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Save your child from sex predators

Nov 17 (ST) At least three children are raped daily in the country and several sexually abused. This is based on the shocking statistics maintained by the Police for this year. The majority of the cases were reported from the rural areas of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Ratnapura, while there have been complaints from the Western Province too. Police Superintendent, Sisira de Silva, Director of the Bureau of the Prevention of Abuse of Children and Women told more..

The nature of tourism in Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (SO) Tourism has turned out to be a powerful industry which roughly accounts for multiple employment opportunities and a major source of income in the current world. The developing countries which have focussed on traditional export crops in order to develop national economy have now switched over to tourism considering its enormous contribution to the national economy. In Sri Lanka, tourist industry ranks fourth among the major foreign exchange earners and this more..

Norway was not a conscious proponent of Liberal peace building in Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (TC) Sri Lanka’s external environment has always been important. It is a small country separated from India, the regional hegemon, by a narrow strip of water, the Palk -Strait. As the country’s most immediate neighbour, India has always had an abiding interest in and influence on Sri Lanka’s development. To a large extent Western actors have tended to accept that Sri Lanka lies within India’s sphere of influence. Although India’s involvement more..

Sri Lanka’s Fear Psychosis

Nov 17 (SL) A Norwegian journalist Correspondent for Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation sat across from me in my office last Tuesday. Norwegian Broadcasting is state owned and the largest media organization in Norway, BUT with absolutely no interference in editorial content. For a population of 5 million people the network which includes radio and television has an audience of one million. He was in Sri Lanka to cover issues, more..

Editorial: Of that crackdown in NY

Nov 17 (Island) The inevitable has happened in the US. America's super rich have struck back with might and main, but in vain. The New York police, armed to the teeth, smashed through the Occupy Wall Street protesters' Zuccotti camp the other day removing as they did bivouacs and polythene wigwams amidst resistance. Trotting out ludicrous excuses for the well executed crackdown, the New York mayor has said that the protesters could return where they were but without tents and tarps! more..

Irony of the “Left” in opposing Rajapaksa amidst Buddhists

Nov 17 (SL) It is not for a Monk to handle or deal in money and wealth, and which hinders attainment of mind’s supreme peace,” from Pratimoksha Sutra (Code of Conduct) of Buddhist monks. Probably the first of the three petitioners to go to Courts against the “expropriation bill” by this Rajapaksa regime, was leading Buddhist monk Thinyawala Palitha Thero, chief incumbent of Nalandaramaya, Nugegoda. The Bill, titled “Revival of Underperforming more..

Marsh wants improvement ahead of bigger challenges

Nov 17 (Island) Since the ICC Cricket World Cup, it’s been a tough few months for the national cricket team, where they have played England, Australia and now Pakistan. The trend will certainly continue as there’s no series against the West Indies, New Zealand or any other weaker teams scheduled during the next six months as Sri Lanka’s next four opponents will be South Africa, Australia, India and England. more..

Lack of land, a concern for Spice Council

Nov 17 (BL) A major concern for the spice industry was the non availability of land for commercial agriculture. Local entrepreneurs were badly hit as they did not get the required land following large extents being given to foreign investors, according to the President of the Spice Council, Sarada De Silva. While entertaining foreign investors, local investors too had to be given equal treatment. Speaking at the council’s annual general meeting held at the Taj Samudra more..

Top SA delegation here

Nov 17 (Island) As a sequel to discussions which Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Western Australia, in October with Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister for International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa, a South African delegation is currently on a 3-day visit to Sri Lanka. more..

Hilton Colombo: A Five–Star justification for takeover

Nov 17 (SL) The taking over of the Hilton Colombo property and its owning company by the Govt under the Underperforming Enterprises Act passed by parliament this week, is largely unnecessary. That may sound controversial but if the government were to act correctly, they need not rely on the new Act to takeover the Hilton Colombo owning company HDL. The legal entity known as HDL has no immovable assets and under the Companies Act of 2007 is operating in more..

Second Aston Martin in Colombo

Nov 17 (BBC) A brand new Aston Martin car has been hurriedly imported to Colombo by a wealthy businessman, BBC Sandeshaya reliably learns. The new SLR 55 million sports car has been brought using a specially chartered aeroplane from UK. Former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman Upali Dharmadasa neither confirmed nor denied that he brought the new luxury vehicle, thought to be only the second Aston Martin in the country. “Please don't ask me about personal things of mine,” Mr Dharmadasa who more..

Health Ministry not responsible for foreign particles in IV phials

Nov 17 (Island) The Health Ministry said that it was the responsibility of the drug companies to ensure the quality of IVs and other drugs before export to their buyers. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said there was no point in blaming the Health Ministry for the foreign particles found in the two IV phials as a mechanism was already in place to prevent contaminated drugs from reaching patients. Random checks are carried out at the Customs while more..

Central Bank paints economy positive

Nov 17 (FT) Likely to leave doomsayers dumbfounded, the Central Bank yesterday reaffirmed that the outlook for the economy remains positive and the country was on course to high growth trajectory. This upbeat assessment came following the conclusion of the November monetary policy review which kept policy rates unchanged for the tenth consecutive month. The latter was despite falling inflation up to October though the bank expects recent upward more..

Violence against women campaign from Nov. 24

Nov 17 (Island) The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka is planning to launch a campaign, on November 24, to eliminate violence against women, an official of the commission said. "The campaign will mainly focus on women being sexually harassed in public transport and the commission will organize workshops, poster campaigns and public speakers will also create awareness on the issue," Chairman of the Commission, S. S. Wijeratne said. The campaign will continue till the more..

Ministry to commission eight power supply schemes

Nov 17 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry stated that the newly completed eight power supply schemes in Ampara, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts will be commissioned at a series of functions from today until Thursday under the patronage of Minister Champika Ranawaka. He implemented several electricity development projects to supply electricity for all parts of the country and "Nagenahira Navodaya" is one of them. Newly built power supply schemes comes under more..

Harsha reminds Rajapaksa Govt. of Sirimavo’s fall after nationalisation

Nov 17 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva this week reminded the Government of the fall of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s regime after her unprecedented nationalisation failed to achieve desired benefits. “The original nationalisation effected in the early 1970s by the then Premier Sirimavo Bandaranaike didn’t bring about the expected economic benefits. This, protectionist policies, over 25% inflation and other factors saw economy suffer. more..

'CB chief must stick to monetary policy'

Nov 17 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva fired a fresh salvo at Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal for moving away from his statutory role of being monetary policy-centric and making strong statements concerning fiscal policy which is the job of Finance Ministry. Dr. de Silva was responding to some of the recent statements by Cabraal about the Government’s committed drive to boost public investments as well as continuing with the planned Hambantota Sports City project despite more..

'Apply Tobacco and Alcohol Law on an equal basis'

Nov 17 (DN) Senior lawyer Kalinga Indatissa yesterday urged the government to enforce the Tobacco and Alcohol Law on tobacco related items on an equal basis. He said not only cigarettes, cigars and beedies too contain tobacco. He added that a certain manufacturer producing white beedies had said that his products are not tobacco related. Addressing a seminar on recent developments in the law relating to tobacco industry, Indatissa said people in low income groups are more..

Courses in energy management, oil, gas exploration soon

Nov 17 (Island) Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry has taken steps to launch new courses. The courses planned are energy management and oil and gas exploration, Director General of the Ministry’s Technical Education and Training Department Dr. Chithral Ambawaththa said. He said that now that Sri Lanka has been successful in finding oil in the Mannar Basin, which is believed to hold around one billion barrels, the country would no longer more..

SL concerned over attack on SAARC monument

Nov 17 (Island) Sri Lanka yesterday expressed concern over the destruction of one of the eight monuments erected in honour of the eight-member SAARC, in Addu city. A GoSL spokesperson regretted the incident, the first of its kind reported since the formation of the grouping. The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday. Sources told The Island that the Maldivian govt erected the targeted monument to mark Pakistan’s participation at the 17th SAARC summit. more..

All is not well for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (TS) Sri Lanka High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara tries to justify the war crimes by the government against Tamil civilians by asserting that Tamil Tigers were terrorists. She is by implication accepting that war crimes were committed by both Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers. Terrorism by a rebel group cannot justify war crimes by Sri Lankan govt on her civilians. Ms Wagiswara’s description of the Sri Lankan communities as “peace loving” is a cruel joke. more..

Minister says 'no' to gas price hike

Nov 17 (DN) The price of essential items, such as, gas and milk powder will not be increased in the immediate future, said Minister Johnston Fernando. He said that permission will not be granted for a gas price hike, despite a request by Laughs Gas Company. He said that this decision was arrived at after analyzing the price level of gas in the world market. The minister said that the govt would ensure that there would be no scarcity of essential items more..

Embilipitiya Paper Factory leased out at highest price

Nov 17 (DN) The Embilipitiya Paper Factory was leased out to Perth Engineering and Maintenance (Pvt) Limited at the optimum price under govt valuation, the govt said. State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister Dayashritha Thissera totally rejected the claims by some that the factory was given out at very low price. The govt has made arrangements to lease the Embilipitiya Paper Corporation to an Australian company for a 30-year period as part of the restructuring of more..

State must also act to protect fishermen: Indian Coast Guard

Nov 17 (hindu) Complaints of Tamil fishermen being attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy could be brought down only if the State government brings in stricter regulations preventing the fishermen from crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), according to V.S.R. Murthy, Deputy Director General (Operations and Coastal Security), Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Filing a counter affidavit in reply to a public interest litigation petition before the Madras High Court Bench here, more..

Postal Department crisis deepens

Nov 17 (DM) The Postal Department crisis is deepening amid the Post Master General (PMG) categorically denying allegations of corruption made against him by employees and while postal service trade unions continue their strike urging the govt to remove him his post. The trade unions said they would meet Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga today to explore how best to resolve the crisis and will call off their strike action if they receive a solution to more..

Sangakkara reacts to postponement of the World Test Championship

Nov 17 (GN) He is a big advocate of Test cricket and was Man of the Series in the recently-concluded three-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE. At 34, Kumar Sangakkara still has a few years left in him and although he is reluctant to put a timeframe on how long he wants to continue, it is unlikely he will be around when the World Test Championship is held in 2017, if at all. His reaction therefore was understandable when XPRESS caught up with him for a quick chat. more..

CPA moved over Sevanagala Ind. aquisition

Nov 17 (Island) With the profitable Sevenagala Sugar Industries, owned by UNP MP Anoma Gamage and her family, listed for acquisition under the new RUEUA Act, Gamage has complained to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, describing it as an act of political revenge. Her, written complaint was handed over to the CPA’s Secretary General, William F. Shija by the UNP’s Deputy Secretary, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena during his recent visit to London. more..

Rs.22 mn WB funds squandered on corporate plan

Nov 17 (Island) The COPE says the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) had spent a staggering Rs. 22 million on a six-page Corporate Plan in 2000. COPE sources told The Island that the Auditor General brought the controversial World Bank funded project to the notice of the parliamentary watchdog committee. Responding to a query, sources said that the Commission to Investigate Cases of Bribery or Corruption had more..

Sajith Group to present 20 charges against Ranil today

Nov 17 (Island) The Sajith Premadasa Group is to charge sheet UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today, setting out 20 allegations, which include actions contrary to the aims and objectives of the party constitution. Southern Provincial Council UNP Member Maithri Gunaratne told The Island yesterday, that their petition would be handed over to UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. He said that Wickremesinghe’s failure to act in terms of the R. S. Jayaratne and more..

'Govt. could have invited expert’s panel'

Nov 17 (DM) Terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratne yesterday said that the govt could have invited the Darusman panel to visit the country and as they finally produced a report based on information and propaganda gathered from the front organizations of the LTTE. He also emphasized the need to establish an NGO advisory division and a diaspora division to counter the propaganda of the LTTE international network against Sri Lanka and to restore good relations more..

Sri Lanka govt says no more takeovers

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government on Wednesday said it had no plans to target any other businesses for takeover aside from the 37 properties listed in an asset acquisition act passed last week. The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act has cast a negative pall over the Colombo Stock Exchange this week with both Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service both saying it could harm investment. more..

Health Ministry not responsible for foreign particles in IV phials

Nov 17 (Island) The Health Ministry said that it was the responsibility of the drug companies to ensure the quality of IVs and other drugs before export to their buyers. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said there was no point in blaming the Health Ministry for the foreign particles found in the two IV phials as a mechanism was already in place to prevent contaminated drugs from reaching patients. Random checks are carried out more..

British PM expresses concern over the Bill

Nov 17 (DM) British Prime Minister David Cameron and several other Commonwealth leaders had expressed concern over the controversial Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Unutilized Assets Bill that was passed in Parliament recently. Mr. Wickremesighe who was speaking to the journalists just after his arrival in Katunayake International Airport last morning said both IDU and the CPA had assured their support to the Sri Lankan opposition in its struggle to more..

Unions threaten general strike if salaries not upped

Nov 17 (Island) Private and public sector employees joined hands, during the late afternoon working hours of yesterday, to demonstrate opposite the Fort Railway Station, demanding an immediate pay hike. They demanded for a Rs. 10,000 salary increment for the public sector and a 40 per cent hike for the private sector in the 2012 budget, which is to be present in parliament on Nov. 21. more..

Sri Lanka's apparel exports on target to achieve US$ 5bn by 2015

Nov 17 (F2F) Sri Lanka's target of achieving five billion USD in apparel exports by 2015 is on course, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman, Rohan Abeykoon, has said. Addressing the Association's Annual General Meeting, Mr. Abeykoon said if the export figures and forecasts are based on precision, Sri Lanka's apparel exports would almost touch the four billion USD mark by close of this year itself. more..

Acquired assets to be privatized again

Nov 17 (DM) The 37 underperforming or underutilizing ventures acquired by the govt under ‘The revival of underperforming and underutilizing government assets’ Bill are up for re –lease to the previous owners or any other investor who comes up with a better corporate plan, the govt said today. The cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said today the govet’s intention was to revive those ventures and make them profit making more..

Sri Lanka to set up SAARC Regional Seeds Bank

Nov 17 (GDI) At the recently held 17th SAARC Summit in Maldives four agreements were signed and one was to establish a SAARC Regional Seeds Bank in Sri Lanka. The objective of setting up of a Seeds Bank is to address regional seed shortages through collective actions and foster inter-country partnership, to promote increase of Seed Replacement Rate with appropriate varieties at a faster rate in order to ensure more..

Sri Lanka to complete relocation of remaining IDPs

Nov 17 (GDI) In the last stages of the humanitarian operation in 2009 around 300,000 people were liberated by the security forces from the grip of terrorists and all of them were housed in welfare villages in the Northern Province. By now, more than 97% of them have been relocated in their native places and only 3,110 families remain in the welfare centers. The Cabinet has granted approval to allocate Rs.1336 million to more..

CCTV cameras and special traffic unit for Southern Expressway

Nov 17 (PRIU) Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed along the Southern expressway and set up a special traffic unit to prevent accidents and to control speed violations. Managing Director of Maintenance on Southern Expressway P.D.K. Bandara has told media that CCTV cameras have been installed at all eight entry points to the toll way from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa in Galle district. more..

CPA moved over Sevanagala Ind. aquisition

Nov 17 (Island) With the profitable Sevenagala Sugar Industries, owned by UNP MP Anoma Gamage and her family, listed for acquisition under the new RUEUA Act, Gamage has complained to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, describing it as an act of political revenge. Her, written complaint was handed over to the CPA’s Secretary General, William F. Shija by the UNP’s Deputy Secretary, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena during his recent visit to London. more..