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UNP is ready to back 19th Amendment

Oct 24 (CG) The UNP today informed parliament it backs the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution and wants it passed in Parliament without a debate if other political parties also support it. Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there are reports on some websites indicating there is a move by the Govt to submit the proposed 19th Amendment as an urgent Bill in Parliament next month. more..

VAT makes 22% of Govt. revenue

Oct 24 (CT) Nearly 22% of last year's (2013) govt revenue was generated through the Value Added Tax (VAT), the performance report of the Department of Fiscal Policy, of the General Treasury, shows. Next came Excise duty, also with 22% of total govt revenue (inclusive of tax revenue), Income Tax (18%), Non-Tax Revenue (12%) and Customs Import Duty (7%), amongst others. Imposition of VAT on wholesale and retail trade more..

'Creationists trying to undermine alien research in SL'

Oct 24 (DM) Western ‘creationists’ were trying to rob Sri Lanka of crucial data related to extra-terrestrial life to further their agenda and undermine Buddhist teachings on the universe, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said. Speaking at a religious event at a temple in Hanwella, Mr. Weerawansa charged that a team of ‘sudu mahaththuru’ (white gentlemen) from an international space research institute had more..

Sri Lankan Navy Chief to leave for India tomorrow on official visit

Oct 24 (ANI) Sri Lanka's Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, will leave for India tomorrow on a five-day visit. Navy Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya, said that Vice Admiral Perera is visiting India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Admiral R.K. Dhowan. Vice Admiral Perera's visit to India will be taking place soon after the visit of Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's meeting with more..

Stamp on Sri lankan Buddhist monk Dharmapala released

Oct 24 (PTI) A commemorative postage stamp on Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Anagarika Dharmapala, who is credited to have revived Buddhism in India in the 19th century, was released here today by President Pranab Mukherjee "I congratulate the Department of Posts for taking this initiative of bringing out a commemorative postage stamp on Anagarika Dharmapala. "I hope that this gesture will contribute towards further more..

Actual salary increase for public servants only Rs. 760 – UNP

Oct 24 (Island) The ‘Presidential Election’ budget presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday had made a song and dance about increasing the minimum salary to Rs. 15,000 but the actual difference was only Rs. 750 the UNP said. Pointing out that the budget proposals were a desperate attempt to fool the people in the run-up to the next presidential election by targeting every segment of society, UNP MP’s Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremeratne more..

LTTE-enforced boycott lost Ranil the presidency in 2005

Oct 24 (DBS) Karl Marx expanded famously on Friedrich Hegel’s remark about “history” occurring twice and stated that history repeats firstly as tragedy and secondly as farce. If a recent development in Sri Lanka runs its full course as intended, then one may very well say history repeats itself in Sri Lanka as a tragic farce or farcical tragedy when it comes to Ranil Wickremesinghe. With a presidential election being anticipated early next year, more..

Yal Devi to bring back the glory of northern lines, says Station Master

Oct 24 (ST) He was the Assistant Station Master of the Jaffna railway station nearly 30 years ago. Today he has returned as the Station Master to the place he considers ‘home’. Narayanasamy Thavananthan recalling his time there from 1983 to 1990-when train services were terminated due to the conflict- says one of the main changes he sees is the newly constructed railway station with its Dravidian design. more..

Selling the nationalist agenda

Oct 24 (SL) Sri Lankan politics is really about how good a salesman you are. The voter patterns in the post independent country suggests that if the package on offer is attractive, very little interest is placed on the contents. Sadly that has also had its more than safe share of inclusion in the candidates the country continues to represent. The ramifications of this foolhardy approach to a country acutely in need of peace and reconciliation more..

'BJP acting against Tamils, openly aiding SL'

Oct 24 (PTI) Slamming BJP govt's policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, party's Tamil Nadu ally MDMK on Saturday said that it was acting against the minority Tamils and warned that this may have its repercussions in the future. Party founder Vaiko took objection to senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's demand that India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, be conferred on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, saying more..


Oct 24 (DM) There are times that we should ditch our nation state identity and think as members of humanity to save the Earth’s people from a common enemy or a threat. This message has been underscored in many a Hollywood movie like ‘Independence Day’ though in the end it is the American hero who saves the Earth. But perhaps the first time, a real-life situation has arisen for the entire world to come together and fight a common enemy which, if not controlled or conquered, more..

King Coal and fiddlers free

Oct 24 (DM) While the 2015 budget was being presented by President Rajapaksa in parliament yesterday, much public attention was focused on frauds and shady deals in a multitude of projects run by huge Chinese companies, the national and international controversies or complications arising from these. Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi responding in parliament to a question raised by UNP’s economic activist Harsha de Silva revealed on Thursday that the govt had lost more than more..

Budget 2015: Something for everybody

Oct 24 (Island) President Rajapaksa yesterday presented his tenth budget in Parliament. Having presented the budget for the next fiscal year, a smiling President Rajapaksa asked the opposition, "How is the Budget presented by a godaya [a country bumpkin]?" He was responding to a UNP MP who had claimed that the country was being ruined by a cabal of ‘country bumpkins’. Earlier, the govt advanced the presentation of more..

Budget brings relief

Oct 24 (FT) The much-awaited Budget 2015 was yesterday presented by the Govt as focused on national development and industries, but dismissed by the Opposition as election-targeted relief. President Rajapaksa punctually delivered the extensive Budget, beginning with an exhaustive recap of economic fundamentals that prevailed before 2004 and initiatives that were put in place subsequently by his Govt. “Having restored security and peace during the first five years and more..

Green light given to Wildlife Dept to obtain new guards and vehicles

Oct 24 (Island) Director General (DG) of Wildlife Conservation H.D. Ratnayake disclosed that the Ministry of Economic Development had given clearance to his human resources strapped Department to recruit 210 Wildlife guards to take forward its programme to curb the Human–Elephant Conflict around the country. He said clearance also had been given to purchase 30 double cabs and 40 Single Cabs to the Department Funds had also been allocated to District Secretaries to re-erect more..

Public sector disappointed, private workers neglected-JVP

Oct 24 (Island) Accusing President Rajapaksa of having deceived the public sector, National Trade Union Centre affiliated to the JVP called for major trade union campaign to win their demands. President of the party’s trade union arm K.D. Lal Kantha, said that President Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning had not taken into consideration the JVP’s demand for Rs. 10,000 salary increase. more..

Boat owners, fishermen meet Swamy

Oct 24 (Hindu) Representatives of the Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen Trust on Friday met BJP leader and former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy seeking his help for the release of 79 mechanised fishing boats now in the custody of Sri Lanka. The boats were impounded after they allegedly transgressed into the Sri Lankan waters for fishing. The delegation was accompanied by senior Tamil Nadu BJP leader H. Raja. A memorandum they handed over to Dr. Swamy more..

Tight security in place for ODI

Oct 24 (NIE) Ahead of the ODI between India and Sri Lanka at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on November 2, the Commissionerate Police on Friday reviewed the security arrangements. At the preparatory meeting it was decided that security at Mayfair Hotel, where players and staff will put up, would be taken over by the city police. The Sri Lanka team may get extra security in view of LTTE threat perception though Home Affairs Ministry has not issued any advisory in this regard. more..

'Lanka Coal has not followed tender procedure since 2012'

Oct 24 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka maintained that since 2012 the Lanka Coal Company (LCC) which was the sole importer of coal to Sri Lanka had been doing so without adhering to proper tender procedure. He was responding to a report that Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi as having said that the CID had commenced investigations into a recently imported consignment of coal for the Norochcholai Power Plant. more..

UdaWalawe Park Warden accused of protecting suspects with venison

Oct 24 (CT) Reliable sources revealed that the Park Warden of the Uda Walawe National Park is trying to protect those involved in providing venison to the Seenukkgala Bungalow a few days ago. The venison was brought to the Bungalow by a group of people for consumption and it is believed to be from deer or sambhur killed inside the Uda Walawe National Park. "When the Uda Walawe Park Warden was informed about the incident it is learnt that he tried to prevent the venison and culprits from more..

NFF member elected uncontested as Dy. Chairman Uva PC

Oct 24 (Island) NFF member Pathma Gunasekera was elected uncontested as the Deputy Chairman of the Uva Provincial Council (UPC) on Thursday. The UPC which adjourned following the appointment of the Deputy Chairman will meet again on Monday the 10th of November for the presenting of its 2015 Budget proposals. Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa and UNP Opposition Leader of the Council Harin Fernando were present for the election of the new Deputy Chairman. more..

The whitewashing of a war crime by corporate lobbyists

Oct 24 (Independent) Sri Lankan govt is hurriedly trying to boost the country’s image by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire corporate lobbyists as it awaits a UN report into alleged war crimes. A report in the US says Sri Lanka has recently agreed a contract with its eighth lobbying firm this year to change the way the country is perceived internationally. It also wants the companies to improve contact between more..

Four Sri Lankan films at Seattle festival

Oct 24 (LR) Acclaimed Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage will attend the 9th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival. In all, up to four Sri Lankan films will be shown at the festival. Vithanage is also expected to participate in a panel discussion on the final day of the festival. Anjula Rasanga, a filmmaker based in British Columbia, Canada will also participate in the festival as moderator and film curator representing Sri Lanka. Vithanage’s Sinhalese film, With you Without you, more..

Taste of Sri Lanka at Carousel

Oct 24 (NST) The Palace of the Golden Horses is hosting a Sri Lankan food promotion at the Carousel International Coffee House until Oct 31. The promotion features dishes that are classified as masterpieces as they are concocted and prepared by celebrated Sri Lankan chef Dr Publis De Silva. Chef was flown in from Colombo to develop the menu for the promotion, which is a cultural collaboration involving the High Commission of Sri Lanka here, Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo more..

No final word yet on Wigneswaran visit to New Delhi

Oct 24 (NIE) Officials in Delhi are trying to work out a schedule for northern province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran to meet PM Narendra Modi next month. He was invited by an NGO, People’s Union for Civil Liberties to give a public lecture on Nov 9. While, PUCL claims that Wigneswaran has accepted the invitation, there is still uncertainty about the visit as PM’s office was still trying to find time for Wigneswaran in Modi’s schedule. more..

NCPA appeals to strengthen its research library

Oct 24 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) urged all govt and Non-Govt Organisations and individuals to submit any publications, audio and audio visual material to strengthen its Research Library. Assistant Manager Planning and Information, said that the NCPA aimed at increasing its efforts to protect children against all forms of abuse with the project. Unlike in other countries there are not many reports into research carried out into Child Protection. more..

‘Sri Lanka’ Quiz: 6 Students selected

Oct 24 (NIE) Six students from various schools in the district were adjudged winners in the first session of ‘Knowing Sri Lanka’ quiz competition organised by the Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka the other day. The winners are: Abhiram Sankar S of Govt VHSS Kulathur, Amritha Raj B S of Govt HSS Kazhakkoottam, Abhijith V B of Govt VHSS & HSS Parasala, Ajay Pradeep of SMV High School, Amala V M Govt HS Vazhamutom and Praveen P L of Govt HS Kachani. more..

‘Extremism may derail Lanka progress’

Oct 24 (AN) Rising extremism is causing significant concern among minority communities in Sri Lanka, particularly Muslims, Minister Rauf Hakeem said in Riyadh this week. “This is an unfortunate trend that needs to be addressed with great seriousness,” said Hakeem. He added that the tendency to engage in hate speech was continuously being tolerated without sufficient action being taken by govt to contain the situation.” more..

Asiri Hospitals’ Group marks 30 years

Oct 24 (ST) Asiri Group of Hospitals recently celebrated 30 years of operations of its medical laboratories and is pursuing avenues to further expand and enhance operational excellence of its laboratories and maintain its market leadership in the country, the company said this week. The laboratories, which commenced with the opening of the first unit at Asiri Hospital on Kirula Road, Colombo 5, encompass units at 12 locations in the country including Jaffna, Anuradhapura, more..

Farmers want more for onions

Oct 24 (CT) Lanka Sathosa on Wednesday started purchasing big onions, without any quota attached, at a fixed price of Rs 60 per kilo, from farmers in the Polpithigala, Kurunegala. Farmers, however, complain that given that the cost of production for big onions, which is in the range of Rs 40-60, the purchase price of Rs 60 was not sufficient to cover costs and are agitating for a price of Rs 80. Nevertheless, thus far, Sathosa has purchased over 600,000 kg of big onions with and without more..

SLT connects Delft to information super highway

Oct 24 (FT) SLT announced the company has connected Delft Island, located in the east of the Jaffna peninsula, to the country’s national ICT backbone as part of the major post-war ICT development in the Northern Province. Delft Island has been identified by the Government as one of the key tourist attraction destinations as well as a key location in the country. Through this network expansion carried out under SLT’s more..

Investing in Agarwood, a profitable choice if done sensibly: Sadaharitha

Oct 24 (Island) "Sadaharitha Plantations is a good choice for investment in Agarwood in Sri Lanka. Our service ensures every investor the security and ease of mind, Sathees Navarathna, chairman, Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd. told the media in Colombo Thursday. Agarwood is a key ingredient used in producing some of the most expensive perfumes worldwide as well as for various types of medicine, and growing and benefiting from it. "Agarwood is a resinous heartwood that more..

Wake- up call to local banks

Oct 24 (Island) DFCC Vardana Bank launched Lanka Money Transfer on Thursday. Chief Guest, Deputy Governor, Central Bank, P. Somasiri said the banking system in SrI Lanka should develop to relate to international standards. There should be a system for virtual currency transfers. Banks here must develop this system if they were to enter already established areas of banking in context with banking development internationally. He made pointed reference to money transfers more..

Jaffna IT Week to take IT/BPM sector north

Oct 24 (FT) The National IT/BPM Chamber, Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), in an effort to promote inclusive growth and reconciliation, will stage the Jaffna IT Week from 3-6 December at a number of venues across the region. The Jaffna IT Week will comprise the Future Careers Program on 3 and 4 December at the Vembadi Girls’ High School, an IT/BPM Export Forum staged at more..

Sri Lanka Tourist Hotels Association elects Cooray as president

Oct 24 (LBO) Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) has elected as its president Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Hotels, a tour operator with a chain of hotels that's also promoting eco-tourism in a big way. “Now we are playing and batting on a smooth wicket and it is wonderful to see the association blossoming along with Tourism in our Island,” Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Hotels said. “We have been given a great opportunity and you have seen 5 years of tremendous more..

NDB-DFCC merger: Case for a strong development bank

Oct 24 (FT) Parliament on Tuesday despite opposition from Opposition lawmakers that there was no rationale for a merger between a commercial bank and a development bank passed a bill to pave the way for DFCC Bank, the only remaining fully-fledged development bank in the country, to merge with the National Development Bank (NDB), a fully-fledged commercial bank to create a combined entity with a market cap of over 80 billion, around 3+% of the total market. more..

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