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Tobacco companies issued ‘license to kill’

Oct 3 (AD) A group of Buddhist leaders today urged the President to use his executive powers to put an end to the drug menace which they say is claiming more lives than the country’s war against terrorism. The ‘Mahinda Chintana’ policy introduced during the 2005 Presidential Election pledged to eradicate the drug menace in Sri Lanka within 3 years, through the implementation of the Mathata Thitha programme, Chairman of more..

Fist swinging UPFA UC member out on bail

Oct 3 (Island) UPFA Maharagama Urban Council member Nishantha Wimalachandra, who was charged with assault, was enlarged on personal bail in Rs. 25,000 yesterday by the Gangodawila Magistrate. Wimalachandra, who was accused of assaulting the Maharagama Divisional Secretariat’s Assistant Director of Planning Amal Shantha Ranaweera, on Tuesday, surrendered to the police through a lawyer the same evening. The Magistrate directed the matter to a Mediation Board more..

The Puttalam discovery proves what?

Oct 3 (CT) In what could easily be termed a delayed sequel to an emerging Sri Lankan post-election phenomenon, several bundles of marked, ostensibly counted, ballot papers were discovered at a school in Puttalam, in the immediate aftermath of the provincial polls. The discovery, contentious as it is, is reminiscent of a similar detection in the aftermath of the 2010 Presidential Election, where 67 ballot papers, all marked for the common consensus candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, more..

Sri Lanka to set standards for LED lighting

Oct 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka will set standards for energy saving light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, paving the way to end high taxes on the product, an official said. "We working on setting up standards so that imported and domestically produced LED lighting," Harsha Wickramasinghe, deputy director general of Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) said. "At the moment there are no standards anywhere." more..

Two Sri Lankan refugees, ferry operator held

Oct 3 (PTI) Two Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and a ferry operator from the island nation were on Thursday nabbed by customs officials when the trio were moving in suspicious circumstances, police said. The duo from Melur refugee camp in Madurai district were found moving around in suspicious circumstances near the shore and gave evasive replies to questions, following which they were arrested, police said. The ferry operator was nabbed just after he had arrived at Arichalmunai more..

Cobra girl pleads guilty; fined Rs. 100

Oct 3 (DM) Nirosha Wimalaratne, known as the Cobra girl, who was arrested for keeping a snake in her possession at a night club in Kollupitiya today pleaded guilty of the charges and was sentenced to three months imprisonment suspended for five years by the Colombo Court Magistrate. She was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 100. A warrant was issued and thereafter recalled after she filed a motion at the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court last week. The Magistrate delivering his judgment more..

Mother tongue, Religion and History compulsory for International schools

Oct 3 (DM) The Education Ministry sought Cabinet approval to make it compulsory to teach the Mother Tongue, Religion and Sri Lankan History in international schools operating in the country, Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 students study at these schools in the country. Most international schools train students for international exams. Minister said he submitted a Cabinet memorandum last week more..

NCP CM’s bodyguards assault UPFA PS member

Oct 3 (Island) Thalawa Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA member Senarath Baddegama has alleged that a gang led by two bodyguards of North-Central Province Chief Minister S. M. Ranjith Samarakoon assaulted him and three others at the Provincial Council Secretariat in Anuradhapura on Wednesday. He has claimed that the attackers warned them that they should be careful now that their benefactor, one-time chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake, was dead. more..

Minister for legalising kasippu

Oct 3 (CG) Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama has called for legalizing moonshine (kasippu) production. Speaking at an event in Colombo today he said that legalizing moonshine production and imposing a tax will help meet the govt’s financial income targets. The authorities conduct raids on moonshine production locations often found to be operating deep inside a jungle. He recalled that late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle had also proposed that moonshine production be legalized. more..

Woman ends her life during Skype chat

Oct 3 (CT) A woman has committed suicide during an online chat with her husband, following an argument. The deceased, a resident of Batticaloa, had been chatting on Skype with her husband, who is employed in Qatar, and had taken her life after turning the camera towards her. The incident had occurred on 29 Sept around 2:30 p.m. The couple had got into an argument after the wife had seen her husband in a drunken state. more..

Magistrate orders destruction of food past shelf life

Oct 3 (Island) The Maligakanda Magistrate, on Tuesday, ordered the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to destroy food items, worth millions of rupees, found to be past their shelf life. The Magistrate ordered the CAA to confiscate 600 litres of tomato and soya sauce as labels indicating expiry dates had been altered. The businessman who pleaded guilty to the charge of altering the date, was fined Rs. 190,000. The raid was conducted by the CAA on an importer’s warehouse complex in more..

Five cops assault Police Training School lecturer

Oct 3 (Island) A group of policemen attached to the Kahathuduwa police is alleged to have assaulted a visiting lecturer of the Police Training School (PTS), Kalutara. The victim, Aruna Liyanage, said that the policemen led by a Sub Inspector had assaulted him at his residence in Polgasowita, on Sept. 29, before taking him to police station where they continued to assault him. At the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, where he was receiving treatment, Liyanage alleged that a Sub Inspector more..

Health Ministry lifts ban on 4 Indian firms

Oct 3 (AD) The Ministry of Health has decided to temporarily lift the ban imposed on purchasing of medicinal drugs from 4 Indian pharmaceutical companies, which have supplied substandard drugs to Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Health on Sept 15 announced that it has suspended importing 122 kinds of medicinal drugs from the companies: Laborate, Vivek, Bafna and Elysium Pharma with immediate effect. more..

Govt. has neglected children – JVP

Oct 3 (Island) The govt had offered tax concessions to international casino giants to set up their businesses here, but it had not provided relief to the poor children of the country, a pro–JVP women’s organisation charged. Vice President of the Women for Rights, Samanmalee Gunasinghe, said that the govt should give tax concessions for at least children’s food, stationery and drugs without further delay. "Currently, there are no essential drugs for children at govt hospitals and parents have to more..

Viyangoda demands 500M from ITN

Oct 3 (SM) The prominent writer and political critic Mr. Gamini Viyangoda has sent a letter of demand to the ITN channel seeking 500 Million Rupees as compensation for the slanderous accounts made by the said channel against his good name, while reporting about the prohibition of the movie "Flying Fish". The news feature was broadcasted in the ITN evening news reading on the 14,15 and 16th July which accused him of involving in the conspiracy against Sri Lanka by more..

Dead make way for development work

Oct 3 (DM) The remains of thirty-five bodies buried in the Kolonna Public Cemetery were exhumed on a court order and buried in a mass grave at the Maduwangala public cemetery amid a large gathering. A two-acre land of the public cemetery near the Kolonna hospital was acquired for the proposed town development project under the “Pura Neguma” programme funded by the ADB. Meanwhile the Pradeshiya Sabha decided more..

Kelaniya undergrads take their struggle to Kiribathgoda

Oct 3 (Island) Kelaniya University undergraduates who went into occupation of the Students’ Centre, claiming that there was no security for them at C.W.W. Kannangara hostel in Polhena, yesterday started collecting public signatures at the Kiribathgoda town, demanding a hostel inside the university. President of the Students’ Council Kingsley Gunaratne said that they had suspended their protests until the scheduled meeting with the Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of more..

Navy dispatch ship to rescue vessel following SOS

Oct 3 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, Sagara has been dispatched to rescue around 65 persons stranded in the south western deep seas. The multi-day trawler, which had carried the people, is named “Dinuja Putha” and it had developed mechanical problems while in the sea between Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The incident had been reported to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) by a local fishing boat, having spotted the drifting vessel more..

MasterCard adds more benefits for cardholders in Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (4T) With the growing purchasing power of Sri Lankans, and the increase in international travel, MasterCard is looking to rapidly expand its domestic presence and offer a range of benefits to cardholders traveling abroad. Sri Lanka is an important market for MasterCard within the South Asia region. "With an increasing affluent class in Sri Lanka, we see a great opportunity to collaborate with leading domestic banks and more..

Sri Lanka to play four-day tournament in place of Zimbabwe tour

Oct 3 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has announced a triangular four-day tournament to begin on October 8, which effectively replaces the postponed Test tour of Zimbabwe. The tournament features Sri Lanka's Test side and its best first class talent. Two of the matches will be played at the Sinhala Sports Club grounds and the third at the P Saravanamuttu Oval. The Board XI - which is largely comprised of Sri Lanka's Test players - will play a Sri Lanka A team and a Development team, more..

Navy commissions deployment in the East

Oct 3 (SLN) Naval Deployment Pulmudei located in the Eastern Naval Area was commissioned as ‘SLNS Ranweli’ by Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage on 01st October 2013. President of the Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Srima Colombage, Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe, senior naval officers attached to the NHQ and the Eastern Naval Command were also present on the occasion. In keeping with naval traditions, more..

Divi Neguma Phase 5 begins on the 11th

Oct 3 (MEA) Phase five of the Divi Neguma National Programme will commence with the planting of trees island-wide on October 11 at the auspicious time of 10.11. President Rajapaksa will preside over the tree-planting campaign which will cover 14,008 Grama Seva areas in 324 Secretarial Divisions, targeting the Maha Season. The First Phase of Divi Neguma programme – the theme of which is a prosperous motherland – more..

Good roads look for good drivers

Oct 4 (NS) The central hills are famous for lush green hills, and winding roads. From the early days these hills and the surrounding lake is what stood high as strong defenses to protect the hill capital from foreign invasions. Entering and leaving the hill country was not an easy task in the past and also involved many a risk. With time and development, these risks are no longer considered risks or barriers. With development came better roads and transport became easier and more more..

Govt too needs a Sampanthan

Oct 4 (NS) Many claim that the reason behind the TNA’s resounding victory in the North is nationalistic inclination of Jaffna Tamils that was aroused to a large extent by pro-LTTE propaganda. Among the Sinhala community, a perception has already been created that Tamils, as a collective, have voted for the ‘nation’, while the Sinhalese are burying themselves in the mud pool of preferential votes. TNA’s victory in the North was not something unexpected. Everyone knew that the TNA more..

'National plan needed to develop tea industry'

Oct 4 (SO) Leaders of the three UPFA allies representing the plantation community - the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), the National Union of Workers (NUW) and the Upcountry People's Front (UPF) – expressing contentment over the increase in membership to their community in the Central Provincial Council said it is a clear indication of political awareness among the estate workers. more..

Forgotten woes: Sri Lanka’s neoliberal politics

Oct 4 (ME) Sri Lanka’s 30-year war, which ended in May 2009, is fast being forgotten. In the post-2009 context, pressing fundamental rights issues in the island nation have been considerably sidelined. Key players in the international community do not perceive Sri Lanka as a strategic priority. In the most recent development, Colombo interprets its decision to hold a NPC Election, after a lapse of some 25 years, as a means of demonstrating its apparent respect for democratic best practice. more..

Conflict, Strategy and Game Theory

Oct 4 (GV) The most exiting academic course I have ever taken was “Conflict and Strategy” taught at Harvard University by Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling, one of the most brilliant persons I have known. After I took that course in late 1984, and another that he taught in early 1985, he invited me to stay on to follow a Doctoral program under his supervision and also to function as his Teaching Fellow for the duration of the Doctoral program. He would also secure my acceptance by more..

UNP Crisis: Implications for democracy

Oct 4 (Island) Crisis in the UNP was amply demonstrated first leading up to the three provincial council elections by the crossover of Dayasiri Jayasekera, one of the ablest young politicians in my opinion, and then the dismal electoral results of the party, particularly in the Central and the North Western Provinces. The results of the PC elections were not surprising at all considering the long list of election defeats more..

Idea of community policing: Then and now

Oct 4 (CT) In visits to the North and East over the last couple of years, I have been most impressed by the Community Policing commenced by the present IGP. This is a worthy initiative, which must be encouraged and developed further. It would be helpful if senior police officials all over the country noted that, as indicated in the very systematic instructions given in the Eastern Province, this is in accord with one of the basic ideas of the Mahinda Chintanaya. more..

Black July: Alle Gunawanse: A missing link?

Oct 4 (CT) While Ratnatunga is very silent on the actions of ministers, he gives us a good deal of information about the actions of a particular Buddhist monk, Alle Gunawanse. It is clear that Ratnatunga highlights the role of Gunawanse (and Mathew) in the events of 1983 in order to diminish the culpability of the core UNP leadership. Gunawanse was known to be a maverick with a tendency to go out of control once he began to speak. There were several monks like Gunawanse, who began their careers by more..

Boats of hope head for Australian rocks

Oct 4 (IPS) It was a decision based on simple sums. Ananda, 28, from Weligama in Matara district decided to risk it all boarding a boat to Australia last year because he never had enough money. “I was working as a driver in someone’s three-wheel taxi and making around 25,000 rupees (180 dollars) in good months,” Ananda (name changed) told IPS. “I was fed up.” He paid 300,000 rupees upfront, all from his mother’s savings, more..

Editorial: Don’t cry, kids!

Oct 4 (Island) No sooner had the Grade Five Scholarship Exam results been released on the International Children’s Day in keeping with an Education Ministry directive than it was reported that a child who failed the exam had been chased away from home in Moneragala. This year, the success rate is said to be high and it is certainly good news. But, cognisance should be taken of the fact that many children have failed the exam and their dream of entering popular schools has been more..

Mihin flies Seychelles in November

Oct 4 (DN) Mihin Lanka will commence a frequency of twice weekly direct flights to the Seychelles from Nov 16. Catering mostly towards the business and leisure segments, one carrier from the current flights will be allocated for the journey. The total flight time from Colombo to Seychelles will take three hours and fifty minutes and Mihin Lanka will provide the flight services on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A baggage allowance of 20 kg and hand luggage of 7kg will be offered with fares calculated at more..

Touchwood repayment plan by 14 Oct

Oct 4 (FT) The beleaguered Touchwood Investments (TWOD) was directed yesterday by the Colombo Commercial High Court to submit to Court by 14 Oct its repayment plan to aggrieved customers. Court ordered the submission by the company when applications filed by a defrauded customer, Priyanka Nanayakkara, for winding up of TWOD and appointing of provisional liquidator were taken up for hearing. more..

Sandaruwan and Amanthi steal the show

Oct 4 (CT) National pole vault Champion Ishara Sandaruwan of A. Ratnayake Central College and national discus throw Champion Amanthi Silva of St. Bridget's Convent were the cynosure of all eyes on day two as they established new meet records at the All Island School Games at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Amanthi, 18, hurled the discus to a distance of 41.20 meters erasing her previous mark of 39.46 meters set last year. She has a seasonal best of 42.80 meters, more..

All-round Rambukwella secures series win

Oct 4 (CI) Ramith Rambukwella was impactful with ball and bat, as he drove Sri Lanka A to a series victory against New Zealand A, in the deciding unofficial ODI in Dambulla. New Zealand A scored 274 for 9, after Rambukwella's 4 wickets for 30 leashed the middle order, and curbed promising partnerships partnerships. His 36 from 29 then swung the chase definitively in Sri Lanka's A's direction, who surpassed their opponents with three wickets in hand and nine balls to spare. more..

Major blunder in GCE A/L exam affects 70,000 candidates

Oct 4 (CT) A Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the University of Ruhuna, Dr. Upul Abeyratne, alleged the education authorities are planning to reduce 14 marks from the GCE A/L Political Science answer scripts, due to seven erroneous questions in the paper. He said this was a grave injustice to the students who sat the exam. The model answer given for question 5 in the 2012 Political Science question paper 11 B, had more..

China's economic boom spilling over to South Asia

Oct 4 (CT) Within the next five years, China's import will reach US$ 10 trillion, its outbound investment will reach US$ 500 billion and the number of its outbound tourists may well exceed 400 million, says Li Keqiang, the technocratic Prime Minister of China. These figures are not a figment of imagination. Last year, China surpassed the United States as the world's largest trading nation. China's trade in 2012 stood at US$ 3.87 trillion against US$ 3.82 trillion of the United States. more..

Rush in your wishes for 2014 Budget!

Oct 4 (FT) Various stakeholders have a unique opportunity to speak up before the Govt finalises the 2014 Budget today thanks to a ground breaking joint initiative by the Daily FT and the Colombo University MBA Alumni Association. Today between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. a mobile booth with an audio recording device will be available at the World Trade Centre for those who want to be a direct stakeholder in the Budget formulation of the country for 2014. The public will be allowed to briefly record their more..

Airtel boss quashes sale rumours

Oct 4 (Island) Bharti Airtel CEO Sunil Bharti Mittal has denied that his company’s Sri Lanka operation was to be sold to the Middle East based Etisalat. This follows recent speculation on the possible sale of Airtel’s Lankan operation. According to Mittal, bankers have been pushing several proposals and have mixed their own combinations and options to create market hypes. He said "all these are like kite flying. At the moment, there is nothing more..