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SL says to hold presidential polls in January

Oct 20 (Xinhua) Govt on Monday confirmed that Presidential Elections will take place in January next year but the date is yet to be decided on. There has been speculation in the local media that the election will be held on January 8 or 9 ahead of a scheduled visit by Pope Francis. "Pesidential election will be held in January. Dte cannot be said right now. I know the date but since it is yet to be confirmed I cannot say that right now," more..

JHU to meet President

Oct 20 (DM) JHU today said its resolutions would be discussed with President Rajapaksa with the objective of deciding whether to back him at a future Presidential Election. JHU at its 11th Convention held on Sunday adopted eight resolutions including one to amend the present Constitution and to reduce the number of Cabinet Ministers to 25. Party Assistant Secretary and the WPC Minister Udaya Gammanpila said they would field another candidate at a presidential election if the President more..

Five suspects surrender over attack

Oct 20 (CG) Five suspects allegedly involved in the attack on a group of Sabaragamuwa university students recently, surrendered to the police today. They were later produced before a magistrate and remanded till next week. The students who were staging a protest came under attack by men with poles and sharp objects late evening on October 10. Several students who were taking part in the sit-down protest (Satyagraha) were injured in the attack and were admitted to hospital. more..

Witness Protection Bill: Amendments drafted

Oct 20 (DM) Justice Ministry was drafting amendments suggested by the Supreme Court to be incorporated in the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill to be presented in the Parliament later. Govt presented the first draft in Parliament recently. Then, six petitions were filed in the SC challenging its Constitutionality. Court suggested several amendments and sent them to Parliament. more..

JVP condemns conduct of VCs

Oct 20 (CT) The extent of the politicization of universities can be seen by the recent election to choose a vice chancellor (VC) for University of Sri J'pura and VCs accompanying Minister of Higher Education to TV political debates, said JVP MP Vijitha Herath. In a recent election to select a VC for the University of Sri J'pura the person who got the most number of votes, Professor Mohan De Silva was not appointed by the govt as he would not have acted as a henchman of the govt, he said. more..

Lankan Def Secy meets Jaitley

Oct 20 (PTI) SL Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley during which a number of issues came under discussion. He met Jaitley in the afternoon at his North Block Office. Defence Secretary R K Mathur was also present. Jaitley later handed over a memento to the visiting dignitary. Though officials remained tight lipped about what transpired during the meeting, the visit takes place less than 10 days after Mathur visited the island nation. more..

Video: Inefficient foreign service led to ECJ ruling: UNP

Oct 20 (DM) UNP accused the govt of failing to maintain an efficient Foreign Service and instead it was blaming the UNP for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) lifting the sanctions placed on the LTTE. “UPFA Govt should take responsibility for the ban on LTTE finances being lifted by the ECJ. The govt has failed to maintain an efficient Foreign Service and has not held state level talks to prevent this from happening. more..

Sri Lanka’s Malaria elimination efforts a spectacular achievement

Oct 20 (GDI) Sri Lanka has remained free of malaria for two years – an accomplishment the Global Health Group (GHG) describes as a “spectacular achievement.” During a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees recently, Dr. Richard Feachem, who is the Director of GHG of the University of California San Francisco and the Chair of the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG) convened under GHG, congratulated the Govt on its efforts to completely eliminate malaria. more..

Maithri files case against Gnanasara thera in court premises

Oct 20 (AM) UNP Former Southern Provincial Councilor Maithri Gunaratne today filed a case against BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera for insulting him in abusive language inside the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court premises in June, this year. Gunaratne, who is a lawyer, appeared on behalf of Vatareka Wijitha Thera in a court case involving the BBS and the JBS, led by Wijitha Thera. Subsequent to the incident, Gunaratne lodged a complaint more..

Nimal Siripala axed from top post of SLFP Badulla district committee

Oct 20 (AM) Vice Chairman of the SLFP and Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva has not been given the top post of the District Committee of Badulla which handles district-level operations pertaining to the forthcoming presidential election. Minister Lakshman Seneviratne, who crossed over to the govt from the United National Party, has been given the top position of the district elections committee. more..

Top Tiger arrested at BIA

Oct 20 (CT) A prominent member of the LTTE's armed and intelligence wings, who had evaded arrest and rehabilitation after the war, was arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Saturday night, while attempting to leave for Qatar. Meanwhile, an LTTE leader, who had planned the attack on a navy bus, was also arrested last week in Vavuniya, a military official said. Both men had not been arrested previously. more..

Sri Lanka’s Northern Reboot

Oct 20 (TD) A significant event took place earlier this week in Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapaksa flagged off the first train in that region in 25 years, the Yal Devi Express. A new train service wouldn’t ordinarily be a big deal, but this was a landmark feat. It required millions of dollars in credit from India, a whole team of Indian engineers, imported coaches from China, and even a political controversy between President and Chief Minister of Tamil-dominated Northern Province more..

Former IGP new Law, Order Secretary

Oct 20 (CG) Former IGP Mahinda Balasuriya has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order, replacing Major General (Retd) Nanda Mallawaarachchi for the post. Appointed as IGP in Nov 2009, Balasuriya had resigned from his post in June, 2011 and was later posted overseas as an Ambassador. Balasuriya had retired as IGP saying the actions initiated against employees of the FTZ more..

More private buses on Southern Expressway

Oct 20 (Island) National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairman Renuka Perera said that the NTC had issued 43 new route permits to private buses to operate on the Southern Expressway. As the demand for more buses on the Southern Expressway had increased Minister C.B. Ratnayaka had submitted a special Cabinet paper and got it approved, Perera said. 28 bus route permits had been issued to operate buses from Maharagama to Matara and 15 route permits for buses more..

Sajin slams UNP on Geneva allegations

Oct 20 (CG) Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena today slammed the UNP in Parliament when the UNP raised questions over the controversy surrounding the renovation of the official residence of the Permanent Representative in Geneva, which was reportedly awarded to an LTTE affiliated company. MP said that while the UNP is raising allegations over the contract issued to renovate the Geneva Mission, the UNP was known to have had ties with the LTTE. more..

Travel restrictions to the north justified

Oct 20 (CG) Govt today attempted to justify the travel restrictions imposed on foreigners visiting the north by raising concerns over the impact the recent EU court ruling on the LTTE will have on Sri Lanka. Minister Susil Premajayanth said that if the LTTE ban is lifted in the EU as a result of the EU court ruling it could allow LTTE elements to fund another war in the north. Govt had recently announced that foreigners visiting the north more..

Sri Lanka to establish a regulatory council to monitor issues in finance sector

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers had given approval to establish an Inter Regulatory Institutions Council with a view of identifying issues that require collective action by financial sector regulators. Establishment of the council plans to promote financial system stability and the development of the financial sector. Financial institutions include licensed banks, licensed finance companies and leasing companies, money brokers, primary dealers, insurance companies, more..

Navy’s Merchant Marine Training School makes waves

Oct 20 (Island) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera chaired a special meeting on Thursday, on the Way Forward for Maritime Hub focused on several key areas including regulations for shipping trade, status of the Merchant Shipping Directorate, and International Maritime Organization Member States Audit Schemes. The Navy said in a media statement: "The key official meeting was held at the Naval Headquarters with the participation of the Advisor to the President and Coordinator more..

Media group demands an investigation

Oct 20 (CG) A local media rights group has challenged the govt to enforce the law against those involved in threatening journalists and civil society organisations who conduct journalism training programs, and demonstrate that these unlawful gangs have no support from the govt. Free Media Movement (FMM) condemned the death threats made to journalists and civil society organisations by an unknown group calling more..

SAARC must wake up!

Oct 20 (CT) Though Sri Lanka fought a lone battle to end the blight of LTTE terrorism that threatened the South Asian region for three long decades, remnants of the world's most brutal terrorist outfit are active to re-organize the terrorist structure using the overseas Tamil Diaspora. They are operating from western countries with Canada being the main base as before. The pro- LTTE Diaspora operates under various names in different countries. Funds are collected under the guise of Tamil cultural more..

Sabaragamuwa undergrads resumes Sathyagraha at new location

Oct 20 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University have restarted their Sathyagraha at a different location as police removed their temporary structure at the Pambahinna Junction on a court order on Saturday. President of the Students’ Collective of the university Rasindu Jayasinghe said though they had relocated the Sathyagraha they expected a fresh police attack on it as hundreds of policemen had surrounded the new venue. more..

WikiLeaks: Family-run airline manager Vass links to financial impropriety

Oct 20 (CT) “Govt of Sri Lanka is planning to launch a state-run airline aimed at providing low-cost travel for Sri Lankan migrant workers and tourists to the Middle East and India. The budget carrier, apparently conceived and advanced by close advisors to President Rajapaksa, is to be called Mihin Lanka, after the President (short for Mihindu, which is the Pali name for Mahinda). The non-transparent way in which President’s coterie more..

Bus, skids falls into stream injuring 24

Oct 20 (Island) 24 persons were injured when a passenger bus skidded off the road and toppled into a stream in the Godamawita area on the Dammulla-Eheliyagoda road. Eight of the injured were admitted to the Eheliyagoda Base Hospital while the rest were rushed to the Kiriporuwa Hospital. Among the injured were three children. The driver of the bus had been missing since the accident, police said, he had been speeding. There had been about 30 passengers in the bus, more..

Sri Lanka shares close down 0.3%

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed lower starting the week on a negative note with Commercial Bank and Nestle Lanka contributing most to the index drop, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 21.02 points lower at 7,213.45, down 0.29%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.39 points lower at 4,008.16, down 0.53%. Turnover was 864.49 million rupees, down from 1.02 billion rupees last Friday with 67 stocks closed positive against 127 negative. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka rupee forwards edge down on importer dollar demand

Oct 20 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards weakened on Monday due to importer dollar demand, while the spot rupee was untraded, with dealers saying the central bank prevented banks through moral suasion from trading the cash currency above 130.70. Three-day forwards, actively traded in the absence of spot, were at 130.80/90 per dollar at 0635 GMT compared with Friday's close of 130.80/85. The spot currency was neither traded nor quoted. It ended at 130.60/80 on Friday. more..

Are we poisoning our children with Fonterra

Oct 20 (CT) This is serious and begs the question that the future of our children whose parents are oblivious to the dangers posed by Western interests and mesmerised by advertisements which promote Australia and New Zealand. The govt has also ordered 50,000 milch cows to supplement our own dairy needs. Is it not possible to enhance our local dairy industry rather than import cows fed with dangerous chemicals? Sri Lanka is quite capable of feeding its animals with organic vegetation more..

JHU wants Cabinet reduced to 25

Oct 20 (DM) The JHU adopted eight resolutions at its 11th convention yesterday -- including one calling for the reduction of the Cabinet to 25 members and another to amend the Constitution so as to get rid of the presidential immunity before the nest presidential election is held. The eight resolutions adopted at the party’s convention were read out by its assistant secretary, the WPC Minister Udaya Gamanpilla. more..

Students yet suffer from shrapnel in their bodies

Oct 20 (CT) Thirty year battle in the North has been a reason for many civilians in the region to still carry pieces of shrapnel in their bodies. More than 1,200 school children are still carrying pieces of shrapnel from shell fire even after five years of the end of war since year 2009. These students are carrying shrapnel splinters in their sensitive areas of their bodies - head, neck and chest. more..

Diaspora wants a puppet to ascend to presidency: MR

Oct 20 (AM) President Rajapaksa said that some influential nations in the world want a "puppet" to ascend to presidency in Sri Lanka. He also added that the elements with vested interests are trying to achieve that at the forthcoming presidential election by preventing him from being reelected. Addressing a gathering at Temple Trees, President MRajapaksa said that certain elements of the international community want to turn SL more..

Docs demand closure of pvt. medical college

Oct 20 (Island) All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA) General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said a campaign to collect signatures from medical officers across the country against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) would commence today. Dr. Bandara said the ACMOA would launch the campaign from the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Karapitiya Teaching hospital, more..

'Over 15000 people without NICs in Trinco'

Oct 20 (AM) CaFFE has revealed that there are over 15 157 eligible voters without national identity cards in the Trincomalee district. During a discussion between Trincomalee District Secretary, Divisional Secretaries, Head of the Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) and representatives of Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR). Meeting was held 17th of Oct as a precursor to a series of mobile clinics to more..

SL has no lab to test organically grown food

Oct 20 (Island) A large scale racket carried out by some leading agrochemical companies claiming to produce organic rice sold at supermarkets has surfaced as there is neither a laboratory to test those products nor a competent authority to certify them. National Project for the Prevention of Kidney Disease Director Dr. Channa Jayasumana said that some agrochemical companies had been supplying more..

Trinco Port to become industrial harbour

Oct 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is now planning to transform the Trincomalee Port, which is one of the biggest natural harbours in the world, into an industrial port. “As the port is not seeing much exploitation as of current, we have decided to bring into existence a strategy that will see future benefits to the country’s economical status,” SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama said recently. more..

Ebola: Don’t panic but be ready

Oct 20 (ST) Is Sri Lanka ready for the Ebola virus? This is what is on the minds of a large number of doctors, as public concern grows with this virus spreading in several continents. In Sri Lanka, people do not know the gravity of Ebola and its deadly trail, pointed out many doctors while there were mixed reactions whether the virus (Ebola Virus Disease) would come to this country. While some felt that it would only be a matter of time more..

Students implicate PS member

Oct 20 (SL) A set of Sabaragamuwa university students who were engaged in a Satyagraha campaign came under attack about a week back adding to the list of incidents of assault targeting university students. The students alleged that a local Pradeshiya Sabha member namely Indika Jayamanna was directly involved in the incident and the students pointed the finger at the Higher Education Minister for being behind more..

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