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Cheaper in the long run

Oct 13 (NS) With the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai now fully online, Sri Lanka has taken another step towards meeting its increasing electricity demand. The coal power plant is expected to add 900 MW to the national grid. Meanwhile, work is also continuing at the country’s second coal fired power plant, located in Sampur, which is expected to add 500MW to the national grid when completed. more..


Oct 13 (CT) The signs proliferate. After the announcement of an early budget with a pared down debate came the reduction in gas prices. The President himself proclaimed the reduction, as if it was his ‘personal’ gift to the consumers. There will have to be an election soon, so that the regime can jack up prices again. Even a short term price reduction, especially in such essentials as electricity, fuel and gas, is nothing to scoff at. But the sheer blatancy of the tactic demonstrates, more..

Harnessing the diverse economic potential of the North

Oct 13 (ST) Although five years have passed since the end of the war, the full development potential of the North and East has not been harnessed. Most investments have been for rebuilding and reconstruction of infrastructure and housing – areas that were indeed priorities and prerequisites for economic development. Now that much has been achieved in developing infrastructure, a new focus and long-term investment plans are needed for the economic development of these two regions. more..

'Futile to field common candidate sans UNP and JVP support'

Oct 13 (CT) Convener of NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, who is tipped to be the common candidate at a forthcoming Presidential Election, said the entire discussion on fielding a common candidate would be futile if the UNP and the JVP were not involved in the entire process. Q: Are there any obstacles that prevent you from becoming the common candidate at a forthcoming Presidential Election? more..

The President’s choices get explained

Oct 13 (NS) There was animated conversation in the Senior Common Room of a prominent State University. This was unusual because academics had long since given up on debate and discussion of any kind let alone scholarship and matters concerning academics. Understandably the topic of conversation was politics; not political philosophy, ideological preferences, the worth of this system over that or trends in international politics but the intellect-deadening opinion tossing about a more..

Quandary in finding a common candidate

Oct 13 (NS) The political discourse in the country currently revolves around the next presidential elections, expected early next year, sandwiched between Christmas and the papal visit on January 13. Invariably, however, these discussions end in one topic: the so-called ‘common candidate’. The ‘common candidate’ was mooted a few months ago by several opposition and non-governmental groups who argued that it would take the collective vote of everyone else to defeat incumbent President more..

A lone battle to abolish Executive Presidency!

Oct 13 (CT) UPFA MP Wasantha Senanayaka who proposed Constitutional Amendments to reduce number of Ministers says that he withdrew the proposals since there was a Parliamentary Select Committee which called for proposals to amend the Constitution. Q: Is it true that the bigwigs are not letting you to work? A: There is no such issue. Q: Then why did you revoke much hyped proposal to minimize cabinet? more..

Sri Lanka needs tightening, not relaxation, of the electoral scheme

Oct 13 (ST) Strenuous efforts are being made by the Government and its propagandists in the state/private media to justify planned attempts to amend Sri Lanka’s election laws, legalising what are currently classified as election violations. But such prohibitions did not come about by a casual throw of the dice as these rude proponents of government power appear to believe. They were carefully and meticulously thought out in order to ensure free and fair elections at a time when more..

A try short, yet Bronze was far

Oct 13 (SL) THAT Sri Lanka rugby got within an ace of an Asian Games bronze medal last week is commendable, and should the SLRFU want to claim bragging rights for the performance in Incheon, that’s understandable. Remotely adrift of a medal at every Games before, getting within one try of an Asian bronze is no doubt worthy of boast. Arguably, were the opponent not the host nation South Korea, or were the venue someplace else, the outcome might’ve been different. more..

Serenity pervades Delft Island

Oct 13 (SO) Delft Island known as Neduntheevu or Neduntivu is famous for its natural beauty and can be developed into a tourism destination on the same lines as Hikkaduwa. The island is in the Palk Strait of Northern Sri Lanka. It occupies an area of 50 km and the length of its rough oval-shaped is 8km and width is about six km. Neduntivu is surrounded by shallow waters and beaches of coral chunks and sand. more..

With elections imminent who is afraid of whom?

Oct 13 (SL) President Rajapaksa has directed that the price of cooking gas should be reduced. This time there was no Chinese President to share the credit with. During the Uva PC election last month the President Rajapaksa thanked the visiting Chinese President for having bestowed economic assistance lavishly on the country and reduced the price of petrol and electricity. However, whether these concessions actually led to an increased level of electoral support for the govt is more..

A weakened Jaya & the need for re-assessment by the World Tamils & TNA

Oct 13 (CT) Jaya’s fall from grace after her conviction for corruption is reverberating in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere particularly among the Eelam Tamils Who are distressed and feeling the loss of a strong supporter. However the past history shows that the Delhi govts have always taken steps to cut down the size of Tamil Nadu leaders. Many past chief ministers have been victims of their moves. Annadurai has to abandon the seperate Dravida Nadu slogan due to legislation by Nehru. more..

Villagers attacked students: SB

Oct 12 (SL) Minister S.B. Dissanayake denied allegations directed at him in connection with the assault on the Sabaragamuwa university students on Friday night and blamed the villagers in the area over it. An unidentified gang had attacked the students late into the night while the students were engaged in a Satyagraha campaign. At least 11 students sustained injuries and were admitted to hospital while a three-wheeler parked in more..

Hela Urumaya holds its national convention

Oct 12 (NS) A constituent party to the ruling UPFA; Hela Urumaya will hold its national convention on October 19 at 2.30pm at the NYSC Auditorium in Maharagama. The event will be chaired by the party leader Dr Omalpe Sobhitha Nayaka Thera, and all other leaders in attendance. Party’s National Organiser, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that an ambiguity has been created in the country over the direction in which the country leads today after defeat of the LTTE, five years ago. more..

Witness Protection Bill to compensate crime victims

Oct 12 (SO) The Witness Protection Bill now before Parliament proposes a special fund to compensate victims of crime and also the setting up of a special division under the IGP to provide speedy assistance to victims in need, official sources said. The Bill titled, “Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses” drafted by the Justice Ministry in keeping with the LLRC recommendations has been hailed by local and international human rights champions. more..

President declares open three MTLs in Kuliyapitiya area

Oct 12 (IL) Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories (MLTs) built at three schools in the Kuliyapitiya Educational Zone in North Western Province (Wayamba) were vested in the students under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday. The President declared open the MLTs in Kuliyapitiya Kanadulla Dharmaraja Maha Vidyalaya, Baragedera Anagarika Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya and more..

BASL urges 'merit appointments' to superior courts

Oct 12 (CT) The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), is planning to pass a resolution in regard to appointments to the country's superior courts. The resolution demands that all appointments of judges, to the superior courts, are made adhering to merit and seniority and that only persons with unblemished professional and personal records should be appointed. BASL has planned to set forth this resolution at a special meeting to be held on Friday. more..

Private and CTB buses to operate under joint timetable

Oct 12 (SO) Discussions are being held at provincial level to operate the private and CTB buses under a joint time schedule. A special meeting was held at Private Transport Ministry under the patronage of Minister C.B. Ratnayake to introduce the joint timetable throughout the country. Separate meetings will be held by Provincial Transport Commissions with the CTB. The first discussion will be held between the Western Province Transport Commission and the CTB on October 14. more..

MR says Wigi, NPC hampering progress

Oct 12 (CG) President Rajapaksa says the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) administration is hampering development work in the North. Addressing a public rally in Kilinochchi today, the President said that the Govt has plans for the North but the NPC is not allowing some of the work to progress. President said that he expected to lose the NPC elections last year but yet went ahead and held the polls despite more..

Seekkuge Prasanna wrecks West Indies A

Oct 12 (CI) Offspinner Shane Shillingford's five-wicket haul to rein in Sri Lanka A after the hosts had made a tremendous start was overshadowed by legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna's performance that wrecked West Indies A's first innings. Prasanna took 5 for 24 in only 15 overs - seven of those were maidens - to leave the visitors facing the prospect of a huge deficit. The West Indies A openers added 44 before the collapse began and they lost seven wickets for 52 runs. more..

Buddhadasa sues Weerawansa's media secretary demanding Rs. 100 Mn

Oct 12 (AM) Filing a lawsuit before Colombo District Court, Mayor of Kaduwela MC G.H. Buddhadasa had claimed a sum of Rs.100 million as damages from NFF Media spokesman Mohammad Muzammil for making defamatory remarks on him. Mayor alleged that the NFF media spokesman had made this statement with wrongful intention to defame him and had given a wrong impression to the general public that he was unconscious about country’s national policies. more..

Union anger comes to a boil over Budget promises

Oct 12 (ST) Fed up with broken promises of fund allocations in previous budgets public and private sector employees are launching countrywide protests in hopes of winning a series of demands from the Oct 24 Budget. The workers, backed by trade unions, say they will take to the streets or refrain from work until Govt meets their demands. Settlement of salary anomalies, pay rises and allowances are the central claims. more..

Sumedha quits Uva Council post

Oct 12 (ST) Uva Provincial Council’s Deputy Chairman and UPFA member Saliya Sumedha yesterday quit his post claiming that the position was not sufficient to serve the public. He said he was opting to remain as a member of the council. Mr. Sumedha, son of Cabinet Minister Sumedha Jayasena, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa said even his mother had been sidelined from the development work in the district and she could not meet the expectations of the public. more..

G.L and Indonesia’s Widodo hold talks

Oct 12 (CG) Indonesia’s President-elect Joko Widodo and Minister G L Peiris, had talks in Indonesia today. Widodo and External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L Peiris greeted each other in front of the media before going in for talks. A press conference was expected to place after the meeting held this evening. Having secured 53.15% of the vote, Widodo emerged as the clear winner over his rival Prabowo Subianto who secured 48.85% of the vote during elections held in July. more..

Northern Province has high unemployment rate

Oct 12 (CT) Northern Province has also had one of the highest budgetary allocations since 2009. In 2011, the budget allocated Rs 12,496 million in 2012, the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme was given Rs 8,307 million and in 2013, the govt allocated Rs 8,000 million for development in the North and East. The lion's share of development work has also been carried out by India with their main project, more..

Praveeni Perera speaks at Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo

Oct 12 (LR) Sri Lankan born Praveeni Perera was among top speakers at the Ottawa edition of the Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo last week at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The expo was hosted by Canadian Small Business Women (CSBW) a Toronto based organization and arrived in Ottawa this year at the invitation of Ms. Perera. Ms. Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting an Ottawa based company which provides training and consulting services in more..

Water project stalled over Israeli firm’s big bid price

Oct 12 (ST) A multimillion dollar water project has been put on hold by the Cabinet on the grounds that the estimate the Israeli company that submitted an unsolicited proposal to implement it was 103% more than the estimate by Sri Lankan engineers. A Cabinet memorandum submitted last week and referred for reconsideration says that the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC), which includes Treasury officials, had managed to bring down the bid price by more..

Colombo linked to Jaffna by steel after 24 years

Oct 12 (ST) After 24 years ‘Yal Devi’ is all set to begin its journey to Jaffna from Colombo with pride, linking the North and the South. Since 1990 its services had to be terminated due to the conflict. President Rajapaksa is due to inaugurate the service from Pallai to Jaffna. The service had been operating up to Pallai after the track was gradually repaired from Vavuniya northward in stages. Railway General Manager B.A.D. more..

Hakeem finds himself in a political dilemma

Oct 12 (AM) The SLMC Leader, Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem is reportedly in a political dilemma due to pressures from his party and the govt. According to local media, the rank and file of his party is demanding him to take a crucial political decision regarding the Presidential Election. However, the govt has reportedly indicated that if Hakeem’s party ceases to support the govt it will be difficult to accept it back. Rauff Hakeem had criticized the govt on several occasions, more..

GTF says UK meet sent clear message

Oct 12 (CG) The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), says its meeting with the British Govt last week indicated the international community had disregarded the ban imposed by the Sri Lankan Govt. British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office, Hugo Swire had talks on Sri Lanka last week with a group of Tamil organisations including the GTF. Following the talks Swire affirmed Britain’s strong commitment to the investigation on Sri Lanka by the OHCHR. more..

Presidential order ignored Campsites set up in Kumana Park

Oct 12 (CT) Environmentalists have voiced concern over the Wildlife Director's failure to take action against the Kumana Park Warden, for allowing campsites to be set up within the park. According to reliable sources, until 13 August 2014 Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd had campsites at the Kumana National Park with the knowledge of the Park Warden. Ceylon Today has received photos of Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd and their campsite at more..

Report on Welikada riots ready for parliament scrutiny

Oct 12 (NS) The final report on the probe pertaining to the unrest within Welikada prisons premises has been completed and will be handed over to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee appointed to analyze the report at the next meeting, Secretary, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms G.S. Withanage said. The committee which probed into the incident had completed the report less than a month ago. However, the date for the next meeting was yet to be finalized. more..

Extend UN inquiry on Sri Lanka: TDI

Oct 12 (ENS) Tamizhar Desiya Iyyakkam chairman Pazha Nedumaran on Saturday said the period of inquiry by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Sri Lanka should be extended. Briefing newsmen at a press conference here, he said the term of the committee, constituted to look into the issues of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, will end this month. Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa had not cooperated with the enquiry and also no enquiry could be undertaken in Tamil Nadu. more..

President can contest thrice, claims Wimal

Oct 12 (NS) Minister Wimal Weerawansha claims that the Opposition and some organizations are, at the bidding of western forces, making a useless argument that “Mahinda can’t contest thrice”. “The best thing which the Opposition should do is to go before the Supreme Court and seek a determination. But, they don’t do it, instead they hold lectures and seminars just to satisfy the western forces who don’t want to more..

International Human Rights: Dispelling Myths

Oct 12 (Island) Kofi Annan took up the report and introduced some elements into the Heads of State summit held in 2005. It had been cut down to include humanitarian intervention only in the case of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide- not natural disasters- and only allowed the use of military force through endorsement by the Security Council under Chapter 7 where Russia and China would also be present with their vetoes. This placated the heads of state gathered there more..

Muzzling of the budget debate

Oct 12 (Island) Rajapaksa administration is trying to ram the 2015 budget through parliament by deliberately cutting the debate short, in yet another attempt to undermine democracy, Parliament and in the process the rights and freedoms of the people of this country. Article 148 of the Constitution specifies that Parliament has full control over finances. The most important scheduled debate in Parliament is the Budget debate. A citizen cannot be taxed a single rupee without Parliaments approval. more..