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Lalkantha plans general strike

Oct 21 (CT) JVP's firebrand, former MP and trade union leader, K.D. Lalkantha warned the govt that all trade unions in the country would unite to launch a general strike in the event the workers' grievances were not addressed in the upcoming Budget 2015 this week. He said President Rajapaksa was legally prohibited from seeking a third term under the Provisions of the 18th Amendment and noted that the JVP would more..

Cradle of cricket needs attention!

Oct 21 (CT) Where is the next set of quality bowlers coming from for Sri Lanka when the current crop, especially Rangana Herath, retires? I wonder whether many have considered this question. When Murali and Vaas were speaking of retiring there was a massive concern about match winners for the Lankans; and today if you take Herath out of the equation, then the worry is justified and still persisting. No fast bowler has bowled as consistently as south paw & has got wickets more..

JHU strategy for presidential election

Oct 21 (CT) There is a common belief that the JHU days with the UPFA have now been numbered. People think that the JHU would quit the UPFA soon after announcement of the presidential election. However, they are confused about options available for the JHU after quitting the UPFA. Hence, let us explore the options available for the JHU. The presidential election held in 2005 was extremely crucial for Sri Lanka since it marked a paradigm shift in its national policies adopted hitherto more..

'If they want to discuss the TNA is ready'

Oct 21 (SL) Q: What purpose has the NPC been served by boycotting the President’s visit to Jaffna? A: We have not boycotted the President’s visit. We do not want to be pawns in political events that were probably illegal, very obscure and served no rational or legitimate purpose, we remain committed to work with the Govt on genuine projects. We refused to participate because doing so would violate the mandate issued to us by more..

Tamils’ frustrations, govt’s desperation

Oct 21 (SL) The decision of Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran to boycott all functions of President Rajapaksa in his politico-administrative turf seems to have been born out of sheer Tamil frustration at not being able to get their constitutional due under 13-A. So should be the NPC decision in not associating with the presidential visit. It’s only half true, though. In the reverse, continual attempts by President Rajapaksa to reach out to the Tamils of the war-torn North should be seen as more..

Countering separatist threat comes to fore again with elections

Oct 21 (SL) The govt has voiced its protest over the decision by the EU Court of Justice to remove the ban on the LTTE and said that it may have an impact, including from a security perspective, on the large majority of Sri Lankans living in EU territory, as well as EU citizens of Sri Lankan origin, who are likely to come under pressure once again by pro-LTTE activists. The EU Court annulled specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities by the EU with more..

Northern Expressway, conduit for East, Kandy and South

Oct 21 (SO) Faster accessibility has always been a factor to solve issues in the country. Having understood the importance of this, Govt under President Rajapaksa spearheaded a massive road development drive in the country after giving leadership to that program as the Minister in charge of Highways. It was through the implementation of this program that Sri Lanka turned a decade-long dream to reality when more..

Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Oct 21 (CT) For a society to function smoothly, there has to be a commonly agreed framework of governance. This framework defines and specifies the way those who are elected to govern are to be elected, the powers they ought to have, in which circumstances and for what purposes, ability to delegate, responsibilities of various sections such as the executive and legislative branches, and more importantly the limitations. Usually the constitution of a country provides the principal blueprint of more..

The saffron brigade and the buddhist terror

Oct 21 (CT) The Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB), Mr. Amal Senalankadhikara, another political appointee of the Rajapaksa regime, is the latest victim of the saffron brigades. A group of monks, representing the Ravana Balaya raided the office of the Chairman; FEB on the 16th of Oct with a large number of monks and journalists, questioned the Chairman on his integrity and efficiency as someone tasked to protect the SL migrant labour more..

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..

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