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Video: Rajapaksa is the ‘genuine’ common candidate: BBS

Oct 28 (AD) As the govt represents people from all social and ethical backgrounds, President Rajapaksa is the ‘genuine’ common candidate of the nation, BBS Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero said. While refusing that he would become the common candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, Thero said “By any mean, it is not our duty to contest for the elections. Even in the history, it was monks who guided their successors to more..

New Vice-Chancellor of University of the Visual and Performing Arts

Oct 28 (Island) Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Visual and Performing Arts by President Rajapakse for a period of three years with immediate effect. Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi had been working as the Dean of the Faculty of Dance and Drama, Director/Postgraduate Unit, Director/Career Guidance Unit, President/Sports Advisory Board and the Senior Student Counsellor of the university. An old boy of Pallewela Maha Vidyala, more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen observe fast in Sri Lankan prison

Oct 28 (Hindu) 24 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by SL Navy on charges of violating International Maritime Boundary Line and lodged in a prison in Jaffna, are on a fast since yesterday demanding their release. The fishermen are demanding their immediate release along with their boats, according to T Sasuraja, president, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association. Fishermen, 16 from Pudukottai and eight from here, were arrested by the Navy on Sept 28 when more..

'We vote against budget which is only a bag of promises made by maneuvering statistics'

Oct 28 (LT) The JVP would vote against the budget proposals presented by the President as it has been made a budget of the family says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. Speaking further he said, “Budget proposals point out the direction the country is moving economically in a particular year. However, the budget presented by the govt does not have any vision. As usual, it proves that President Rajapaksa has no programme to salvage more..

Nurses threaten strike in East

Oct 28 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday warned it would stage a token strike in all Health Institutions in the Eastern Province tomorrow (29) if their three demands including the implementation of transfer orders were not granted. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that 24 nurses had not been released by the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) though replacements were available though they had served there from four to 12 years. more..

Harun Lantra robbed

Oct 28 (CT) A group of people who arrived at the residence of veteran singer Harun Lantra in Kelaniya, has robbed Rs 70 000. The money was part of Rs 100 000 collected to use in case of an emergency, Mrs. Lantra said. The veteran singer is frail and had serious medical ailments. She said that the two men and a woman who arrived offering to assist the couple by cleaning the house had robbed the money. "My husband cannot even talk properly now. We live with so much hardship. more..

China-SL FTA to be signed in June 2015

Oct 28 (Xinhua) A proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and China is to be signed in June 2015, Deputy Secretary to Treasury S.R. Attygalle said on Tuesday. President Rajapaksa also noted the same time frame during the budget presentation to parliament last Friday. The FTA, which was initially to be signed by the end of 2014, is expected to boost Sri Lanka's future development and promote trade between more..

Policeman’s body found on Wellawatte beach

Oct 28 (Island) The Police yesterday morning found the body of a police constable on the Wellawatte beach. Police identified the victim as 29-year-old K.J.S. Ariyaratne (77019) attached to Wellawatte police station. Official said that the public had alerted the police after seeing a body stuck in a rock outcrop on the beach near 42 nd lane, in the Wellawatta police area. “The constable was off duty,” he said, adding that the policeman had disappeared after going out for a meal. more..

Sri Lanka rupee slips; may fall further on rising imports

Oct 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded a tad weaker on Tuesday as dollar demand by importers surpassed selling of the greenback by exporters and banks. The local currency is expected to remain under pressure due to rising imports, they said. The spot currency was traded at 130.90/131.00 per dollar at 0700 GMT compared to Monday's close of 130.85/90. It was largely untraded last week on moral suasion by the central bank. "There is importer dollar demand. more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm celebrates Deepavali Festival

Oct 28 (IL) Ambassador of SL in Sweden, Oshadhi Alahapperuma, together with the staff of the Embassy, celebrated “Deepavali”, at the Ganesh Hindu Temple in Farsta, Stockholm on 22nd Oct. Large number devotees of Sri Lankan origin irrespective of their cast, creed or religion joined hands together in celebrating this hallowed festival spiritually signifying victory over darkness, good over evil and hope over despair. more..

The lure of filthy lucre

Oct 28 (CT) Prof. Senaka Bibile's essential medicinal drugs policy enunciated by him over 40 years ago, though highly commended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and successfully implemented in many countries all over the world, yet it is still to be implemented over here. That is despite the relief it would bring to the poor and the sick by way of efficacious drugs at reasonable prices. However, the irony is, that it has remained unimplemented in the very land where it more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

Oct 28 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.08% higher with tobacco and beverage stocks gaining amid strong foreign buying into diversified holdings. All Share Price Index closed 6.04 points higher at 7,227.12, up 0.08%. The S&P SL20 closed 6.12 points lower at 4,008.10, down 0.15%. Turnover was 1.66 billion rupees, up from 986.45 million rupees a day earlier with 95 stocks closed positive against 97 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 80 cents lower at 249.10 rupees with eight off market more..

Is 'organic' a label in Sri Lanka?

Oct 28 (CT) Common sense dictates that if one consumes the healthiest food to live a good life and in this pursuit of a healthy life, price is immaterial. Marketing tells us, that we need to buy 'organic' food and not the commercially grown food which come with a cocktail of chemicals in it. The question however, is how does the consumer know what 'organic' means? Can he/she trust the label or certificate on the packet? more..

A presidency under threat: Information gaps

Oct 28 (CT) In my student days I had a great friend who simplified Wittgenstein into the theory that people simply created their own mythology. That was a satirical idea, used about the more obsessive amongst us, but I fear it is the most suitable image for what is now happening in govt. And the saddest aspect of such personal mythologies is that those who create them begin to believe them, and become enthralled by their own vision of the world, even if it has no connection with reality. more..

Budget day delays: Speaker looks into media grievances, finds quick remedies

Oct 28 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa visited the Press Room of Parliament to inquire into complaints of inconvenience journalists had to undergo during the Budget presentation by President Rajapaksa last Friday due to inordinate delays on the part of some officials of the Finance and Planning Ministry and Parliament staff to provide them with fax facility. Accompanying Speaker were Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, UPFA MP AHM Azwer and more..

UNP pledges to continue with Gaveshana Charika at any cost

Oct 28 (AM) UNP MP Ajith P Perera said that the party would not halt its 'gaveshana charika' fact finding programme under any circumstance. Under this programme, the UNP MPs visit state run institutions and look into core problems concerning them. Last week, under the same programme, a group of UNP MPs visited the defense training school of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to see whether state resources more..

'EU helping revive monster'

Oct 28 (Island) The European Union Court’s decision to de-list the LTTE as a terrorist organisation would not be a challenge to the presidential election scheduled to be held in January, Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha said. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ordered the Council of European Union to annul the restrictive measures it had ordered in 2006 against the LTTE. By doing so, the EU court had more..

Presidential Polls SLMC to decide on Friday

Oct 28 (CT) SLMC will meet on Friday to decide on their stand in regard to the forthcoming Presidential Elections. "We are currently gathering comments from the people. On Friday, the Party's high command will meet at our party headquarters to decide on our stand vis-à-vis the forthcoming Presidential Election and we shall most probably state our stand after the official announcement of election has been made," more..

Don’t ink MoU on oil supply: Tissa

Oct 28 (DM) The govt should not sign an MoU with the foreign companies for the supply of oil at current price as crude oil prices would tend to go down by next year, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. “International economic experts have forecasted that a barrel of crude oil could be reduced to 50-60 dollars by next year. But the govt is going to sign an agreement with Emirates National Oil Company and Petro China in more..

Pope will arrive on January 13

Oct 28 (Island) Both Presidential Election and Papal visit would take place in January, sources said last night contrary to speculation that the Pope would not visit a country close to an election. Pope Francis would arrive at the BIA on Jan. 13 and meet the Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka at Archbishop’s House, Borella and then proceed to Temple Trees to call on President Rajapaksa. The Pope will also meet inter-religious leaders on more..

Sri Lanka Cricket to hire a Psychologist to break final jinx

Oct 28 (AM) Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has decided to obtain services of a psychologist for the Sri Lanka National Cricket team. The decision was taken at a special executive meeting held at the SLC premises yesterday. According to SLC sources, the country's cricket authorities have made this decision on the grounds that the Sri Lankan team has failed in two finals in two successive ICC world cups in 2007 and 2011. more..

EPDP's Thavarajah rants against TNA 'Can't even get its legislation right'

Oct 28 (CT) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Opposition Leader Sinnathurai Thavarajah charged that the TNA led NPC could not get even its legislation right despite Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran being a retired Supreme Court judge. "This is serious, that the TNA has submitted only three statutes within the last one year, two of which have been passed and the third, which has been rejected," more..

Stalemate

Oct 28 (CT) The much awaited talks between Ven. Sobhitha Thera and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to decide on a common candidate, for the anticipated Presidential Election in January, ended in a stalemate last Saturday, informed sources said. The Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice, Ven. Sobhitha Thera and Wickremesinghe met at the Naga Viharaya, in Kotte. more..

A demand for 6% of GDP

Oct 28 (SL) Several education unions went about town holding placards last week in support of countrywide protests staged by both the public and private sectors hoping that their demands would be addressed by the 2015 budget. Many trade unionists are of the view that the only way they could make authorities take notice of their demands is through protests. Education unions have had a list of long-standing demands which included more..

Drought or deluge: Farmers must learn to adapt

Oct 28 (ST) Leading climatologists say Sri Lanka’s farmers must adapt to increasing intensity of weather patterns, whether heavy rains or severe drought, both of which are now simultaneously hitting the agricultural sector. The current combination of drought and heavy rain is producing tons of unsaleable rotting vegetables in some parts of the country while in drought-hit areas paddy farmers face the bleak prospect of more..

A Bhikkhu’s Bouquet for Indian Premier

Oct 28 (DM) The celebrated visit of the Indian PM Narendra Modi, to Japan, stirred considerable interest everywhere in the world. This was the Indian PM’s first official visit to Japan. But, as a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, long resident in Japan, I am able to discern some facets of this recent visit as Buddhists in Sri Lanka, do in fairness to all Buddhists and to those who believe in religious tolerance. PM Damodardas Modi, is widely reputed as a staunch Hindu devotee. more..

UPFA continuing to flog a dead horse

Oct 28 (DM) It has been confirmed now that a presidential election is to be held early next year, either in January or March and the people are to be given an opportunity to elect a person to take over their destiny for the next six years or at least four years. However, the basis on which the people are going to elect their next President is not clear because potential candidates are not prepared to present their credentials for the job. Rather they are poised to discredit their rivals more..

One arrested for collecting signatures on blank UN war crimes complaint forms

Oct 28 (Island) Acting on information received from the public, the police have arrested a person tasked by the TNA to collect signatures on blank ‘UN war crimes complaints forms’ in the Vanni region. A senior security official said that the suspect had undergone compulsory LTTE combat training for about a month during the war. Responding to a query, official alleged that the suspect had been seen in the Mulankavil area, arrested over the weekend more..

Sleeping Nimal Siripala says Budget 2015 is not a Bonanza

Oct 28 (AM) While denying allegations that the government has bribed the public with the Budget 2015, Minister of Irrigation and Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said budget proposals offered formidable solutions to issues on the ground. “The President has always provided for the needs of the people, this times Budget is a turning point for the country, the President should be appreciated unconditionally for his commitment to grant this relief”, more..

Where's the money to give "goodies"

Oct 28 (CG) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said last Friday's Budget does not disclose how the govt proposes to bridge the huge budget deficit, that will occur when the several concessions mentioned in it are delivered to the people. He said a Budget is all about income and expenditure and how the deficit is to be bridged, "but in this Budget it is all expenses and no income." He said that if the Budget proposals are carried out, the govt is going to fall into more..

Top UN team to visit Jaffna while here

Oct 28 (CG) The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), which begins a three-day focused country visit to Sri Lanka, today, will also visit Jaffna, the UN office in Colombo said. The official mission to Sri Lanka, which will stress the importance of a comprehensive approach to countering terrorism in accordance with the principles of the rule of law including human rights, as requested by the Security Council, more..

'JHU has still not decided to leave govt:' Rathana Thera says after meeting MR

Oct 28 (AM) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera - who met President Rajapaksa for a special meeting this evening - said that the JHU has still not decided to leave the govt." Govt also wants us to stay and we too need to bring the govt to the right track" Rathana Thera, who took part in a political talk show on TNL, soon after the meeting said. "Our attempt is to tame the govt and point out its mistakes. We are not here to start any fight, " Rathana Thera said clarifying the stance of the JHU. more..

Probe over UNP carrots in Parliament

Oct 28 (CG) An investigation was ordered into some carrots brought inside Parliament by UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha. UPFA MP Janaka Bandara, who chaired Parliament proceedings at the time the carrots were placed on the table in front of the UNP MP, issued instructions to investigate the issue. Govt raised concerns over the carrots being brought into the House saying it could be a security threat. The Parliament Chair then issued instructions to Parliament security to see if more..

Sharma offers more help to the LLRC

Oct 28 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today offered to continue assisting in the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC, as required. Sharma made the offer when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning to brief the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office on the ongoing work and progress of objectives agreed upon at the CHOGM 2013 that took place in Colombo last November. more..

Elections Chief off to New Delhi

Oct 28 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya left this morning to participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Asian Elections Authorities (AAEA) scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Oct 29 and 30. The discussions would centre on the methods to restore and hold elections in a transparent manner with monitors, so as to uphold democracy in Asia. Commissioner was accompanied by a senior member of the Elections Secretariat Rizwan Manzil Hameed. more..

Four DIGs among police transfers

Oct 28 (CT) Four Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs), with several high ranking police officials, have been transferred with immediate effect. In addition to the four DIGs, four Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) three Superintendents of Police (SPs) and Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) have been given transfer orders. Eight Officers-in-Charge (OICs) have also been transferred effective yesterday. Police said that transfers were made according to service requirements. more..

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