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120,000 persons poisoned every year

Oct 28 (CT) Approximately 120,000 people are poisoned, and nearly 1,500 cases of deaths due to poisoning are reported in Sri Lanka every year, the Ministry of Health revealed. Ministry also said nearly 50,000 cases of poisoning due to consuming pesticides while 45,000 are due to snake bites. 20,000 people die due to the intake of drugs that poison their system. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has declared 28 Oct to 3 Nov as 'Poison Prevention Week' in response to the more..

Charles will not launch university

Oct 28 (CG) The British High Commission in Colombo has denied reports that Prince Charles will inaugurate the new University of Central Lancashire campus during his upcoming visit to Colombo. The High Commission says while it is aware of media reports that he will attend the event, it is not, and nor has it been, a part of the Prince’s programme. State mediahad recently reported that President Rajapaksa and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales will lay the foundation stone for the branch more..

UN rapp slams Lankan prisons

Oct 28 (CG) The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo says in some Sri Lankan prisons, cells are infested with rats; beds, mats and pillows are often lacking; and no fans are provided even when temperatures climb to dangerous levels. Manjoo has said this in a report on the ‘Causes, Conditions and Consequences of Women’s Incarceration’ submitted to the UN General Assembly, the Office of more..

Sri Lankan to join Oneworld in early 2014

Oct 28 (BT) Sri Lankan Airlines will become a Oneworld member in early 2014, it has been announced. The carrier became a member elect of the alliance last year. It will be supported through the alliance implementation programme by its sponsor, Cathay Pacific. Sri Lankan already maintains a code-sharing partnership with another Oneworld member, Malaysia Airlines, and has also announced similar agreements with Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. more..

GMOA to carry out Island wide strike

Oct 28 (CT) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) is to carry out an Island wide strike on 04 November over several demands, the GMOA told Ceylon Today Online. GMOA further said that an agreement had been made 2 years ago with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs to promote Doctors, but however it had not been carried out as yet. The GMOA added that the Island wide strike will be carried out to demand for the more..

Firing on fishermen: Jayalalithaa asks PM to ensure de-escalation

Oct 28 (PTI) Terming the latest attack on TN fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy as a "belligerent" act and an "aggressive posture", Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today urged PM Manmohan Singh to take up the matter personally at the highest level in the island nation to ensure "immediate de-escalation". Condemning the October 26 firing on the fishermen, who escaped unhurt while fishing near Danushkodi, more..

Delegate and Media Registration for CHOGM 2013 Extended

Oct 28 (PRIU) The deadline for registration for both delegates and media professionals to attend the CHOGM 2013 has been extended. Interested applicants can register online through the official CHOGM 2013 website: . Access to all CHOGM 2013 meeting and event venues will be controlled by accreditation passes which will be issued to accredited persons on arrival in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For all accreditation-related enquiries, please call +94117575225 or more..

Punch up at the Bentota Pradeshiya Sabha

Oct 28 (DM) A tense atmosphere prevailed at the finance committee meeting of the Bentota Pradeshiya Sabha this morning due to an altercation between the PS Chairman Gayan Sirimana and the Vice Chairman Ranjith Wickremesinghe that led to fisticuffs. The vice chairman said that the chairman assaulted him and broke his teeth. The chairman denied the allegation and said he had an argument with the vice chairman and that he did not assault him. But he said that he warned more..

India should maintain ties with Lanka: Aiyar

Oct 28 (PTI) Virtually opposing calls for India's boycott of the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar today said it was essential to maintain ties with the neighbour with the ongoing New Delhi-sponsored rehabilitation works for Tamils in Sri Lanka. The former Union minister said the TN Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution urging India to boycott the CHOGM more..

Govt. treading tightrope on casino issue

Oct 29 (NS) Plans by the govt to invite Australian business magnate James Packer to set up a 400 million dollar, 450 room casino and hotel complex in Colombo ran into controversy this week, compelling the govt to put the relevant gazette regulations on hold. Packer, Australia’s third richest man, proposes to create a casino operating on the styles of his famous ‘Crown’ casino in Melbourne, that country’s flagship gaming resort. In return, he projects employment for 2,500 persons more..

Sri Lanka’s electricity saga Twists and turns

Oct 29 (NS) In a recent letter Transparency International Sri Lanka requested Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka to reduce electricity tariff citing the 25 billion rupee profit made by CEB due to the increased hydro potential. Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Senior Manager, Public Relations, Shan Wijethunge explained that the hydro potential has increased in the first half of the year. “Expected hydropower generation has been 2800 GWh (Giga Watt hours). more..

Colombo in full swing for CHOGM

Oct 29 (SO) Traffic congestion, half-done pavements and roads filled with dust from construction sites are a common site in Colombo these days. Hundreds of labourers are working round the clock to complete beautifying the city for the upcoming CHOGM next month. Many people are bewildered as to how the work could be completed as many roads are in disarray. But the engineers of the Colombo Municipal Council who are more..

Mathata Thitha, a complete flop

Oct 29 (CT) Amidst heated arguments on casinos, the govt last week submitted its planned expenditure of Rs 1.5 trillion for the forthcoming year and the lawmakers from the ruling Party as well as the Opposition for once showed unity in passing the Convention Against Doping in Sports Bill. Amidst all the usual drama, the opening of the giant LED screen at the Jayanthipura vehicle park, where the public is allowed to watch live proceedings, was declared open by Speaker Rajapasksa. more..

Manmohan Singh may make a nominal presence at CHOGM

Oct 29 (CT) The main sensational topic that took centre stage in political circles and the public domain last week was the move by the govt to launch two casino projects in the heart of Colombo. Mass media, at the beginning of the week, heralded the topic by breaking the news that the Bill relating to the proposed two casino projects had already been placed in the Order Book and a two-day debate on the Bill would begin in Parliament on Thursday. Meanwhile, a statement reportedly made by more..

Diaspora Diaries: Reflections of the filmmaker

Oct 29 (GV) Kannan Arunasalam is a documentary filmmaker and narrative journalist. He was born in Jaffna, grew up in London, and returned to Sri Lanka in 2005. This year, International Alert commissioned Kannan to make filmed portraits of Sri Lankan diaspora members, to illustrate the potential of diaspora to inspire peace and reconciliation in their countries of heritage. In this piece, Kannan takes us behind the more..

The electoral victory of the ITAK and the question of self-determination

Oct 29 (CT) The Question of Self-Determination remains at the very center of politics in Lanka. The electoral victory of the ITAK has intensified the polarization over the question of Self-Determination. The polarization is sharply demarcated. The defense of the prevailing status quo wherein absolute power is vested in the Unitary State and concentrated in the Executive Presidency at one pole; The demand for devolving and sharing State power; Or otherwise, the right to secede, at the other. more..

SLIC Managing Director and top managers to be removed

Oct 29 (ST) Unions at the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) have been, for the second time in two weeks, assured that SLIC top management including the managing director would be removed due to alleged corruption and mismanagement. This assurance was given by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera during a 90-minute meeting with the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) Trade Union Alliance on Wednesday at the Finance Ministry. Two weeks back, on October 10th too more..


Oct 29 (ST) “The lake is only a short hike into the forest, I can show you!” the ranger said. And so we went from the little town of Deniyaya to the edge of the Sinharaja rainforest, a World Heritage Site for its amazing variety of life. I put liquid soap on my shoes to deter the leeches and with a machete, the ranger cuts a path through the dense undergrowth. I wonder how in this environment anyone can find his way. more..

Obama’s Snoop-gate

Oct 29 (Island) The trans-Atlantic eavesdropping scandal has taken a dramatic turn with a German newspaper claiming that US President Barack Obama approved the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. The notorious snooping op which began in 2002, when she was in the Opposition, allegedly lasted until President Obama’s visit to Germany last June. Worse, according to leaked intelligence documents, the National Security Agency (NSA) used the more..

The rational quest for mutually beneficial solutions starts now

Oct 29 (Island) The inauguration of the Northern Provincial Council took place in its newly constructed building in Jaffna. Protocol was followed and the Governor of the Northern Province was accorded his due place in the opening ceremony, notwithstanding repeated demands by TNA leaders to replace the former General with a person drawn from civilian life. Photographs in the media showed the Governor in the middle flanked by the Chief Minister and TNA leaders. more..

Sri Lankan schoolchildren miss out on sanitation gains

Oct 29 (IRIN) Nearly one million schoolchildren - about a third of the school-age population in Sri Lanka - do not have safe sanitation, despite the island’s overall sanitation coverage reaching near 89% of the population. Nearly 1,300 out of 9,500 primary and secondary schools surveyed in 2011 (one million schoolchildren), and around 180,000 families nationwide, do not have access to a sanitary way of disposing of their faeces, more..

The falling rate of profit thesis revisited

Oct 29 (CT) A secular decline in the rate of profit is again driving the global economy to crisis just as it did in the decades of the 1990s and 2000s culminating in the 2008 catastrophe. The falling rate of profit (FRP) thesis, one of Marx’s key hypotheses, is unfolding now 150 years after it was enunciated, but interwoven with globalisation. He could not possibly have foreseen the twist due to globalisation. The thesis, in Volume 3 of Kapital, was written before Volume 1 and figuratively speaking, more..

Fiji vies for bigger trade, ultimate FTA

Oct 29 (FT) The latest economy to vie for a Free Trade Agreement with SL is no less than the rugby loving ‘Gateway to the Pacific’. “We are trying to expand trade with SL. We are very keen to see our trade levels with Sri Lanka shall increase. Though we are a small economy, we are the gateway to Pacific region and the region’s hub. Even the larger Papua New Guinea buys its necessities from us. Even an ultimate FTA with SL can boost our bilateral trade and strengthen trade relations,” more..

Accountability: An alien word to SLC

Oct 29 (Island) Mismanagement and waste are daily occurrences at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The latest drawback to the cash strapped sports body is the out of court settlement it has reached with sacked coach Geoff Marsh. The Ashes winning former coach had sued SLC for a sum of 250,000 US$ and the board has opted for an out of court settlement that has cost them 100,000 US$. For an institution that is struggling to settle more..

Business Forum with Czech Delegation

Oct 29 (Island) A business forum and a B2B session with a business delegation from Czech Republic organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka in association with the Embassy of Czech Republic in New Delhi and Czech Chamber of Commerce will be held at the National Chamber Auditorium No 450, D R Wijewardana Mawatha, Colombo 10 on Wednesday (6). Czech Republic delegation will be led by Jan Kohout, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic. more..

Cock fighting den raided, five arrested

Oct 29 (Island) Wennappuwa police on Sunday raided a cock fighting arena at Boralessa and took into custody five gamblers, two cockerels and several dozen vehicles. They also arrested the man who operated the illegal business on a coconut estate in the area. Police said that dozens of other gamblers, on seeing the police surround the place, had taken to their heels leaving their vehicles behind. The raid had been conducted by the Inspector of Wennapuwa police on a tip-off. more..

$ 272 m Chinese boost for Southern Railway

Oct 29 (FT) The US$ 272 million Chinese-funded Southern Railway Project, which includes the longest tunnel in Sri Lanka, kicked off yesterday, amidst praise for the Chinese Govt by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. Chamal Rajapaksa was the main guest at the event, which took place in the southern town of Beliatta. “We are thankful to the Chinese Govt that has enabled us to do these large-scale infrastructure projects. more..

Envoy restores SL kids’ links to home

Oct 29 (DS) The ambassador of Sri Lanka picked up a pink Hello Kitty eraser and smiled, replacing it on the desk of a fidgeting 5-year-old. Over the past two years, Ranjith Gunaratna has become something of an expert in children’s school supplies, from neon Spongebob backpacks to Smurfette pencil cases. Since January 2012, Gunaratna and his wife Wasantha have taught a language and culture course for young Sri Lankans in Lebanon each Sunday. The children chat with each other more..

Top delegation from Israel for CBF

Oct 29 (FT) A top delegation of high-end business personalities from varied sectors from Israel will be attending the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) from 12 to 14 Nov. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Sarath Wijesinghe said the Israel team represents sectors such as agriculture, tourism, dairy, technology and construction. “Israelis are renowned for their cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking and will most certainly benefit from their participation at the CBF, more..

Cinnamon Air opens terminal in BIA

Oct 29 (DN) The first domestic air terminal at the BIA developed by Cinnamon Air at a cost of Rs. 20 million was opened by President Rajapaksa on Sunday. Cinnamon Air is jointly owned by JKH (40%), Mercantile Merchant Bank (31%) and Phoenix Ventures, the holding company of Brandix holding the balance 29%. The airline also has its own hangar at Katunayake equipped with state-of-the-art maintenance facilities. more..

Port, Peliyagoda cargo rail link soon

Oct 29 (DN) Sri Lanka will seek the assistance of an overseas sister port to act as a feeder port said Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola. Speaking at the 41st anniversary get-together of the Institute of Supply Management (ISMM) at the Grand Oriental Hotel, he said this will help the industry for better networking and will also bring in numerous benefits for stakeholders. “It would also help to ease congestion at the Colombo Port,” he said. more..

Ranil reneged on his pledge to step down

Oct 29 (CT) A blatant attempt is being made by Ranil Wickremesinghe to undermine, and renege on all the promises he had made to the 12 Nayake Theras of the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF), the National Organizer of the UBF, Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera, said. In an interview to the Sunday Times, he had said that he had never agreed in the presence of the UBF that he would step down as the Leader of the UNP. He had further reiterated that he would continue to be the more..

UNP plans massive protest on Nov 7

Oct 29 (FT) The UNP internally fractured over its leadership is planning to hold a massive protest campaign in Colombo to protest against the govt on several issues. The demonstration, against the govt’s casino bill and several other current issues, will be held on 7 Nov at 3 p.m. in front of the Fort Railway Station in Colombo, General Secretary of UNP Tissa Attanayake said. The party will join hands more..

MLTs threaten strike over their allowances

Oct 29 (Island) Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) warned that they would resort to a countrywide strike on Friday if the govt failed to rectify several allowance anomalies, which include the disturbance, availability and transport (DAT) allowance. General Secretary, of the Association of Govt Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLA-GMLT), Wasantha Gunawardhane said they wanted the allowances proportionally increased in line with those of medical officers. more..

Centre’s stand on Lanka meet flayed

Oct 29 (Hindu) The Tirunelveli Corporation Council, at a meeting here on Monday, unanimously passed a resolution condemning India’s decision to participate in the CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka. Earlier reading the resolution that condemned External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid for having planned to participate in the CHOGM, even as the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a resolution against India’s participation in the biennial summit, Mayor Vijila Sathyananth charged that more..

The case for making it to Colombo

Oct 29 (Hindu) In the first line of his first speech on Indian foreign policy in 1946, India’s soon-to-be first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, pledged to adhere to the principle of “full participation in international conferences.” Nehru was referring to the fact that India, which was still not a full member of multilateral forums, would no longer be a colonial ‘dependent’ nation. Despite the different context today, it is that speech of more..

UNP backs TNA’s call for civil Governor

Oct 29 (FT) UNP says it supports the call by the TNA for a civil Governor for the Northern Province. UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said the Governor of the Northern Province should not be a former military person, but a civilian. He explained that the Northern Provincial Council and the Governor of the Province would be able to work better if the Governor is a civilian. The UNP, according to Attanayake would support the TNA in its request for a civil Governor. more..

Susantha quits athletics tour to India in protest

Oct 29 (Island) Reputed schools athletics coach Susantha Fernando of Ratnayake Central, Walala has withdrawn his name as an official (coach) from the Sri Lanka Junior Athletics team touring India for the forthcoming South Asian Junior Athletics Championships. Fernando, who is also the secretary of the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association (SLSAA), has done so to protest against appointing Anil Weerasinghe, a committee member of the Sri Lanka Athletics Association (SLAA) more..

Murder probe as Sri Lankan stabbed to death while out delivering pizzas

Oct 29 (YP) A Sri Lankan pizza delivery man who came to England to earn money to support his family has been murdered while out working in South Yorkshire. Thavisha Peiris, who moved to Sheffield two-and-a-half years ago to study at university, was found dead late on Sunday night. Police have launched a murder investigation over the death of the “calm and quiet” 25-year-old Buddhist, who is originally from Colombo. more..

No toll-free rides for ambulances

Oct 29 (CT) No vehicles, including ambulances, will be allowed to enter the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway without paying the toll, Ports and Highways Project Minister, Nirmala Kotelawala, said. He said as a policy, the ministry does not allow any vehicle to operate on the expressways, without paying the toll. "This is the same policy with regard to the Southern Expressway. There will be no change to this policy when it comes to the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway," he added. more..