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Juggling attendance at AGMs

Sept 28 (LG) Consider this: Attending 80 annual general meetings in just two weeks. That’s the kind of organisational muddle that shareholders in listed companies are facing these days as Sri Lankan companies rush through their AGMs to keep in line with the rules on prescribed periods to hold these meetings. It is physically impossible to attend several meetings at the same time particularly for those dedicated, independent shareholders who are keen to raise or seek clarification from the board of directors on more..

The Tamil issue: always behind JVP splits

Sept 28 (DM) The ethnic problem in the country has been haunting the JVP throughout its history, creating cracks and splits occasionally in the cadrebased party, as it had created many cracks in the body politic. This time too the question as to what approach the party has to take towards the Tamil issue seems to have played a major role in creating the current rift in the party. JVP’s creation and its rise have gone hand in hand, though accidentally, with the birth and more..

Joe Abeywickrema: The irreplaceable actor

Sept 28 (DM) The death of Joe Abeywickrema does not mark the end of an era in Sri Lankan cinema. That era petered out in the 1980s when Joe was very much alive and still acting. Joe in his old age remained a lingering symbol of what was possible even within a relatively limited cinematic sphere – reaching out for the stars and achieving a very high standard of artistic excellence. In Hollywood, he would have been a multi-millionaire film star of international repute. more..

Not mere nitpicking on parliamentary process

Sept 28 (LG) Public distrust of this administration's attacks on civil rights is best evidenced by the bizarre sequence of events that took place this month over the extension of the Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions Act. First enacted in 2005 (Act No 15 of 2005) and thereafter extended in 2007 (Act No 42 of 2007) up to 2009, this law caters to a special category of offences including murder, kidnapping and rape. Among other things, it allows for an extended period of detention of more..

SL govt and Sinhala political parties must not play ‘games’ with the Tamil population

Sept 28 (TC) The term ‘accountability’ is in vogue these days. Advice that comes as a ‘friendly pressure’ as Robert O Blake puts it is that Sri Lanka should be accountable to what happened in the last days of its war against the LTTE. Although it has not been expressed in explicit terms, the implication is that Sri Lanka and other poor countries should be held accountable to the Imperialist West usually disguised under some such coy pseudonym as more..

Editorial: Thus spake JVP rebels

Sept 28 (Island) The JVP dissidents have spoken up at last. Spokesman for the rebels, Pubudu Jagoda, gives their version of the crippling leadership crisis in the party. It is clear from what he says that the rebel faction has pulled out all the stops in their struggle to take over the JVP leadership, readjust the party's course and restore its revolutionary outlook and zeal. People in general and parents in particular must have heaved a sigh of relief on hearing that the JVP rebels had ruled out the possibility of another armed uprising. more..

Editorial: Elders: An important segment of our community

Sept 28 (DM) One wonders at the coincidence that both the day of the child and the day of elders fall on the first of Oct. But then if one considers the significance of this, one tends to realize that both the child and the elder are dependent for their wellbeing, nurturing and caring on the larger community. Usually in traditional society and according to our cultural norms the child and the elder were integrated and accepted by not only their close family members but also the extended family. more..

Underworld hit men nabbed while proceeding to kill businessman

Sept 28 (Island) A two-member underworld hit team on their way to bump off a businessman at Attidiya on a contract, was nabbed by the Mt. Lavinia police along with a T-56 assault rifle and two grenades on Monday night. The hit men were caught as they were proceeding for the job on a motorcycle at Perakum Mawatha, Attidiya on a tip off received by the Officer-in-Charge of the Mt. Lavinia Crimes Division Sub Inspector Tissa Sugathapala. more..

Train services not affected

Sept 28 (DN) Train services were not affected by the trade union action of engine drivers who withdrew from operating recently imported S11 Indian power sets since Monday. A Railway spokesman said that although there was a slight delay, services returned to normal yesterday. "Though the engine drivers are continuing to refrain from driving S11 Indian power sets due to various shortcomings and problems. All trains operated on a regular schedule," he said. Engine drivers had withdrawn from the service more..

Automatic street lamps from next year

Sept 28 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry said that it will install automatic street lamps islandwide from next year in an effort to conserve energy and save financial resource. "Using ordinary street lamps will be stopped in the near future. 'These automatic street lamps will be switched on at 6.00 pm and go off at 6.00 am automatically," ministry sources said. Minister Champika Ranawaka said the CEB incurs an annual loss of over Rs. two billion due to power costs on street lights. more..

Ban on ploythene: Udaya awaits parliamentary nod

Sept 28 (Island) The Western Provincial Council is awaiting the approval of new legislation by Parliament to implement tough restrictions on the use of polythene in the Western Province. Provincial Environment Minister Udaya Gammanpila said that the draft Bill sent for Parliamentary approval on Sept 07 was yet to be approved. He said that his ministry was keen to take tough action as polythene had became a major problem in the city, often clogging its drainage system. more..

Reviving our ancient irrigations systems

Sept 28 (DM) The efficient water management and distribution systems were the keys that helped sustain Sri Lanka's Irrigation system for generations, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He told a two-week long Shramadana campaign organized to renovate the Taldena Irrigation canal in the Badulla district, that it was up to the government and the people to protect the generations-old irrigation system in Sri Lanka as it had stood the test of time and was equal to any modern technology. more..

Mini tornado causes destruction

Sept 28 (DM) At least four people were injured and several houses damaged when a mini tornado swept across the Peraketiya and Minipura areas in Buttala on Monday evening. The mini tornado which lasted for about five minutes had triggered all at once while heavy rains lashed the area. Among 47 houses that were damaged in the tornado, 20 were in Minipura, Maligawila, and 27 in the Peraketiya Uda-arawa Gramasewaka division. Four people who were injured were admitted to the Okkampitiya hospital. more..

Power Ministry Sec. refuses to okay controversial CEB request

Sept 28 (Island) A surprising move by the CEB Board of Management to hand over the management of the Lak Wijaya Power Plant at Norachcholai to a Chinese Company for six months, at a staggering fee of USD three million, was turned down yesterday by the Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando. When the proposal was forwarded to the Ministry Secretary, he said that a decision could not be reached on a matter of that magnitude without Cabinet approval. more..

More buses to supplement rural fleet

Sept 28 (DN) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will add 200 new mini buses to its outstation fleet to uplift the public transport facilities in rural areas. An SLTB spokesman said that the Treasury is due to release funds under the directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to implement this programme which will solve the bus shortage along rural routes. "Deploying new mini buses in rural areas would ensure convenience and comfort of the public," he said. Meanwhile, a project to repair 1,000 SLTB buses more..

FMM condemns false allegation against press freedom and human rights activists

Sept 28 (Island) The Free media Movement (FMM) expressed serious concern over the false allegations campaign carried out by the media controlled by those sympathetic to the Sri Lankan Govt against a former Convener and a present Ex-Co member of the FMM. Press release signed by its Convener Sunil Jayasekera said: According to these allegations, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives has charged them with being a disgrace to the country of their birth. more..

Development Diaries September 21, 2011

Court further restrains UNP from expelling Hakeem

Sept 28 (DM) The District Court of Colombo further extended till October 10 the injunction restraining the UNP from expelling or holding inquiries against seven Muslim Congress MPs from the UNP as a result of their support for the govt during the voting on the 18 Amendment to the Constitution. Colombo District Judge Ranjith Watukola extended the injunction restraining the UNP from expelling or holding any inquiries against the SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, and MPs Hassan Ali, more..

‘Ruling party council a must’

Sept 28 (DN) A council affiliated to the ruling party would be the most suited to fulfill the needs and aspirations of Colombo citizens, former Mayor of Colombo and the person who served in that capacity for the longest period (1979– 1989), B Sirisena Cooray, said. The former minister and one time General Secretary of the UNP said, he was of the view that a UPFA led administration headed by Milinda Moragoda, will be the most capable in addressing issues faced by city folks from all walks of life. more..

'Divided JVP's convention soon'

Sept 28 (BBC) Party convention of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will be convened soon to discuss the current political turmoil. JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe admitted to the BBC that there is an internal conflict in the party as reported by the media. This has arisen following three senior members leaving the party; Varuna Deepthi Rajapaksa, Pubudu Jagoda, Dimuthu Artigala. They had not yet informed the leadership about their departure, he said. more..

Madhu Madhava: From stardom to politics

Sept 28 (DM) Veteran artiste Madhu Madhava Aravinda yesterday marked his approach to politics launching his manifesto as a UPFA (JHU) candidate for the CMC election at a ceremony. “I will never follow a poster and polythene based election campaign because I have pasted my face on the hearts of the people by living close to them as an artist for twenty two years. My belief in them will never change” stressed Madhu Madhava Aravinda, UPFA (JHU) candidate for the Oct 8th Colombo Municipal Election. more..

'Tourism sector to create one million jobs'

Sept 28 (DM) Targeting 2.5 million tourists by 2016 and four million by 2020, Lanka’s tourism sector expects to create one million employment opportunities and an annual income of USD eight billion, President of the Sri Lanka Hotels’ Association (SLHA) Anura Lokuhetty said. “We are very happy that Sri Lanka will have a great economic growth though tourism.” He further added that, with the target of reaching 2.5 million tourist arrivals there would be great opportunities for all to join this industry and more..

'Govt. trying to buy over UNP candidates'

Sept 28 (Island) The UNP accused the govt of attempting to buy over some of its candidates contesting the forthcoming election to 23 local authorities. General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, fearing that it would lose a majority of the 23 local bodies, including the Colombo Municipal Council, was trying to induce some UNP candidates to cross over, by offering them various perks including money and positions. more..

Jan-July worker remittances up 25.6% to $ 2.92 b

Sept 28 (FT) During July 2011, workers’ remittances increased by 21.1% to $ 415 million over the same month of 2010. Cumulative inflows on account of workers’ remittances amounted to $ 2,922 million during the first seven months of 2011. In the first half remittances growth was 26.4% to $ 2.5 billion. Earnings from tourism grew at a healthy rate of 50% to $ 451 million during the first seven months of the year while total foreign inflows to the Govt (including Sovereign Bond proceeds of more..

Lahiru and Tharindu guide Sri Lanka U19s

Sept 28 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Under 19 side began their campaign in the Quadrangular Series on a winning note with a two wicket win over the West Indies Under 19 side in the match played at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam yesterday. The Sri Lanka youth side was guided by Lahiru Madusanka and Tharindu Kaushal who together put on an unbroken 76 runs stand for the ninth wicket. The low scoring match saw West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite winning the toss and deciding to take first lase of the wicket. more..

Long sentences asked for Dutch Tamil Tiger fundraisers

Sept 28 (AFP) Dutch prosecutors Tuesday asked for jail sentences between 10 to 16 years against five suspected Tamil Tigers for aiding the Sri Lankan rebel movement from the Netherlands, including collecting funds. "We are asking for long sentences. The suspects were consciously involved in an international terrorist organisation," prosecutor Ward Ferdindessen said in the indictment. The prosecution asked for three sentences spanning a decade each, a 12-year sentence and more..

Exporters’ Forum returns in full strength; exporters upbeat on prompt results

Sept 28 (FT) The once-popular Exporters’ Forum is back in full strength – and Sri Lanka’s exports sector has praise for the initiative, with various export chambers joining in. “After nearly 2 years, the Export Development Board (EDB) has once again organised the Exporters’ Forum. Most of the problems faced by the exporters cannot be solved by one institution alone. It requires the joint efforts of several institutions. The Exporters’ Forum is one such effort by the EDB towards such a more..

Somaratana Thero offered assistance

Sept 28 (BBC) Sri Lanka High Commission, UK says that it represented at Court to offer consular and legal assistance to Pahalagama Somaratana Thero, the Chief Priest of the Thames Buddhist Vihara. The thero and the Dayaka Sabha had requested assistance from the Sri Lankan mission. Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thero, charged with raping an underage girl in the 1970s appeared before Court on Monday. The Thero was released on bail. Head of the Consular Services of the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, more..

First poppy flower pins on President Rajapaksa

Sept 28 (IL) The first poppy flower was pinned on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 27 Sept at Temple Trees in view of World Poppy Day or Remembrance Day which falls on Nov 14. The Poppy month held in memory of gallant heroes who sacrificed their lives since World War I, is to commence on the 11th of October and the national celebrations of the Poppy day will be held on the 14th of Nov at the Viharamaha Devi Park, Colombo. more..

Kilinochchci courts complex to be opened tomorrow

Sept 28 (DM) In another step towards expediting the return of normalcy to the war-affected North, the Vanni court house has been reconstructed and the judicial system re introduced into the area. Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said after a lapse of many years, the newly constructed Kilinochchi Courts Complex at a cost of Rs.15 million would be reopened tomorrow. He said the the LTTE had institutionalized Eelam Courts in the area during the 30-year conflict more..

US again urges SL to ‘credibly address’ allegations

Sept 28 (DM) The United States has made another call urging Sri Lanka to take steps to ‘credibly address’ some of the allegations levelled against it during the final stages of the war.“…the Govt of Sri Lanka needs to take steps to credibly address some of these allegations. We urge it to do so,” the State Department’s deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said. He was responding to a question raised by a reporter, who wanted the latest update from the US, after the panel report on Sri Lanka was more..

Ranil warns of danger to Colombo’s economy

Sept 28 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe warned that the economy of the Colombo City would come to a standstill if the govt’s plans to evict low income earners and do away with three wheelers were implemented. Mr. Wickremesinghe made this point when he met three wheeler drivers at Maligawatte. He said Colombo’s economy depended largely on the middle class and it would be affected if the middle classes were moved out and more..

New maps of North out soon

Sept 28 (Island) The Department of Survey plans to publish nearly 300 maps containing the latest information on certain districts in the Northern Province by January next year. "The maps containing information on the Mannar and Jaffna districts will be completed by early next year," Surveyor General, Mahesh Fernando said. Of the entire 9,000 square kilometres planned out to map in the Northern Province, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would map out about 2,000 square kilometres. more..

FUTA awaits NSCC recommendations

Sept 28 (Island) University teachers who were on warpath against the government for its inability to increase the salaries are now waiting for the National Salaries and Cadre Commission’s (NSCC) recommendation to resolve their grievances. FUTA Secretary, Dr. Terrance Madhujith said that the NSCC accepted their proposal to increase the salaries at a meeting held on September 21. "We proposed to the NSCC to add 20% to the basic salary of university teachers as the increment," more..

Joint Naval exercises: An Indian show of strength

Sept 28 (LB) Throughout the Eelam war, the Sri Lankan Navy was fitted against an enemy, which waged an asymmetric war with a devastating efficiency. The Sea Tigers, which have carried out the largest number of sea- born suicide attacks in the world, deployed a mixture of highly manoeuverable small boats and suicide crafts, the latter used as force multipliers, against much larger and better equipped navy gunboats, mitigating the technological superiority of the navy. more..

GMOA summons hurried Exco meeting claiming harassment

Sept 28 (Island) The GMOA has hurriedly summoned an executive committee meeting today (28) in Colombo to decide their future course of action claiming harassment of some of their members who are working actively against the Malabe Private Medical College. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe said that their general committee which included representatives from countrywide govet hospitals too meets tomorrow (29) to more..

Hambantota 2018 welcomes the Oceania delegation to view the bid plan

Sept 28 (SF) The Hambantota 2018 bid for the Commonwealth Games has now received the last continental region to inspect the Sri Lankan proposal as the Oceania team landed in the city. They represent the countries of Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue Islands, Norfolk Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga. Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, more..

SL steps in to tap int’l rubber surge

Sept 28 (DM) Sri Lanka is looking forward to promote value-added rubber exports and also reduce rubber imports to the country. “Considering the increase in price of natural rubber in the international market, the cess on export of raw rubber, has been increased from Rs. 8 to Rs. 12 per kilo gram,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. “The cess imposed on rubber exports will serve as a measure to channel more resources to more..

Uni. Non-academics to meet NSCC tomorrow

Sept 28 (Island) University non-academics are scheduled to meet officials of the National Salaries and Cadre Commission (NSCC) tomorrow (29) to discuss matters relating to anomalies in their salaries, which have not been rectified since 2006. They will put forward their proposals on rectifying the anomalies. Representatives from the UGC, Higher Education Ministry and the Treasury are also expected to participate in the discussions. more..

Lanka’s computer literacy jumps to 35 per cent

Sept 28 (Island) Sri Lanka’s current computer literacy rate was 35 percent and it ranked 66th in the world, Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry, Secretary Nimal Ananda Athukorala said. Computer literacy rate in Sri Lanka had been about five percent three to four years ago and the country had been placed 138th among computer literary countries, he said. The educational attainment and computer literacy were more..