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Sri Lanka Navy denies attack on the Indian Fishermen

Nov 9 (AT) Sri Lanka Navy denied of any involvement in the alleged attacks on the Tamil Nadu fishermen. Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya emphasized that, “Sri Lanka Navy is the state navy and we will not do any mean thing or involve in any attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen and bring disrepute to the country and to our Naval institution.” Fishermen in Ramanathapuram have alleged that they were attacked by Sri Lankan navy personnel in more..

Targeting heads of State:UN warned

Nov 9 (Island) Amidst LTTE-led moves overseas to prosecute President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several other senior officials over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, Sri Lanka on Tuesday warned the international community of serious conflicts among member States of the UN due to politically motivated criminal prosecutions. Addressing the Sixth (legal) Committee of the 66th Session of the UNGA in New York, SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said that more..

Private sector chambers issue fresh warning: Defer or be damned!

Nov 9 (FT) Private sector chambers issue fresh warning controversial bill will be counterproductive when seeking $ 15 b in investments per year Appeals once again to Govt. to postpone controversial bill pending wider stakeholder discussion. The country’s private sector yesterday renewed last-ditch attempts to drive sense into the Govt from either withdrawing or deferring the controversial takeover bill. Issuing its second statement in three days, more..

Postal rates to be revised

Nov 9 (Island) The Postal Department will shortly revise the postage rates in line with a recent decision by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), to increase international postage rates. Deputy Postmaster General R.D.P Gamini said the minimum weight for foreign mail is also to be increased to 20 grams in addition to the rates revision. The foreign postal rate system which previously applied to four categories of countries in the world will also be increased to an eight categorysystem,

Town and Country Planning Ordinance to be ammended

Nov 9 (DM) In another attempt to exercise control over land properties in Sri Lanka, the govt today sought to amend the Town and Country Planning Ordinance to acquire lands for economic, social, historical, environmental and religious purposes within municipal and urban areas. The amendment bill says that its purpose is to promote and regulate a system of integrated planning and development for securing proper infrastructure. The National Physical Council to more..

JHU either to vote against takeover Bill or abstain

Nov 9 (Island) The JHU, a coalition partner of the ruling UPFA, yesterday struck a discordant note over the controversial Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Bill (RUEUA) to be put to vote today in Parliament. The two JHU MPs would either oppose the Bill or abstain from voting if the govt tried to secure its passage without amendments. A final decision on the matter, however, would be taken by the party leadership today, more..

JVP rebels claim they can solve problems faced by Tamils

Nov 9 (Island) The country’s leftist political parties, including the JVP, had either misled or continuously overlooked the aspirations of the Tamil community, politburo member cum senior leader of the JVP dissident group Pubudu Jagoda said yesterday. Responding to queries at a press conference convened by JVP dissidents to announce their plans for the forthcoming Ill Maha Viru Samaruwa (Commemoration of the November Heroes) programme, Jagoda said that due to shortcomings in more..

Power pirates cough up Rs. 20 mn as fines in Oct.

Nov 9 (Island) The Special Investigation Unit of the Ceylon Electricity Board, which raids homes and businesses that illegally tap power from its grid, has collected more than Rs. 20 million through such detections during the month of October. The CEB’s investigation unit, formed with the purpose of nabbing power pirates, collected Rs. 18.5 million in fines, Rs. 2.8 million in Court fines, and Rs.1.5 million in loss recovery. A total of 238 cases of people obtaining more..

LTA opposes Ministry of Education’s 1000 schools development drive

Nov 9 (LB) Several teacher unions expressed opposition to the move by the Ministry of Education to introduce the 1000 schools development programme. They say that due to this development drive the intake of students into schools has become a major problem. Hence, most of the teacher unions are of the view that when admitting students to Grade 1 classes from 2012, the 1000 school development drive could become an issue. more..

Anatomy of a case of jealousy, cold-blooded murder and reprisals

Nov 9 (ST) The last call received on his mobile phone was from the town’s funeral parlour director, and moments later he was killed in a hail of bullets and his limp body fell on the main road. Earlier that evening, Dr. P. P. Jayasinghe had turned up at his private clinic, in the heart of Karandeniya town a little behind schedule. There were around 50 patients waiting for him and it was when he was attending to the last patient that more..

Sri Lanka Set on Hosting Commonwealth Games in 2018

Nov 9 (SO) Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Head of the Sri Lankan delegation to St. Kitts for the bid to host the XXI Commonwealth Games in 2018, is optimistic that his country’s Sports City will be the international event’s venue. Cabraal, who is the Governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, led a team of 170 persons to St. Kitts on Sunday, ahead of Friday’s (Nov. 11) Commonwealth Games Federation meeting. more..

Raids to uncover ugly side of beauty parlours

Nov 9 (DM) Inspections to check the quality and services of 57,000 beauty parlours and salons are now being conducted countrywide by the National Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Authority (NDCDA). The programme carried out on the instructions of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena are aimed at ensuring that these beauty parlours and salons are run in accordance to the guidelines and safety measures stipulated by the NDCDA, more..

Police seeks AG’s advice over layman in the temple

Nov 9 (DM) The Women and Children’s Bureau informed court it had sought the Attorney General’s advice on whether the chief layman of the controversial Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist Temple at Liberty Plaza belonging to a Japanese Mahayana Sect should be arrested as a suspect in an alleged sexual harassment case. Making a complaint at the Women and Children’s Bureau, an eighteen-year-old school girl had alleged that more..

New Mayor to prepare slum dwellers’ relocation plan

Nov 9 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil yesterday told the inaugural meeting of the newly elected Municipal Council that he would immediately put in motion a plan to build houses to relocate slum dwellers of the city, ensure better infrastructure and beautify the metropolis by working along with the central government of the country. Addressing the first General Council Meeting Muzammil said that although he was from the opposition, more..

'Muthiyangena Temple land to be acquired through RUPEUUA Bill'

Nov 9 (Island) Part of the land belonging to the ancient Muthiyangena Temple in Badulla was to be acquired under the Revival of Under Performing Enterprises and Under Utilised Assets Bill, UNP MP Harin Fernando alleged yesterday. He told The Island that the Chief Priest of the temple Venerable Murudeniya Dharmarathna Thera had informed him in writing of the proposed acquisition under Section 2(3) of the RUPEUUA Bill, more..

Hulftsdorp area tensed as petition against bill comes up

Nov 9 (DM) Large crowds in support of and against the controversial ‘Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Bill’ were gathered outside the Hulftsdorp Superior Courts Complex yesterday as Ven,. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera had filed a fundamental rights violation petition against the bill. UNP Ampara District organizer Daya Gamage who heads Daya Group of Companies that owns the Sevanagala Sugar company more..

UNP gains control of 14 CMC committees

Nov 9 (DM) The UNP together with DPF secured majorities in 14 standing committees out of a total of 16 in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday though it was expected that the UPFA led opposition would secure a majority. The UNP and DPF won a majority in all the committees excepting the Establishment Committee and the Law Committee. Opposition leader Milinda Moragoda was elected to the Establishment Committee. Opposition leader Milinda Moragoda was elected to the Establishment Committee. more..

Obama does a Mahinda, calls NATO’s Libyan mission a ‘humanitarian operation’

Nov 9 (Island) US President Barrack Obama has referred to the recently concluded NATO mission in Libya as a humanitarian operation to protect civilians in that country. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Oslo, Rodney Perera, says the reference had been made at a meeting between US President Obama and the Norwegian Premier Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office in the immediate aftermath of the capture and execution of the ousted Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. more..

Editorial: You could make a difference

Nov 9 (DM) As a responsible upholder of truth and a voice that speaks on behalf of the people, that seek information and enlightenment, we are more often than not, perturbed by the way our nation is heading. Violence seems to be the order of the day. It is being witnessed not only in the political sphere, but also among the people. Society is resorting to violence to mete out justice, in the face of a breakdown of law enforcement, for the protection of the people’s rights. more..

Sri Lanka stocks end slightly weaker

Nov 9 (LBO) Stocks closed slightly weaker in thin trade Wednesday, falling steeply after opening and then recovering as buyers came in but the gains petering off towards the end. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.08 percent to 6,316.87, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.13 percent to close at 5,634.25, according to stock exchange figures. Turnover was 619 million rupees. Trading in index heavyweight John Keells Holdings accounted for the highest turnover. more..

Deepavali Festival Celebrated in Frankfurt Consulate

Nov 9 (IL) Hindu devotees as well as Buddhist, Muslim and Christian diaspora joined Mr. Pradip Jayewardene, The Consul General of Sri Lanka, to celebrate Deepavali Festival in Frankfurt last weekend. The religious ceremony to invoke blessings was conducted by Pirathishda Kalanithi Siva Sri Arumuga Paskarakurukkal from the prestigious Hindu Shankarar Sri Kamadchi Ampal Temple in Germany's Hamm-Uentrop city. more..

Sri Lanka dealers offer lower prices if older car imports allowed

Nov 9 (LBO) Sri Lankan importers of used Japanese vehicles said they can sell cars for around two million rupees each if allowed to import slightly older vehicles and a tax anomaly removed. Yoga Perera, president of the Vehicle Importers' Association, said they had asked for the concessions in the govt budget that is to be presented to parliament later in November. A sharp reduction in import taxes in 2010 led to a flood of vehicle imports as well as the emergence of more..

ETF refunds after 10 years?

Nov 9 (DM) The govt is considering the possibility of extending the period for refunding sums in the Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) from the present five years to ten years. Deputy Finance Minister Geethanjana Gunawardane made a statement responding to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. “We are seeking the possibility of extending the term to ten years,” the Deputy Minister said. He said the ETF possesses a sum of Rs. 132 billion in terms of contributions made by employees. more..

'Clear sign of mafia-type govt'

Nov 9 (DM) The UNP today charged that its official news website ‘Lankawaynews’ had been banned at the time it was being checked out. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told a news conference this web site was among several others that had been recently banned by the govt. He said his party has been forced to call off its official launch scheduled for November 27. Mr. Samaraweera said the UNP intended to take legal action against this move by the govt. more..

Sri Lanka central bank gets award for new notes

Nov 9 (LBO) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it has been selected as a finalist from among 17 nominations for the 'Best New Banknote Series' award at an international currency forum. The award at the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) Conference held in Singapore was for new currency note series "Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers" issued by the bank in Feb 2011. The award was won by Bank of Uganda while the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lankan maid claims she killed lover in self-defence

Nov 9 (ST) A Sri Lankan maid on trial for culpable homicide told a psychiatrist that she killed her lover in self-defence as he had threatened her as well as her employer’s two children. Puwaneswary Tharmalingam, 33, also claimed that Mr Murugaiyan Selvam, 32, an Indian national who worked here as a project supervisor, had exploited her sexually and financially. On Day Four of her trial in the High Court yesterday, the court heard from two other Indian nationals more..

Channel 4 commissions second Sri Lanka doc

Nov 9 (DS) Channel 4 has commissioned a follow-up to the acclaimed but controversial Sri Lanka's Killing Fields documentary as part of its new current affairs programming drive. Channel 4's head of news & current affairs Dorothy Byrne has asked ITN Productions to make a second investigation into alleged abuse by the government and Tamil tigers during the final weeks of the country's civil war. more..

Deepavali Celebrated in Canada amidst attempts to disrupt the event

Nov 9 (GDI) The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa, Canada and the Consul General’s Office in Toronto in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Tamil Community, for the second time, organised a colourful event to celebrate the Deepavali festival 2011 on Sunday 6th November at the Korean Cultural Centre in Toronto. The significance of this year’s event was the participation of large numbers from the Tamil community despite the repeated requests by pro-LTTE elements to more..

India felicitates SLBC Chairman

Nov 9 (GDI) Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Hudson Samarasinghe is to be felicitated at a grand ceremony organized by the Association of Business Communicators in India (ABCI) on November 10 and 11 in Mumbai. The function will be held at Taj President Hotel, Cuffe Parade in Mumbai, India. The ABCI brings together visionaries and professionals from management, advertising, journalism and communication to stage a confluence of people who are in the news and more..

What I said has come true: Dayasiri

Nov 9 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara asked the govt what logic it had behind the introduction of the Expropriation bill. "The first fact is that the govt has institutions coming under the state that is making losses of over 6000 Million rupees, also take for example People's Leasing a subsidiary of the govt owned People's Bank which had brought in a profits of three billion. They decided to issue 25% of the shares of the company to the public more..

PAFFREL urges public to register in Electoral Register 2011

Nov 9 (DM) PAFFREL urged the public to register themselves in the Electoral Registry 2011 before November 2011 as the Dept of Elections has taken steps to display the documents containing details on the recommended names to be registered in the Electoral Register and the names recommended to be removed from the register out of the names specified in the forms filled out by the heads of the households and submitted to Registering Officers starting from last Wednesday more..

Sri Lanka can be Islamic finance hub for South Asia: official

Nov 9 (LBR) Sri Lanka’s Islamic finance sector, ideally positioned between capital flows of the Middle East and East Asia, has the potential to become an Islamic finance hub, particularly for the South Asian region, said an industry official. “What Hong Kong is to China, Sri Lanka can be to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in terms of the (Islamic) banking hub,” said Reyaz Mihular, partner at KPMG Ford, Rhodes, Thornton & Co. Mihular spoke to LBR on the sidelines of more..

Parliamentary proceeding continue

Nov 9 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa gave the go ahead for the debate on the controversial Revival of Underperforming and Underutilised Assets Bill in Parliament today despite objections by the opposition. At the commencement of the day’s business, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa was the first to raise objections to the bill citing it as unconstitutional and unethical. Mr. Premadasa argued that it should not be taken up for debate at all as a result. more..

Govt. obstructs ‘Wada Pitiya’

Nov 9 (LT) Yesterday’s programme of ‘Wada Pitiya’ a political ‘talk show’ telecast by ‘Derana TV every Tuesday, had to be suspended. Yesterday’s topic for discussion was the ‘Revival of the Underperforming and Underutilized Assets Bill’ that was presented to Parliament yesterday (8). For the discussion Ministers Bandula Gunawawardene and Jagath Pushpakumara represented the govt while UNP Provincial Council Member Daya Gamage and JVP Provincial Council Member more..

Sri Lanka court stays war-zone new land registration process

Nov 9 (LBO) A controversial new way to register land in Sri Lanka's former war zones outside established procedure has been stayed by the island's Court of Appeal with the state also not objecting, lawyers said. In July 2011, Sri Lanka's Commissioner General of Lands had issued a circular Regulating the Activities Regarding Management of Lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which had raised concerns among residents and civil society groups. more..

WikiLeaks: The war had not been clean Gota to US Senate Foreign Relations staff

Nov 9 (CT) “Rajapaksa noted that in defeating the LTTE terrorists the war had ‘not been clean,’ but was still a success.” the US Ambassador to Colombo wrote to Washington. A leaked US unclassified, but “SENSITIVE” diplomatic cable, recounts details of meetings the US Senate Foreign Relations staff members has had with the senior govt officials, international organizations, political leaders, and journalists between Nov 2-8, 2009. more..

Sri Lanka funds project to construct roads in Maldives

Nov 9 (Haveeru) President Mohamed Nasheed and visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today inaugurated a project in Addu to construct the roads of Maradhoo and Feydhoo. After inaugurating the Sri Lanka-funded project, President Nasheed said a high-standard road would be created in the two islands within the next one year. "It means the main road of Hithadhoo will be connected to this road, which will start from Feydhoo. Our aim is to establish a transport more..

Ethical T-shirts to Promote CSR

Nov 9 (NN) A unique community initiative that raises funds for a worthy cause and promotes sustainability will be launched at the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2011 by Textured Jersey Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Under this initiative, a limited edition of 500 ‘ethical’ t-shirts designed by Diana George, a second year Graphic Design student at the Academy of Design (AOD), will be sold at the Sri Lanka Design Festival by Textured Jersey, a leading producer of value-added knitted fabric, more..

17th SAARC Summit: President Rajapaksa warmly receives in Maldives

Nov 9 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa warmly received upon his arrival to attend the SAARC Head of States Summit by his Maldivian counterpart at the Adduagan airport in the Maldivian southern town of Addu island city this morning. President of Maldives Mohammed Nazif, First Lady Madam Laila Ali Abdulla and the Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem ceremonially welcomed the Sri Lankan President, First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation more..

Sri Lanka will never condone torture: Former AG

Nov 9 (DM) Despite grave atrocities committed by non-state actors, the Sri Lankan govt has at no time sought to justify torture nor resorted to torture, former attorney general Mohan Peiris, who is also the senior legal adviser to the Cabinet has told the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT). At Tuesday’s 47th sessions in Geneva, Mr. Peiris said as a matter of state policy and practice, the Govt had maintained a policy of zero-tolerance on torture as seen by more..