kicked out those who lacked focus. The results were stunning as Sri Lanka recorded a maiden series win in Australia and more..

Today is Vap Full Moon Poya Day

Oct 5 (Island) It is perhaps symptomatic of the fallen nature of the ordinary human condition that few of us pass the full extent of our lives comfortably reconciled to our natural selves. Even in the midst of prosperity and success, grinding notes of discontent trouble our days and disturbing dreams come to haunt our sleep. As long as our eyes remain coated with dust we incline to locate the cause of our discontent outside ourselves - in spouse, neighbor or job, in implacable fate or fluky chance. more..

Sanjaya shatters triple jump national record

Oct 5 (Island) Army man Sanjaya Jayasinghe realised his long held dream of shattering the national record when he cleared 16.39 metres in the men’s triple jump on day two of the 54th Army Athletic Championship at Diyagama on Wednesday. Athlete trained by Augustine Appuhamy has been aiming for the record since 2012. "I was doing well at the Nationals as well. But there I made a few mistakes. But today I was able to make amends and realise my dream," Jayasinghe said. more..

CIABOC moved against PM, Speaker, AG et al over putting off PC polls

Oct 5 (Island) Close on the heels of former Chief Justice Sarath Silva moving Supreme Court against yahapalana govt causing the postponement of Provincial Council elections by the recent passage of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act, attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku has complained to CIABOC against Attorney General, Speaker, PM, Provincial Councils & Local Govt Minister more..

Dr Rohan Perera elected to membership of Institut de Droit International

Oct 5 (Island) Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, formerly Legal Adviser and Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and currently Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at the UN Headquarters in New York, was elected to membership of the prestigious Institut de Droit International at its 78th session held at Hyderabad’s NALSAR University of Law from 2 – 11 Sept 2017. The Institut was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1904, more..

SL women’s cricketers ready to face West Indies challenge

Oct 5 (DN) The Sri Lanka women’s cricketers, who will embark on a tour of the West Indies from Oct 5 to 27, have improved with the experience derived from this year’s world cup, according to team Manager Indrani Abeyratne. The 15-member national women’s squad will meet the West Indies in 3 ODIs on October 11, 13 and 15, and three T20s on Oct 19, 21 and 22. “The players have worked hard on their preparations, and there is a changed outlook as a whole,” she said more..

8th Conference of Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians inaugurated

Oct 5 (PSL) 8th Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians (ASSP) was inaugurated under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo, today (4). The main theme of this year’s conference is Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians. This Conference is a platform for the MPs of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. more..

Thalatha asks more time to evaluate cases involving previous regime

Oct 5 (Island) Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale yesterday said it was too early to monitor progress in cases involving the previous administration as she had taken over the ministry only recently. Foreign Employment Minister Atukorale in last week of August succeeded Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, in the wake of the latter attacking govt decision to lease out Hambantota port to China. Atukorale emphasized that they never accused Rajapakse of interfering in court cases. more..