Archive | October, 2014

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Tragic murder of 56 year-old Cheryl Woutersz shocks community

Posted on 31 October 2014 by admin

 

A 23-year-old woman has confessed in the ACT Magistrates Court to killing her mother in Canberra's north-west on Friday night. Gabriela Woutersz was arrested overnight and charged with the murder of her mother, 56-year-old Norma Cheryl Woutersz. Officers were called to the home in Dexion Place at Dunlop about 5:40pm (AEDT) on Friday, October 17, where they found the woman's body.
A crime scene was set up, some road closures were put in place, and forensic services were called in to examine the area. Woutersz appeared in court on Saturday morning, barefoot and still wearing her pyjamas. She refused representation from her defence lawyer and told Magistrate Karen Fryar she had committed the crime.
" I, 100 per cent did the murder," she told the court.
Despite cautionary remarks from the magistrate she continued, "I killed Cheryl Woutersz, I don't need a lawyer to represent me, I'm pleading guilty". Two other young women in the court, believed to be Woutersz's friends, gasped at the comment and began crying. Her defence lawyer and the Director of Public Prosecution discussed options for a mental health assessment and discussed information indicating Woutersz may have bipolar disorder.
As Magistrate Fryar attempted to set down a date for another hearing, Woutersz laughed at her and insisted she did not need to reappear because she was guilty. She was remanded in custody and is due to reappear before the court on Tuesday. Police have not released any further information about how her mother died.
Dunlop is a suburb of the Belconnen district of Canberra, located within the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Dunlop is at the far north-west edge of Canberra, near the border with the state of New South Wales.
Another news report in Canberra Times states that a woman allegedly murdered by her daughter has been remembered as a kind-hearted wife and mother, whose passion for childcare made her a "surrogate parent" to countless Canberra children. Those closest to Cheryl Woutersz, 56, are still coming to grips with her tragic death, but hope the childcare legacy she built in Canberra will live on long after the circumstances of her killing fade from memory. 
 
Mrs Woutersz's husband Keith Woutersz spoke on Wednesday of his wife's love for her family, and of the many years she dedicated to caring for children, including through the Montessori day care centre she founded in Gordon in the early 1990s. 
 
"Cheryl was a loving, caring, dedicated wife and mother and also a mother and friend to many others through her work in child day care. She was a generous-hearted woman who was a surrogate parent to the mothers that would bring their children to her to look after" he said in a statement on Wednesday. 
 
Mr Woutersz said his wife had been an inspiration to many people, and was someone who treated the children she cared for as her own. Childcare was her passion, he said, and was always much more than just a business to her. Mrs Woutersz's daughter was arrested after the body was found on Friday, and faced the ACT Magistrates Court for the first time the next morning.
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egal Aid lawyer Jacob Robertson said on Tuesday his client intended to fight the allegation, and a plea of not guilty was accepted by Magistrate Karen Fryar.
 
Mr Woutersz and other relatives are being supported by Victim Support ACT, and Victims of Crime Commissioner John Hinchey spoke with them on Wednesday morning.
 
"The family are very sad. They want Cheryl to be remembered in a positive light because Cheryl was a very positive and bright person," Mr Hinchey said.
 
"But of course they are very sad about the circumstances of her death and the situation this family has been left in, in coping with her loss."
 
He said Mrs. Woutersz should be remembered for what she helped build for the city.
 
"I would observe that Cheryl Woutersz has left a significant legacy in our community through her gentleness, and passion and love for others, and that there are many who are keenly feeling her loss this week," Mr Hinchey said.
 
The case is due to come back before the ACT Magistrates Court once further mental health assessments of the accused are completed. Few details about the murder itself have so far emerged in court. A large group of family and friends watched proceedings on Tuesday, some comforting each other as they looked on. Mr Robertson said there were no current issues with the defendant's fitness to plead, despite the ongoing mental health assessments and suggestions from an earlier defence lawyer on Saturday that she may suffer from bipolar disorder.
 
(With files from Australian newspapers)
 
 
 

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The Government of Canada extends condolences to the victims of the devastating landslide in Sri Lanka

Posted on 31 October 2014 by admin

 

 

Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Deepak Obhrai, delivered the following statement on behalf of the Government of Canada regarding the recent landslide in Sri Lanka. I also extend my personal sympathies to the families of those whose loved one’s have died or remain missing as a result of this tragedy:

“Mr. Speaker, on October 17th I visited Kashmir in India and announced our support to communities affected by the devastating flood to provide clean water sanitation units for approximately 20,000 families for a year through global medic, a Canadian NGO. I was saddened to witness the crushing devastation caused by the disaster. I was impressed on how the committee has converted the temple into a large and effective relief centre to assist those displaced by the floods. Mr. Speaker, recently another natural disaster struck south Asia. On Wednesday a devastating landslide in Sri Lanka destroyed over 63 homes, damaging over 140, with 192 people missing and at least 15 confirmed dead. Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to all of those affected by this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.” – Hon. Deepak Obhrai, PC, MP

For a video of the statement, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyFLXXCRhEA

 

 

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Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting responds to The Island news item

Posted on 31 October 2014 by admin

 

Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Shelley Whiting yesterday issued a statement challenging front-page news item headlined ‘Slain Tiger’s mother stopped from leaving for Canada’ published in The Island issue of the October 22. She, however, declined to discuss the specific case mentioned in the article. The following is the statement issued by the Canadian High Commissioner: "There is absolutely no basis for insinuations attributed to a senior security official suggesting that there is a diplomatic initiative to relocate Tiger relatives.

 

This is categorically false. Let me be absolutely clear: there is no Canadian diplomatic initiative to relocate relatives of the LTTE. To suggest so is erroneous, inaccurate and baseless fear mongering.

 

Canada has long recognised that there were multiple parties to the complex and decades-long conflict that devastated Sri Lanka. The Government of Canada and I personally, have stated on repeated occasions that the LTTE was responsible for untold suffering in Sri Lanka and did not faithfully represent the political aspirations of the communities they purported to represent. In recognition of this, Canada listed the LTTE as a terrorist entity in 2006 and further proscribed the World Tamil Movement (WTM) in 2009 to help stop the flow of funding to the LTTE. Both of these organizations remain banned in Canada today. Canada joined many others in the international community in welcoming the LTTE’s defeat in 2009.

 

All visa applications at the High Commission are carefully considered on a case-by-case basis by visa officers and visas are issued in accordance with Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. While I cannot speak to the specific case highlighted in this article, I can state that Canadian visa officers, in considering a visa application, make their decisions based on the information the applicant provides. If that information is later discovered to be incomplete, false or misleading, measures can be taken, including revoking the visa.

 

I trust that this has helped to clarify the situation for your readers.

 

News Editor: The Island stands by its story. Having contradicted the report, HC Whiting’s refusal to discuss how the mother of slain terrorist received a visa is surprising. In fact, Canada has refused to reveal the identities of those who had sought asylum after having entered the country through illegal means. Asylum seekers included those who fled to Canada from Sri Lanka’s North as well as from India after the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.

 

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Toronto votes for stability – John Tory elected 65th Mayor

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

 

Bonnie Crombie takes Mississauga, Linda Jeffrey wins Brampton.

By Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, The Times of Sri Lanka

John Tory60 year-old John Tory crossed the finish line a winner to wear the Toronto Mayoralty hat for the next four years. It was a decisive win laced with all the ingredients that pushed voters to the edge given a choice of continued chaos or stability? John Tory captured slightly more than 40 per cent of the vote, beating Doug Ford by 6 percentage points and 64,000 votes. Mayor – elect John Tory takes office December 1 as Toronto’s 65th mayor. Tory, a lawyer, businessman, former corporate executive, CFL chairman, provincial politician, and radio broadcaster, edged out controversial city councillor Doug Ford and former NDP MP Olivia Chow, the one-time front-runner. In the end, Tory finished with 394,444 votes, while Doug Ford had 330,652, and Chow had 227,002.

Tory will replace controversial Mayor Rob Ford, who dropped out of the race in September after he was diagnosed with cancer. Rob Ford won a seat on council in Ward 2 instead. The 60-year-old Tory, who vowed to bring stability and professionalism to city hall after four tumultuous years under Rob Ford, spoke of the need to unite the city in his victory speech.

 

"Torontonians want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed city hall for the last few years," Tory said to cheering supporters. "You want results and together with the city council, we will deliver."

Voter turnout surged as Torontonians waited in lines to cast their ballots. More than 61 per cent of voters went to the polls, up 19 percentage points from the last municipal election. Tory won with 40.3 per cent of the vote, followed by Ford with 33.7 per cent of the vote. Olivia Chow captured 23 per cent. Voter turnout set a new record with an impressive 64.3 per cent — or 974,363 votes — up from the previous record of 50.6 per cent in 2010.  Ari Goldkind, the Toronto lawyer who drew attention as an outspoken, long-shot candidate in the closing weeks of the election, came in fourth with just under 4,000 votes, or 0.4 per cent. 

In a dismissal of the past four years and an expression of hope for the four to come, Toronto’s voters have elected John Tory as their next mayor. He is fully entitled to celebrate, having never taken victory for granted, successfully come from behind in the polls, and banished a defeat-prone political image. And Torontonians have good reason to cheer as well.

They finally have a mayor fit to be a leader instead of just serving as a punch-line.

The result was closer than many had expected, with Doug Ford delivering a strong second-place showing. It’s a testament to the resilience of so-called Ford Nation. Olivia Chow, who started out the marathon campaign as the front-runner, ended it a distant third. Had she run a stronger campaign she might well have drained enough votes from Tory to allow Ford to slip into the mayor’s office. The city is lucky that didn’t happen. Had Olivia Chow dropped out of the race, it is likely John Tory would have won by a far larger margin. 

Tory congratulated Doug Ford for having the courage to put his name on a ballot, but had particularly kind words for Chow, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong at the age of 13. Tory said her personal story personifies what is possible in Toronto.

"Olivia, you offered a vision of Toronto that appealed to the best in a lot of us," he said.

The gruelling, 10-month campaign drew a record number of Torontonians to the polls, with 60.4 per cent of eligible voters casting ballots, up 10 percentage points from 2010.

For John Tory, his triumph was the crowning achievement of a career that had been marred by political disappointments, including failed runs for mayor in 2003 and premier in 2007. He looked ecstatic as he walked his way through hundreds of cheering supporters at the Liberty Grand in downtown Toronto.

There was never a doubt in this writer’s mind that John Tory was by far the best candidate to win the race. He portrays stability and astute leadership. He is not a flashy politician! The mayor-elect has a proven track record in business and corporate management. He is armed with a whole lot of political savvy having cut his political teeth working for former Ontario Premier Bill Davis. His new role as steward of Canada’s largest city will call for John Tory to roll up his sleeves and take Toronto to its full potential. Given the fact that he has a 4-year mandate, Tory needs to first garner the confidence and support of the councilors and shake off the “Ford” dust that has settled within the hallways of Toronto’s City Hall.

Tory, the eldest of four, was born in Toronto, Ontario, to Elizabeth "Liz" (née Bacon) and John A. Tory, president of Thomson Investments Limited and a director of Rogers Communications. His grandfather was lawyer John S. D. Tory and his great-grandfather founded Sun Life of Canada. Tory has two brothers, Michael and Jeffrey, and one sister, Jennifer. John Tory is married to Barbara Hackett, since 1978 and they have four children.

Tory, like his father and grandfather, attended the University of Toronto Schools, a private high school affiliated with the University of Toronto. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1975. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978 from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1980.

According to a news item in the Toronto Star, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne let out a "Hallelujah" after John Tory emerged victorious from Monday's Toronto mayoral election. The premier is on a trade mission to China when reporters told her that the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader, whom she defeated in the 2007 provincial election in Don Valley West, had taken the mayor's chair, The Toronto Star reported.

"Congratulations to John. I'm very pleased for him and I look forward to working with him," she said.

Wynne was particularly complimentary of Tory's SmartTrack transit plan, which would add 22 stops and 53 kilometres of subway track with "no new taxes."

"I think it's got a lot to recommend. It's something that we can work with," she told the newspaper.

Though Wynne was officially neutral on Toronto's mayoral race, members of her government openly supported Tory, The Globe and Mail reported. One of them, Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid, was with the premier in China.

We enter a new era and Toronto is poised to go in a new direction, with Tory promising stable, competent, sensible and accountable leadership. That will be a welcome and refreshing change. It is an accepted fact that he is blessed with excellent inter-personal skills and will effectively work with our federal and provincial leaders to achieve a common objective. Sadly, this is what Toronto lacked in the last four years. The focus was more on “Ford Nation” and less of building Toronto. As we all know, words are cheap and we Torontonians heard all kinds of stories of how the outgoing regime stopped the gravy train and all that. The veracity of these words is of course highly questionable.

Let us wish John Tory the very best as he embarks on a challenging journey that will take four years to complete.

 

Bonnie Crombie & Linda Jeffrey wins in Mississauga and Brampton

It is interesting to analyze the results of the rest of Ontario. Loud music played as winds of change blew through Peel Region on Monday night, with Brampton and Mississauga voters electing two new civic leaders — the first time in years that either city has had someone new sitting in the mayor's chair. Mississauga has a population of 713,443 as of the Canada 2011 Census and is Canada’s sixth-most populous municipality. On the other hand Brampton enjoys a vibrant population of 523,911 as of 2011 census.

Bonnie Crombie cruised to an easy victory to become Mississauga’s first new mayor in 36 years succeeding Hazel McCall ion who decided to retire at age 93. Linda Jeffrey took Brampton and ended the 14-year tenure of Mayor Susan Fennell. After securing the support of long-time mayor and political legend Hazel McCallion – the most valuable endorsement in town – Bonnie Crombie rose to victory in Mississauga on Monday night, becoming the city’s next mayor. The former Liberal MP and Ward 5 councillor won with an overwhelming 64 per cent of the votes according to unofficial results, more than double that of her chief opponent, Steve Mahoney. Interestingly, in 2011 Montreal and Toronto began to turn dramatically against their own chief executives but MayorHazel McCallion was found to be the most popular mayor in Canada. And now, with Mayor McCallion finally retired at the age of 93, the people of Mississauga have elected her chosen successor.  Bonnie Crombie was 18 when her predecessor was first elected mayor of Mississauga. Next to Toronto, Mississauga is considered the next big city and the infrastructure boom that began in 1990s has reshaped this city and Mayor McCallion’s influence for 36 years has been tremendous.

In Brampton, Linda Jeffrey, recently a cabinet minister in the provincial government, won the mayoral race after resigning her Queen's Park seat to take a run at mayor Susan Fennell's job. Linda Jeffrey, who had consistently been the frontrunner throughout the campaign, was elected mayor with almost 50 per cent of the vote. According to a news report in the Toronto Star – last August an audit found Mayor Susan Fennell filed more than $172,000 in expenses that breached city policies, though some $41,000 were repaid. On Friday, days before the election, she announced that an arbitrator’s report had revealed $3,000 in improper spending versus the nearly $200,000 cited in a forensic audit and found that Deloitte “misinterpreted expense policies.” Fennell said the arbitrator was hired by the City of Brampton. Brampton has become home to many Sri Lankans who have made this city their home.

Incumbents were re-elected in Vaughan,  Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Halton Hills, Markham, Richmond Hill, Oshawa, Ajax and Pickering.

 

Vaughan
Vaughan faces many new development projects and saw fit to stay the course by re-electing Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. The planned Vaughan Metropolitan Centre will connect to the Toronto subway and eventually host 25,000 residents and 11,000 jobs. Metrolinx is lining Vaughan with a series of dedicated “rapidways” to speed up public transit in the region and Vaughan Mills—already one of the largest shopping malls in Canada—announced plans last year for an $87 million redevelopment and expansion project. Mr. Bevilacqua first took the office in 2006 by easily toppling incumbent Linda Jackson, who was dogged by a series of election spending controversies. Since filing papers for the 2014 mayoral race, his re-election was never really in doubt.

 

Markham
Markham may not have liked the idea of building an NHL-sized hockey arena with city money, but they have held onto the mayor who helped to suggest as much: On Monday night, Mayor Frank Scarpitti easily clinched his third term with as much as 80% of the vote. After first joining Markham city council in 1985, Mr. Scarpitti has seen Markham’s population more than triple during his time in city politics, and in 2006 easily became the successor to long-term mayor Don Cousens.

The total tax increase for the past six years is the lowest among 25 GTA municipalities

Outside Markham, Mr. Scarpitti is best known for overseeing a plan to build a $325 million arena that—despite having no tenant or private sector funding—was billed as a sure-fire way attract an NHL franchise to the city. Although Mayor Scarpitti supported the plan to the end, city councillors voted to shelve the arena last December after hundreds of residents clogged a marathon meeting to voice their displeasure for the project.

But Mr. Scarpitti does keep taxes down. As per his own campaign literature, “the total tax increase for the past six years is the lowest among 25 GTA municipalities.”

Richmond Hill

This election, Richmond Hill briefly joined its GTA neighbours in hosting an unusually contentious race, although incumbent Dave Barrow ended election night with easy victory. First elected in 2006, Mayor Barrow was recently subjected to accusations from rival Sridhar Methuku that he had violated city regulations by failing to declare a conflict-of-interest over a council resolution to have him personally repay a $10,000 over-expenditure of a city account. The Ontario Superior Court soon vindicated the mayor, and Mr. Methuku quickly abandoned his run at the mayor’s job. Monday night, Mr. Barrow won the vote by about 65%, with Councillor Carmine Perrelli coming in second. He has said his focus is on Richmond Hill traffic, and plans to get a subway to the city by 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia surge to the top of ICC ODI team rankings

Posted on 15 October 2014 by admin

Australia surge to the top of ICC ODI team rankings.

"Australia has surged to the top of the ICC One-Day International (ODI) Team Rankings after completing a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)," the ICC said in a statement.

Sunday's dramatic one-run victory in Abu Dhabi and the cancellation of the third ODI between India and the West Indies has ensured top billing for George Bailey's side as the race to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 heats up among some of the top-ranked sides.

The cancellation of Tuesday's ODI between India and the West Indies in Visakhapatnam means India cannot leapfrog Australia even if they win the remaining two matches in Dharamshala and Kolkata on October 17 and 20 respectively.

In that, scenario, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side will fall 0.02 ratings points short of Australia, which is now sitting on 114 ratings points.

It has taken Australia five ODIs to regain the number-one ranking after they had dropped from the top pedestal in Harare on August 31 following a three wickets defeat against Zimbabwe.

Australia have won four of the last five ODIs with only loss coming against South Africa in the triangular series final in Harare on 6 September.

In the ICC Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has moved up two places to fifth following figures of three for 24 runs and three for 40 in the opening two ODI's.

Pakistan's Mohammad Irfan has vaulted five places to 27th position after claiming three wickets in the series, while Shahid Afridi has also climbed six places after a consistent display and the leg-spinner is level with Australia's Xavier Doherty – who drops two places – in 35th position.

 

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Romesh Kaluwitharana airlifted to Colombo with cardiac issue

Posted on 14 October 2014 by admin

Former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman and the current ‘Sri Lanka A’ coach Romesh Kaluwitharana has been admitted to hospital due to a cardiac issue.

Kaluwitharana was admitted to Hambanthota Hospital last night and was then airlifted to Colombo for further treatment. Doctors treating Kaluwitharana told 'Asian Mirror' that his condition was not critical.

 

The former Sri Lankan cricketer had undergone an ECG test after he was transferred to Colombo.

Sri Lanka A is playing a 4 day cricket match against the visiting ‘West Indies A’ at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium at Suriyawewa, Hambantota. Today is the last day of the match. Under Kaluwitharana's guidance, Sri Lankan players performed well against the West Indies A team during the 4-day match.

Affectionately known as ‘Kalu’, Romesh Kaluwitharana started his Test career in 1992 and was known as an explosive batsman. Kaluwitharana was a key member of the Sri Lankan team who won the ICC World Cup in 1996.

Romesh Kaluwitharana, former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper-batsman, and at present the coach of Sri Lanka 'A' unit was admitted to hospital, as a result of mild chest pain.

To start with, he was admitted at a hospital in Hambantota, before being airlifted to Colombo for further treatment. Doctors treating Kaluwitharana, said that his condition was not critical, according to a report by Asian Mirror.

Under Kaluwitharana's able guidance Sri Lanka 'A' thrashed West Indies 'A' by 10 wickets at Hambantota. Kaluwitharana was known for his swashbuckling batting and quick reflexes as a wicket-keeper. He played 49 Tests and 189 ODIs for Sri Lanka, and was part of the World Cup winning Sri Lankan squad in 1996.

 

 

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Chinese help to face cyber threats

Posted on 14 October 2014 by admin

 

 

 
In a move to boost cyber security, Sri Lanka reached an agreement with China to cooperate closely to face serious cyber threats and to share information on such threats in the future.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Centre and Sri Lanka’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (a subsidiary of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka [ICTA]).

Accordingly both parties agree to actively promote project cooperation and carry out technical cooperation and joint research in the field of network security, so as to create a harmonious and secure network environment regionally and globally.

CERT|CC Chairman Earle Fernando said the MoU would help both countries to cooperate in ensuring cyber security because information networks have become important infrastructures in both China and Sri Lanka.

“In recent years, increasing serious cyber-attacks brought severe challenges on information infrastructure of both countries,” he said.
CNCERT|CC Director General Huang Chengqing said because Sri Lanka and China have a long history of co-operation and friendship this MoU will help strengthen the friendly ties in a specific way.

“We agree that CNCERT/CC and Sri Lanka CERT|CC should further reinforce the cooperation on network security and emergency response,” he added.
Speaking at the event CERT|CC Principal Information Security Engineer Rohana Palliyaguru said both parties agree to maintain communications on a daily basis to exchange information of cyber threats and attacks as well as experiences of incident handling.

Both sides also agreed to establish regular data exchange on situations at a time when large-scale or serious incidents occur and take opportunities of bilateral meetings and other events for face-to-face communication and exchange.

Most importantly with regard to ‘incident response’ both sides agreed to further strengthen the response capacities to network security threats and attacks. For incidents deemed by both to be of highest priority, the parties will mutually consult on the action to be taken as emergency response and the specific action plans. (Supun Dias-Courtesy: Daily Mirror)

 

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Sri Lankan shares rebound from near 4-week low; financial stocks lead

Posted on 14 October 2014 by admin

Oct 14 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan stocks recovered on Tuesday from a near four-week closing low hit in the previous session, led by shares of financial companies and stockbrokers expect the gaining trend to continue, interspersed by profit-taking from time to time.

The main stock index gained 0.3 percent, or 21.25 points, at 7,205.47, recovering from its lowest close since Sept. 17. It hit a near 3-1/2 year closing high on Oct. 3.

"The market is still on a gaining momentum due to lower interest rates, but we expect slight volatility due to profit taking from time to time," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

The index fell more than 2 percent on Monday, led by bank shares despite foreign buying.

DFCC Bank Plc gained 2.46 percent at 220.70 rupees, while Lanka Orix Leasing Company Plc rose 0.94 percent to 86 rupees.

The day's turnover was 1.6 billion rupees ($12.25 million), more than this year's daily average of more than 1.36 billion rupees.

Foreign investors sold 112.1 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday. But the bourse has recorded net foreign inflow of 9.34 billion rupees year-to-date, exchange data showed.

 

($1 = 130.6000 Sri Lankan rupee) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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YAL DEVI back on track

Posted on 14 October 2014 by admin

Daily train services from Colombo to Jaffna will commence from Tuesday onwards. 

Railway Superintendent L.A.R. Ratnayake said that four trains from Colombo to Jaffna and four trains from Jaffna to Colombo will be in service daily.

The Railway Superintendent further stated:

“Starting from 14th of October, Tuesday, the general public will be able to travel from Colombo to Jaffna and vice versa. Four (4) trains will travel from Fort, Colombo to Jaffna and four trains will travel from Jaffna to Fort, Colombo on a daily basis. On Saturdays, one train will travel from Matara to Jaffna while the same train on Sunday will travel from Jaffna to Matara. Of the four trains which will travel from Fort, Colombo to Jaffna, two will be intercity express trains while one will be the Yal Devi and the other will be a night mail train service. Of the two intercity express trains, one will be fully air-conditioned which will be priced at Rs.1500 per seat.”

Meanwhile, the fares for the Jaffna – Colombo train service have been announced.

Commercial Superintendent, G.W.S. Sisira Kumara said that an air-conditioned inter-city train service from Colombo to Jaffna will be priced at Rs.1500.

He added that booked first class seats will be priced at Rs. 900 rupees while booked second class seats will be priced at Rs.800 rupees.

Commercial Superintendent Sisira Kumara went on to say that a booked third class seat will fare at Rs.500 rupees and an ordinary third class seat will be Rs.320..

COLOMBO: The reconstruction of the Jaffna-Colombo railway line represents a milestone in historic partnership between India and Sri Lanka and would enhance connectivity between the two nations, Indian High Commission here has said.

"As Sri Lanka s closest neighbour and long-standing partner, India is prepared to extend its fullest support to Sri Lanka in fulfilling its aspirations for peace, harmony, national reconciliation and development," the High Commission said in a statement.

"The reconstruction of the Northern Railway line represents a milestone in this historic partnership between India and Sri Lanka.

"The completion of the Northern Railway line would also enhance connectivity between India and Sri Lanka. As part of this project, a pier is to be built at Talaimannar to enable resumption of ferry services between Rameshwaram and Talaimnnnar at an early date," the statement said.

It would also promote development, reconciliation and greater integration by bringing people in different parts of the island closer, it said.

The railway line constructed under the Indian credit line of USD 800 million yesterday saw the first train to Jaffna in 24 years. The Colombo-Jaffna train service came to a halt in August 1990 when the LTTE bombed the Jaffna railway station.

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Cricket song challenge

Posted on 10 October 2014 by admin

 

 

 

 

A leader in the digital distribution of local and international music in Sri Lanka, Maharaja Entertainments has formed a strong strategic alliance with the world's majors in music and movies including Sony Music, Universal Music, Virgin EMI, Warner Music, Venus Music and many more. With the association of its sister companies MTV and MBC networks, M Entertainments has become a platform to showcase Sri Lankan artists, and their talent on international platforms as well.

“We are only five months away from the most anticipated cricketing event; the 2015 World Cup. Maharaja Entertainments, a subsidiary of the Capital Maharaja Organisation, leads the way in celebrating Sri Lankan together with all the Sri Lankan fans in wishing our team all success,” A Maharaja spokesperson said.

The most celebrated sport of the country; cricket is closely affiliated with music due to the contagious enthusiasm of the fans celebrating the spirit of the game uniting as one nation. Thus music and cricket has become a unifying factor to Sri Lankans.

Sri Lanka gained the respect and admiration of the cricket world with the ICC World Cup win in 1996. The sport attained a religious following in the country, and most importantly, due to the presence of cricketers such as Aravinda De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Arjuna Ranathunga, Muththaiah Muralidharan and Chaminda Vaas, it left behind its elitist beginnings to become, for the first time, an inclusive and truly national sport. Sri Lanka would never be the same again. The most recent T20 World Cup win by the current team once again ignited the hope of the nation towards the 2015 World Cup win.

Songs were written and sung over and over again celebrating the win and since then for every major tournament Sri Lankan team faced, songs were created and music played a massive role in the lives of the fans and players alike. While cheers were carried out in the form of ‘papare’ at the pavilion encouraging the players, the audiences at home were entertained with songs paying tribute to the team.

The launch of the ‘Dialog Cricket Song Challenge with M Entertainments’, a star studded event at Qbaa with the participation of the Sri Lankan cricket team, press and other distinguished invitees.

The launch of the Cricket Cong Challenge includes the official launch of the songs ‘Sri Lanka Kollo Wasai’ and ‘Tribute to Mahela’ by Gypsies along with the official release of one of the most discussed tracks by Gypsies, ‘Kottamalli’ Thereafter, the Gypsies performed songs at the event.

M Entertainments wishes to highlight and magnify the much anticipated World Cup 2015 with the launch of this project. M Entertainments invites amateurs and professionals alike to join the Cricket Song challenge by submitting their musical creations – lyrics, melodies, or fully completed songs and concepts for music videos – celebrating Sri Lankan cricket and wishing our cricket team a successful win. The competition will conclude on the 15th of October and from the submissions, the best will be featured in the World Cup song album scheduled to be released in November/December 2014. The album will be presented to he cricket team prior to the world cup at a grand celebration.

The main sponsor of Sri Lanka cricket, Dialog Axiata joins M Entertainments in carrying the project further.

This collaboration will organize World Cup screenings and musical shows around the country from February 14 onwards when the World Cup commences and continue an exciting range of activities to coincide with the Finals of the Cricket World Cup 2015.

Pictures by Ranjith Asanka – Courtesy: Daily News

 

 

 

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