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Tamil Nadu CM condemns Sri Lankan court`s `unjust` conviction, says evidence fabricated
Friday, 31 October 2014 - 11:07 AM SL Time

The Chief Minister of India`s Tamil Nadu State O. Panneerselvam today strongly condemned the Sri Lankan Court`s ruling of death sentences to five Tamil Nadu fishermen on charges of drug trafficking.

In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister strongly condemned the unjust conviction meted out to the 5 Indian fishermen from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu - Emerson, Agastas, Wilson, Prasath and Langlet.
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ARMY BATTLES FOR LIVES
Thursday, 30 October 2014 - 9:47 AM SL Time

More than 500 soldiers of the Army 11 Division were deployed in the rescue operations at the site of a massive landslide in Koslanda, Haldummulla that buried a string of line rooms along with some 200 to 300 people just after dawn yesterday. According to Police, over 70 line rooms went under the rubble in one of the most damaging landslides in the natural disaster prone Badulla district. As this was being written, nine bodies had so far been recovered from under the mounds of mud and rubble.

The landslide occurred at around 7.45 am, triggered by continuous torrential rains. The first batch of 15 officers and 214 soldiers were promptly dispatched to the location by 8.30 am followed by another batch of 300 soldiers taking into account the vastness of the affected area. Together with the soldiers, Sri Lanka Air Force personnel, policemen, health teams and civil relief teams were working round the clock to pull out those trapped under the debris.
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JHU threatens street protests Ven. Rathana bitterly disappointed
Thursday, 30 October 2014 - 9:41 AM SL Time

Ongoing high profile talks between the SLFP and the JHU to resolve a simmering dispute over the latter s constitutional and political reform proposals primarily meant to dilute presidential powers have failed to produce the desired results.

JHU proposals are about political reforms and a range of other contentious issues including police and land powers in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
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Casino entry levy would require services of a govt. gate keeper
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 - 10:42 AM SL Time

To implement the budget proposal to charge US$ 100 per person as entrance fee to casino clubs would require a government levy collector to be stationed at each casino club otherwise this levy won t see the light of day Dept. of Inland Revenue Commissioner D. R. S. Hapuarachchi said on a lighter note on Monday.

Hapuarachchi said so while addressing a seminar themed Budget Highlights 2015 organized by the CIM at the Taj Samudra Hotel. The seminar focused on various aspects of Budget 2015, covering trade and economic activities, with emphasis on corporate and personal taxation, VAT and Excise Duty.
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Govt. to help poor Muslims go on Haj pilgrimage
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 - 10:39 AM SL Time

The Government will make arrangements to send Muslims who do not have the financial means to visit Mecca on the Haj pilgrimage, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today.

Addressing a ceremony held at Trincomalee, he said only Muslims who are financially able go on Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and therefore, the government would launch a programme to send poor Muslims to Mecca as it was the desire of all Muslims to go on Haj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a life time.
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Parliament: MPs playing truant
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 - 10:25 AM SL Time

Skipping Parliament sessions had become a habit of the MPs, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday.

He made this observation when it was pointed out that there were no MPs to raise questions listed on the Order Paper and there were no ministers to reply. It was found that only two out of 14 MPs listed to raise questions were present in the Chamber. The two MPs present were Sajith Premadasa and Niroshan Perera. But, there were no ministers to respond to their questions.
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Otara bids farewell to Sri Lanka`s ODEL
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 - 10:23 AM SL Time

Otara Del Gunewardane, the founder and Executive Director of ODEL, Sri Lanka`s premier fashion retailer announced her resignation from the post of Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm she founded.

In a stock market disclosure Otara announced that she her resignation is effective form 31 October 2014.

Otara sold her 80.833 million shares of ODEL for 1.778 billion rupees and her brother non-executive director Ruchi Gunewardene sold his 1 million shares for Rs. 22 million last month to Softlogic Holdings.
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Sri Lanka ruling party MP expected to crossover to the opposition party tomorrow
Monday, 27 October 2014 - 9:41 AM SL Time

A parliamentarian of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of ruling alliance is expected to crossover to the main opposition United National Party (UNP) tomorrow.

SLFP Gampaha district parliamentarian Vasantha Senanayake is expected to join the United National Party during the budget debate tomorrow, unconfirmed political sources said.
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TNA s Ananthi wants UN probe deadline extended
Monday, 27 October 2014 - 9:39 AM SL Time

Accusing the military of suppressing information as regards war crimes allegedly committed by the military during the last phase of the Vanni assault, Northern Provincial Councillor, Ananthy Sasitharan has urged Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to extend the deadline for the completion of the ongoing investigation.

Ananthy has made her appeal to OHCHR through three senior external experts, namely Martti Ahtisaari, Silvia Cartwright and Asma Jahangir tasked to advise and support still unidentified war crimes investigation team.
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Champika says Lanka Coal has not followed tender procedure since 2012
Saturday, 25 October 2014 - 11:02 PM SL Time

Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday maintained that since 2012 the Lanka Coal Company (LCC) which was the sole importer of coal to Sri Lanka had been doing so without adhering to proper tender procedure.

Minister Ranawaka was responding to the Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi at a press conference held at his Ministry premises yesterday.

It was reported that the Minister Wanniarachchi as having said that the CID had commenced investigations into a recently imported consignment of coal for the Norochcholai Power Plant.
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2015 Budget Highlights
Saturday, 25 October 2014 - 11:00 PM SL Time

Special allowance of university academics, doctors and judicial service employees to be increased. Pension and insurance scheme for trishaw drivers.

* Proposal made to increase the minimum salary of a private sector employee to Rs. 10,000 by 2015. Rs. 500 allowance to be added each month and the EPF payment from the employer to be increased up to 14%.

* Minimum salary of a state sector employee to be increased up to Rs. 30,000 from January 2015, inclusive of an increase of up to Rs. 2,200 in the cost of living allowance. Special allowance of state sector employees to be added to their salary.
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President to present his tenth budget today
Friday, 24 October 2014 - 9:55 AM SL Time

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance will present his tenth consecutive budget today in Parliament. It would be the country s 69th budget since Independence.

The appropriation bill for the next year was presented to Parliament on Sept. 26. It was the first reading of the budget. The Second Reading stage will commence with President making the budget speech today and the debate thereon will commence tomorrow. The debate on the Second Reading stage will continue till Nov. 01. The vote on Second Reading stage would be taken at 5.00 pm on Nov 01. The Committee Stage debate on budget 2015 is scheduled to commence on Nov. 03 and will continue daily except on Sunday till Nov. 24. The final vote on Budget 2015 will be taken at 5.00 pm on Nov. 24.
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Foul coal deal costs CEB Rs. 1.5 billion
Friday, 24 October 2014 - 9:50 AM SL Time

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had suffered a loss of Rs. 1,507,044,116.25 due to substandard coal imported for the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant in 2012, Power Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament yesterday.

Minister Wanniarachchi said: `This loss was due to a massive fraud which took place before I assumed duties as the Minister of Power and Energy. It happened during the tenure of my predecessor. Investigations are underway and I am ready to take action against anyone irrespective of their positions.`
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Bangladesh Army Assured Support to Raise Its Women s Corps Unit
Thursday, 23 October 2014 - 11:26 AM SL Time

Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, currently in Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh s Chief of Army Staff, General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan began his itinerary on Sunday (19) by placing a floral wreath at the Shikha Anirban (Eternal Flame) memorial at Dhaka Cantonment in Bangladesh.

Next, was his visit to the Senakunja, Station Headquarters, Dhaka Cantonment where a smart contingent of the Bangladesh Army performed a Guard Turnout and a Guard of Honour and greeted the Sri Lanka s Army Chief on arrival after the Adjutant General welcomed him warmly.
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