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Anura Yapa flatly denies crossover claims

Oct 17 (AM) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said flatly denied rumours that some ruling party members were holding discussions with the opposition saying none of the UPFA MPs wanted to end up on the losing side. He said he was certain that the UNP had no chance of winning the upcoming elections and that the government would secure a resounding victory. “I do not know whether there were any more..

JVP explains why masses should fear Mahinda

Oct 17 (LT) JVP is carrying out a campaign stating that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest the forthcoming presidential election and if he contests the presidential election would be illegal. The JVP campaign is to build an opposition to the move and is creating a point of view that Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest for a third term. Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters come out with various arguments. more..

FUTA hold SB responsible for violence against undergrads

Oct 17 (Island) Condemning last Sunday’s attack on a group of Sabaragamuwa University students the FUTA alleged that Higher Education Minister was responsible for the incident which had come close on the heels of his statement that he knew how to treat violent students if not for the upcoming elections. FUTA Secretary Dr. Rohan Fernando said that it was a clear indication that the Minister himself should be held responsible more..

Vehicle buyers protest, unable to have their vehicles registered

Oct 17 (Island) Over 70 buyers of motor vehicles assembled by Vehicles Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a BOI - approved company in Sri Lanka had not been able to have them registered with the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) for over two years. They said they sought President Rajapaksa’s intervention to solve the matter immediately. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Vehicles Lanka, Harsha de Silva said some high ranking more..

Schools for 50,000 ‘Out-of-School Children’, School for all by 2015

Oct 17 (ST) Gramasevaka’s and Divisional Secretaries island-wide have been instructed to submit names of children not attending school, and assist the District Secretary compile a list to find schools in their respective areas, the Education Ministry said. The Ministry said, though the country’s school attendance is foremost among fellow South Asian countries, there are about 50,000 local children not attending school. more..

Cats and rats jump out of the Mervyn bag

Oct 17 (DM) Well-known for his conduct and controversial statements Minister Mervyn Silva has come to the limelight once again with yet another allegation that there are some people who prevent him from carrying out his duties as a people’s representative. Recently, we had the opportunity of seeking the minister’s views on the subject and on a range of other issues at a face-to-face session with him when he did not mince his words. more..

At the 'mercy of god…’

Oct 17 (SL) The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka recently dismissed a plea against the deportation of the Pakistan and Afghanistan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka, shadowing the small degree of hope that had been harboured by those who had tried to escape prosecution in their country. A young Pakistan activist, Sadia Khan, who had been writing about abuses carried out by fundamentalists and members of the govt in her country, had fled more..

Ebola; Are we ready?

Oct 17 (DM) In a video summit on Wednesday the leaders of the US, Britain, Germany, France and Italy said the raging Ebola pandemic was the most serious international public health emergency in recent years and the international community needed to do much more and faster to check the calamity. The first outbreak of this deadly disease took place in 1976 near the river Ebola in Zaire now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and more..

ISIS Crisis: Who’s battling whom for what?

Oct 17 (DM) All fish live in water; dolphins are fish; therefore dolphins live in water. The construction of logical arguments such as this may not apply to politics. Don’t they say that politics defies logic? Nowhere is this truism more evident than in the crises involving ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian govt fights ISIS a.k.a as ISIL and IS. The United States also fights ISIS. Therefore, a logical conclusion could be that the US is with the Syrian govt. ISIS fights Bashar al-Assad regime more..

Restrictions on travel to North aimed at rigging presidential election - UNP

Oct 17 (Island) This week’s sudden directive that foreign nationals and organisations have to obtain Defence Ministry permission to visit the North clearly indicated that the govt was preparing the ground to rig the next Presidential Election,the UNP charged. Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella said that the new regulation was aimed at preventing unbiased foreign monitors from observing the presidential election. more..

CTTU threatens trade union action Unless salary issues are resolved

Oct 17 (CT) Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has warned the govt that it would embark on an extensive trade union action, unless their salary anomalies and promotion issues are resolved and that increments to the teachers and principals in 17 educational zones under its purview, are paid with immediate effect. The CTTU has appealed to the principals and teachers to get themselves prepared for a trade union action to win their demands. The union says the govt owes several millions to more..

Ceylon Tea promotional campaign at Dubai and Sharjah airports

Oct 17 (DN) Ceylon Tea advertising program for the Middle East and Gulf Region was launched by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, with the erection of twenty massive light boards of 6.5meters x 2.4 meters each at Dubai International Airport and twelve illuminated scrolling mupies at Sharjah International Airport from October. The Dubai International Airport which was registered as the second busiest after London, Heathrow for international passenger traffic with almost more..

President tells govt. members: Don't complicate politics before presidential poll

Oct 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa told the Govt Parliamentary Group to not complicate political issues when there is a presidential poll just around the corner. This issue had been discussed at the Cabinet meeting held at Temple Trees yesterday. President had been responding to questions from govt members about the forthcoming presidential poll which is billed for 8 January 2015 and also in the light of leftist more..

Canada and India sign historic cricket agreement

Oct 17 (LR) Cricket Canada received a massive boost this week after Canadian Foreign Minister signed an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest and most influential board in the sport. Cricket Canada was dealt a major blow when they lost ODI status this year following a run of poor performances, which resulted in a failure to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, a tournament that Canada has consecutively played in for the past three editions. more..

Lessons on Sri Lankan reconciliation by the Cabinet Minister in the midst

Oct 17 (IAN) On Oct 9, the Asia Society held a gathering, at which Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a Senior Cabinet Minister from Sri Lanka, addressed the efforts at reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Minister was introduced by Charles Foster, Chairman of the Asia Society and by the Honorary Counsel General of Sri Lanka, Bandula Wijay with special thanks extended to attorneys George Willy and Rajneesh Chaudhary for making the event possible. In his address, Nanayakkara pointed out more..

Sarath Fonseka disfranchised

Oct 17 (DM) The name of Sarath Fonseka the former army commander and the leader of the Democratic Party is to be removed from the voters list by the Election Commissioner on the instructions of the Attorney General. This decision had been taken after the Elections Commissioner requested AG for a ruling on whether Mr. Fonseka was entitled to vote. Sources close to the Elections Commissioner’s office said that more..

Uva Ministers finally appointed

Oct 17 (Island) The much delayed swearing in of the Board of Ministers of the recently elected 6th Uva Provincial Council (UPC) took places before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning in the presence of the Governor of the Province Nanda Mathew. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians, fellow Provincial Councillors, family members, friends and well-wishers were also present at the ceremony. more..

Expert to advise BASL today

Oct 17 (CT) The minority who argue for the constitutional legality of a third term for President Rajapaksa are either advisers to the President or UPFA associates, Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) charged. BASL's Rule of Law Standing Committee Chairman and Lawyers for Democracy Convener, Lal Wijenayake, said the BASL has sought an independent opinion from Queensland University's Public Law Professor Suri Ratnapala, an international constitutional law expert, more..

'All hospitals on alert for Ebola'

Oct 17 (DM) While the authorities were now maintaining a 24/7 special medical unit at the BIA to track Ebola patients, the Health Ministry said all hospitals in the country had been issued with detailed instructions on how to deal with a patient suspected of contracting Ebola. The ministry was now maintaining a special medical unit comprising doctors, trained nurses, PHIs and attendants to take immediate action in a worst case scenario at more..

Bone Marrow Transplant Surgery now in SL

Oct 17 (DN) For the first time Bone Marrow Transplant Surgery will be available in Sri Lanka under a program initiated by Nawaloka Hospital. Bone Marrow is responsible for many vital tasks in the human body. Though a wide range of treatments exist to treat various ailments in the bone marrow, the only reliable method to completely cure bone marrow related illness is the bone marrow transplant surgery. Until now, this surgery was not available in Sri Lanka. more..

President praises education in North

Oct 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa praised the Northern education sector for producing students in increasing numbers, who do well in the GCE A/L exam, becoming eligible to enter university. President said this while addressing the District Development Committee meeting, at the Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna, on Monday. Following the end of the war in 2009, the govt had made an allocation of Rs 7,331 million to develop the education sector in the Northern Province, more..

Animal rights activists accuse Wildlife chief

Oct 17 (DM) Animal rights activists today accused the Wildlife Ministry Secretary and Wildlife Conservation Department Director General (WCD) of being directly involved in providing a legal standing to the baby elephants that are smuggled out of national parks and sold off for domestication. Animal rights activist, Pubudu Weerarathne told a media briefing today that the latest evidence of their involvement in the racket surfaced through more..

Peradeniya Uni taken for a three wheeler ride

Oct 17 (Island) The authorities of the University of Peradeniya are perturbed over how they were misled by a forged letter that led to over one hundred junior employees to deposit Rs. 25,000 each to receive a tri-shaw each from the govt. The university received a letter printed on a Presidential Secretariat letterhead stating that the junior employees were to be given tri-shaws at concessional price of Rs. 25,000. A current account number of a bank was stated in the letter. more..

Yala opened for six hours

Oct 17 (DN) The Yala National Park opening hours for visitors have been restricted to six hours daily. The park which was closed for about one and half months was re-opened yesterday. However she said the department decided to restrict the opening hours from 6.00 a.m. to noon due to dry conditions prevailing in the park. No visitor would be admitted into the park after noon, adding that all the visitors who entered the park must leave by noon. New time schedule would continue till adequate rains more..

Gotabhaya to meet NSA in New Delhi

Oct 17 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will visit New Delhi early next week for high-level talks with India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, according to reliable sources. The agenda for the meeting is unclear. Sources in New Delhi confirmed the visit, but declined to “get into the details” of the meeting. This is Mr. Rajapaksa’s first meeting with India’s NSA after the NDA formed the govt. more..

MRL acquires high-grade Aluketiya graphite project in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (EBR) MRL has completed purchase of the rights of high-grade Aluketiya graphite mine in Sri Lanka. Located in Meegahatenna within the Walallawita District, the project has the potential for graphite veins which extend over large distances. MRL has purchased the lease covering Aluketiya, providing it with the right to explore, develop and mine the graphite, as part of the deal. A lease fee of $3,500 a month will be paid by MLR during the exploration phase. more..

BOI Company, clients cry out against bureaucrats

Oct 17 (CT) Owners of vehicles assembled by Vehicle Lanka Pvt Ltd., alleged that they were being treated unfairly for no reason, as authorities failed to allow these vehicles to be registered, while the BOI approved company alleged that certain bureaucrats harboured a personal vendetta against it. Vehicle Lanka, a BOI company, imports second hand vehicles to the country, fits new spare parts and sells them at affordable prices. The company has been trying since 2012 to convince the more..

Dairy farmers to get 20,000 milch cows

Oct 17 (FT) Sri Lanka and Australia yesterday signed an agreement to import 20,000 milch cows for uplifting small- and medium-scale dairy farmers under a program to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in liquid milk by 2016. Importing Australian milch cows of superior breeds to help dairy farmers and improve the livestock industry began two years ago in accordance with President’s Mahinda Chinthana Vision. more..

Docs on cloud nine

Oct 17 (Island) The GMOA yesterday declared victory in an eight-year-old battle with the Cabinet approving the Doctors’ Service Minute last week. A special gazette notification of its implementation was issued by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (15). GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that in accordance with the provisions included in the service minute, a doctor should be promoted to Grade 1 after 12 years in service instead of 18 years. more..

Felicitation event for Professor Indraratna

Oct 17 (CT) A felicitation committee, set up by the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) has organized an event to honour Prof. A.D.V de S. Indraratna, "the doyen of teachers of economics in Sri Lanka today". The event marks Prof. Indraratna's 10th year as the President of the SLEA and his immense contribution to popularizing economics as a subject and to promote a dialogue on economic policy issues in SL. Prof. Indraratna is a founder member of SL Economic Association. more..

US happy over TIFA talks with Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (FT) The US yesterday said it was happy with the latest Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks with Sri Lanka and acknowledged post-war economic story was positive though growth could be accelerated with right policies. “We had a very useful discussion with regard to finding pragmatic ways to boost bilateral trade and investment. Some issues were resolved and others were left for better understanding more..

Sampath Bank re-builds Navatkuli Railway Station

Oct 17 (Island) Sampath Bank generously contributed towards the re-building of the Navatkuli Railway Station; a key station on the Yal-Devi route connecting Jaffna and Colombo which is resuming train services after a lapse of 24 years. The grandly improved station was declared open by President Rajapaksha on 13th of October, who alsopaid a memorable visit to the newly installed Sampath ATM at the premise to make a transaction. Sampath Bank took up this CSR initiative under more..

Budget 2014 must articulate sound labour market strategy

Oct 17 (DM) Treasury Secretary DR P.B Jayasundra last week highlighted the need to brand Sri Lanka as a knowledge destination. The veteran public servant knows very well that the key to improving labour market competitiveness in the economy lies in raising human resource capabilities; that is, to make appropriate investments in human capital through higher education and professional training in order to more efficiently generate and manage new technologies to create wealth. more..

'More than 50 companies in IPO pipeline'

Oct 17 (DM) As a result of the continuous awareness campaigns conducted on the benefits of listing on the CSE, there are now more than 50 companies in the pipeline seeking listings on the bourse, according to the capital market regulator. Since end-2012, SEC in collaboration with CSE has been conducting listing forums for the prospective companies in various parts of the country to create awareness on the benefits of listing. more..

'Electricity tariff reduction is cost reflective'

Oct 17 (DM) An independent study carried out by a leading energy consultant with international repute shows that the recently announced electricity tariff reduction is reflective through the reduction in cost of production and thus, could not completely attribute to merely a politically-motivated election goody as claimed by many. According to a study carried out by Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, the total cost of producing a unit of electricity is estimated to have come down by 22% for 2nd half of 2014 more..

Editorial: Resilience of terror

Oct 17 (Island) It is feared that a massacre of unprecedented proportions is waiting to happen in Kobane, a Syrian town, with the Islamic State (IS) fighters making a determined effort to march on it. The US-led coalition has chosen to fight the Jihadists from a safe distance. Having intensified its air raids during the past few days, it now claims it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the IS advance. But, the threat is far from over. More than 400,000 Kurds fearing slaughter more..