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UN humanitarian wing on standby to aid Sri Lanka after landslides

Oct 30 (Xinhua) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that heavy rains have caused landslides in Badulla in central Sri Lanka, and the UN humanitarian agencies are on standby to help Sri Lanka after the disaster, a UN spokesman said. "The National Disaster Management Center reports that at least six people have died, 300 people are missing and 150 houses are destroyed," more..

Ambulance officials allege burst tyre shows truck was at fault

Oct 30 (ST) A probe into last week’s ambulance accident in which a doctor and another hospital employee were killed in Puttalam after a collision with a truck has taken a twist with strong protests by health sector workers that police had failed to carry out a proper investigation. Police initially blamed the ambulance driver for the accident, in which three persons were injured, saying the driver had fallen asleep. They have now said it was the fault of the truck driver whose more..

Govt plans to attract Buddhist monks – JVP

Oct 30 (FT) Govt was seeking the support of Buddhist monks for the forthcoming Presidential Elections by offering them foreign tours to be had in the coming weeks, the JVP alleged. JVP WPC member K.D. Lal Kantha said, they had learned that the govt had planned to send the chief incumbents of about 100 temples on tours to Asian Buddhist countries. It was an attempt to secure the monks' assistance at the coming election, because many Buddhist monks were disappointed with more..

Like LTTE wartime clearance – Sumanthiran

Oct 30 (CT) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran compared the newly implemented travel restrictions in the North to the era when the LTTE held sway in the province. The recently imposed travel restriction to the North can be compared to those that were in place during the war, when the LTTE held military control over the north of the county, Sumanthiran said. Speaking at Tuesday's budget debate, Sumanthiran said that during the war, more..

Moved by Buddhist monk’s work at Yala, family donates bowser

Oct 30 (ST) Moved by the plight of the animals at the Yala National Park a family from Nawala, Rajagiriya has donated a brand new water bowser to the park. Elephants, deer and monkeys were badly affected by the nine-month drought prevalent in the Hambantota District. Many died of thirst and their carcasses were found in different parts of the park. In a bid to assist these animals the Sithulpawwa Rock Temple Chief Incumbent Ven. Mataramba Hemarathana Thera more..

Mixing Budget debate with Uva polls violations

Oct 30 (FT) The second reading debate of the Appropriation Bill took a different turn when Opposition lawmaker Ranjith Madduma Bandara highlighted election law violations at the recent Uva PC Election. According to the minister, the Govt distributed gifts and drought relief due for the last 18 months shortly before the elections to “bribe” voters. “Using public money worth Rs. 730 million, the Government distributed gifts among the voters in the region. more..

'Govt ensured peaceful environment for education'

Oct 30 (DN) Children today have the opportunities to pursue their studies without any fear or suspicion and achieve their targets in life under the tenure of the present govt, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. "During the time of terrorism in the North and East, the education of tens of thousand of schoolchildren was in jeopardy," he said. The minister was speaking as the Chief Guest at the annual prize distribution more..

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce welcomes Budget 2015

Oct 30 (FT) The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is in full praise of the Budget 2015 as it has recognised the needs of Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs. WCIC President Rifa Mustapha commended the Budget as a balanced and all-encompassing one. She said that the Budget had provided a vision for the future. Welcoming the measures announced in the Budget to further extend the Regional Development Bank’s (RDB) Women Enterprise Credit Scheme (WECS) facility more..

Fishermen protest over lack of budget concessions

Oct 30 (CT) A protest, organized by southern fishermen, at the Matara bus terminal, against the govt's budget for 2015 and demanding concessions, was brought to a halt through an order issued by the Matara Magistrate's Court on 28th Oct. National Organizer of the All Island General Fisheries Federation, Ratna Gamage said that the fishermen were protesting against the lack of direct concessions to the fishing community in the Budget 2015. He said that the Budget has not more..

Sri Lanka opt for Trevor Penney as assistant coach

Oct 30 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has opted for Trevor Penney, who till recently was involved with the Indian team, as an assistant to the national coach Marvan Atapattu. SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said Penney has been considered for both roles, Atapattu's understudy and the job of fielding coach. Appointment is subject to SLC Executive Committee ratification. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has opted for Trevor Penney, more..

UNP MP alleges Pera Prof polluting Mahaweli waters

Oct 30 (Island) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana alleged in Parliament that Mahaweli waters had been contaminated by a controversial garbage disposal project at Gohagoda in Kandy run by a professor attached to the University of Peradeniya. MP Pathirana claimed that the project belonged to the professor though he pretended it was a university undertaking. The MP added that the company had been registered at the address of the professor's official residence. more..

Jaffna among leading railway stations, earning higher income

Oct 30 (DN) Jaffna is among the leading railway stations with relatively high earnings. For instance the income netted by the Yal Devi within 13 days exceeded Rs. 7.5 million. The Yaal Devi resumed operations to Jaffna after a lapse of 24 years on the October 13, under the auspices of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The train operates eight trips daily between Jaffna and Colombo. The passengers display a keen enthusiasm to travel in the Yal Devi. Jaffna Station Master K. Rajanayagam said more..

MOU with China to boost rubber industry

Oct 30 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Rubber Research Institute has signed a MoU with China’s state-owned CETC International for the development of the RRI. The collaboration with CETC will include infrastructure development, upgrading of essential equipment and technical assistance. The proposed laboratory complex is expected to provide facilities to all stakeholders in the rubber sector including the SME sector, more..

Kerala ganja Rs 150,000 per kilo

Oct 30 (CT) A clandestine Kerala ganja (cannabis) operation goes on between India and Sri Lanka, and police have uncovered that those behind the business are brothers and former classmates of underworld leaders. A high ranking police officer revealed that a relative of underworld leader Titan (who died in an encounter with the police STF a few years ago) was in the Kerala ganja gang. He was using the sea route along the coastal strip of Sri Lanka to carry out his business. more..

IPS releases ‘Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2014’ report

Oct 30 (Island) If there is one overarching feature of the shifts in economics, geopolitics and society in the 21stCentury, it is the rise of Asia says the ‘Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2014’ report – the annual flagship publication of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS). Unraveling the core theme ‘Rising Asia: Opportunities and Challenges for Sri Lanka’, this year’s report takes a comprehensive look at the potential economic benefits for Sri Lanka from more..

China to get high dividends from Colombo Port City

Oct 30 (ST) China Communications Constructions Company (CCCC), a Chinese govt owned company is to get high dividends from the Colombo Port City Project, which covers 233 hectares to be completed in eight years in two stages. It is located alongside the breakwater of the Colombo Port Expansion Project towards the Galle Face Green. However there were still unanswered questions on how this project which proposes to give more..

Haycarb reports first half turnover Rs 5.2B

Oct 30 (CT) Haycarb PLC reported a turnover of Rs 5.2 billion for the six months ended 30 September 2014, up three per cent from a year ago. Profit before tax fell 36% to Rs 362 million and profit after tax reached Rs 304 million, down 35% from a year ago, interim financial results showed. Haycarb Managing Director Rajitha Kariyawasan said, "The continuing trend of high raw material prices in Sri Lanka and India combined with the inability to transfer the resultant cost increase more..

Planters want more from workers

Oct 30 (CT) The Planters' Association of Ceylon issuing a statement said, a marginal increase of at least 2kg in the daily plucking average of each tea plucker could significantly boost Sri Lanka's entire plantation industry and benefit all stakeholders by bringing down the skyrocketing unit cost of production of tea by nearly 7%. "The sustainability of the sector and the livelihoods of the plantation communities are in the hands of the workers and the unions," it said. more..

Tea in death spiral

Oct 30 (CT) Malik J. Fernando director, Dilmah Tea, son of tea industry veteran Merill J. Fernando, painted a bleak picture of the tea trade describing it as being in 'a death spiral', at the CIMA forum on 'Best practices in family business', and went on to elaborate his argument with a host of startling facts and figures. Asked to elaborate on the 'death spiral' remark by Ceylon FT, he said that the cost of production of Ceylon Tea was double more..

Who could the Indo-US candidate be?

Oct 30 (CT) New Delhi had reportedly expressed displeasure to Sri Lankan Defence Secretary over the berthing of a Chinese submarine when the latter visited the Indian capital recently. It was during the same period that an official of the Indian Consulate located in the North was stranded at a security checkpoint, unable to proceed to the peninsula. This official who had come to the Indian High Commission in Colombo from Jaffna had been returning to the peninsula when more..

Sri Lanka on a regional policy tight-rope

Oct 30 (Island) The decline of the West and the simultaneous rise of the East in general and China in particular in international affairs is nowhere more evident than in the Eastern hemisphere’s increasing preference for the Renminbi over the Dollar as a medium of exchange. It seems to be only a matter of time before the Renminbi replaces the Dollar as the number one international currency. The world seems to be having fresh proof of the thesis that ‘Economics drives politics’ in these more..

SL and C’wealth: Reading between the lines

Oct 30 (FT) For 11 months in 2013, Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General was Sri Lanka’s main man. In his hands lay the fate of the prestigious CHOGM 2013, the biennial summit that attracts over 50 heads of state presiding over former British colonies. Withstanding immense pressure, the threat of funding cuts and intense media scrutiny and humiliation, Sharma was instrumental more..

Editorial: Heritage - Who cares?

Oct 30 (Island) The govt is trying to attain its development goals the way a late riser attempts to catch an early train. The latter races against time with no heed for anything or anyone else on the way. The former is making a similar effort to develop tourism and attract investment. A country has to keep pace with the changing world and make use of the opportunities that present themselves. The service sector has to be developed to boost the economy and this goal is unattainable without more..

Sri Lanka: Under appreciation and more

Oct 30 (SL) It’s sad that even decades after the India-Sri Lanka Accord was signed, and five full years after the conclusion of the decisive Eelam War IV, bilateral relations between the two critical Indian Ocean neighbours in South Asia continues to remain the focus of domestic political discourse. While Govts have moved forward from the past to cement their relations and those of their armies and economies, too, little has been done to de-politicise and humanise them so as to more..

National Drug Policy: A reality by year end

Oct 30 (CT) 2014 has been a year full of strikes and many other issues in the health sector. Meanwhile, the proposed drug policy was drafted, but came under many criticisms from health sector trade unions. In order to get the response of the government over the issues prevailing in the health sector Ceylon Today had an interview with the Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake. Following are excerpts of the interview: more..

The mystery of presidential election date

Oct 30 (SL) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has announced that Presidential Elections will be held in January. He has also said that he knows the date but will not reveal it. In not giving the date of the election the Minister is only following proper procedure. The Minister would be privy to govt thinking and decision making with regard to the holding of elections as soon as possible. But the choice of date of election is legally vested in the Election Commissioner who more..

Govt softens stance on permitting foreign companies to continue mineral mining

Oct 30 (ST) Softening the tough stance on granting permission for foreign companies to carry out mineral mining in the island, the government has given the green light to Plumbago Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, subsidiary of Bora Bora Resources Ltd of Australia, to resume the larest graphite exploration drilling in designated land areas in the Dambulla and Kurunegala region. Less than three months of the announcement made by Minister Susil Premajayantha to the Business Times on more..

Indigenous medical system needs improvement

Oct 30 (SO) "Plans are afoot increase the "Z" score to absorb students to the Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM), to produce competent graduates in Ayurveda and Unani Medicine. Through this mechanism, it is intended to increase the standard of IIM. The Institute is now ready for Outcome Base Education and Student Centered Learning. We will be shortly moving for quality assurance & accreditation more..

Did Gotabaya precipitate the crisis with Chris Nonis?

Oct 30 (CT) In the course of the frenetic travel programme I had set myself before the usual budget period, I had just two days in Sri Lanka last week. They were packed, with Parliament, and an overnight stay with a cousin visiting after several days, and the 92nd birthday of my most distinguished aunt, but also a couple of interviews as well as meetings with two ambassadors. Though I feel increasingly despondent, I continue to defend the war record of the govt, and more..

A comment on the campaign to abolish the presidential system

Oct 30 (CT) In a recent article titled “A Comment on the Campaign to Abolish the Presidential System,” Professor G.H. Peiris has sought to challenge the arguments of the campaigners to abolish the presidential system and argues that the proponents of the campaign “often tend to overlook the circumstances that culminated in the promulgation of a new constitution in 1978.” As he has stated “the main innovative element of which was the introduction of a system of govt more..

'Estate disregarded landslide warning'

Oct 29 (CG) A landslide warning issued to the estate where many people were buried alive today, had been disregarded by the owners of the estate and the residents, former Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe revealed today. He said that an investigation must be launched into the estate owners as to why they disregarded the warning which had now led to many deaths. more..

Put aside differences and help: Ranil

Oct 29 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today requested all Sri Lankans to come forward and help the victims of the Haldummulla landslide tragedy in which many people were killed. Expressing his sorrow over the Haldummulla tragedy in a media statement he said that all should come together without any ethnic, religious or political barriers to do the best to our brothers and sisters in need. “It is a responsibility of everyone to provide assistance to more..

'Fishing boats will be recovered'

Oct 29 (DC) Union minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises Pon Radhakrishnan has assured steps to secure the release of Indian fishing vessels impounded by the Sri Lankan authorities. He said that he had raised the issue of attacks on Indian fishermen and seizure of their fishing vessels by the Sri Lankan authorities with Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and sought for the Centre’s immediate intervention to free the arrested fishermen besides more..

First turf wicket in Jaffna declared open

Oct 29 (CG) Sri Lanka Cricket announced that the 1st ever turf wicket built in the North of Sri Lanka was opened today at St. Patrick’s College Jaffna. The turf wicket was declared open by National selector Sanath Jayasuriya, Cricket board secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, SF Commander General Udaya Perera and the Principal of St. Partick’s College. The Blessing of the turf was done by Jaffna Bishop more..

DNF leader protests against arrest of man with UN war crimes complaint forms

Oct 29 (Island) Leader of the Democratic National Front (DNF) Dr. N. Kumaraguruparan said Sri Lanka being a member country of the United Nations could not justify the arrest and detention of a father who had lost a son in shelling during the war. The former MP, member APRC and former Western Provincial Councillor (WPC) said that the TNA had always called for action to ensure the safety of the witnesses ready to testify before the UN appointed committee probing war crimes. more..

Over 75% of damaged houses and buildings reconstructed in Aluthgama

Oct 29 (MoD) Commander Security Forces Headquarters-West Major General U.A.B Medawela said that over 75% of reconstruction activities of damaged houses and commercial buildings at Beruwala-Aluthgama areas have been completed at an expense of 67 million rupees. He stated that 223 houses and 83 commercial buildings were damaged during the ethnic tensions that erupted in Beruwala-Aluthgama areas and up to now 171 houses and 59 Commercial buildings have been more..