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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..

Is Sri Lanka ready for Ebola?

Oct 24 (CT) Ebola is one of the most dangerous epidemics to scourge this earth for a long time. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 5,000-10,000 Ebola cases will occur in a week in worst-hit countries by December this year. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of this year as the outbreak spreads, WHO warned Tuesday. more..

Karu candidacy project: Is it a viable option?

Oct 24 (FT) Do you watch ‘Boston Legal’? We do, by which I mean my wife Sanja and I, and we like it. Of course it is one of the few programs we enjoy equally, since she finds my favorites, such as ‘True Detective’, ‘Breaking Bad’,‘ The Bridge’, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which reflect my obsessions with the dialectic of evil and justice, the figure of the anti-hero and the struggle for a code of violence, far too violent. I find Comedy Central too lightheartedly escapist. more..

Sri Lanka joins China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Oct 24 (FT) Sri Lanka as a founding member joined 20 other Asian countries Friday to sign the MoU to establish the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Representatives of China and 21 other Asian countries Friday in Beijing signed the MoU on Establishing the AIIB. Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan more..

Between a rock and a hard place: forest paradise vs quarry jobs

Oct 24 (ST) The mesmerising sound of the evening breeze sweeping through tree leaves, the gentle call of birds and the ripple of a nearby stream … peace reigns but for the loud thuds in the Kodigahakanda forest reserve – rocks being crushed under the hammers of villagers who work in giant quarries. Earning up to Rs. 3000-4000 daily, these villagers are not blind to the environmental impact that their hammers more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads

Oct 24 (Island) I will conclude this series of articles by focusing on two questions: firstly, what is the explanation for the anti-Muslim campaign, and secondly, what should be done about it? But before getting to that I want to make some preliminary clarifications. I have concentrated on the actual bilateral issues that have been bedeviling Sinhalese-Muslim relations. It might seem therefore to some readers that I have left huge lacunae about matters that have left huge lacunae about matters more..

Editorial: Enforced morality

Oct 24 (Island) University students in Zimbabwe have balled their hands into fists and are gnashing their teeth over a govt move to impose Victorian morality on them. A new code of conduct has been slapped on undergrads with a warning that the students ‘caught in any intimate position such as kissing or having sex in public places’ will be punished. Well, discipline should be maintained in universities, but have we ever seen undergrads have sex in public places anywhere in the more..

Sri Lanka invites investors to be part of its growth story

Oct 24 (FT) The capital market came under fresh spotlight earlier this month when a forum was held to lure foreign investors. The Capital Market Conference 2014, organised together by the SEC and CSE was attended by 70 international fund managers from UK, US, Switzerland, India, Singapore, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Dubai and Bahrain. Signifying the importance of the opportunity, President Rajapaksa officiated more..

Despite Opposition conspiracies and Diaspora antics MR remains people's choice

Oct 24 (CT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) recently made a quick visit to Europe. Unconfirmed reports say that there he met some representatives of the LTTE Diaspora and sought their help to win the Presidential Election. It is also reported that RW has given many promises to LTTE supporters, including that he will merge the North and the East, fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and lift the ban on the LTTE and its supporting organizations. more..

Sampanthan's challenge to MR

Oct 24 (CT) President Rajapaksa, addressing a meeting in Kilinochchi during his tour in the Northern Province recently, said if the TNA was prepared to give up its demand for a separate State, the government was prepared to abolish the Executive Presidential system in the country. President Rajapaksa commenced his tour by attending several welfare programmes, which were aimed at enhancing the socio-economic conditions of the people affected by the war in Kilinochchi. more..

October: The Reading Month

Oct 24 (SO) Reading is an important part of a person's learning process. Reading is a way for people to make connections between what they already know and what they read about in books. These connections help people understand the world around them. Through books we are exposed to characters and cultures that they may not otherwise interact with in real life. If a child likes to read, he is off to a great start in life! more..

Mahinda’s Blitzkreig and Ranil’s Snailkreig

Oct 24 (CT) All good hearted people were longing to see an emergence of a powerful common candidate acceptable to all the ethnic groups who can defeat the incumbent President at the next Presidential election. It is tragic that all their hopes are fading away because of Mr. Ranil Wicramasinghe’s desire to sit in President’s chair. The UNP has unofficially confirmed that Ranil would contest the next Presidential election. UNP was boasting many a time that it was ready to face any election more..

Response from Fonterra

Oct 24 (CT) The article that appeared on the Colombo Telegraph website on 20.10.14 contained a number of false and inaccurate statements and we feel it’s important that readers know the truth. Providing our consumers in Sri Lanka and around the world with safe and high quality dairy products is our number one priority. This means conducting close to seven million tests on our milk and products every year to ensure that they meet rigorous international, and local, food safety more..

Only 5.9% of Govt. schools teach English

Oct 24 (CT) Only 584, out of a total of 9,905 govt schools, teach English, according to statistics found in the recently released Annual Performance Report of the Education Ministry, for 2013. This means that only 5.9% of govt schools teach English. Out of 9,905 govt schools, only 29 teach subjects in all three languages, that is, Sinhala, Tamil and English and only 403 offer subjects both in Sinhala and English. more..

Travel experiences you’ll find only in SL

Oct 24 (WSJ) Sri Lanka seems to be at a tipping point. 5 years after the end of its quarter-century-long civil war, tourists are being lured back to Sri Lanka by friendly locals and an abundance of natural and man-made beauty. This petite island nation—totaling just 25,000 square miles but including the 4.5 million-resident city of Colombo—offers everything from leopard safaris and surfing to ancient temples and complex curries. Here, four experiences that would be more..

Our eyes are blind to Tamil torture

Oct 24 (Age) Trevor Grant was the cricket writer when I joined The Age in 1985. I remember him as a friendly, independent character with whom I talked sport. In 1989, he joined News Corp, finally leaving in 2009 after he became "disillusioned with the direction of the newspaper [the Herald Sun]". I didn't know what happened to him thereafter and was somewhat surprised when, five years ago, he re-emerged as a human rights activist, particularly on behalf of Tamil refugees. more..

UN working with Sri Lanka on concerns

Oct 24 (CG) The UN says it is working with the Sri Lankan Govt to address post war issues, including rising incidents of violence against religious minorities that have taken place since the beginning of this year. Subinay Nandy, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, said that as one looks at the breadth of the UN’s work with Sri Lanka, one can see a strong emphasis on the peace and reconciliation agenda. more..

Garbage being dumped in Tewatte Church land

Oct 24 (CT) The dumping of garbage on a land belonging to the Tewatte Church in Ragama has irked residents of the area who say that the garbage dump is breeding flies and mosquitoes. Environmentalist Dilan Peiris told Ceylon Today that the dumping of garbage in the land belonging to the Church and the stench from it has caused much inconvenience to the area's residents. "This area, which is a rubber plantation, has been used as a garbage dump for the past two to three years. more..

Special cabinet meeting hours before ‘budget 2015’

Oct 24 (AM) President Rajapaksa has convened a special Cabinet meeting just hours before presenting his 10th budget as the Finance Minister of the govt. During the meeting the President had obtained the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for his budget proposals for the year 2015. The President is scheduled to deliver his budget speech in Parliament at 1.30 pm. It is widely speculated that the budget 2015 will introduce a number of ‘people-friendly’ measures as it is presented more..

Paddy farmers to benefit from budget 2015

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka paddy farmers to get seed paddy free of charge in the budget 2015, President Rajapaksa said. He said seed paddy for the 2014/2015 Maha Season will be provided free of charge to the farmers. Added to that he said the current fertilizer subsidy will be continued while ensuring minimum 40 rupees subsidy per paddy kilogram. Sri Lanka's rural economy, low on growth and high on labor relies heavily on agriculture more..

Disabled have a role to play in economy

Oct 24 (CT) People with disabilities should be encouraged to contribute to the country's economy in order to get the best out of them, said economist and Colombo University's Arts Faculty Dean, Prof. Athula Ranasinghe. Addressing a forum, to get the support of the private sector to enhance the living standards of the people with disabilities, he said, it is crucial to have a dialogue with the private sector as there are many graduates with disabilities who are unable to find employment. more..

No dry rations for Sampur's displaced since 2011

Oct 24 (CT) Internally displaced families in Sampur had not been issued with dry rations since 2011, the Eastern Provincial Council's Opposition Leader, S. Thandayuthapani, said. Thandayuthapani revealed the plight of the Sampur IDPs at an event held in Trincomalee recently. He also said the UPFA-led Provincial Council did not heed the problem when it was brought before it. He said the IDPs were in Sampur from 2006, and that they have not been afforded a livelihood; or, dry rations. more..

Sumanthiran says TNA won't obstruct UN war-crime probe

Oct 24 (CT) The TNA has decided not to present any resolution that may obstruct the UN when conducting an independent probe into the alleged war-crimes and human rights violations that may have taken place in the North and East, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, said. He also said the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and all other bodies under TNA control have been ordered not to present any resolutions that may complicate more..

UVA PC Governor makes policy speech

Oct 24 (Island) Governor of the UVA Province Nanda Mathew delivered his policy speech for 2015 at the 6th UVA Provincial Council assembly on Thursday morning. The most prominent visitor at the assembly was the Leader of the Veddha community Uruwarige Vanniyaatto besides ex-fellow members, friends, well-wishers, family members and members of the public. The Governor’s vehicle was escorted to the venue by Police cars and motor cycle outriders clad in ceremonial attire. more..

Sri Lanka to increase EPF payment

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Employee's Provident Fund (EPF) payment from the employer to be increased to 14 percent, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said presenting the budget for 2015. According to the EPF Act, an employee is required to contribute a minimum of 8 percent and the employer a minimum of 12 percent of the total salary of the employee monthly, to the EPF. EPF, which is under full state control is the largest retirement fund of private sector workers. more..

Sri Lanka leader trims VAT, adds handouts in 2015 budget

Oct 24 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is expected to soon seek a third six-year term, announced a 2015 budget on Friday that trims the value-added tax and reduces the budget deficit while providing a range of handouts, mainly to rural residents. The value-added tax "will be reduced to 11%" from 12%, said the 68-year-old Rajapaksa, whose political party said on Monday will seek early re-election in January. more..

No tax changes for liquor and tobacco: Budget 2015

Oct 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka President said that there will be no changes in the tax for liquor and tobacco due to the tax hike the government maid recently. He said the government is expecting a 14,000 million rupees of additional income in 2015 though the tax increase. However he said 100 US dollar tax to be charged as entrance fee in casinos and clubs and to increase the turnover tax to 10 percent in order to achieve a revenue of 2500 million rupees in 2015. President was presenting the budget for 2015 more..

NIA files chargesheet in ISI spy case

Oct 24 (Hindu) A preliminary charge sheet was filed by the National Investigation Agency in a court here in a case of alleged attempts to spy for Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, and carry out sabotage activities in South India. The charge sheet was filed against Zahir Hussain, Siva Balan and Mohammed Saleem before a designated NIA court yesterday. The charges against them include offences under the IPC and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Over 40 persons have been cited as more..

Budget 2015 desperate and deceptive! - UNP

Oct 24 (AM) UNP dubbed ‘Budget 2015', presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament this afternoon, as a desperate attempt in the direction of hoodwinking the public just before an election. “It’s like a lot of toffees thrown into the sky," UNP MP and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva said soon after the budget. “The govt has tried to please everybody by giving something. But when you look at the inside of it, you cannot more..

Sabaragamuwa Uni reopens on Monday

Oct 24 (DM) The Sabaragamuwa University that had been closed for more than three weeks will reopen on Oct 27, the university administration said. Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Languages Dr. Manoja Ariyaratne said that the academic activities of the first year students would commence on Monday and those of the other students on Nov 3. A tense atmosphere following a protest staged by the students resulted in the closure of the university indefinitely on October 5. more..

Sri Lanka calling

Oct 24 (FI) The Kollupitiya police has begun an investigation against five aides of former star class cricket batsman Aravinda de Silva in connection with alleged burglary took place at his house at Pedris Road Colombo 3. Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered five mobile phone service providers that telephone details pertaining to five aides be provided to police for further probes. Lodging a complaint with police, former cricketer alleged that cash worth Rs.5.1 million had been stolen by more..

Sharma to review situation in the north

Oct 24 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will visit Sri Lanka from 25-29 Oct to brief the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, President Rajapaksa, on the achievement of objectives and implementation of work set at the CHOGM in Sri Lanka in Nov 2013. He will also meet other members of the Govt of Sri Lanka, including the Minister G L Peiris. Secretary-General is expected to meet the Speaker Chamal more..

President invites TNA to join hands with govt

Oct 24 (AM) President Rajapaksa, delivering his 10th budget speech in Parliament, invited the TNA to join hands with the govt to form a “united nation” and to ensure development for every community of the country. “I once again call upon the TNA to join hands with the govt to develop the country,” President Rajapaksa said. However, In his speech, the President also add that he cannot see the logic of devolving land and police powers to provincial councils, as requested by some. more..

President suggests a minimum salary for private sector: Budget 2015

Oct 24 (LBO) President suggests to uplift the minimum salary of a private sector employee to 10,000 rupees from January 2015. He also suggest to increase minimum salary level by 500 rupees monthly for those who already get paid over 10,000 rupees per month. “The honorable speaker, I have seen the salaries of private sector have been increased through various allowances only,” President said. “I suggest reasonable salary increase for private sector employees, too.” more..