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Tamil Nadu CM seeks Modi's help to secure fishing boats from Sri Lankan custody

Oct 16 (TOI) TN chief minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday sought PM Narendra Modi's intervention to secure 75 fishing boats from the custody Sri Lankan authorities. The boats have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy since May. In a letter to Modi, the chief minister said an alarming situation had developed over the past few months. The vengeful action of SL navy and authorities in that country had affected more..

Act legalising private universities to be passed in Parliament soon- SB

Oct 16 (ST) Quality Assurance, Accreditation & Qualification Framework Act drafted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to legalise non-State universities in the country, is to be passed in Parliament soon, its Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. Minister addressing the SAARC workshop ‘Innovation in Higher Education for Knowledge Based Economies and Economic Growth in the SAARC Region’, said that, more..

Ministry to ascertain condition of Sanchi Bodhi Tree

Oct 16 (DM) The Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry today said it would look into the reports of the dying and wilting condition of a Bodhi Tree supposedly planted near Sanchi in India by President Mahinda Rajapaksa a couple of years ago. The Indian media earlier reported that the Bodhi Tree planted by President Rajapaksa near Sanchi world heritage site in Madhya Pradesh, India was not looked after well. more..

UPFA, UNP brace for presidential election

Oct 16 (DM) The ruling UPFA gave further rise on Monday to speculation in political circles about a snap presidential election in January next year. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the key personality involved in positioning the party for a snap election, convened a meeting with the private staff members of UPFA MPs, including those holding ministerial posts, at Temple Trees on Monday. more..

Two fighters for children’s rights win Nobel Peace Prize

Oct 16 (DM) It was not long ago that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram was convicted and sentenced to a four-year jail term in a disproportionate case. It was lauded by many the world over as a loud and clear sign which shows what an independent, robust and vibrant judiciary could do in meting out justice, irrespective of status, station or standing of the person found guilty of crimes against the country and its people. Against this background and soon after more..

The crisis of fake food and imitation milk

Oct 16 (DM) As we mark World Food Day today, we need to reflect deeply on what has happened to our traditional food and nutrition diets during the past 40 years of the globalised capitalist market economic policy which Sri Lanka swallowed wholesale after 1977. The people, Govt leaders and officials need to examine their conscience and ask whether we are, knowingly or unknowingly, allowing transnational giants to freely indulge in economic neo-colonialism in the vital areas of food and nutrition more..

Joint Opposition front, not UNP, to select common candidate

Oct 16 (Island) UNP said that the joint opposition’s common candidate would be selected by consensus after it had formed a broad coalition of parties committed to the abolition of the executive presidency. "We have not yet decided who our Presidential candidate will be", Senior UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera said, adding that the party could not do so because in the first place an election had not been announced and secondly more..

SC orders policemen to pay woman Rs.150,00 each from personal funds

Oct 16 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered two officers of the Kottawa police station to pay Rs. 150,000 each from their personal funds as damages to a woman they had unduly kept in police custody, for two hours on Aug. 9, 2014. The payment is to be made within three months. The petitioner, Lakshika Kulatunga had, in a fundamental rights violation application, complained to the court that some person had complained to the police that her younger brother had more..

Sri Lanka sets Guinness record

Oct 16 (DM) SL set a Guinness world record for the most number of participants in a hand-washing relay to mark Global Hand-washing Day which falls today. Sri Lanka’s leading health soap brand - Lifebuoy organised the event. “We brought together mothers from the Eladuwa Estate in Dodangoda, Matugama, to successfully break the Guinness world record for ‘Most number of participants in a hand-washing relay’ in a single location. Such an event was previously held in China. more..

Al-Quaeda suspect deported to Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (DM) Malaysian authorities yesterday deported the Lankan who is suspected of having indirect links with Al-Qaeda and planned terror attacks in India. The man was sent back to Colombo for further investigations. Mohammad Hussain Mohammad Sulaiman was arrested in May in Kula Lampur and is suspected to have been part of a conspiracy to carry out terror attacks on the US and Israeli consulates in South India. more..

Nurses demand 5% of GDP for health sector

Oct 16 (CT) The All Ceylon Nurses' Union (ACNU) is demanding that the govt allocate 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the health sector in Budget 2015. ACNU President Gamini Kumarasinghe said that the health sector was currently in a crisis and there were a lot of issues remaining to be resolved, hence more funds should be allocated. "There is a dearth of drugs, medical equipment and laboratory facilities in many hospitals. As a result of shortage of funds, more..

G20 to run UNP campaign

Oct 16 (DM) The UNP has appointed a committee known as the ‘Group 20 or G 20’ to steer the party’s campaign at an upcoming presidential election. In addition to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, the G20 includes all members of the Leadership Council. The others in the G20 are MPs Joseph Michael Perera, John Amaratunga, Palitha Range Bandara, Thalata Athukorale, Asoka Abeysinghe, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, P. Harrison, Eran Wickramaratne, more..

Baggage pilferage irks Lanka expats

Oct 16 (AN) As if incidents of pilfering the baggage of workers returning from the Kingdom at Colombo BIA weren’t enough, passengers are now complaining of baggage being lost altogether at the other end. The latest victim was Rohaan Samath, who lost one of his suitcases at the BIA when he arrived in Colombo via SriLankan Airlines. Samath said that he lodged a complaint with the airlines, but after 21 days, more..

Organic rice sold in supermarkets a sham

Oct 16 (Island) Some companies cultivated traditional rice varieties applied agrochemicals on the sly and sold their produce in supermarkets at Rs. 180 to Rs. 200 per kilo, the Ministry of Special Projects alleged. Secretary to the Special Projects Ministry T. Sakalasuriya, however, assured that from 2015 one kilo of traditional rice varieties would be available at Rs. 125. President Rajapaksa had called for the cultivation of traditional rice varieties such as Kaluheenaty, Puchaperumal, more..

Cattle breeders protest in Ampara Over encroachment by paddy farmers

Oct 16 (CT) A protest was recently launched by cattle breeders in Thirukovil-Ampara urging a stop to illegal land acquisition by paddy cultivators and to continue to build fences to stop elephant infiltration. According to their complaint, during the war, cattle breeders could not enter into lands assigned to them. But on the flip-side, paddy cultivators had 'encroached' into these lands and had engaged in cultivation. Some 4,000 acres in Thirukovil-Vattamadu area was allocated for more..

Video: Work on Northern Expressway to start next month

Oct 16 (DM) Construction work on the Northern Expressway would start in November, Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said. Northern Expressway, from Enderamulla in Gampaha to Dambulla would be constructed in four phases and consist of four lanes initially. Chinese and local contractors would jointly undertake the construction of the expressway projects to the North as well as Kandy & was estimated to cost Rs 300 billion, more..

Police looking for woman swindler

Oct 16 (Island) The police seek public cooperation to nab a woman who had recently cheated several youth to the tune of Rs.800,000 promising to help them to pass an exam conducted by the British Council. The police said that the woman had left behind a two-month old infant in a rented house in Dehiwela a few weeks ago. Police also had received complaints against her that she had stolen goods worth over Rs.100,000 from four houses where she lived on rent in Maharagama. more..

Time to cement Indo-Lanka ties

Oct 16 (NIE) After the successful culmination of the war fought over three decades with the LTTE, Sri Lanka today has started enjoying peace and normalcy. This is reflected in almost every aspect of individual and collective life throughout the country. The relationship of the central govt with the provinces and various social groups is gradually becoming harmonious. Normalcy and peace are prerequisites for economic activity and development of any country. more..

Anandasangaree commends President for returning to owners jewelry they pawned

Oct 16 (AT) V. Anandasangaree has thanked President Rajapaksa for returning to the owners the jewelry they pawned earlier in the Eelam banks of the LTTE, without recovering the capital and the interest on the borrowings. President Rajapaksa on Sunday at Kilinochchi symbolically inaugurated the return of gold jewelleries to 25 owners of the Northern Province. Earlier, President while addressing a public rally on Sunday more..

Unity vital for country’s progress – Asgiriya Prelate

Oct 16 (DN) Although we have been born into three different communities, Sinhala, Tamil and Muslims, we are all Sri Lankan citizens belonging to a single nation. If we are united as one big family no force on this earth can retard our progress and forward march, said the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. He said this delivering an Anusasana when Deputy Minister V. Radhakrishnan called on him at the Asgiri Maha Viharaya in Kandy and more..

'Softlogic will increase Odel stake to 93%'

Oct 16 (CT) Softlogic Holdings hopes to increase its stake in premier departmental chain Odel to 93% with the completion of the mandatory offer. "We will be buying all the shares of the stake which was held by Parkson Retail Asia and all the other stakes of the other shareholders who are willing to sell out," Softlogic Holdings Chairman, Ashok Pathirage said. This is a sequel to Parkson Retail Asia wanting to sell its stake in SL departmental store, which was announced in the Malaysian Stock Exchange more..

US-SL trade talks conclude in Colombo

Oct 16 (FT) Talks under the Sri Lanka and US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) concluded yesterday in Colombo, reiterating the commitment to foster greater bilateral economic engagement. “US-Sri Lanka TIFA is the premier dialogue for managing bilateral trade and investment relationship between both countries. This relationship amounts to $ 3 b” said Michael Delaney, visiting Assistant US Trade Representative more..

EXIM Bank Malaysia impressed by SL’s economic performance & Vision 2020

Oct 16 (FT) Following positive discussions with local authorities, EXIM Bank Malaysia President Adissadikin Bin Ali and Head of Banking Nor Shahmir Bin Nor Shahid ended an official visit to Sri Lanka with a press conference yesterday. Joined by High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka Azmi Zainuddin, the EXIM Bank representatives announced the bank’s expansion plans in Sri Lanka observing several conducive market factors. Representatives noted that more..

Lankan Architect wins Regional Award for recycled material design

Oct 16 (Island) Damith Premathilake, a member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, won the inaugural Architecture Asia Award for Emerging Architects at the recently concluded annual Architect Regional Council Asia award for Architecture 2014 held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was amongst eight winners selected from over 60 Asian countries. The Architecture Asia Awards for Emerging Architects was open to all architects professionally registered in Asia, who are 45 years of age more..

Dhammika via Hayleys effects another takeover with Alufab buy

Oct 16 (FT) Business leader and ace acquirer Dhammika Perera yesterday effected another takeover via Hayleys, buying 61% stake in Alufab for Rs. 168 million. The diversified blue chip with interest in aluminium manufacturing paid above market Rs. 23 per share for the stake amounting to 7.318 million. Alufab closed the day at Rs. 23.70, up by Rs. 4.70 or 25% topping the gained list with 9.78 million shares traded. more..

MillenniumIT, Sangakkara donate computers to rural school

Oct 16 (CT) MillenniumIT under the auspices of cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara donated computers to an under-privileged rural school in the Matale district. Donation was made in the presence of the Grama Niladhari of the Ambokke area, Neil Karunarathna, the principal of the Ambokke Primary School Upul Nayananda, MillenniumIT CEO Mack Gill, COO Hemantha Jayawardena, VP Faiq Faaiz, Chief Scientist Ajit Samaranayake, Kumar Sanagakkara & MillenniumIT representatives. more..

Maris Stella, Ratnayake Central retain titles

Oct 16 (Island) Asian Youth Games medallist Akila Ravishanka smashed Maleen Udaya Kumara’s meet record with a feat of 14.25 seconds in the Under-18 boys 110m hurdles to top best performers’ list in the boys’ category as Maris Stella College, Negombo and Ratnayake Central, Walala retained the overall boys’ and girls’ titles respectively of the Sir John Tarbet Senior Athletics Championships concluded at Diyagama on Wednesday. Maris Stella won the boys’ title for the second consecutive year more..

Written in the stars!

Oct 16 (FT) His popularity may be slightly dented. His electoral invincibility is finally shaken. The minority communities appear to have deserted him en masse. Even his nationalist allies are threatening to work towards his defeat. But to the polls President Rajapaksa will go, seeking a third term in office. For that is what the stars decree. And a fractured and incoherent opposition, rather than his own strengths, will be his best hope more..

Editorial: Feeding hungry mouths

Oct 16 (Island) The govt has decided to provide four million schoolchildren with midday meals free from harmful chemicals, as we reported on Tuesday. Medical experts have found agrochemical residues in urine samples taken from the children in areas where the chronic kidney disease is prevalent, according to our report. How effective the agrochemical-free midday meal scheme will be in tackling the kidney disease remains to be seen, but it is certainly welcome because more..

DDFC gets new Chairman

Oct 16 (CT) Deshodaya Development Finance Company Ltd (DDFC) added yet another link to the chain of transformations which it has gone through from inception; Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, who was the Chairman from inception, handed over the reins of Chairmanship to the competent hands of Eastman Narangoda. Eastman Narangoda who is a well known figure in the financial sector of Sri Lanka obtained his education at Nalanda College where he was an exceptional student & an all rounder more..

A Presidential visit up North

Oct 16 (GV) By all accounts, President Rajapakse’s unprecedented and rather controversial third term re-election campaign, though unofficial, has begun in earnest. Last week he presented the Cabinet of Ministers with a proposal to increase communal harmony in the country and implement the LLRC proposals, though a few weeks earlier the defense establishment, had facilitated a convention of more..

Thank you Mahinda for the avocado prawns

Oct 16 (NS) It’s raining. Hard. They say ‘bad weather’, but I think it would be ridiculous to describe Colombo on a rainless, hot afternoon as a city enjoying ‘good weather’. I don’t understand Meteorology lingo. Anyway, I distract myself. It’s nice weather for me, especially since I am just watching the rain and not getting drenched by it. Right now I am sitting in the verandah of a quaint little restaurant somewhere in a quaint old place called the Galle Fort. more..

Hirdaramani Group commences work on factory in Mullaitivu

Oct 16 (CT) Hirdaramani Group officially commenced construction work on a new apparel manufacturing facility in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu, with the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone. The company is currently running a training facility in Mullaitivu and the establishment of the factory is the next step in creating jobs and opportunities for the communities in the area. "As a Group we made the decision to invest in the North-East as part of our responsibility, more..

Beyond Boston with Ranjan Ramanayaka

Tiger Diaspora leaders to India

Oct 16 (CT) Chinese submarines in Colombo, and the Tamil Diaspora entry to India were the surprising developments in India and Sri Lanka last week. The Indian Defence Secretary was in Sri Lanka last week to meet President Rajapaksa, who was in Kandy. Though it was not clear as to what was conveyed to Mahinda by the Indian Defence Secretary, there was no doubt that India expressed concern over the berthing of three Chinese submarines during the visit of the Chinese President. more..

Cleaning actions needs close attention

Oct 16 (CT) Suspect bowling actions seem to be the topic of the day on the lips of not just the administrators but the umpires, coaches and players too. It appears that suddenly the ICC has woken up from deep slumber and is looking to clean up the cricketing stable and the victims have been the modern off spinner! Coaches would tell you, that the off spinner of past used to bowl with the drift rather than spin and will not depend too much on turn. His role was more to contain than more..

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