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Deepavali, a day of great religious fervour and festivity - President

Oct 22 (DN) I am pleased to send this message on the occasion of Deepavali, which marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, according to the Lunar Calendar, and is a day of great religious fervour and festivity for the Hindu community, states President Rajapaksa in a Deepavali message.“The festival of Deepavali, or Festival of Lights, celebrates the victory of Goodness over Evil and Light over darkness. It is thus the deeper celebration of the Light of Knowledge over the Darkness of more..

'China, Japan say give us the fish'

Oct 22 (DN) Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said Japan and China, and two ‘major’ foreign companies, have already expressed interest in sourcing fisheries products from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will be cut off from a slice of the seafood market, the European Union, starting next January as part of the EU’s apparent sanctions on Lankan fish produce on ostensible grounds of conservation. more..

5 held for theatre bomb attacks in Kaththi

Oct 22 (TOI) Police on Tuesday arrested five members of the TPDK outfit for attacking two movie theatres in the city with crude petrol bombs in protest against the release of the film 'Kaththi' (Knife), starring Vijay, over the producers' alleged links to SL President Rajapaksa. Several Tamil groups have been protesting the past week against the release of the movie, stating that the promoters of Lyca Productions were close to Rajapaksa who activists hold responsible more..

Sri Lanka takes anti-discrimination stride

Oct 22 (GNZ) Sri Lanka has, for the first time ever, acknowledged the non-discrimination provisions in its constitution protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Statement came in responses from the SL Govt to recommendations for reform during the country’s review by the UNHRC. Executive Director of Sri Lankan lgbti group Equal Ground, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, says it’s a positive outcome which takes the sting out of anti-gay more..

Sanga may miss India tour

Oct 22 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara has sustained a niggle in his spine while training and it might rule him out of the hastily-arranged five-match ODI Series against India if he fails to recover in time for the tour which starts in ten days, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya revealed. He admitted it would be great blow to lose the experienced star batsman for a difficult tour, but said they hope to bring in young wicket keeper more..

Allianz Lanka supports para athletes at 2014 Asian Para Games

Oct 22 (DN) 75 Sri Lankan athletes met the qualifying criteria for participation in the 2014 Asian Para Gamesthat begin on 18 October in Incheon, South Korea. Also known as the Second Asian Para Games, the 2014 Asian Para Games is a multi-sports event for Asian athletes with disabilities, held in parallel with the Asian Games. About 4,500 athletes from 41 countries will be competing in 23 sports events that is held from October 18 to 24th. Sports in which the Sri Lanka contingent more..

National Chamber bilateral session with UK High Commissioner

Oct 22 (FT) High Commissioner of UK will be the special guest speaker at a session on ‘Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and UK’ on Wednesday 29 October from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chamber Auditorium No. 450 D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10. High Commissioner will be accompanied by UK High Commission UK Head of Trade and Investment Gary Leslie. They will speak on the current business trend, trade potential, opportunities for export, import, investment more..

Hindus asked not to deviate from spiritual life

Oct 22 (Island) The All Ceylon Hindu Congress issuing a Deepavali message has called on the Hindus not to deviate from spiritual life. Full text of the message: Yet our people have not been blessed to celebrate it. However they should engage in the prayers without deviating from their divine way of life. Mere lighting of the lamps will not be sufficient but they should light the divine light in their hearts and pray to His Almighty. more..

IRANU slams Wiggy, Ranil

Oct 22 (CT) The TNA and Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, by boycotting development projects in the North and the East, are working against the people's welfare, the Inter Religious Alliance for National Unity (IRANU) charged.Presidential Coordinator for Religious Affairs and IRANU Co-President/Co-Chairman, Father Sarath Hettiarachchi, said Wigneswaran had not even participated in the maiden journey of the re-established Colombo-Jaffna Yal Devi train. more..

Live telecast of P’liment proceedings to return with Budget

Oct 22 (FT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa gave the approval to recommence live telecast of Parliament proceedings starting with this Friday’s Budget Speech. In response to a question raised by Opposition MP Ravi Karunanayake in the House, the Speaker has taken the decision to allow the live telecast in consultation with Party Leaders. Use of abusive language and unruly behaviour will terminate the transmission. The disruptive behaviour of certain members who violate the rights of more..

'Equally important to promote private sector education'

Oct 22 (Island) ‘While protecting free education in the country, it is equally important to promote private sector education said Minister S.B. Dissanayake when he declared open a partnership venture between Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Nawaloka College of Higher Studies (NCHS). Speaking at the ceremonial launch in Colombo yesterday he said he believes that global education is of paramount more..

Four-legged, two-legged jumbos figure in Parliament

Oct 22 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday members of parliament should be able to distinguish the difference between ‘two’ and ‘four’. Speaker made this observation when UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said that there were two types of elephants- quadrupeds and bipeds in response to a remark made by Wildlife Conservation Minister Vijith Vijyamuni Zoysa, who said that an elephant problem was prevailing in Hambantota owing to actions of MP Sajith Premadasa. more..

DC issues Interim Order against former CEO of Serene Pavilions

Oct 22 (FT) The Colombo District Court issued an Interim Injunction against Anura Lokuhetty, the former CEO of luxury resort Serene Pavilions. The Plaintiff Serene Pavilions instituted litigation in the District Court alleging inter alia that the Defendant Lokuhetty was wrongfully representing himself as the CEO of Serene Pavilions consequent to being terminated from employment in August 2013. After considering extensive submissions made by parties, the District Court made more..

Parliament nod for DFCC-NDB merger

Oct 22 (FT) Paving the way for the proposed merger of DFCC Bank, DFCC Vardhana Bank and NDB Bank, the Repeal and Consequential Provisions Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday. Moving the bill that delivered the provisions for the registering of DFCC Bank as a public limited company with the name DFCC Bank PLC and to provide for the provisions consequential to such registration by repealing the DFCC Bank more..

'Learn from us to balance budget'

Oct 22 (CT) Highlighting the wage structure and low charges by the security industry of the country, a retired military official says that the Treasury Secretary should learn from the security services industry to manage the budget and deficit, claiming that they have mastered the art of balancing their budgets. Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLSSPA) Vice President Col. (Rtd) Jayavi Fenando told a CEO form in Colombo that security firms were managing more..

Vintage Teas moves Court for recall of search warrant and summons

Oct 22 (FT) President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe appearing on behalf of Vintage Teas Ceylon Ltd. on 17 October supported an application before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to have a summons and search warrant issued on a plaint filed by The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd. recalled on the basis that the complainant had obtained the search warrant and summons on a suppression of material facts and that therefore the complainant was not entitled in law to the relief prayed for. more..

Tourism caught napping by northern travel restrictions

Oct 22 (ST) When top US trade official, Michael Delaney, the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and South Asia, visited Colombo this week for official talks with local counterparts, he was impressed by the level of development and the opportunities for US companies in infrastructure development. He was in particular enthusiastic about the surge in tourism which has grown to over a million arrivals more..

Food poisoning in factories: Are we ignoring the larger picture?

Oct 22 (ST) As is often the case, the death of an employee, Ms.S. Gunawathie, of “Next” export manufacturing facility in the Katunayake EPZ on Sept 7, after she was admitted to the Negombo District Hospital, blew up large with some who thought they could capture headlines and then fizzled off, leaving the FTZ and General Services employees union to fight for compensation. Her death was due to a rupture of a blood vessel in her brain, according to the Consultant JMO, more..

People’s Bank cuts pawning exposure by Rs.120bn

Oct 22 (DM) The second largest state sector bank, People’s Bank has cut its pawning exposure by as much as Rs.120 billion from January 2013 through Sept 30, 2014, but said the bank is actively encouraging the loans against the precious metal, which is losing its glory days. End of Dec 2012, People’s Bank – the largest gold-backed lender in the country – had a gold-backed lending portfolio of Rs.250.8 billion, which accounted for 33.9% of its total advances. more..

The JHU critiques the Rajapakse Presidency

Oct 22 (GV) The barbs and criticisms of a political ally can in politics often do greater damage than even the more forthright criticism of an opponent. The reason for this has all to do with political constituency. When the opposition criticizes the Rajapakse presidency, it resonates mainly with those that are already politically in disagreement with the president anyway and is only effective to the extent that it actually is deemed more..

Nobel Prizes, Spices and Steroid Hormones

Oct 22 (Island) On my return from Lanzhou, Gansu Province in China after attending The 3rd International Culture Industry Summit (ICIS) & The 7th International Culture Expo from the 8th to 11th Oct, I commenced catching up on the issues of THE ISLAND, which had appeared during my absence. In the issue of 7th Oct 2014, I came across an article with the intriguing title "Nobel Season opens with Snowden, chili research spicing up predictions’. This attracted my attention since during more..

Editorial: An insidious killer

Oct 22 (Island) Much concern has been expressed about the presence of high levels of arsenic etc. in some food items in this country. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease has also been attributed to water contaminated with heavy metals among other things. Scientists, doctors and the media have succeeded in raising the level of public awareness of the dangers of heavy metals and other harmful substances in the widely used agrochemicals. But, the danger posed by lead has apparently more..


Oct 22 (CT) What appeared to be an about-turn on the issue of the executive presidency, CP stalwart, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara disclosed that the executive presidency was only one issue of the many. In a dramatic turn of events, the Communist Party now seems to track on a path with the UPFA, which Gunasekara claimed as 'going by the realities'. On the issue of the incumbent President seeking a third term, more..

DMK’s Thi Mu Ka factor

Oct 22 (NS) Much focus has been given to Tamil Nadu and its political environment which took an unexpected turn when its chief minister was put behind bars after having been found guilty of corruption. A lot has been said about the future of AIADMK after Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s prison sentence.Another factor that is being debated is the possibility of DMK re-establishing its dominance using the vacuum created by Jayalalithaa’s absence. The DMK has been a force to be more..

Both cand dates will win

Oct 22 (SL) We are living in interesting times. But as Chinese wisdom holds, there is a curse on interesting times. This Confucian wisdom has come down unchallenged for five millennia and probably guides mighty China today. No doubt election times are interesting times. But one wrong prediction about the winner or loser in the forthcoming election and you will be kaput for the next six years. Thus, when we were asked by dyed deep blue UPFA activist: ‘So, how-how, do you think more..

TNA not decided on presidential polls - Sumanthiran

Oct 22 (CT) Q: What is your opinion on the European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulling the restrictive measures taken against the LTTE ? A: The European Court of Justice in its verdict has stated that the objective test which had been carried out by the Council and Commission of the European Union, together with two member States , the UK and the Netherlands were unsatisfactory in the decision taken on proscribing the LTTE. more..

Did the European Court of Justice slip Mahinda a trump card?

Oct 22 (NS) Here’s the ‘word on the street’ or rather ‘word on the walls’ on Saturday October 18, 2014: ‘hqfrdamd ix.uh LTTE ;yku bj;a lrhs rks,a hqfrdamfhka jev wrUhs.’ (The EU lifts LTTE ban – Ranil embarks (on campaign) from Europe).’ It is a neat juxtaposition. The first part is true in part. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) annulled the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE but did so with an important rider, ‘on fundamentally procedural grounds’ with the decision more..

Crime to call President an Ekadhipathiya?

Oct 22 (CT) On the 19th Oct 2014 BBC Sinhala Service broadcast, UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, complained that there was a plan to assassinate him due to his participation in a televised debate. On air, he had provided details of the information he had received regarding the alleged assassination plan. Replying to these allegations, Cabinet Minister Johnston Fernando, said that Ranjan Ramanayake had called the President - who had saved the nation – an ekathipathiya (authoritarian ruler) more..

Enormous potential for aquaculture

Oct 22 (SO) Half of the total global seafood supply for human consumption is now produced by aquaculture. In Sri Lanka, commercial scale aquaculture is still at an early stage of development, with commercial shrimp, fresh water fish, and ornamental fish farming being the main areas practiced in Sri Lanka. Since there are vast natural resources and suitable environmental conditions available for aquaculture, more..

The size of the Cabinet and the allocation of departments to ministries

Oct 22 (CT) Northcote Parkinson in his book published in the 1980s gave the size of the Cabinet of Ministers in several countries in 1978.It was seven in Switzerland, 12 in the USA,20 in Great Britain and France, 37 in the USSR and 44 in China. He says that the coefficient of inefficiency must lie between 19 and 22. He says we should draw a line under the 20 for beyond that number the Cabinet is not the real seat of power. In such countries there is an inner Cabinet or more..

Developing the varied resources of the Eastern Province

Oct 22 (ST) The potential for developing the Eastern Province’s varied resources is immense. As in the North, a political solution to the ethnic discontent is an essential precondition for sustainable economic development of the Eastern Province that has the most diverse ethnic and religious composition. Regaining peaceful conditions has provided an environment for economic development. New economic activities and modes of production have to be designed and effectively implemented more..

Tuna importers surprised over EU ban on Sri Lanka, warn of market impact

Oct 21 (UCN) Two European importers of Sri Lankan tuna expressed surprise at the timing of the European ban on fisheries imports from Sri Lanka. UK-based Le Lien, which has a plant in Sri Lanka, and French fresh tuna specialist Comptoirs Oceaniques, which has a long historical sourcing arrangement with the country, warned of the measures’ “devastating impact” on livelihoods in the Asian nation. more..

University students attacked with tear gas and water canons

Oct 21 (NS) The Police prevented another attempt by university students to reach the Parliament premises in a march of thousands of students this evening. Police Anti-riot Squad had to fire tear gas and water cannons on students who were marching towards the Parliament premises. IUSF had organized the protest march and students began their march at the Nelum Pokuna premises and had planned to reach the Parliament protesting against suppression of student activism more..

JHU and MR discuss demands of JHU

Oct 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa met the JHU today and discussed the demands put forward to the Govt by the JHU. At the talks it was decided to appoint a committee to evaluate a set of proposals submitted to the Govt by the JHU. The President’s office said that more talks will be held in future between the JHU and the Govt regarding the proposals. The JHU had recently warned that it will not hesitate to back another common candidate at the next Presidential elections if more..

PM assures no exodus from govt

Oct 21 (Island) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne at a meeting of the Kandy district ruling party political leadership on Saturday expressed confidence that no one from the govt would cross over to the UNP. Govt with the leadership of President Rajapaksa was strong and stable having won the confidence and blessings of the people of the country, Jayaratne said. UNP’s claim that many stalwarts of Rajapaksa govt were about to more..

G.L rejects allegations over Kshenuka

Oct 21 (CG) Minister G L Peiris has strongly rejected “malicious news reports” appearing in certain sections of the media recently, imputing impropriety on the part of the Secretary to the Ministry, Kshenuka Senewiratne in the award of a contract for the renovation of the official residence of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva. Minister Peiris has stated that while wrongdoing should not go unpunished, it is important to ensure that officials performing their public duty more..