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CPC wants autonomy to decide commercial operations

Oct 22 (ST) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Finance Ministry are on a collision course over raising funds from the CPC, after turning down a Treasury request to transfer Rs. 10 billion to the Consolidated Fund. The CPC, this week, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development has responded to the Finance Ministry Secretary explaining its current weak financial position and made more..

SL to control iron, folate deficiency through fortification of rice

Oct 22 (DN) The govt has taken measures to control iron and folate deficiency via food fortification. National Food Promotion Board Chairman Dhammika Peiris said that the iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, which is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in Sri Lanka. “Since several years back, the govt provides iron and folic acid supplements as a solution for the iron and folate deficiency which is highly prevalent among pregnant mothers and children. more..

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Oxford Business Group signs second MoU

Oct 22 (AD) Sri Lanka’s two-fold bid to build economic momentum and improve investor sentiment on the back of a $1.5bn funding pledge from the IMF will be analysed in a report by the global publishing firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). The IMF expects Sri Lanka’s economy to expand by 5% in 2016, which would represent a 3-year high. Sri Lanka 2017 highlights the economic sectors that are expected to generate new growth, including tourism, ICT and transport. more..

Tamils in Sri Lanka feel pessimistic due to lack of reconciliation: GTF

Oct 22 (PTI) Tamils in Sri Lanka are feeling pessimistic due to lack of progress in reconciliation efforts by President Sirisena who had promised to reach out to the minority community more vigorously than his predecessor, a UK-based diaspora group said on Saturday. "Lack of urgency towards demilitarisation, normalisation in the North and East, insufficient effort to include all communities into the reconciliation processes more..

SL Navy Sayura and Suranimala on a training visit to India

Oct 22 (SLN) The Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sayura and Fast Missile Vessel SLNS Suranimala of the Sri Lanka Navy, which are on a training and goodwill visit from 22nd to 28th Oct, left for India from the Port of Colombo today. Two ships are scheduled to make their port of call at Cochin in India tomorrow and take part in a series of training programmes. 304 SLN personnel including 20 Midshipmen undergoing their sea training, are scheduled to take part in the 7-day visit more..

Kiriella, Dilan open roads in Habaraduwa

Oct 22 (CT) Ministers Lakshman Kiriella and Dilan Perera yesterday declared open to the public new roads constructed in the Habaraduwa electorate and together laid foundation stones for the construction of more connecting roads. The Liyanagoda - Lunumodera road was declared open by Minister Lakshman Kiriella at the Uyangoda end at the invitation of Habaraduwa UNP Organizer Chandralal Abeygunawardena. Lunumodera end of the road was declared open by Minister Dilan Perera more..

'Buddhism's position in SL won't change'

Oct 22 (PTI) The foremost place accorded to Sri Lanka's majority religion of Buddhism will be preserved in its new Constitution, President Sirisena has said. "Buddhism's position, coming since 1972, will not be changed," Sirisena told a religious gathering in Trincomalee. Dismissing the Opposition claims that Buddhism's position in the country is to be diluted in the new Constitution, he said: "We have not finalised anything yet." more..

VAT Amendment Bill: JO invokes Kali’s curse on Govt

Oct 22 (CT) MP Udaya Gammanpila says Party leaders of the JO have decided to carry out a subdued protest in Parliament on 26 Oct, when the govt is slated to submit the proposed VAT Amendment Bill for debate. He said JO protest in Parliament will be spearheaded by MPs Gamini Lokuge, Ranjith Soyza and Pavithra Wanniarachchi. Gammanpila added the JO has also decided to distribute leaflets among the public to make the people aware of the JO's opposition to more..

Health Ministry saves millions by curtailing corruption

Oct 22 (DN) The Health Ministry said it was able to save Rs. 2,000 million this year by stopping several corrupt transactions of the Ministry. "In the past some doctors had been given commissions for drug transactions. I stopped them by appointing relevant doctors for relevant subjects," Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. According to Dr. Senaratne, all transactions without tenders have now been stopped and all transactions take place only through tenders. more..

More hiccups as drug prices slashed

Oct 22 (NS) In light of the recent regulation of the prices of essential drugs coming into force, pharmacists pointed out that those who purchased drugs for medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypotension and asthma constituted at least 40% of the market share. Price revisions of 47 essential drugs were gazetted on Friday. Accordingly, the list of drugs included those which are used for the treatment of more..

Perera’s promising start and debacle

Oct 22 (DS) Thisara is a vital part of our team, and he still hasn’t come right in New Zealand. If we can have Thisara batting well and bowling well, he’s a match-winner. He has proven that with the amount of man-of-the-match awards he’s won. Right now he’s trying to find that form. Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena backed misfiring big hitter Thisara Perera to come out of his frustrating stint with the bat and the ball ahead of the concluded World Twenty20 in Feb 2015. more..

Junk food, lack of exercise cause of increased NCDs, say specialist docs

Oct 22 (ST) There is an urgent need for Sri Lankans to beat the bulge to prevent them from slithering down the slippery slope to the depths of deadly non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It is in this light that World Obesity Day was celebrated on Tuesday (Oc 11) with the theme Combating Childhood Obesity, for it is essential to catch them young to prevent the insidious build up of fat due to unhealthy lifestyles of junk food and lack of exercise, Sunday Times learns. more..

Drought forces delay in Maha with more trouble to come

Oct 22 (ST) The delay in the second inter-monsoon of the year has prompted the Dept of Irrigation to postpone Maha cultivation season to November, with the risk of a reduced harvest. Second inter-monsoon normally starts during the beginning of October and is expected to be in full swing by the end of the month with Maha season normally starting by mid-Oct. Although rain fell last week there were no heavy showers and more..

President to submit Cabinet paper: Formalize use of elephants in Temple functions

Oct 22 (CT) President Sirisena has decided to submit a special paper to the Cabinet which seeks to establish a procedure by which elephants can be officially handed over to temples for use in pageants and other functions. President's initiative comes from a precedent in which several elephants including tuskers in temples and devales had been taken into custody by Wildlife Department officers acting on Court orders, leading to a crisis in the issue of the use of elephants for temple functions. more..

Ekneligoda disappearnce: Sandya receives anonymous calls

Oct 22 (CT) Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, has lodged a complaint with the Homagama Police that she had received anonymous telephone calls twice after four suspects were released on bail on 19 Sept. She had lodged the complaint on 7 Oct 2016. She said that on 21 Sept and 2 Oct she had received calls and the callers had inquired whether she was in Sri Lanka and whether she would be attending the next hearing in the Court. more..

Detecting CKDU early: Researchers zero in on biomarkers, Hambantota also affected

Oct 22 (ST) It is the toil, sweat and tears of the humble paddy farmer in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka that puts the rice on our plates daily. It is this very same farmer, mainly in the North Central Province (NCP), who has been caught in the vice-like grip of a deadly, mysterious kidney disease. While many have been attempting to find the cause or causes of this Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) and the focus more..

Police shooting of two Jaffna students should be condemned strongly

Oct 22 (CT) The police shooting and the killing of two Jaffna University students on the 21st should be condemned strongly, and the blatant killers should be brought to justice without delay. By shooting to the head of the motorcycle riders, it is very clear that it was done not to stop the vehicle, but to kill. If it were to stop the vehicle, then the shooting could have been done to the vehicle or the tires. Anyway, there is no apparent reason for police to stop and search vehicles in such a manner in Jaffna more..

Two global yacht and marina construction companies show interest in marine tourism

Oct 22 (GDI) Managing Director of Benetti which is a worldwide acclaimed Italian company of large scale Yacht and Marina construction, Nizar Tagi and Sujay Chohan from Ocean Blue, India visited Sri Lanka and met Minister Dilip Wedarachchi recently and consented to support marine tourism in Sri Lanka related to fisheries industry. Minister, briefed the two investors in detail regarding the proposed Blue Economy movement and the investors having been highly impressed by this concept more..

Blowing the lid off Lasantha’s Murder: Activists to go public with facts

Oct 22 (CT) Some civil activist groups are planning to go public with some startling revelations shortly, related to the brutal murder of late journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge seven years ago as well as in connection with the alleged abduction of cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda which occurred five years ago. These civil activists will reveal hitherto unknown facts lest they be relegated to a forgotten past to the benefit of those who more..

MEP member pleads Make me an MP!

Oct 22 (CT) Court of Appeal Justice A.H.M. Nawaz yesterday postponed the election petition filed by D.D. Somaweera Chandrasiri, of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, for 7 December. Chandrasiri states in his petition that he was recommended for appointment as a Member of Parliament and his name was included in the National List, but the authorities failed to appoint him as a Member of Parliament, although all others defeated in that election were so appointed. more..

SLC needs to renew thinking

Oct 22 (CT) Once again it is contract renewal time at Sri Lanka Cricket and they have not been able to surprise the cricket enthusiasts of the country with offers made to their heroes yet. The only surprise is how their offer is going to stimulate the SL cricketers to better their performances without adequate mojo. While the race for salaries of the top three Asian cricket playing nations is led by India with the richest cricket board, with Pakistan running a close second, Sri Lanka has taken number three position. more..

President orders impartial probe into death of Jaffna Uni students

Oct 22 (AD) President Sirisena has instructed authorities to conduct an impartial inquiry into the death of two university students in Jaffna and report to courts.  The incident is believed to have taken place at around 11.30pm on Thursday when the two youths were traveling on a motorcycle towards Kokuvil. Two Tamil students of Jaffna University were allegedly shot dead on Thursday night near a police checkpoint at Kokuvil, more..

Kalpitiya OIC transferred following violent clashes

Oct 22 (AD) The OIC of the Kalpitiya Police Station has been transferred with immediate effect in the wake of the violent clashes which broke out yesterday involving fishermen in the area.  Chief Inspector Manjula Udumalagala has been transferred to the Puttalam Police Station, as ordered by the Puttalam DIG Champika Siriwardena based on the instructions of the IGP. An Inspector attached to Wanathawilluwa Police Station more..

SL man enslaved and sexually abused in Scotland

Oct 22 (TC) In a chilling insight into modern slavery in the city, Asha revealed how he was treated like an animal and forced to work in a bed and breakfast for just 33p an hour — while being routinely groped by his tormentor. Speaking at a press conference held by Migrant Help UK, Asha said the B&B owner had him at his mercy by threatening to expose his sexuality, which is illegal in his home country. more..

Bond Scam: VAC to file law suit against CB Governor

Oct 22 (DM) The JVP affiliated Voice Against Corruption (VAC) said it would take legal action against Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former Governor Arjun Mahendran, directors of Perpetual Treasuries and some other Central Bank officials next week. VAC Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the VAC had decided to file legal action because the Governor had failed to take action against CB officials more..

Sajith violates public privacy in an effort to build brand image

Oct 22 (CT) Giving scant regard to the privacy of the masses, Minister Sajith Premadasa was seen recently violating the privacy of the masses on social media by broadcasting live their personal grievances for the entire world to see. Premadasa through his official Facebook page activated the ‘live’ feed during public day on Oct 19, 2016 where he transmitted through several live feeds the issues of men and women who more..

CIABOC affair: Justice Minister defends Prez, lashes out at Prof. Wijesooriya

Oct 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s right to discuss matters of public importance couldn’t be challenged under any circumstances, Justice Minister Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, said. Minister Rajapakse emphasised that no one could find fault with President Maithripala Sirisena for being critical of the CIABOC. He was responding to JO MP Keheliya Rambukwella and JVP MP Vijitha Herath. more..

Line-up revealed for highly anticipated Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017

Oct 22 (Island) Following on from a very successful 2016 Festival, the Fairway Galle Literary Festival returns bigger and better running from 11th to 15th January 2017. In its eighth year now, The Festival each year raises the bar in terms of its size, scope and content. The Festival in 2017 will feature many celebrated authors, including Philippa Gregory, Katherine Boo and Christina Lamb, to name just a few. more..

Drug trafficking by sea has increased in recent months

Oct 22 (Island) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) Prof. Ravindra Fernando yesterday said there were 200,000 Cannabis (ganja) users in Sri Lanka.  Prof. Fernando said there were about 50,000 heroin addicts in the country. An extensive research would be carried out by the NDDCB to determine the exact number of drug users in the country as soon as possible, he said. more..

Witness waved hands to warn girl doomed by selfie craze

Oct 22 (ST) The station master of a small railway station off Ambalangoda walked out of his office onto the platform last Sunday just as the express train from Galle to Maradana was approaching the station. There was no scheduled stop at Padampagama station. “Usually I never come out from the station when this particular train passes by as it does not stop here and there was no requirement for me to be outside,” more..

MP’s blood-curdling encounter in spooky General’s House

Oct 22 (DM) The General’s House, a bungalow built in close proximity to the Nuwara Eliya city during the British rule and assigned for the chiefs of the forces, is today used by the MPs as a holiday resort. Thus, MPs have the privilege of reserving rooms in this bungalow at a mere Rs. 350 per day. This building was much spoken of after a mishap recently confronted by a Kurunegala District MP. MP Nalin Bandara who yearned to more..

A desperate effort to save the day

Oct 22 (DM) President Sirisena and SLFP members within the govt are desperately engaged in a damage-control process after the President’s Oct 12 outburst that the govt’s own anti-corruption process was flawed and politicised.  The President had stated in his speech that the three anti-corruption institutions, the CID, FCID and Bribery Commission, have been acting according to political agendas and that if these institutions continued to do so, he would have to take action. more..

A Healthy Lanka: Let the cow open the gate

Oct 22 (DM) National Unity Govt, in one of the most important moves of its sustainable development programme, has launched a three year mission for Sri Lanka to grow its own nutritious food without any Wasa Wisa from agro-chemicals or other sources.   A vital aspect of this national food programme is the revival of our once thriving dairy milk industry. Minister P. Harrison, said Japan was giving substantial aid for the revival of the fresh milk industry. more..

COPE report holds Mahendran responsible

Oct 22 (Island) Parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE, yesterday approved its Chairman’s report holding former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for Treasury bond scandals. Report recommends legal action against those involved in the scams and the recovery of losses from them, according to a senior COPE member. COPE met around 9.30 am in Parliament yesterday, following heated exchanges more..

TNA condemns incident

Oct 22 (Island) The TNA has, in a media statement, condemned Friday’s incident in Jaffna, where two undergrads were killed. Full text of the statement: The TNA unequivocally condemns the incident that took place in Jaffna today, killing of 2 university students. The leader of the TNA, and The Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan MP met the President Maithripala Sirisena while attending an event in Trincomalee this morning and raised concerns regarding the incident. more..

Day 2: Stormy 11 hour meeting as COPE finalises CB bond issue report

Oct 22 (FT) Pandemonium reigned inside the committee rooms of Parliament for 11 hours yesterday, as the 31-member COPE tried for a second day to finalise its report on Central Bank Treasury Bond auctions between Feb 2015 and March 2016. COPE met for the second consecutive day to try and finalise the report amid allegations that UNP MPs in parliamentary committee were seeking to change the draft to absolve former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing more..