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Sri Lanka rupee up on inflows into equities; stocks weaker

Oct 21 (Reuters) Rupee was firmer in morning trade on Monday due to dollar inflows from foreign buying in top conglomerate John Keells Holdings and in the absence of importer demand for the greenback. The spot rupee was trading at 130.85/130.95 per dollar at 0757 GMT, stronger from Thursday's close of 131.00/10. Markets were closed on Friday for a holiday. Dealers cited some dollar inflows from foreign buying in John Keells, which is raising $299 million through selling rights and more..

The Facebook an ‘epidemic’? Which parasites will cause the ‘pandemic’?

Oct 21 (CT) The media reports that the President has branded the facebook as an epidemic and advised school children to trust the visible gods. The million dollar question now before citizens is to identify the real parasites that may cause a pandemic, which will in turn destroy the emerging ‘Miracle of Asia’. Epidemics of infectious disease are generally caused by a change in the ecology of the host population, a genetic change in the parasite population or the introduction of more..

Trial starts of woman who faces jail for screening a Channel 4 film

Oct 21 (C4) For Lena Hendry, a mild-mannered member of a small civil rights group in Malaysia, it was just another “film night” at Kuala Lumpur’s “Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall”. Her organisation, called KOMAS, has been using the facility for years to show documentaries and movies about human rights. On the evening of 3 July, however, a number of unexpected guests turned up. 30 Malaysian policemen, govt officials more..

GMOA reminds govt. of its proposals

Oct 21 (Island) The GMOA reminded the govt that it had not yet implemented proposals submitted in 2007. GMOA president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said his association wanted the proposals implemented immediately. They are commencement of a project to send highly skilled Sri Lanka professionals abroad to serve for short periods, the introduction of a National Wage Policy similar to that of the private sector and the establishment of a professional council. more..

Kosgama OIC interdicted

Oct 21 (CG) The Officer In Charge (OIC) of the Kosgama police station, Thilina Hettiarachi, has been interdicted with immediate effect, the police media unit said today. According to the police media unit, the OIC was suspended after he had failed to follow the correct procedure when releasing a group of suspects on police bail. The nine suspects had been arrested on the charge of digging for treasure illegally. The suspects were produced before the Kosgama police. more..

Sri Lanka exports up 10.7% in August, imports down

Oct 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Export earnings during the month of August has increased by 10.7% year on year to bring in a sum of US$ 917 million, compared to US$ 828 million, earned an year ago. August exports have backed by a significant increase in earnings from agricultural exports, mainly Tea and Spices. “Earnings from exports increased for the third consecutive month in August 2013, reflecting gradual recovery in more..

A daughter of Sri Lankan Tamil to contest for Labour Party in Harrow East

Oct 21 (CT) A daughter of Sri Lankan Tamil Uma Kumaran is contesting to be the Labour Party’s Member of Parliament for the London Borough of Harrow. Kumaran was born in London and raised in Harrow, but says she comes from a strong and closely knit family from Sri Lanka. “My parents fled to Britain in the midst of a civil war, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn worked tirelessly to help them settle here. They have since worked hard to rebuild their lives and raise a family in Harrow,” more..

Private bus strike called off

Oct 21 (CT) Chairman of the Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Samantha who was accused of assaulting three private bus employees surrendered to the Marawila Police this afternoon, the Police Media Unit said. Meanwhile, President of the Private Bus Owner's Association, Gemunu Wijeratne said that the Private bus employees commenced a bus strike last night to protest against the assault. The Chairman of the Arachchikattuwa PS had assaulted three employees more..

Cops will soon be graduates

Oct 21 (DM) Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi said all police officers above the rank of Chief Inspector would be graduates in due course. He said upon the establishment of the Police Higher Training Academy in Katana, the Ministry of Law and Order would take steps to ensure that all officers took up undergraduate programmes in collaboration with foreign and local uni more..

Bank of Ceylon’s Rs. 8 bn. debt issue oversubscribed within hours

Oct 21 (N360) Sri Lanka based Bank of Ceylon’s Rs. 8 billion debt issue has been oversubscribed within hours of its opening. “We have already received Rs. 12 billion worth of applications”, Banks Senior Deputy General Manager of International, Treasury& Investment P.A. Lionel said. It was only this morning the BOC opened the subscription list to issue up to Rs. 8 billion unsecured, subordinated, redeemable debentures, which has maturity periods ranging from 5 to 10 years. more..

NPC: Dispute expected over appointment of Chairman

Oct 21 (Island) It was not clear whether the members of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) would abide by the TNA’s decision to vote in the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the assembly over a quarrel on those appointments, sources said yesterday. The ITAK has nominated two of its members, C. V. Kandiah Sivagnanam, who was elected from Jaffna as the Chairman and Antony Jeganathan, elected from Mullaithivu as Deputy Chairman, according to party sources. more..

'New SL coach should continue Ford's work'

Oct 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket would prefer a coach who is willing to continue the work Graham Ford has begun, rather than start afresh, said coach selection committee member and head selector Sanath Jayasuriya. Ford had decided to step down as national coach at the end of his tenure in Jan 2014. The board has received 11 applications but is intent on casting a wider net and has also reached out to candidates it believes to be more..

Ranil up to his old tricks - Maithri

Oct 21 (Island) UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was once again attempting to create confusion within the party by repeating his deeds of 2011, leading UNP reformist Maithri Gunaratne said. The Southern Provincial Councilor said that when Wickremesinghe was challenged by Hambantota District parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa for the party leadership in 2011, the latter had been told that he would be groomed to be the next leader of the UNP. more..

Four people set on fire

Oct 21 (CG) Four people of the same family were set on fire in Galwela this morning, the police media unit said. The police said that following a telephone call received on the 119 emergency hotline, a police team was sent to a house in the area. At the house the police found that a woman, her mother and two young children had been set on fire after pouring petrol. The suspect who committed the crime is believed to be the second husband of the woman. All four victims are now receiving treatment at more..

Blessing for successful CHOGM

Oct 21 (IL) A special Ashirvada Pooja to invoke blessings for the success of the oncoming CHOGM in Sri Lanka was held at Sri Sambodhi Viharaya in Gregory’s Road, Colombo-7 on Saturday evening. The Ashirvada Pooja was also held to invoke blessings on all Sri Lankans including the govt led by President Rajapaksa who participated in the religious observance. The event was organised by the Chief Incumbent of more..

Dy. Speaker urges UK political parties not to be prejudiced

Oct 21 (Island) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday alleged that those who had been vigorously complaining about the rapidly deteriorating post-war human rights record here were never bothered as long as they believed the LTTE had the battlefield initiative. Galle District MP Weerakkody said that a section of the international community was working overtime to embarrass the govt in the run-up to the CHOGM in Colombo next month. more..

2014 Appropriation Bill will be presented tomorrow

Oct 21 (GDI) The Appropriation Bill for 2014 will be presented to the parliament tomorrow. President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance will present the 2014 Budget to parliament on November 21. The debate on the second reading of the Budget will commence the following on 22nd November and will continue until the 29th of November. The Committee Stage debate will continue till December 20, with the final vote scheduled for that day. more..

Sri Lanka raises defence budget despite pressure

Oct 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's govt Monday raised defence spending to a record $1.95 billion, despite international pressure to scale down the military after ending a decades-long separatist war. Figures presented in parliament showed the defence ministry getting its highest ever allocation for spending in 2014, marginally higher than the 249 billion rupees budgeted for this year. The latest figures were unveiled as the UNHRC and more..

Cars and vans to be charged Rs.300 toll on Colombo-Katunayaka expressway

Oct 21 (AD) A toll of Rs.300 will be charged for cars, jeeps and small vans on the Colombo-Katunayake expressway from Peliyagoda to Katunayake while lorries and buses will be charged Rs. 600, the Highways Ministry stated. A fare of Rs.200 will be charged for vehicles traveling from Ja-Ela to Katunayake or Peliyagoda. Furthermore, the expressway will be open for public viewing within the next three days, the Ministry added.

Iran, Sri Lanka Vow to Boost Trade Ties

Oct 21 (FNA) Iranian and Sri Lankan officials on Monday agreed to boost export of agricultural products from Iran’s Southern Hormozgan province. The agreement was reached in a meeting between Deputy Hormozgan Governor General Latif Sadeqi and Sri Lankan Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Feisal Razin in the Southern city of Bandar Abbas on Monday. “Hormozgan has excess production of onion, pepper, tomato and aborigine which can be exported to Sri Lanka,” Sadeqi said. more..

Learn to keep your friends close

Oct 21 (Hindu) Were PM Manmohan Singh to stay away from the CHOGM summit in Colombo next month, it would not only be perceived as a snub by Sri Lanka but would damage Delhi’s soft-power projection in its own environs and prove deleterious to India’s interests. India has just scored a singular achievement in reactivating the NPC. That should have been sufficient for New Delhi to face down pressure from Tamil Nadu more..

What is Karu?

Oct 22 (NS) Many believe that Karu Jayasuriya is an umbrella under which many factions of the UNP can work together with the aim of forming a govt within the next two years. It is true that Jayasuriya is appealing to the Sinhala-Buddhist elements which have become the decisive factor as far as election results are concerned, especially in the post-2005 Sri Lanka. He is a man of a clean track record, whose name remains unstained with bribery and corruption allegations, more..

Karu, Sajith lack political acumen

Oct 22 (NS) In the tragi-comedy that is now the UNP, party faithfuls are busy trying to hammer out the details of a ‘Leadership Council’. It appears to be more an attempt to allow Ranil Wickremesinghe to retain power, rather than an effort to introduce reforms that would save the UNP. The UNP is in a downward spiral. Under the machinations of the UPFA and pitted against the popularity of President Rajapaksa, it is at risk of becoming a nominal opposition instead of being an alternative more..

CHOGM will showcase Lanka’s potential to global community

Oct 22 (SO) One of the three key components of the CHOGM will be the civil society represented by the Commonwealth People's Forum (CPF) to be held in the run-up to the main CHOGM summit. As well as the Youth Forum and the Business Forum, which would play an important role in shaping the outcome of the Commonwealth Heads main summit - the policy document that outlines the goals of the Commonwealth more..

Wigneswaran’s seven precepts and the missing one

Oct 22 (CT) The word precept means ‘a general rule intended to guide or regulates behavior or thought.’ In his inaugural speech, the Honorable CM Mr. Wigneswaran has set seven precepts for the elected officials of the NPC. He said “At this juncture, I consider it appropriate to put forward Seven Principles that are emphasized in public life.” Those are (1) Selflessness, (2) Integrity, (3) Objectivity, (4) Accountability, (5) Openness, (6) Honesty and (7) Leadership. more..

Waking up from the 1930s in Victoria Park

Oct 22 (CT) Chip Van Pimple awoke on damp grass under a spreading flamboyant tree. He was covered with flamboyants and leaves. Brushing aside the vegetable debris, he was wondering where he was. He had been the day before at the Royal-Thomian played at the SSC played opposite St Bridgets. After the match he was celebrating the victory of his old school drinking merrily singing old and bawdy songs. And when the celebrations were over, he found that he had missed the last bus. more..

Arugam Bay: An exotic, eclectic experience

Oct 22 (ST) The unusually large waves, bellowing like blue behemoths performing a roaring symphony to an enraptured audience of the sun’s finest rays, draped in gold and crimson garments. The droves of surfers, carrying their sea-scarred boards along the deep dunes while gazing toward the water in anticipation of the battles ahead. The uncomplicated cabanas and roadside shops, filled with people wearing bright more..

Much ado about CHOGM

Oct 22 (CT) Much has been said concerning Sri Lanka hosting the approaching CHOGM. A significant part of the discussion has been with regard to Canada’s decision to boycott CHOGM. In his official statement Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that: “When Sri Lanka was selected to host the 2013 CHOGM, Canada was hopeful that the Sri Lankan Govt would seize the opportunity to improve human rights conditions and take steps towards reconciliation and accountability. more..

Resolve the land rights problems in the North

Oct 22 (CT) According to information from NGOs working in the Vavuniya District there are several inter-ethnic problems relating to the ownership of land in the Vavuniya and Mannar Districts. Fifty years ago before the War the Nedunkerny area was thick jungle and so were the banks of the Ma Oya which serves as the boundary between the Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts. During the war these lands came to be occupied illegally by the Tamils from the northern side and the Sinhalese more..

Sri Lankan activists still 'disappeared'

Oct 22 (TA) The voice on the other end of the line was clear and menacing. "Are you going to remove Lalith from Jaffna, or do you want us to eliminate him? "When Lalith's father, Arumugam Veeraraja, received the call from an unknown number one afternoon in Nov 2011, he started shaking. He told the caller: "Please. I'm just a working man. Please don't take my son. "His plea was in vain. Two weeks later, his 28-year-old more..

Editorial: Netting financial whales

Oct 22 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight for the US banking giant, JP Morgan’s woes. It does not rain but it pours, as they say. As if the staggering legal costs (about USD 10 billion) it has so far had to bear were not enough, it is very likely to be made to cough up another whopping USD 13 billion if it is to have the on-going probes into its questionable deals stopped, according to international media reports quoting well-informed financial experts. However, its plight may not end there. more..

Coal vs. Renewable Energy: A debate of false choices

Oct 22 (Island) Over the past year, there has been a vigorous debate arguing the merits of coal as the power generation fuel of choice and questioning why the CEB should be purchasing power from non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE). These arguments have been put forth by key Govt officials as well as eminent energy experts. Principal argument put forth is that the cost to CEB of coal power is less than from NCRE, and that more NCRE electricity will increase electricity tariffs. more..

Crown on casino criticism: More politics than commercial realities

Oct 22 (FT) World famous gaming and leisure brand Crown yesterday viewed criticism against the proposed $ 400 million integrated resort in Sri Lanka as having more to do with politics than commercial realities. “It is disappointing to hear those claims which seem more about politics than the commercial realities that relate to this globally competitive business,” Crown Resorts Executive Vice President Todd Nisbet said. more..

SLC explains why Nishantha attended ICC Board Meeting

Oct 22 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket in a media release said its Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga attended the ICC Board Meeting in London instead of President Jayantha Dharmadasa because the President had been advised by doctors not to travel out of the country. However, SLC failed to explain why Ranatunga continues to attend the ICC CEO’s meetings for the last four years instead of proven men such as Duleep Mendis, Ajit Jayasekara and Ashley de Silva. Mendis, country’s more..

Cricket magic continues, but the illusion remains

Oct 22 (ST) At the beginning they were all up there on the branches –– high up in the trees. From where they were perched they could see the distance and with what they saw they kept moving and eased their appetite and hunger. Of them, there was one sub-species who challenged the status quo. Though they could have seen the distance from up there, these beings just had the inclination that there would be more beyond the horizon and they descended from their comfort zone and began a long more..

'Govt. has discarded us like a rotten piece of fish'

Oct 22 (CT) The JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, believes it was a team of high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Finance, led by Secretary, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, who misled President Rajapaksa, into introducing the Strategic Development Project Bill, which will be presented in Parliament on Wednesday. He believe the project would see the total ruination of the country in the years to come. more..

Two international soccer stadiums at USD 115m

Oct 22 (ST) The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has made arrangements to construct two World class soccer stadiums in Colombo and Negombo at a cost of US dollars 115 million with the assistance of FIFA. President of the FFSL Ranjith Rodrigo said that the main idea in constructing these two stadiums is to improve the technical aspect and competition levels of the Sri Lankan players. He emphasized that as Sri Lanka is lacking in proper international class venues more..

Carrom: Lankan contingent off to India

Oct 22 (ST) For the first time after many months Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) are set to compete at two different competitions. The CFSL owed Hotel Galadari as sum of Rs. 700,000 after hosting the 5th World Carrom Championship held in Colombo in Nov 2012, and hotel was to sue them. “If not for the timely intervention of the Ministry of Sports, we would have been in deep trouble. We received a telephone call from the Ministry saying that our request, seeking financial assistance more..

Greg Chappell declines SL coaching offer

Oct 22 (IC) Just days after an Indian news report claimed Greg Chappell was in line to become Sri Lanka's next head coach, ESPNCricinfo reports that Chappell has turned down the offer. The 65-year-old Chappell has turned down the offer from SLC "citing family reasons," the report published earlier today stated. Sri Lanka's current coach South African Graham Ford stated last month that he would not be seeking an extension to his more..