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'JHU proposals had important points': GL gives a new twist to controversy

Nov 19 (AM) In a new development, Minister G.L. Peiris has underscored the significance of the JHU proposals presented to the govt while saying there were many important points among the 35 proposals. He said that the JHU decided to step down from ministerial positions, soon after the govt started to consider the JHU proposals. However, President Rajapaksa previously asserted that the govt was not in a position to go for more..

Sri Lanka ranked 9 (out of 135 countries) in the World Giving Index 2014

Nov 19 (SF) Sri Lanka is one of the ten most generous countries in the world, according to the recently released World Giving Index (WGI) report. According to the annual report released by the Charities Aid Foundation, Sri Lanka with a strong Theravada Buddhist community is the top most generous country in the subcontinent placing 9th out of 135 countries with a score of 54. Sri Lanka ranked 3rd for participation in volunteering time more..

'Ranil capable of taking on Mahinda': SF

Nov 19 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) said that it was exploring the possibility of fielding a candidate of its own at the forthcoming presidential election in case the Opposition failed to reach an agreement on a common candidate. He said his party had two options. Gen. Fonseka said that the DP would throw its weight behind the Opposition project only if a suitable person was fielded as the common candidate. more..

Sri Lanka urged to take up robotic surgery

Nov 19 (ST) It is the new frontier in modern medicine – surgery with the use of small tools managed by a robotic arm. Behind the robotic arm, of course, is the surgeon, controlling it from a remote console. Be the Asian centre for robotic surgery, is what Sri Lanka is being urged to achieve not just by one but two international specialists. For, one specialist who has achieved excellence in this emerging field is none other than more..

Common Opposition in confident preparations for Presidential poll

Nov 19 (DM) The Presidential polls in the offing have been contentious, to say the least. On the one hand there were issues raised over the legality of the incumbent President Rajapaksa contesting for a third term despite the implementation of the 18th Amendment; on the other hand was the move to prompt a change in the structure of governance by a ‘common opposition’ through a ‘common candidate’. By last week, issues raised over more..

Sri Lankan HC for taking full benefit of FTA with Pakistan

Nov 19 (BR) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody (Retd) while talking to the LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday has called for full exploitation of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka in Lahore Eng Nadeem Zia Pirzada was also president on the occasion. more..

Whither the Bribery Commission?

Nov 19 (SL) The Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption, which has hardly taken any action against reputed rogues, especially certain Ministers, MPs and higher officials in the govt, has now begun and extensive investigation against former Director Preventives, Sri Lanka Customs Kanagasabai Ranjan on his asset declarations. Bribery Commission has filed a case before Colombo Chief Magistrate against more..

Personality disorder part of our socio-political culture

Nov 19 (DM) Some people have a permanent image problem. Those with criminal tendencies, severe personality disorders which are left untreated, and some politicians sons’ fall into this category. As long as such image problems remain as purely personal issues, they should not concern us too much. But when somebody’s image problem affects the whole country, becoming part of that country’s image problem, then we should be concerned. You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to realise more..

Opposition buffeted by hard-luck stories

Nov 19 (DM) November seems to be full of hard-luck stories for opposition parties. They were attempting to prevent President Rajapaksa from declaring a premature presidential election and contesting that election citing legal grounds. Those legal points were first mooted by none other than former CJ Sarath N. Silva, who was also a close friend of the President. Arguments put forward by Mr. Silva against the apparent plans by the President to call a premature presidential election more..

'JHU move won’t upset presidential campaign'

Nov 19 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris said yesterday that the JHU’s actions wouldn’t hinder incumbent President Rajapaksa’s ongoing campaign, much less prevent his victory at the next presidential election. He was addressing the media in the wake of JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka and Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila giving up their ministerial portfolios over dispute with the SLFP. more..

TN delegation demands release of 5 fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (PTI) Amid uncertainty over the release of five Indian fishermen facing death sentence in SL, a delegation of fishermen from TN met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and sought Centre's intervention for their "immediate release". The delegation, accompanied by senior BJP leaders from the state and Union Minister State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, held talks for 90 minutes and also sought Centre's intervention to release boats, more..

'We are not discussing a Common Candidate'

Nov 19 (Island) JVP says that it is not party to the discussions to nominate the Joint Oppositions Common Candidate, since it is of the view that the next presidential election will be illegal. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that his party did not accept the Supreme Court opinion that President Rajapaksa could seek a third term. "We believe that it would be illegal for the incumbent to bid for re-election. It is on this basis that People’s Movement For Democracy would be holding a protest march more..

'Senior ministers treated worse than MPs'

Nov 19 (CT) JVP alleged in Parliament that senior ministers have become so unimportant that even the Chairpersons of various companies have more power than them. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the senior ministers had lost their respect and that they were treated worse than some deputy ministers and MPs. "At least the MPs have allocations. Total given to all senior ministers through Budget 2015 is Rs 529 million while more..

Driver’s sleep caused Defender to crash into truck carrying sleepers?

Nov 19 (Island) A speeding back-up security vehicle accompanying Uva Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa rammed into a stationary truck at Mahagodayaya in the Buttala police area in the early hours of yesterday killing three persons and causing injuries to four. The Chief Minister was on his way from Colombo for his public day when one of his vehicles, a Defender, carrying MSD personnel crashed into a Batticaloa bound truck carrying railway sleepers. more..

Attempts to acquire land: Fisher folk threaten suicide

Nov 19 (CT) Fisher folk living along the coast in the vicinity of the Mathakal Fisheries Harbour, have threatened to commit suicide if surveying, for acquisition of land, continues in their area. They also prevented a land surveying attempt on Monday and told the surveyors that they would not allow their lands to be acquired. "We will not give our lands to anyone. We will commit suicide if you grab our lands by force. Our day to day livelihood activities are affected by interference of coastal security. more..

SLC ‘fails’ to assist Mudgal panel

Nov 19 (PO) Indian cricket board’s clout over Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board was so much that the Mudgal panel could not get to bottom of the incident involving a leading Indian batsman who was in the company of a girl in SL in 2010. Nishantha Ranatunga, who was (and still) the secretary at the time of incident was contacted but he didn’t provide the necessary details, which forced Mudgal panel to approach other competent authorities in SL more..

Ranil is the best out of those touted: BBS

Nov 19 (CT) Out of those fighting to be the common candidate of the Opposition, Leader of UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe is the most suitable, the BBS said. Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera added that Wickremesinghe possessed certain political policies of relative merit. The names of Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council, Karu Jayasuriya, Former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Former Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera more..

Video: Large crowds to say ‘No third term’

Nov 19 (LT) The protest march organized by People’s Movement for Democracy (PMD) under the theme “No third term for Mahinda! No illegal presidential eelction” in Colombo today (18) has been concluded and the rally is being held now at Prise Park at Gunasinghepura. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, JVP Leader Anura Dissanayaka, Author and Translator Gamini Viyangoda, MP Vijitha Herath, Attorney-at-Law Namal Rajapaksa, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala, more..

Health Ministry takes up beautification

Nov 19 (NS) The Health Ministry has commenced discussions with the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) to commence a special diploma on Cosmetology for beauty salon and spa operators in the country. The course will be a “must for all” salon and spa operators as the Ministry much concern about the health and well being of the citizens. The move would help improve the standards of salons and spas in the country. more..

Peliyagoda killing: Three suspects arrested

Nov 19 (Island) Peliyagoda police on Friday arrested three suspects alleged to have been involved in the killing of Vishwanath Prashan alias Yakada Ranga near an ATM booth on Nuge Road in Peliyagoda. Officers of Peliyagoda police acted immediately and arrested the suspects within 24 hours of the shooting. Mahara Magistrate remanded the suspects till 27. Yakada Ranga died on Sunday night at the National Hospital, from the two gunshot injuries he had sustained to his stomach. more..

Jaffna Int’l Trade Fair during Jan 23-25, 2015

Nov 19 (DN) The Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), the most comprehensive and ‘looked forward to’ exhibition in the North will be held for the sixth consecutive year in the heart of Jaffna from the January 23-25, 2015. The exhibition which was the first of its kind to be held in the Northern region of the country has throughout the years been renowned as the best and most potent platform for the meeting of investors, businesses and the masses in the region. more..

COPE alleges Secretary Ranatunga in conflict of interest on awarding TV Rights

Nov 19 (CT) The COPE, in a damning report, the latest, on Sri Lanka Cricket has alleged that there was a clear cut case of conflict of interests in the awarding of television broadcasting rights where the former SLC CEO and incumbent Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has been implicated. Report, which was released last Friday in the second COPE Interim Report for 2014 and has reviewed performances of state enterprises more..

CDDRA accelerates checks on cosmetic clinics

Nov 19 (CT) The Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) recently made unannounced checks on 46 cosmetic clinics island wide and found four of those using expired and substandard drugs and medical equipment. Legal action will be taken against those four operators, CDDRA Director, Dr. Amal de Silva, said. He said the use of expired and substandard drugs may have an adverse impact on clients. Recently, a 47-year-old women doctor died after being injected at more..

They could get motorcycles, but they may join govt. - Speaker

Nov 19 (Island) Opposition local authority members, too, could obtain motorcycles given to public officials if the UNP made a formal request to the govt, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga in Parliament. Speaker Rajapaksa made this observation when Amaratunga said that it was very unfair that those motorbikes were distributed only among the local govt members belonging to the ruling party at a time a presidential election is round the corner. more..

Committee Stage debate held on ministries referred to Select Committee

Nov 19 (FT) Some of the ministries referred to the Select Committee were discussed in the Committee Stage debate at Parliament yesterday. These were the Productivity Promotion, Plantation Industries, Minor Export Crop Promotion, Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development, Sugar Industry Development, Special Projects, Social Services, Re-settlement, Disaster Management, Botanical Gardens more..

'No grace period for jumbo registration'

Nov 19 (Island) Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Wijth Wijayamuni Zoysa told Parliament that no grace period had been announced for the registration of the illegally captured elephants including tuskers. The minister said so responding to a question raised by UNP Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana, who asked whether measures would be taken to charge a licence fee of one million rupees to register the elephants including tuskers captured in an illegal manner. more..

Aussie aid team visits Trinco

Nov 19 (CT) A team of officials from the Australian High Commission, in Colombo, visited the Trincomalee District on Monday. They were on a fact finding mission. Country Manager of the Australian Aid Programme in Sri Lanka, Katrina Harrigan led the fact finding mission and held talks with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Trincomalee V.Kalaichelvan. The Aussie team analyzed the current situation of business development & potential investment more..

Rotary SL organises plastic surgery project

Nov 19 (FT) Rotary Sri Lanka, in partnership with Interplast Germany and Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital in Malabe, is conducting consultations and surgeries from 10 to 20 November for burn injuries, hand disabilities and upper lip palates with a team of 11 top German doctors in the country to carry out the project. The estimated value of the project surpasses Rs. 10 million and was initiated by the German Embassy, which informed more..

VAT, NBT exemption to hurt beer industry

Nov 19 (DM) The exemption of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Nation Building Tax (NBT) from the beer industry, coupled with the increase of excise duty to recover the lost government revenue, will form an adverse effect on the industry, according to Sri Lanka’s largest brewer, Lion Brewery. “For many years, the alcohol industry has been subjected to poorly thought-out policies. The adjustment is a case in point. These seem good on paper to those without the benefit of proper information,” more..

ITC's luxury hotel begins construction today

Nov 19 (CT) After more than 27 months of obtaining approvals from the country's investment promotion agency and the Ministry of Economic Development, India's ITC Hotels will today commence construction of its mixed development project in Sri Lanka worth more than US$ 140 million. ITC Hotels obtained five acres facing Galle Face Green, adjoining Shangri-La's 10 acres, on a 99-year lease, after the government refused to sell the land to China's CATIC, following criticism. more..

Canada joins the trade call

Nov 19 (CT) As part of its new internationalization thrust, the second largest economy in North America directly called for a fresh trade round with Sri Lanka yesterday, while Sri Lanka beamed with satisfaction on its success with yet another NAFTA member — and more than 100 Lankan firms of all sizes packed EDB's pioneering 'Exporting to Canada' session in Colombo. "I see great potential and synergy here today to more..

SL embassy hosts Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society

Nov 19 (Island) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan organized a Dinner and Cultural Reception for the members of the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society [ALFS] at the Residency of the Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. The members of the ALFS were enthralled by the dance performance of Channa-Upuli Troupe. The Channa-Upuli Troupe performed several unique and distinctive dance themes such as Pooja, Peacock and Fragrance of the village, to name a few. more..

SL and English cricketers launch Street to Stadium

Nov 19 (Island) Standard Chartered joins hands with Sri Lanka Cricket to embark on yet another campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Sri Lankan cricketing talent. The campaign launch will coincide with the tour of the England cricket team and both the Sri Lankan and English cricketers have generously agreed to participate in fund raising events. This campaign – Street to Stadium – focuses on growing rural cricket and providing opportunities for talent, that may not more..

Video: 'I don't blame Arjuna for my early retirement'

Nov 19 (CI) Subash Jayaraman: Could you talk about school cricket in Sri Lanka, which is pretty huge? Also, your playing relationship with Hashan Tillakaratne from a young age? Asanka Gurusinha: Hashan and I started playing together from the age of seven. So we go a long, long way back. I was captaining the Under-11 team and he was the vice-captain. Even at that age, I saw him scoring hundreds for the school side. more..

Solheim as the common candidate of the banana intellectuals

Nov 19 (Island) Sri Lanka is not an Arab country and the west finds it difficult to impose its will on us. The western policy with respect to Asia, Africa and South America can be partially summarized in one sentence knowing very well that summaries do not often convey the meaning of the original. The west wants weak govts in these countries and the moment they come across a strong govt that does not listen to them, they want to destabilize the relevant country by hook or crook. more..

Editorial: It’s break-up time

Nov 19 (Island) President Rajapaksa is expected to declare a snap presidential election shortly. Having conducted his campaign to secure a third term for the last four years or so, he is now ready for the contest, but the main Opposition party has not yet decided on its candidate. It took the European Space Agency only ten years to chase an elusive comet hurtling through space at an astounding speed of 18 km per second and land a robot lab safely on it about 6.5 billion kilometres away more..