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GMOA accuses PGIM of not doing its job

Oct 4 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) accused the Post-Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM) of failing to train an adequate number of doctors in various specialties. GMOA spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that due to non-availability of sufficient paediatricians, community medicine physicians and doctors trained in emergency medicine, many problems had arisen in hospitals. He said that only one paediatrician was available for 100,000 persons. more..

SLBFE urges illegal migrant workers in KSA

Oct 4 (CT) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), repeated its call to migrant workers living under the bridges in the city of Jeddah and the suburbs in Saudi Arabia, to return to Sri Lanka, before the expiry of the amnesty period granted by the Saudi Arabian Govt, next month. General Manager, SLBFE, Mangala Randeniya, said Sri Lankans who have been considered as illegal migrant workers, under a law passed recently more..

Niluka Karunaratne among three new faces

Oct 4 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket have announced a 14-member squad for the women's tour of South Africa, scheduled to begin on October 24. Niluka Karunaratne, 34, is among three players who could make their debuts during the limited-overs series featuring three ODIs and T20s apiece. Karunaratne, a right-arm offspinner, was one of the stand-by players for West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka earlier in March and has taken 11 wickets in her last 10 domestic one-day matches. more..

Other health professions agitate for more

Oct 4 (Island) Several trade unions in the Health Sector have given the Health Ministry two weeks to initiate solutions to the disparity in allowances paid to doctors and other professionals in the health service. Joint Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and Paramedics, Saman Jayasekara said that there were discrepancies between the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowances paid to doctors and the Nursing, more..

Two Russian ships arrive on a goodwill visit

Oct 4 (SLN) Two Russian Naval Ships, Varyag and Boris Butoma, arrived at the port of Trincomalee today on a goodwill visit. The ships were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. Varyag is a guard missile cruiser, which is 187 meters in length. It has a displacement of 9,360 tons and consists of 529 naval personnel that include 65 officers and 464 sailors. more..

Police avert tension in Rathupaswela

Oct 4 (Island) The tense situation that arose at the entrance of the controversial Venigros dipped products factory, at Rathupaswela yesterday evening, was brought under control by the Weliweriya police last night. About 300 protesters started moving away when they were informed of why two lorries had entered the factory promises with sand and graphite. People rushed to the scene when the police allowed the two lorries into the factory premises. more..

Seven new envoys present credentials

Oct 4 (GDI) Five new Ambassadors and two High Commissioners presented their credentials to President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat Friday morning. They are Rashid Bin Shafea Saeed Shafea Al Fahaida – Ambassador of the State of Qatar, Min Thein Zan – Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar, David Daly – Ambassador of the European Union, Jean Paul Monachau – Ambassador of France, Mahamoud Hisham Mohamed Assran – Ambassador of Egypt, more..

A truce between fiction and fact

Oct 4 (Hindu) I finally caught up with Madras Café, which begins with this snatch of background information: “In the mid-1980s, Sri Lanka was facing its most dreadful ethnic crisis. According to various estimates, thousands of ethnic Tamils had been killed.” This could be the prelude to a gung-ho action thriller. After all, Star Wars got going with an equally sobering prelude, a scrolling text that told us about a civil war a long time ago, with rebels and more..

Don’t obstruct our activities: TUs write to IGP

Oct 4 (LT) Five members of the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance distributing leaflets opposite the Department of Labour at Narahenpita today morning were arrested by Narahenpita Police. The Coordinating Committee has written to the IGP regarding this arrest. In the letter the Coordinating Committee states certain police officers carry out illegal attacks on legal trade union activities carried out by the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance, more..

Fitch affirms Sampath Bank at 'AA-(lka)'/stable

Oct 4 (Reuters) Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed Sampath Bank's (SB) National Long-Term Rating at 'AA-(lka)' with a Stable Outlook. The agency has also affirmed SB's subordinated debentures at 'A+(lka)'. The National Rating reflects SB's expanding domestic franchise and modest financial profile. Fitch believes that SB's asset quality may weaken in 2013, in line with its expectation for the sector, but would continue to compare well against most 'AA(lka)' category-rated private bank peers. more..

Sri Lanka rescues Australia-bound illegal immigrants

Oct 4 (AP) Sri Lanka’s navy has rescued 70 would-be illegal immigrants drifting on the high seas in the country’s first detected case of people-smuggling since Australia tightened restrictions on asylum-seekers, officials said. A naval craft picked up the Sri Lankans, including 17 women and 14 children, who had been drifting for days off the island’s southwest coast following engine trouble in their fishing trawler, more..

Urban price index up 9.7% in September

Oct 4 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's urban centres rose 9.7% in the 12-month to September slowing from 9.9 percent in August, an index compiled by private citizens showed. The CAL Urban Price Index, compiled by CAL Research, a Colombo based equity research house, fell 1.8% in the month with food prices falling. Sri Lanka's Colombo Consumer Price Index, compiled by the state statistics office also eased in September to 6.2% in September from 6.3% in August. more..

Audio: WPC polls before May 2014

Oct 4 (CG) Elections for the Western Provincial Council (WPC) will take place before May next year, a govt Minister said today. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the Western Provincial Council will be dissolved by April and elections will then be held. He said the new Western Provincial Council must be established before the Sinhala and Tamil new year next April. “The Western Provincial Council must be established by April 22. That is according to the law,” he said. more..

'CB Governor to blame for SL financial crisis'

Oct 4 (DM) Central Bank Governor Nivaard Cabraal must be arrested as the person who is responsible for Sri Lanka’s financial crisis, the UNP said today. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that Mr. Cabral was an economic hit man who had plunged the country down a financial precipice. “It is Mr. Cabraal who should be arrested and not the head of the collapsed financial companies. What has he done as the Central Bank Governor to more..

India still undecided on CHOGM

Oct 4 (CG) India is yet to decide on its participation at the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, an Indian Minister said. To a query on the opposition in Tamil Nadu against PM Manmohan Singh’s participation in the CHOGM scheduled to be held in Col­ombo next month, Union minister of state V. Naray­an­asamy said, “the PM will take a call on that.” He also said that Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will visit Sri Lanka on Oct 7 to hold discussions with President Raja­paksa and senior officials on halting more..

LTTE leader’s bunker demolished

Oct 4 (CG) Slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran’s house and bunker in Pudukudiruppu has been demolished by the military. Following the end of the war, the house was a popular tourist attraction, especially among tourists from the South. Residents in the area told the Uthayan newspaper that they were evacuated from the area last evening saying an un-exploded device had been found. They later heard a loud explosion from the site of the house and saw smoke in the air. more..

Colombo – Katunayake expressway to be opened on Oct 27

Oct 4 (DM) The Katunayake-Colombo expressway is scheduled to be open for vehicles on Oct 27. It will be preceded by three days of public viewing. On these three days the sightseers will be allowed to use the expressway for leisure activities. The grand opening will follow thereafter. The expressway would see a drastic reduction in travel time to or from the Airport or of those travelling to the North-Central and Eastern Provinces. more..

The goat cheese month

Oct 5 (CT) The month of August turned out to be interesting for Sri Lanka though not fully cut in the mode of America's national goat cheese month. It was less to do with the visit of Hurricane Pillay, as some contemporaries like to describe UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay's whirlwind tour of the island, that caught the government in a bind what with the loud mouthed Minister Mervyn Silva's open offer to marry her. Silva might have considered his offer more..

Provincial Polls: A new dawn?

Oct 5 (EAR) In the recently concluded elections in the northern province of Sri Lanka, the TNA led by C V Vigneswaran won a landslide victory. The election conducted within the purview of the 13th Amendment was by all accounts free and fair. A popular will was expressed by a 35% turnout of the northern Tamil voters. The last election, held in 1988, was virtually a one-party dominance of the India-backed EPRLF in midst of bitter confrontation between the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE. more..

Delft Island turns into a major tourist attraction

Oct 5 (SO) The chirpy waters of the Indian ocean greets us with its spray on our face as we walked on along the Kurikadduwan jetty towards the water jet of the Sri Lanka Navy that was awaiting to take us to the remotest inhabited island belonging to Sri Lanka, Delft or the island of Neduntheevu as people in Jaffna called it. After 40 minutes drive from the Jaffna town on the bumpy roads across Velanai and Punguduthivu causeway we more..

Exactly how many conflicts has UN solved to be issuing post-conflict ultimatums?

Oct 5 (EAR) Let’s see – where do we start. A group of busy body nations working in cahoots with an outdated and incompetent global body known by all as the UN enjoys coming to the picture during crisis situations but not before the crisis gets out of hand and after crisis situations but not because it has done anything to bring the crisis to a close. Thereafter, they seem to think that they can wave red cards and nations and natives have to bow down in submission. more..

When foreign policy is a game of hop, skip, jump

Oct 5 (NS) Delhi responds to trouble, not to a handshake. If Manmohan Singh’s govt has time for any neighbor, then it is only for inimical Pakistan and cynical China. Every neighborhood has its share of hoods. They come with the territory. When geopolitics is involved, one nation’s hoods are another’s soul mates. That’s where it gets complicated. Hostility is actually quite straightforward. Provocation has well-set parameters, and response is generally predictable. more..

A nation burdened by a potpourri of political failures

Oct 5 (CT) Sri Lankans seem destined to be burdened with failures of political leaders without any proper relief in sight in the foreseeable future. The Mahinda Rajapaksa govt with its failures and the opposition political parties with their failures have drawn a grim future for the people. The governing party and opposition political parties are still picking up the pieces to move forward after the provincial council elections. more..

Sri Lanka and the Article 99 of the UN charter

Oct 5 (CT) First of all, I would like to thank the organisers of this conference, the members of TGTE, for inviting me to speak. At the same time I would like to express my personal gratitude and appreciation to Rudra Annai (Mr V. Rudrakumar, PM of TGTE). Ladies and gentlemen, Soon after the Second World War, fifty-one nations gathered in San Francisco in June 1945 to establish, the UN, an inter-govt body, replacing the League of Nations. more..

NPC Polls: Messages for one and all

Oct 5 (EAR) The sweeping victory for the TNA in Saturday’s first-ever NPC in Sri Lanka has a message for various stake-holders nearer home and afar. Read and acted upon with care and caution, it can be the (only) sure-fire way to attaining the still-elusive political rapprochement and resolution. Left to imagination and rhetoric, it can be the sure recipe for national disaster all over again. Despite the failed hopes and fragile expectations of the rest in the fray, none, more..

Boston Lanka with Chaminda Hettiarachchi

Time to realize the symbolic messages of Navarathri

Oct 5 (CT) All religions send messages that are beneficial to the people and begin that God created the earth. However, ancient Hindu sages are accustomed to see the differences between male and female in the spiritual world and their aspects in the creation of the Universe. Lord Shiva, being the masculine aspect, symbolizes pure consciousness which can be realized through Goddess Shakthi, who represents divine energy. The masculine aspect is known as Sada Shiva because more..

Editorial: Of that Gambian bombshell

Oct 5 (Island) Gambia has dropped a bombshell with a few weeks to go for the CHOGM in Colombo. It has announced its decision to pull out of the Commonwealth unilaterally and its eccentric President Yahya Jammeh has incurred much international opprobrium for that whimsical move. He has been known for his venomous outpourings against the Commonwealth but nobody thought he would resort to a surprise withdrawal. Jammeh has apparently taken a leaf out of Robert Mugabe’s book; more..

Wrangling in TNA over provincial ministry posts in North

Oct 5 (DBS) The TNA which demonstrated that it is the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils by winning 30 out of 38 seats in the NPC is undergoing a new experience currently. After years of functioning outside the realms of power as an opposition political group the TNA is for the first time on the verge of tasting power in the NPC. This urge to taste power in the form of provincial ministries is causing much internal wrangling within more..

Sennheiser focuses on Sri Lanka with sole distributorship announcement

Oct 5 (Island) Sennheiser Electronic Asia officially announced the award of sole distributorship for music Industry products and Professional audio products to Dynamic AV Technologies ("Dynamic AV"). Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is the acknowledged leading brand in microphone technology, RF-wireless and infrared sound transmission, headphone transducer technology, and in the development of active noise-cancellation. more..

Motor traders urge consistent tax policy on vehicle imports

Oct 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s vehicle importers have fallen from the frying pan to the fire with the introduction of a 100% margin deposits for opening a Letter of Credit (LC) and the recent tax hike on small Lorries and commercial trucks used for goods transportation, Tilak Gunasekera, President of Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA), said. The association has called on the Government to reconsider the regulation which is exerting an adverse impact on the vehicle import industry more..

Switzerland Global Enterprise in town on fact-finding mission

Oct 5 (FT) Sri Lanka’s international Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is none other than its hub positioning. “At this moment, many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia including Sri Lanka have great investment opportunities. Sri Lanka will have to compete with these countries to leverage foreign investment streams from Switzerland,” revealed Wolfgang Schanzenbach, Regional Director Asia Pacific of Switzerland more..

'Sri Lanka rupee to show 'stable' behaviour in coming months'

Oct 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's currency will "behave in a stable manner" in the next few months as the central bank has taken steps needed to deal with a volatile environment, Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. The Sri Lankan rupee hit a record low of 135.20 against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 28, but since then has risen 3.2%, helped by inflows from a corporate bond. On Friday, it was trading at 131.30/50 per dollar, near its 2-1/2-month high. "We have had a long-term view. more..

26 persons back petition against Touchwood

Oct 5 (FT) Twenty-six other persons have served notice supporting the winding-up petition filed by customer K.A.D.L. Priyanka Nanayakkara against Touchwood Investments (TWOD). When the case (HC Civil 31/2013/CO) was taken up in Commercial High Court of Colombo before Justice C. Morias yesterday, the Petitioner submitted a list of 26 persons who had served notice on the Petitioner declaring their intention to appear at the hearing of the application to wind up the company. more..

A road development tax from new vehicles

Oct 5 (ST) Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (Vial) has proposed to the govt to introduce a road development tax equivalent to a percentage of the import value of vehicle at the time of its registration with the Department of Motor Traffic. With a view of restricting the imports of vehicles, the association has suggested to appoint a committee comprising representatives of the Treasury, more..

UNP Treasurer resigns

Oct 5 (DM) UNP Treasurer Senarath Kapukotuwa resigned from his post today in order to pave the way for party reforms. Mr. Kapukotuwa said that he handed over the resignation letter to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today morning. "I decided to resign from the post to clear the way for effective reforms of the party,” he said. Asked whether the party leader accepted the resignation, he said he is not aware whether it had been accepted or not but hoped that it will be accepted. more..

No discrimination of North, Minister Nimal tells Norway

Oct 5 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has informed the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo that the development activities launched in the North would go ahead as planned, despite the TNA being elected. The Minister had gave the assurance, when Norwegian Ambassador Ms. G. Lochen paid a courtesy call on him recently. He said that even the international community had accepted that the provincial council elections, held in the North, had been peaceful. more..

Military presence in North less than often portrayed – Lord Rogan of UK

Oct 5 (GDI) “During my visit to all parts of the country, North, East, South, and West I was able to speak freely and openly with ministers, govt officials, religious leaders, and most importantly ordinary citizens from all sections and walks of life. What struck me particularly was that the military presence in the North was substantially less than what has been often portrayed,” says Lord Rogan of the United Kingdom. more..

Aussie national nabbed

Oct 5 (CT) A foreign national was caught by the officials attached to the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), while in the process of catching protected species of fish from a river in Sinharaja, and was produced before Courts yesterday. Sanegor David, an Australian national, was nabbed around on Thursday while trying to catch fish from the Weddagala River. “The Weddagala River flows through the Sinharaja rain forest. While patrolling the area, we noticed a foreigner trying more..

Gamage willing to resign as national organiser

Oct 5 (DM) UNP national organiser Daya Gamage had informed party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that he was willing to resign from his post if a suitable replacement was found. He said he gave this undertaking so that anyone who was willing to work for the betterment of the party could be appointed to the post and that he was not greedy for positions. “I even lost some of my property just because I am an UNPer. I even volunteered to reconstruct party headquarters Sirikotha more..