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'Private sector must take bold steps for strong economic growth'

Nov 24 (CT) I thank Business Today for having invited me as the Chief Guest for this event, which recognizes the Top 25 Companies in Sri Lanka for the last financial year. The recognition given to these companies is the result of the hard work and diligence of their directors, management, executives and staff in increasing shareholder value. At the outset, I extend my warm congratulations and best wishes to them for their outstanding performance more..

Killing accused acquitted due to contradictory evidence

Nov 24 (Island) A person accused of assaulting a woman and causing her death was acquitted recently by Galle High Court Judge K. B.K. Hirimburegama as the evidence against him was contradictory. The accused was a trader Thebuwanage Nimal Thilaka (45). He had been indicted with the killing of Kananke Liyanarachchige Nandawathi (50) by assaulting her with a coconut scraper on August 24, 2005. The suspect had been going from house to house dealing in furniture, police said. more..

It’s a two horse race from main parties

Nov 24 (Island) With the JVP deciding against fielding a candidate at the seventh presidential election now scheduled for Jan 8, 2015, there is no likelihood of a smaller party nominating a candidate of its own. Asked whether the five-party TNA had decided on its position, MP A.M. Sumanthiran said that they haven’t met yet to discuss their stand. At the first presidential election held in October, 1982, JRJ and Kobbekaduwa polled 34,50, 811 and 25,48,438, respectively. more..

‘Conspiracy to take MR before int’l court by April’

Nov 24 (DM) Govt said an interview telecast recently on Al-Jazeera was related to a discussion by some opposition MPs with regard to the possibility of President Rajapaksa being taken before an international war tribunal by next April. “We are aware about the covert walks by night by certain politicians to those foreign missions. Foreign conspiracy to oust President Rajapaksa and replace the govt with a one that danced to their tune more..

Editorial: D-Day

Nov 24 (Island) Resentment within the ranks of any government, however powerful it may be, usually finds expression in a split or at least an attempted breakaway as well as attendant rifts. Even the J. R. Jayewardene government with an unprecedented five-sixths majority (obtained under the first-past-the-post system in 1977 and illegitimately retained with the help of a referendum in 1982) was troubled by the threat of a split towards its tail end though JRJ had obtained undated more..

Global Big Players Collaborate To Save Tea Industry

Nov 24 (DM) Although global tea plantations are under threat from climate change and competition for land, life without tea is unthinkable for the billions of people who rely on their cherished cups of tea to get them through the day. Tea crops the world over are facing multiple threats, from climate change and water shortages to rural de-population and low wages. Therefore, serious are these threats that some of the world’s biggest tea companies are joining forces to combat them. more..

'we need An active and well-informed society'

Nov 24 (NS) Former Chairman of the Panadura Urban Council and first Chairman of the UPFA Nandana Gunathileke was the first notable figure to resign from the ruling UPFA Govt states that many irregularities were taking place and they were unattended by the party leadership. The veteran politician began his politics from the JVP where he ended up as the General Secretary of the Front. Gunathileke contested the Presidential Election in 1999 representing the JVP. more..

Mobitel rings inflight deal with 15 airlines

Nov 24 (FT) Mobitel is reaching new heights with its superior roaming facilities that offer a higher level of connectivity onboard across 15 leading airlines with voice, SMS and data accessibility to suit the roaming requirements of Mobitel customers travelling to almost any part of the world. The special inflight roaming services would be available among airlines including Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, more..

SL's future is in the growth of SME sector

Nov 24 (CT) Lankaputhra Development Bank Chairman H.S. Dharmasiri in an exclusive interview said that the future of Sri Lanka depends on the future of SMEs. The market is small; at present around 60% of the GDP comes from SMEs. Our ultimate object is developing at least 100 SME leaders. The present ones in the fold will grow to be the large and big ones in the near future. Lankaputhra Development Bank is a licensed specialized Bank fully owned by the Govt of Sri Lanka. more..

Common Candidate true story: Dinesh reveals 1988 Opposition

Nov 24 (CT) Q: How did this secret mission start? A: 1988 was an era of terror which is now forgotten by many people. There were both the JVP terror and State suppression. We discussed about the Presidential Election with the SLFP and the other leaders of the Opposition. Premadsasa was the UNP candidate and the competition was tooth and nail. The Presidential campaign was very hard and there were discussions on how we could face the situation. more..

Social responsibility in universities in unstable times

Nov 24 (GV) Guest lecture delivered at the international conference, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility in Contexts of Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities in Sri Lanka’ at Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, 17 Nov 2014. Vice Chancellor, the dean and colleagues, let me wish all of you a very good morning. When the Dean, Faculty of Arts wrote to me some time ago and asked if I am willing to speak at this conference under the theme, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility more..

Critically supporting the anti-regime campaign

Nov 24 (GV) It had to happen that way, and the break was only possible with a serious split within the regime. The moment had come for members of the SLFP to take the plunge. And when finally Vasantha Senanayake, MP, crossed over (the first member of the brave ‘suicide squad’) and mentioned that he knew who the common candidate was, the matter was settled. It had to be Maithripala Sirisena. And yet it was somewhat remarkable, in this day and age of unprecedented surveillance, more..

'Mega deal makers have hijacked Parliament'

Nov 24 (CT) JHU General Secretary, Champika Ranawaka said, "We invite people to join us to create a new age of better economic and political culture." Q: You said at the press conference on 18 Nov that you had broken open the door of the cave and invited the people of lion's generation to join. What did you mean by it? A: You can see what has happened. Is the political situation in the country today the same as it was a week ago? No. more..

Good governance can oust nationalism as central issue

Nov 24 (SL) The decision of the JHU to oppose President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to be re-elected for a third term has the potential to be the defining moment of the forthcoming presidential election. In explaining their departure, the JHU leaders have said that they united with the government to defeat the LTTE and its threat to the unity of the country. But now that threat is over, they have said that the present need is to achieve good governance in the country. more..

President, After the poll

Nov 24 (SL) By naming incumbent SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as the common Opposition candidate in the January polls to the nation’s highest office, the Opposition may have surprised President Rajapaksa. If not to the same extent, it might also many a liberal in the UNP, who are averse to Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism beyond the decimation of the terrorist LTTE. This is not to say that Maithripala is a weak candidate, or the Opposition has a losing proposition already on hand. more..

'Not a development, But a drawback'

Nov 24 (SL) With the new developments, the appointment of the former UPFA General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate was seen as a very interesting development to the changing political situation of the country. However, speaking to The Sunday Leader, UPFA Minister Mihinda Yapa Abeywardena said that it is no threat to the President as the people’s choice would always be President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Excerpts of the interview: more..

Red marks that dotted a struggle

Nov 24 (NS) Twenty five years since what is arguably the most intense genocide in “Southern Lanka”, that dark reign of blood, bullets and terror remains a “taboo subject”: unspoken of, unaccounted for and un-remembered by the State. Every year, in the month of November, the JVP organizes a commemoration on behalf of the fallen victims of the uprising against the J.R Jayewardene govt, which culminated in an inconclusive number of deaths of civilians and political activists. more..

JHU action precipitates a wave of crossovers

Nov 24 (NS) After weeks of speculation, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) left the government this week announcing that they would function as an independent group in Parliament. Cabinet minister Champika Ranawaka and Provincial minister Udaya Gammanpila also resigned their portfolios. The decision was meant to put an end to much political intrigue where many felt that the JHU would, in fact, not leave the government even though they threatened to do so. more..

Improper waste disposal, a colossal loss to the country

Nov 24 (SO) Sri Lankans contributed to collect 15 million lunch sheets a day according to a research done jointly by the University of Kelaniya and the Central Environment Authority in 2012. Researchers revealed that 20 million shopping bags are dumped each day while 20 million yoghurt cups and one million sachet packets are dumped per month. Every time some one goes shopping he/she brings home several polythene bags which are not recycled or reused. more..

Tamil diaspora must take a unified position on Tamil Eelam referendum

Nov 24 (CT) The 2009 Mullaivaikal Genocide has etched an indelible mark on the national psyche of Eelam Tamils. Those were days our people were chased down and murdered, anywhere and everywhere – in their homes, in the street, in the temple, in the hospital, in wedding ceremonies, in tunnel services – there was no place to hunker down; if you were Tamil, no place was a safe haven . The Mullaivaikal Genocide also dismantled the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam and thereby destroyed more..

Finally, A way out

Nov 24 (CT) The opposition has cleared, spectacularly, the first hurdle in the presidential race. The honours of that victorious engagement belong to Maithripala Sirisena – and to Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera. A Rajapaksa defeat is by no means assured. But for the first time it has become a credible, viable possibility. And that is a great leap forward. Maithripala Sirisena is no better or worse than most Lankan politicians. more..

Transfer of 10,000 cops postponed

Nov 23 (AD) The police headquarters today announced that transfer of some 10,000 police officers scheduled to come into effect on 1 January, 2015 have been postponed due to the forthcoming Presidential election. SSP Ajith Rohana said that therefore respective transfers will be effected from 1 February next year. “The implementations of the transfers have been postponed 1 February, 2015. more..

Plea to release Sri Lankan refugees

Nov 23 (CG) Tamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) leader, Panruti T Velmurugan, on Saturday urged TN Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to immediately release some 26 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees kept in a special camp in the Tiruchi central prison and give them medical assistance. The refugees have been on a fast since November 15 to demand that they be released from the camp and permitted to take legal assistance from outside to fight the cases against them, he said in a statement.

Free Media express concern over blocking of Sirasa’s Satana

Nov 23 (NF) Numerous complaints were received from our viewers on Saturday evening, regarding disruptions of Sirasa TV, Shakthi TV and MTV Sports, which come under MTV Channel Private Limited, on PEO TV and Dialog TV. The disruptions were experienced while preparations were underway for the political debate programme – Satana – at which Maithripala Sirisena was also a participant. The service disruption came up at several media briefings held on Sunday. more..

'Rajapaksa treated as a cash cow by those around him'

Nov 23 (AD) Leader of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka MP Rajiva Wijesinha says that it is important that Mahinda Rajapaksa does not win the forthcoming Presidential Election, because if he wins the consequences for Sri Lanka’s armed forces will be very negative. Wijesinha, who recently quit the govt with former Minister Maithripala Sirisena, was speaking as a panelist, along with UNP MP MP Harsha de Silva more..

Angered by break-up, girl stabs boyfriend

Nov 23 (E24|7) A 20-year-old Sri Lankan woman, who was absconding after stabbing her 21-year-old boyfriend about two months ago, surrendered to the police on Nov 18. A love affair between the woman, a garment factory worker, and the youth had started about one and a half years ago. Both had informed their parents about the affair and about their intention to marry. The youth realised the poverty of the girl’s family when he accompanied his parents to the girl’s house one day. more..

Pre-polls related violence increases

Nov 23 (CG) Election monitors today reported pre-polls related violence, including shooting incidents in Puttalam and Madampe. The CaFFE said that the house of a staunch UNP supporter was shot at in Medagama, Madampe early this morning. The house of Sudesh Priyankara, at Second Lane, Medagama, was also attacked. CaFFE believes that both men were targeted because they lit firecrackers during celebrations by the the opposition when former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala more..

Opening conumdrum vexes Mathews

Nov 23 (CI) Sri Lanka will aim to lock down their best ODI combination as World Cup preparation begin in earnest, during the seven-match series against England, captain Angelo Mathews said. Sri Lanka had experimented with their XI in the five-match series against India, resting key players and handing out two ODI debuts, but Mathews said he now sought to build momentum with the players who would comprise the best side at World Cup. more..

I will not leave even if MR does: Nimal

Nov 23 (DM) Denying rumours that he was planning to quit the SLFP, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva today said he would not do so even if Mahinda Rajapaksa left the SLFP. “Almost every day, there were reports in the media that I will be the next Prime Minister. I am not a person who goes behind portfolios. The SLFP General Secretary became the Common Candidate. I also got several offers from time to time. But I will not leave the party,” Minister Siripala said addressing media. more..

International Conference themed 'Evolution of Buddhist Stupa' held

Nov 23 (GDI) In parallel with the series of events organized at the Sandahiru Stupa, an International Conference on Buddhism on the theme of 'Evolution of Buddhist Stupa' was held with a view of educating the devotees including international community at the Bhikshu University in Anuradhapura yesterday. The keynote address of the international conference was delivered by the Prof. Nimal De Silva, former Director General of the Postgraduate Institute of Uni of Kelaniya enlightening the listeners. more..

Govt split could impact on foreign investment

Nov 23 (ST) While Sri Lanka’s business community reacted cautiously to Friday’s stunning split in Govt ranks, economists, speaking mostly off the record, said political stability has become an issue for foreign investors while academia and chambers now have an opportunity to speak about the ‘real’ economic statistics. “The people cannot be fooled by rosy statistics all the time; the facts speak for themselves and more..

JHU still undecided on whether to support Maithripala

Nov 23 (AM) JHU is still undecided on whether to support common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena. JHU Media Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that JHU will take the final decision after convening the Central Committee. Meanwhile, JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka confirmed through his facebook page a few hours ago that the final decision has still not be taken. Ranawaka said that a final decision can be taken only after more..

FUTA keeps mum on Budget allocation for education

Nov 23 (NS) “We would like an explanation of the budget proposal from Dr. PB Jayasundara,” FUTA President Dr. Chandraguptha Thenuwara said, adding that, “a responsible economist will have to explain the budget proposals,” to Dr. Thenuwara as he is unable to understand it. Once the budget proposals are explained to and understood by FUTA, they will hold a press conference regarding the many issues they have, including FUTA’s opinion of the allocations made for more..

Naguleswaran killing not by Army

Nov 23 (CT) A rehabilitated LTTE cadre who was in Eelam police before the end of war was assassinated last week paving way for the Tamil Diaspora to sling mud at the Security Forces again. The murder victim was Krishnasami Naguleswaran, 39, a resident of Iluppukadavai Police Division in Vavuniya. He lived in Velankulam, Ganeshapuram with his wife and two children. His wife was a school teacher. more..

Shooting of ex-PS member: Suspects at large

Nov 23 (NS) Police have still not been able to apprehend the suspects involved in the shooting of a former UNP PS member on Friday evening. When contacted, SSP Ajith Rohana said no arrests had been made and those involved in the shooting remained unidentified yesterday. The victim, Chamila Ranasinghe, is a former member of the Beruwala Pradeshiya Sabha. He had been shot by unidentified assailants around 6.40pm in Maggona on Friday while he and a group of UNP more..

Sajith backs decision on candidate

Nov 23 (CG) UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa says he backs the decision taken by the party working committee on the common candidate despite his firm belief that a UNP member should be President. Premadasa said that his father, the late Ranasinghe Premadasa, worked hard to make J.R. Jayawardena the President. He said the goal of all UNP members and supporters was to ensure another UNP member becomes President once against and that is his personal goal as well. more..

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