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Apollo Tyres opens branded retail outlet

Oct 17 (BS) Apollo Tyres, a leading tyre major, has opened its first branded retail outlet in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Christened as Apollo Zone, this outlet is designed to provide customers with an enhanced retail experience and a better feel of the brand and products. Apollo Zone is located in the up-market area of Galle Road in Colombo, and is operated by Apollo’s Business Partners, Ideal Wheels & Tyres. Sri Lanka has become one of the fast growing exports market for Apollo Tyres, more..

PHD gets cracking against food outlets

Oct 17 (Island) Close attention would be paid to areas vulnerable to mosquito breeding and solid waste management during the inspections carried out in hotels, restaurants and eateries, the Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department (PHD) said. PHD chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that with the govt and the CMC making preparations for the upcoming CHOGM in Sri Lanka, concerns regarding the hygienic condition of the food prepared and sold in the city were mounting. more..

Audio: Proposal will not change

Oct 17 (CG) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa says he and MP Karu Jayasuriya have agreed that future talks on the leadership issue in the UNP will not deviate from the proposals facilitated by the United Bhikku Front. Premadasa said that efforts will be made to ensure the proposals are taken forward. He said that the proposal was agreed on following talks held between himself, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP Karu Jayasuriya and more..

Harper right to boycott CHOGM

Oct 17 (GM) Stephen Harper's decision to send a relatively junior Canadian foreign affairs official to the upcoming CHOGM in Sri Lanka, in lieu of the prime minister himself attending, has ruffled more than a few feathers. But the prime minister's decision sends a robust signal of disapproval for host country Sri Lanka's poor human rights record, and a warning shot across the bow of the Commonwealth itself. The globe-spanning 53-nation body made the govt of Sri Lanka the de facto more..

Lanka must not be given Commonwealth chairmanship: HRW

Oct 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka must not be awarded the two-year chairmanship of the Commonwealth after it hosts the CHOGM summit next month, a human rights group said. Commonwealth foreign ministers, will meet on Oct 17 and 18 in London to finalise the agenda for the summit in Colombo from Nov 15-17. Rewarding Sri Lanka with the chairmanship casts serious doubts on the Commonwealth's commitment to supporting human rights and democratic reform enshrined in the Commonwealth Harare more..

ITAK-run Chava PS wants NPC to rebuild LTTE cemeteries in NP

Oct 17 (Island) The Chavakachcheri Pradeshiya Sabha on Monday passed a resolution calling for the reconstruction of LTTE cemeteries in the area, coming under the purview of the newly elected Northern Provincial Council. The ITAK run PS also decided to commemorate those who died fighting for the LTTE. The ITAK is the dominant constituent of the five-party TNA, comprising the TELO, the EPRLF, the PLOTE and the TULF. more..

Health unions threaten strike

Oct 17 (Island) The Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics yesterday warned they would resort to a countrywide strike if the Health Ministry failed to meet their demands as promised during discussions with the Health Secretary early this week. Joint Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics (JC-NPSMP), Saman Jayasekara said that the Health Secretary had pledged to more..

Economy growing at sustainable pace: Fitch

Oct 17 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economy is now growing at a sustainable pace according to Fitch Ratings, which however flagged off concerns over the country’s external finances owing to the rise in foreign debt profile. “The economy is growing at a more sustainable pace as real GDP grew 6.3% yoy in H113 and CPI inflation has moderated, rising 6.2% yoy in Q313 (vs 6.8% in Q213),” Fitch said with regard to Sri Lanka in its 2013 third quarter Asia Pacific Sovereign Credit Overview more..

Protests may force PM to skip CHOGM

Oct 17 (TOI) With voices of protest against India's participation in the CHOGM in Colombo next month growing louder, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to skip the summit. Sources said pressure from the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress and the party's erstwhile partner DMK may have prompted a rethink in the govt on the Prime Minister's participation in the biennial event. Congress and DMK leaders said there more..

Prison riot probe in limbo

Oct 17 (CT) The recommendations made by the three-member panel headed by a retired High Court Judge that inquired into the Welikada Prison riots on 9 Nov 2012, cannot be implemented as one of the panel members has disagreed with some of the recommendations made by the other two members. During the Welikada Prison riots, 27 inmates were killed and 40 were injured. When queried about the dilemma, Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera, admitted that one member had disagreed with more..

Canada Minister urges diaspora reconciliation, wants Sri Lanka to ‘succeed’

Oct 17 (LR) Sri Lanka is an important country to us, we want to see the island succeed, was the message of senior Canadian cabinet minister Jason Kenney at a recent press meeting with local reporters. The minister also highlighted the importance of reconciliation between communities within the Sri Lankan diaspora in Canada. The country is home to a large population of Sri Lankan expatriates, making the island nation a top priority in the govt foreign affairs agenda, he said. more..

UK policy on Sri Lanka timid and inconsistent, say MPs

Oct 17 (Guardian) A parliamentary committee has accused the govt of timid and inconsistent policy towards Sri Lanka, where it says there are "continuing human rights abuses". The Commons foreign affairs committee says the govt should have made Sri Lanka's bid to host the biannual summit of the Commonwealth – to be held in Colombo next month – conditional on improvements in human rights. "The UK could and should have taken more..

Oops the Central Bank did it again!

Oct 17 (DM) Oops the Central Bank did it again! On Tuesday they reduced the policy interest rates by 50 basis points to spur economic growth, making it the third time they made adjustments to the monetary policy since last December. The Monetary Policy review released by the Central Bank justified the action by pointing at the easing of inflation and the headway it has created to advance economic growth. Sri Lanka’s inflation easing to 6.2% in September from 6.3% in August. more..

National Heritage, Patriotism and Development

Oct 17 (DM) There are not many countries around the world that do not have any claim to a proud national heritage. Past achievements, proud historical traditions and persisting cultural resources, be it religion, values, food, art and crafts or architecture are all part of the national heritage of nations and states. Nationalists would rationally tap their resources and mobilise people around them in order to foster a sense of patriotism. There is almost no country in the world that does not make more..

Doctors to be taught to write legibly

Oct 17 (Island) Attorney General Palitha Fernando and Deputy Solicitor General Mrs. Dilrukshi Dias will organise a series of lectures for interns, medical officers, including consultants, on clarity of medical documentation. AG Fernando, who held a meeting with the GMOA last week on the issue, decided to initiate a training course for medical officers, interns and consultants to improve medical documentation skills. more..

No Idiri Dekma at BOI allege investors

Oct 17 (SL) Board of Investment (BOI) is alleged to have turned down a proposal by two companies that have come forward to manufacture three wheelers and motor cycles in Sri Lanka solely for the local market. Instead of encouraging investors to manufacture vehicles in Sri Lanka under the special tag ‘Made in Sri Lanka’, the BOI has reportedly turned down these two applications allegedly distorting the facts that these companies more..

NPC DISSENT to be curbed by international players

Oct 17 (DM) Usually, intra party rivalry, triggered during an election, settles down soon. But, it has boiled into a new crisis within the ruling UPFA after the Sept 21 PC Election. Meanwhile, there is a similar crisis in the TNA over the allocation of provincial minister posts. However, it is assumed that international players who made the NPC polls possible in the first place, would do everything they can to iron out these differences in the TNA. more..

Uma Oya (Phase I) project: 80% of preliminary work complete

Oct 17 (DN) 80% of preliminary work of the Uma Oya multi - purpose project phase I has been completed and plans are afoot to build the underground power house in Alikotaara in Wellawaya generating 120MW. This project funded by the Govt of Iran is aimed at power generation and irrigation of more than 6,000 hectares of land in the Moneragala and Hambantota districts. The total cost of the project is US$ 525 million. more..

Massive theft of drugs at Cancer hospital

Oct 17 (DN) The Maharagama National Cancer Hospital and centre is under investigations following allegations of massive drugs pilferage, the hospital's Director Dr. Kanishka Karunaratna said. He said, the Health Ministry has launched inquiries into these widespread allegations of theft of drugs at the hospital on his request. "I requested them to intervene in the matter and take necessary action to determine if there was an organised more..

Morris Minor: still big in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (Telegraph) I can't speak Sinhala and my attempts to pronounce the Sri Lankan place names only met with puzzled expressions. But everyone knew exactly where I wanted to go when I mentioned the 'Morris Minor Garage'. Just a few miles from the historic town of Galle, in the south of the island, where well-heeled tourists sip lattes in upmarket cafés, the company is hand-making repair panels to help keep more..

CHOGM security: Foreign intelligence scouts give green light

Oct 17 (Island) About 100 Intelligence officers, who arrived in Sri Lanka to check the security arrangement here ahead of the CHOGM in November, have confirmed to their governments that the country is safe for their leaders and other dignitaries to visit. Law and Order Ministry sources yesterday told The Island that another team was to arrive in the country to further evaluate the security situation. more..

'I'll walk all over Sri Lanka, then watch England walk all over Australia'

Oct 17 (Mirror) My toughest winter yet is almost upon me. But by the time I’ve finished another epic walk, this time in Sri Lanka, I will be able to smile in the knowledge that the Aussies will still have their own toughest test to face – and I’d rather be in my shoes. It is in those shoes that I will be pounding around one of the most beautiful islands in the world in 30 degrees-plus heat, in humidity that hovers around 98%, all for a brilliant cause. more..

Faults and frauds of a failed finance firm

Oct 17 (ST) Papers submitted to the Court of Appeal last week revealed that there had been gross financial irregularities, mismanagement and fraud — among other shortcomings — at Central Investment Finance Limited (CIFL) over a period of time. The documents also showed that the Central Bank had possessed detailed information about the company’s activities as far back as 2011. However, CIFL was allowed to canvass for and more..

Video: Wigneswaran gets all

Oct 17 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran took oaths before President Rajapaksa for his ministry portfolios a short while ago. North Province Finance and Planning, Law and Peace, Land and Road Development, Electricity, Housing and Development , Water supply , Co-operative Development, Social Services and Rehabilitation, Women Affairs, Industries and Enterprise Development, Tourist, more..

Haunted by the ghost of Khuram Shaikh

Oct 17 (CT) Khuram Shaikh, the 32-year-old Red Cross aid worker from Rochdale, England, was murdered in Tangalle on Christmas Day 2011. He was, according to reports, stabbed in the throat and shot dead after he complained about some men sexually harassing his Russian girlfriend. The UK Observer in a recent op-ed piece stated that Shaikh was allegedly killed by a figure who is a close friend of the Sri Lankan President and a key political fixer for the SLFP. more..

MR’s UPFA Becomes A Simmering Pot

Oct 17 (CT) The governing UPFA, which has been a formidable force to reckon with in the local political scene in recent times, is now showing signs of cracks with die hard SLFPers threatening to rebel. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Co., after creating frictions in the opposition political parties since assuming office first in 2005, is now facing similar issues closer to home. By initiating defections in opposition political parties, the governing UPFA built its strength. more..

WikiLeaks: UNP will have to open up to a new generation of leaders – US

Oct 17 (CT) “Wickremesinghe’s image has suffered serious damage in recent months. Most particularly, he has suffered in comparison with longtime rival President Kumaratunga, who is widely seen as dynamic and passionate. That said, Wickremesinghe should be able to weather the storm for now. In the mid- to longer term, if the party is to improve its standing, however, it will have to open up to a new generation of leaders. more..

Dayasiri highlights falling education standards

Oct 17 (Island) NorthWestern Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has said that the GCE O/L examination highlighted the falling standards in the Nikaweratiya and Mahawa education zones of the Kurunegala district. Addressing a seminar held in Kurunegala on Tuesday, CM Jayasekera said he was not happy at all with the results of science and mathematics at GCE O/L in the Nikaweratiya and Mahawa areas. He said immediate action had to be taken to reverse the trend. more..

Highland milk powder price up

Oct 17 (DM) The price of a 400 gram packet of Highland milk powder has been increased by Rs. 15, the Milco Company said. Accordingly the new price of a 400 gram packet will be Rs. 325. The company said that the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) had given it permission to increase the controlled price to Rs 325 in July, last year but it hadn’t done so until now. However, due to increased production expenses the company has now had to increase the price. more..

Video: Govt following ‘anti-people policy’

Oct 17 (AD) Tangled in a “dream” about CHOGM, the govt is now is following an “anti-people” policy by avoiding the problems of the masses, the UNP charged. Similar to the previous dreams of a “miracle” and a bright future (Suba Anagathayak), the govt is now attempting trap the people in the dream which is the CHOGM, UNP Media Spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said. He charged that the govt has no process to more..

Same engineer evaluates tenders running into billions for 20 years

Oct 17 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena said he was shocked to find that a single bio-science engineer had been sitting on a Technical Evaluation Committee which made purchases of medical equipment for govt hospitals, running into billions of rupees, consecutively for 20 years. He said anyone could understand the damage done when a single person continued to sit on a committee for two decades. The ministry called for tenders to purchase bio medical equipment for govt hospitals more..

Met Dept warns of thundershowers and very rough seas

Oct 17 (AD) The Meteorology Department forecasts fairly widespread thundershowers during the afternoon or night while fairly heavy falls are also likely at some places. There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers as inter monsoonal conditions are gradually establishing over the country with atmospheric disturbances in the vicinity, it said. Met Department requested the public to take adequate precautions to minimize the damages caused by lightning. more..

British reject claims on Lanka

Oct 17 (CG) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says it does not agree with the assessment of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) that Britain is ‘timid and inconsistent’ on the Sri Lankan issue. The FCO says it has consistently pursued progress in Sri Lanka on human rights through high-level bilateral lobbying, support for local and international NGOs on the ground and internationally through the EU more..

Asylum seeker to face sex assault trial

Oct 17 (AAP) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker will fight accusations he assaulted a sleeping woman in her university accommodation in Sydney. Daxchan Selvarajah will stand trial next year after appearing in Parramatta District Court on Thursday. He entered a formal plea of not guilty because his Tamil interpreter was not present. Selvarajah was silent as Judge Martin Sides set the trial down for September 1, 2014. Police have alleged he entered a unit in Culloden Road at Macquarie University more..

Hajj ritual interrupted

Oct 17 (CT) A ritual to be held in celebration of the Hajj festival in Ruwanwella yesterday, by the Kannattota and Bulathkohupitiya mosques, had to be cancelled due to the Ruwanwella Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) failing to issue a permit on time to slaughter 41 cattle. Opposition Leader of the PS, Mohommad Shiyam, said they had sought a licence since it involves a religious practice and added that Allah will look after those who did not let them perform the ritual. more..

'India should boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka'

Oct 17 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday said India should boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month to protest what she said was violation of human rights of Tamils there. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said: "I wish to reiterate Tamil Nadu's view that India should not participate in the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka at any level - titular, ministerial or official. more..

Man whose genitals were re-attached in marathon surgery, recovering

Oct 17 (Island) The patient whose genital organs were reattached in a marathon operation by a team of surgeons at the National Hospital last week was still recovering but the normal functioning of the organs could not be assured as yet, NHSI Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. The man, in a fit of rage with his wife, cut off his genitals with a knife last week. Dr. Jasinghe said that the operation was a medical breakthrough. The severed genital organs were successfully reattached by a team of more..

Battle against dengue: Lanka to import WHO recommended vaccine

Oct 17 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday announced that on the recommendation of the World Health Organisation a decision had been taken to import an effective vaccine capable of preventing all four types of dengue. Health experts are planning to combat the dengue virus through genetic engineering, microbiology and tetravalient (four type) vaccination. The WHO had vouched for the effectiveness of the new tetravalient vaccine, he said at a Symposium on Dengue more..

Pre-budget poll: COL handling weak, state borrowings too excessive

Oct 17 (ST) A cross-section of Sri Lankans in the island is agreed on two key economic fundamentals: The cost of living is poorly tackled and govt borrowings here and abroad are too excessive, an island-wide opinion poll shows. Minimizing corruption was also cited as a means of reducing the budget deficit. The pre-budget poll covering the districts of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Kurunegala, more..

UNP trade unionist accuses party of dereliction of duty

Oct 17 (Island) UNP trade unionist Ananda Palitha lambasted the UNP for failing to pressure the govt to remedy the worsening situation in the state-run petroleum sector. Palitha alleged that the govt wouldn’t have been able to indulge in waste, corruption and irregularities had there been a strong Opposition which could challenge the ruling coalition. Palitha claimed that the national economy was in peril due to failure on the part of the govt to take remedial action in spite of more..