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Ramco awarded ISO 9001:2008 certificate

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sri Ramco Lanka, a wholly owned subsidiary of India's US$ 1000 million highly diversified Ramco Group from Chennai, celebrated the achievement of several milestones at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel recently, with the participation of dignitaries, company dealers.

According to Director, Sri Ramco Lanka, Prem G Shanker, Ramco had awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certificate, while Sunil Perera of Gypsies fame was appointed the brand ambassador. The company's logo too was unveiled at the ceremony.

Realizing the much needed demand for fibre cement sheets in the country, Ramco Group set up a factory at the Makandura, Industrial Park with two modern plants for the manufacture of fibre cement corrugated roofing sheets and flat sheets for ceilings and portioning. The annual capacity being 240,000 metric tons.

N. Vasudevan, Senior Vice President, Dr Lalith Senaweera, Sri Lanka Standards Institute CEO and Director General, Prem Shanker, Sri Ramco Lanka Director, Tyronne Rudolph Sri Ramco Lanka VP Marketing at the awarding of ISO 9001:2008 certificate. Pictures by Saumanachandra Ariyawansa


A second plent was also set up at the Mathugama Industrial Park with a capacity of 140,000 metric tons with an investment of Rs 1.16 billion.

The company's logo indicates renewed partnerships with the dealers, customers and end users to provide them unsurpassed value for money, induction of new technology and state of the art information technology to strengthen communication bonds with the Ramco Group.

Enhancement through ISO 9001 system and environmental management systems through ISO 14001 would ensure clean manufacturing systems through technical support to customers.

Ramco Group's the market leader in South India's businesses include, cement, fibre cement sheets, cotton and synthetic yarn, software systems and many more. With Ramco's relentless force on quality service, Ramco's philosophy has always been “Technology keeps you ahead.”

Shamila stands tall among beauticians


The country’s beauty culture industry has moved forward to be on par with today’s global trends and many have emerged as representatives of the trade. Having grown up in an environment surrounded by beauty culture related activities, it seemed the natural choice for Shamila Kudagoda to continue in the family business which her mother has been running successfully. After renaming the business as ‘Brilliant Brides and Salon’ in Kottawa, the venture has now become a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive beauty culture industry of Sri Lanka.


Paradigm of the beauty culture has drastically been changed to the modern world and the needs and wants of the customers have also been changed making a specific market. As a result different streams of professionals have emerged due to the various commercial needs who are contributing to the society in this field. Most of the related equipment are advanced and expensive hence entrepreneurs in this field are investing more to provide quality service.As we are aware all TV and Radio channels conduct programmes for promoting beauty culture in view of developing entrepreneurs to reduce the unemployment population in the society. Younger generations are much interested in this field and following courses for starting their own businesses, a salon. However, the related customers of this business should have a certain level of economic background to maintain their status and their requirements. The equipments required for the salon are also sophisticated therefore a professional salon can be started by only the businesswomen having a certain economic level and industry has evolved to be on a high scale from lower economic level entrepreneurs. Shamila contributes for the development in the industry and her venture stands tall among the others.


She was interviewed by Daily News Business.

Excerpts of the interview.

Q: How do you describe your line of business?

A: My venture Brilliant Brides and Salon Kottawa was a result of the business model started by my mother Sherline Demetagoda 25 years ago. Her venture Brilliant Brides was set up in Maharagama and was a huge success. After ending my school studies I was involved in the business. With my mother’s blessing I ventured into business and commenced operations in Kottawa as I was the only child in the family. This venture exclusively caters to women and we provide a full range of bridal services and all types of beauty care and treatment at present. The holistic nature of our services has been the hallmark of the business and this has attracted a steady flow of customers.

My mother is my mentor but I furthered my knowledge following a number of courses. I value the inputs of Ramani Arsacularatne Beauty Academy in the learning process. I also followed a course in Singapore before venturing into a higher level.

Q: How do you manage time to handle your personal life?

A: My husband has different interests and he is not involved in the business. Our two sons Thiven and Javinu Punchihewa school at St. Joseph’s College Colombo. As they are still young, they need constant attention and I have adjusted my schedule to enable more quality time with them. Their needs are well taken care of and I help them in their school work. Most of the mornings are devoted to the business whereas the evenings and the weekend is for my children.

Q: What motivated you to venture into business on your own?

A: As I grew up in seen radiant brides and related activities it fascinated me to delve deep in to the subject. My inherent talents and mother’s guidance gave me the confidence to continue our family business. The flexible nature of the business was also a motivating factor.

Q: What are your goals?

A: I intend continue the business though have no succession plan at the moment. Among the other goals are to expand the business and to follow trends to be on par with the global industry standards.

Q: How do you face the challenges of competition?

A: My firm belief is that if you provide an excellent service and exceed customer expectation there will be more business opportunities. My venture always focuses on service delivery and value for money where customer satisfaction plays the key role. Though, there is huge number of beauty care related business entities, Brilliant Brides and Salon has been able to withstand all storms.

Q: What example do you provide to others?

A: I emphasis on practical knowledge as theory will only helps to boost the education.

It is important to understand the delicate points in the bridal dressing and be artistic in the creation of work. The practical aspect of the service is at the centre stage where trial and error approach is not possible. It should be a perfect job and we meet this requirement covering the entire process.

Q: What are your achievements in family life and business?

A: I consider maintaining and even exceeding the success level of the initial family business as a huge achievement. Unlike in venturing new, sustaining an already running business is somewhat difficult. I have overcome this hurdle and even have been able to add another business venture to the fold.

Q: What is your message to society?

A: Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.

There are people to put you down when they see your success. Ignore them and move forward where they cannot reach you. The hardest test in life is to wait.

Nobody has a perfect life. Everybody has their own problems. Some people just know how to deal with it perfectly. Always look on the lighter side of everything and be optimistic.

jayasuriya.sanjeevi@gmail.com

Credit to private sector expands



Reflecting the effectiveness of the policy measures in place, the growth of broad money and credit extended to the private sector decelerated sharply in the third quarter of the year, while the cumulative trade deficit for the first nine months of 2012 contracted for the first time since December 2009.

In the monetary sector, broad money growth decelerated to 18.9 per cent, year-onyear, in September from a peak growth of 22.9 per cent in April 2012.

The growth of credit to the private sector extended by commercial banks decelerated to 25.5 per cent, year-on year, in September, from over 35 per cent seen prior to March 2012.

In the month of September, credit to the private sector expanded by less than Rs. 10 billion compared to the monthly increases of over Rs. 55 billion seen in February and March 2012.

Net credit to the government and credit to public corporations also increased modestly in September, but on a cumulative basis credit obtained by the public sector was higher than the projected levels.

As such, the Government’s commitment to continued fiscal consolidation, as expressed in the 2013 Budget speech, is likely to provide comfort to the conduct of monetary policy in the years ahead.

In the external sector, the contraction of the overall trade deficit over the first nine months of the year by 0.3 per cent to US dollars 6,780 million, was a result of imports Economic Research Department 16-11-2012 declining significantly by 3.3 per cent despite fragile global demand causing a decline in exports by 5.8 per cent during the first nine months of 2012.

The decline in the trade deficit together with higher inflows from workers’ remittances, tourism, and capital inflows, resulted in a surplus of US dollars 269 million in the balance of payments by end September 2012 while gross official reserves increased to US dollars 7.1 billion, which is equivalent to 4.3 months of imports.

Dampened demand due to sluggish global economic recovery, political sparring over austerity measures in several EU countries, and the absence of proactive leadership amidst economic contraction will continue to affect Euro region’s economic stability, slowing the global economy further. With the conclusion of the US presidential elections, it is expected that a joint effort between the USA and the Euro region may aid expediting global economic recovery. In the meantime, central banks in many advanced and emerging economies have eased monetary policy to deal with the turbulent events that may surface due to global developments.

Inflation continued its downward trend in October with the year-on-year change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) showing a marginal decline to 8.9 per cent from 9.1 per cent in September mainly due to lower food prices.

The onset of the intermonsoonal rains is likely to increase the supply of agricultural produce alleviating price pressures further. With water levels in the reservoirs rising, the power generation mix has also become more favourable to the macroeconomy.

Taking into account the developments discussed above, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka at its meeting held on December 16, 2012 was of the view that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate.

Nissan Navara Launched in Sri Lanka

 Associated Motorways (AMW) launched the all-new Nissan Navara, which replaces their best selling D22 pick up.

With a bold expressive and adventurous exterior style, and rugged design lines, the Navara, known worldwide for its class leading luxurious ride comfort and powerful engine is set to become one of the most popular vehicles in Sri Lanka.

The interior matches the exterior of the vehicle with great functionality along with comfort and intelligent design. From a lockable dual glove box, centre console storage and the front door having room to store one little bottle together with multiple cup holders, the Navara is ideal for long distance travel.

The Navara is capable of travelling on any off-road terrain with ease with its electronically controlled part-time 4WD system. A dashboard rotary switch allows you to easily select from three driving modes - 2WD, 4H and 4Low for extreme conditions.

From a safety standpoint the NAVARA comes fully equipped with all safety features including some that are usually only found in Passenger vehicles. Equipped with ABS, Dual front SRS Airbags, electronic brake-force distribution, stability control and other safety features will allow drivers and passengers to travel with a peace of mind.

Powered by a 2500CC DOHC inline 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine specifically designed for locally available fuel.

The Navara will be offered with a range of engines, the most powerful of which has the capability to produce a maximum of. 168hp and 403Nm of torque mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5 speed automatic transmission.

Yohann De Zoysa- General Manager of NISSAN at AMW said “ The Navara has enjoyed global success since its introduction in markets including Europe and Australia. The Navara sets itself apart from all competitors by offering the best ride comfort both on and off road, than any pickup in the Sri Lankan market.

Source : dailynews.lk

Disaster Management Ministry and ICTA jointly launch ‘sahana’ project


A project for the deployment of 'Sahana' Disaster Management System for National Disaster Relief Services Center (NDRSC) under the Disaster Management Ministry  (DMM) took place at DMM yesterday (20).

Initiated by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) the project will ensure that  ICT is deployed to improve the efficiency of NDRSC.  The Sahana Free and Open Source Disaster Management System is a much needed solution that could cater to the additional operational needs of NDRSC.  It could fulfill the needs such as fund allocation, support in decision making and reporting facility.

Participating in the occasion, as Chief Guest, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that optimum use must be made of ICT in making the lives of people more comfortable. The Minister said that an overview of past disasters would show that most of them occurred during holidays. This was true even of the 2004 December 26 tsunami.

‘We as servers of people should work without restricting ourselves to eight to four or nine to five weekday work schedule. Neither should we be slavishly following circulars to refuse whatever assistance we could be instrumental in providing. Discussion, clarification and solution after studying the problem is always possible', the Minister added.

Participating in the launch as Guest of Honour Telecommunication and IT Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that with the creation of the new Telecommunication and IT Ministry  President Mahinda Rajapaksa had    given a series of mandate. One of them was to make  Sri Lanka reach 75 per cent ICT literacy by 2016. Another was that every aspect in a person’s life is made more comfortable through ICT by 2016 as much as possible. The Sahana Disaster Management System project was well in line with the endeavour to meet these challenges, Minister Siyambalapitiya said.


ASOCIO 2012 ends successfully in Colombo

Sara PATHIRANA
The biggest ICT events of the year, which represent Sri Lanka’s continual progress and the importance of information communications and technology, were hosted by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS)recently. Accordingly, ASOCIO 2012 the regional ICT Summit, was held in Sri Lanka from November 15 to 17 in Colombo alongside the INFOTEL 2012, the National ICT Exhibition at the BMICH from November 16 -18 ,2012.

The purpose of this conference was to provide a platform to create a professional outlook for demonstration and sharing of views to develop, expand expertise, promote and foster ICT trends among the member countries. ASOCIO serves the entire Asian region, representing 29 economies, comprising of 22 member countries and 7 guest member countries.

The theme for this year’s conference was “ICT Beyond Borders” and was aimed to bring about opportunities for Sri Lankan business communities and top ICT professionals and assist them to gain from their regional peers and visionaries.

At the opening session, Udaya de Silva, Secretary FITIS and Sri Lanka Representative for ASOCIO addressing the conference said, “This summit marks the 15th Anniversary of ASOCIO membership of Sri Lanka. As a result, being the unified ICT industry organization in the country since the 1990s and representing Sri Lanka in ASOCIO, FITIS is more than proud to host this flagship regional ICT summit in our country,” he said.

“The summit will help to manifest the importance of our country’s active involvement in this sector. At a time the ICT industry is pursuing the aim of reaching $ one billion by 2015 in terms of export earnings,” Chairman of Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka, Tharmarajah Suresh said. Infotel 2012 showcased over 250 stalls that included Hardware, Software, Systems Integration, ITES/BPO, Office Automation, Telecommunication Equipment, Telecom Services, ICT Training, Electronic Media, Gaming, Medical Electronics, e-Citizen Services and e - Sri Lanka initiative segments. E-Health and IT in Agriculture are two new categories that were featured in this year’s exhibition according to the organizers.

Resource :dailynews.lk

SL stock market on positive path

The Colombo stock market is now growing in a positive direction due to the coordinated effort of all stakeholders including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Colombo Stock Brokers Association (SBA). To enhance the market from a medium to long term perspective, it needs to be broad-based with new listing and encourage foreign investment in to the market, Asha Philips Securities Vice President, Thakshila Hulangamuwa said.

“Basically, we witness a positive growth in the market index but debt market growth and growth potentials should be in line with the market capitalisation by increasing new listings, which goes in line with the stability,” Hulangamuwa told Daily News Business .

He also said that the recent budget proposal that all newly listed companies who release 20 percent shares to the public would get three years tax exemptions was a good sign for the market's further growth. He also said that lowering the income tax to 10 % from 28 % on Unit Trust Management companies would also derive a positive impact towards the market.

Since European markets are not performing well, our markets too have a rippling effect, because we are also in line with foreign investors/markets, Hulangamuwa said.

President Colombo Stock Brokers Association Dimuthu Abeysekera said that the market is doing well since the market fundamentals shows a positive growth.

Head of Sales and Marketing Lanka Securities (Pvt) Limited Eardley Kern said that the stock market is positive because fundamentals are showing a growth and during 2012 more than Rs 35 billion was invested in the stock market.

He said that if this fundamental proven growth continues it will attract more foreign investments in to the market, but only negative factor is the high bank interest rate in the market.

Kern also said that most important thing is to stabilize the market to become a strong stock market in the region. At present all stock markets in the region are not performing well due to the European economic recession.

Source : dailynews.lk

Rubber industry targets US $ 5 bn mark by 2023


Plastic and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL) together with Enterprising Fairs (India) Pvt. Ltd, plan on having a rubber related exhibition on September 12, 13, 14, 2013 in Colombo. After the success of PLASTEXPO in August this year Enterprising Fairs had come forward to hold RUBEXPO providing a platform for local rubber related companies to participate and experience the new technologies and talent available in local and foreign market.

Chief Executive Officer of Enterprising Fairs (India) Pvt. Ltd, Swaminathan told Daily News Business that being the main organizers of the event, they plan on providing a platform for the local and international rubber markets to meet and interact. “Sri Lanka’s Rubber industry has been marked as one of the main form of exports in Sri Lanka, thus the exhibition will help many small and medium rubber enterprises to meet up with people in the rubber industries of foreign countries,” he said

Most of the people in the rubber sector cannot get first hand experience through international expertise and the exhibition would be a good opportunity. “We hope to have over 100 exhibitors both local and international, they will exhibit under categories of rubber products, materials and machines, it will also contain educational programmes that will be of great importance to its visitors.

Swarminathan said that he is confident that RUBEXPO will be a success as it is a land of opportunities, thus with the infusion of the latest technology the country will be able to reach its target of increasing production to 200,000 MTs by 2020 and thus be able to achieve the US $ 5 billion mark in 2023. “We see that Sri Lanka has a great potential to increase export value,” he said.

Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Anura Siriwardena, said Sri Lanka, presently is the sixth largest exporter of rubber to which 20 % is raw rubber. It is also the eight largest natural rubber producing country producing over 150,000 MTs rubber annually.

“Rubber registered 10.8 % growth rate while the GDP grew at 7.5 %. Export of rubber products were growing steadily over the years to US $ 1 billion

The future holds bright for the rubber industry, according to Siriwardena as the ministry plans on expanding rubber cultivation in non traditional plantation areas, while introducing modern technology for processing as well as giving access to export markets for auto industries in neighboring countries through joint ventures.

Source ; dailynews.lk

School bus tragedy kills 47



EGYPT: Forty-seven schoolchildren were killed on Saturday when a train smashed into their bus in central Egypt after a railway signal operator fell asleep, officials said, prompting protests and resignations. Transport Minister Rashad al-Metini stepped down after the tragedy saying he “accepts responsibility.” President Mohamed Morsi also accepted the Egyptian Railway Authority chief's resignation.

Manfalut hospital in the province of Assiut said it had received 51 bodies -- those of the 47 children, the bus driver, two school supervisors and a passer-by.

“The children were between the ages of 4 and 12,” deputy hospital chief Mohammed Abdel Razek told AFP. Small coffins lined the wall at the entrance to the hospital in preparation for the children's burials.

The bus taking 60 children on a school trip was struck on a railway crossing in Manfalut, 360 kilometres (220 miles) south of Cairo, police said. The worker manning the level crossing -- which had been left open -- was asleep when the bus tried to cross the tracks, Assiut governor Yehya Keshk said. “He has been arrested of course.

“There is a team of 45 doctors looking after the injured children,” Keshk said.

Parents of the children held angry demonstrations near the scene of the accident, demanding the death penalty for those responsible, police said. Some residents blocked the line with blazing tyres.

“We will not clear the railway line until we get justice for our children. This is not the first accident to happen here,” said resident Mustafa Abuloyun.

AFP

Rights pact, breakthrough for region – ASEAN leaders



CAMBODIA: Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday endorsed a human rights declaration which they called a breakthrough for the region but critics said it fell well below global standards. Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations adopted the joint declaration at their annual summit in Phnom Penh, saying it would enshrine human right protections for the bloc's 600 million people.

“It's a legacy for our children,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters after the signing ceremony.

The United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay and more than 60 rights groups called this month for the pact to be postponed amid concerns it undermined universal human rights standards by allowing loopholes for governments.

ASEAN's members have a wide range of political systems, from authoritarian regimes in Vietnam and Laos at one end of the spectrum to the freewheeling democracy of the Philippines at the other.Campaigners also slammed the lack of transparency and the absence of consultation with civil society groups during the drafting of the text.

ASEAN chief Surin Pitsuwan said the bloc's foreign ministers made an amendment to the text on Saturday aimed at addressing those complaints.

The amended text affirmed ASEAN nations would “implement the declaration in accordance to the international human rights declarations and standards”.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian countries called on Saturday for a hotline with China to defuse tensions over their increasingly divisive maritime territorial rows.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan publicly floated the proposal for the South China Sea hotline ahead of three days of talks involving the region's leaders in Cambodia starting on Sunday.

“We can give it a sense of urgency that, if there is anything developing that we all will be phoned... trying to consult, trying to coordinate, trying to contain any possible spillover of any... incident, accident, miscalculation, misunderstanding,” Surin told reporters.

ASEAN members are also aiming to kickstart negotiations in Phnom Penh over a giant free trade zone with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

AFP

Arabs slam Israel over Gaza

EGYPT: Arab foreign ministers roundly denounced Israel's campaign in Gaza at an emergency meeting in Cairo Saturday, as Egypt tried to mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The Arab ministers decided that Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi would head a delegation to Gaza in a show of solidarity, and to review the “usefulness” of their past diplomacy towards Israel.

The session came amid a flurry of meetings to coordinate an Arab and Turkish response to the four-day conflict, in which 45 Palestinians have been killed in air strikes and three Israelis have died in Hamas rocket attacks.

At a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said his government was in “vigorous” talks with Palestinians and Israel to bring an end to the fighting.

“There are some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon,” he said, though he added that there were still “no guarantees.” Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal was also in Cairo to meet Egypt's intelligence chief -- traditionally the point man in mediating truces with Israel -- and the visiting Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

A senior Hamas official told AFP the movement was reluctant to agree a truce because it does not believe mediators could guarantee the terms of a ceasefire. The “international community” had to put pressure on Israel, he said.

Israeli raids kill children

GAZA CITY: Israeli raids killed three children and critically wounded two more in Gaza early Sunday even as the army said there had been no rocket fire all night amid growing talk of a truce.

Aircraft also hit two media centres in Gaza City, wounding at least eight journalists, including one who lost his leg, emergency services said, as Egypt and France pressed efforts to broker a ceasefire and prevent an all-out ground war like that of 2008-9.

A senior Palestinian official in Gaza told AFP that amid serious efforts to end the violence, a deal could be reached later on Sunday or on Monday.

“There are serious talks to reach a truce, and it is possible that understandings will be reached today or tomorrow,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

With France's top diplomat Laurent Fabius en route to the region to join the truce efforts, an Israeli air strike in central Gaza killed an 18-month-old boy and critically wounded his two young brothers, hours after warplanes killed two more children in the north.

The latest deaths took the overall toll in Gaza to 49 from Israeli strikes since Wednesday with more than 450 people injured, the emergency services said. Nine of the dead have been children.

Two Gaza media buildings bombed

GAZA CITY: Israeli war planes targeted two media buildings in Gaza City on Sunday morning, injuring at least eight journalists, including one who lost his leg, medical officials said.

Separately, Israeli air strikes continued in other parts of Gaza, including the north, where two children were killed in raids on homes.

As the strikes continued, the Israeli army said there had been no rockets fired into the Jewish state since 9:00 pm on Saturday evening, although around 7:30 am there were reports of alert sirens in the south of the country.

And Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya's office said he had spoken by phone with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to discuss the ongoing violence.

The first Israeli strike on a media building came around 2:00 am local time.

“At least six journalists were wounded, with minor and moderate injuries, when Israeli warplanes hit the al-Quds TV office in the Showa and Housari building in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City,” health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

The injured were taken to Gaza City's Shifa hospital. One journalist lost his leg in the attack, Qudra said.

A second hit on a different, nearby media building came around 7:00 am (0500 GMT).

S. American bloc condemns violence

BRAZIL: A major South American trading bloc condemned Saturday the “disproportionate use of force” in Gaza, calling on Israel and the Palestinians to immediately halt the violence that has claimed more than 40 lives.

MERCOSUR leaders expressed “their strongest condemnation of the violence taking place in Israel and Palestine,” said a statement released by Brazil, which currently holds the group's rotating presidency.

They “profoundly lament the lost of human lives and express their concern over the disproportionate use of force,” it added.

The statement also expressed support for the Palestinians' controversial bid to secure upgraded membership at the United Nations later this month, a move strongly opposed by Israel and the United States.

Hackers down hundreds of Israeli sites

ISRAEL: Online activist group Anonymous said on Saturday it had downed the websites of dozens of Israeli state agencies and a top bank in protest over the Jewish state's deadly air assault on Gaza.

The hackers said their operation “OpIsrael” had either damaged or completely erased the sites of more than 650 private and public institutions that included the Bank of Jerusalem -- one of the country's main finance houses.

“Bank of Jerusalem database has been deleted,” the group said in a tweet next to a link to the lender's non-functioning website.

It also claimed to have briefly downed the foreign ministry website in protest over an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip's Internet communications.

“For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so called 'Occupied Territories' by the Israel Defence Force,” Anonymous said in a statement.

“But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand.”

The group threatened Israel with the “unbridled wrath of Anonymous” if it went ahead with the Internet cable cut.

Israel's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment on the threat, and no reference to the hack attack was made in official government statements on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Israeli defence officials have used Twitter to provide real-time warnings about incoming rockets and also make direct threats against Hamas.

AFP

Xi on track for China leadership at close of CPC Congress

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CHINA: China's Communist Party on Wednesday closed a pivotal congress that approved a new leadership committee, putting Vice President Xi Jinping on course to take power in a landmark transition. “I now announce that the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress has come to a victorious conclusion,” President Hu Jintao, the party leader, told some 2,200 delegates assembled in the cavernous Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The main business of the week-long congress, which is held every five years, had been to select a new circle of leaders at a time when China faces major economic challenges and growing scrutiny from its citizens.

The gathering is by far China's most important political event as it chooses who leads the party and nation, and this year's meeting is expected to lead to Xi's selection as the country's chief for the next decade.

Xi took a widely expected step forward by being re-named Wednesday to the 200-member Central Committee at the congress.

The development was singled out in a report by the Xinhua news agency, suggesting Xi was firmly positioned to be announced national leader on Thursday as expected.

In the same dispatch, Xinhua noted that Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is tipped to become China's next Premier, was also appointed to the central committee.

The agency also focused on five other officials believed tipped for possible inclusion in the Politburo Standing Committee -- China's highest decision-making body and which would be headed by Xi -- suggesting they had moved forward.

AFP

Rice hits out at "unfounded" attacks over Libya killings


UNITED NATIONS: Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, said on Wednesday she has been the victim of "unfounded" Republican attacks over her account of a militant assault on the US embassy in Libya.

Rice is a frontrunner to be the next US secretary of state but Senator John McCain and other Republicans have said they would block her confirmation by the US Senate because of the controversy.

President Barack Obama has strongly defended Rice, but kept everyone waiting to see whether he would risk naming his trusted confidante to replace Hillary Clinton.

"Let me be very clear. I have great respect for Senator McCain and his service to our country, I always have, and I always will," Rice told reporters in her first public comments on the storm.

"I do think that some of the statements he made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him," she added.

Rice insisted the comments she made on US talk shows on the Sunday after the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was based purely on intelligence guidance.

US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American staff were killed in the September 11 attack.

McCain and other Republicans have accused the US administration of seeking to mislead the public over the true cause of the attack.

Rice went on US television news shows and said initial intelligence indicated that the assault arose "spontaneously" out of "copycat" protests against US targets in several Muslim nations at the time. US authorities now say it was a "terrorist" attack.

"As a senior White House diplomat, I agreed to a White House request to appear on the Sunday shows to talk about the full range of national security issues of the day," she said. This included the Benghazi attack and Iran's nuclear facilities.

"When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community," the ambassador added.

"I made it clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers," she added.

Rice said the death of Stevens and the other officials was a "massive tragedy". The Federal Bureau of Investigation and State Department investigators are now looking into the Benghazi killings.

"None of us will rest, none of us will be satisfied, until we have the answers and the terrorists responsible for this attack are brought to justice," Rice declared.

- AFP/xq


US to station space telescope in Australia



AUSTRALIA: The United States military will station a powerful radar and a space telescope in Australia as part of a major refocusing of priorities towards Asia, the two countries announced Wednesday.

The transfer of the C-band radar “will add considerably to surveillance of space debris in our part of the world,” Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith told a news conference. US Defense Secretary Leon Panettea described it as “major leap forward in bilateral space cooperation and an important new frontier in the United States’ rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region”.

The deal calls for the first deployment of a US Air Force C-band radar in the southern hemisphere, allowing the Americans to better track space debris as well as Chinese space launches, senior US defence officials told reporters. “It will give us visibility into things that are leaving the atmosphere, entering the atmosphere, really all throughout Asia,” said a US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The C-band is currently in Antigua at a US Air Force facility. Australia also agreed to host a new space surveillance telescope (SST) designed to track small objects at “deep space altitudes” roughly 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometres) high, officials said.

The cost to get it operational is about $30 million, with annual cost of $8-10m after that. Smith said discussions had begun on possibly granting the US military access to airfields in northern Australia as well as naval ports, including Stirling near Perth.

AFP

Ahmadinejad calls for unity among Iraqi groups



IRAQ: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for empathy and understanding among all Iraqi groups, saying that the people of Iraq should enjoy peace, welfare and progress. “All people of Iraq must enjoy peace, welfare and progress and this issue calls for empathy and cooperation among all Iraqi tribes and groups,” Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with visiting Prime Minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Idris Barzani on Monday.

The Iranian president emphasized that stability and security are prerequisites of progress, adding that the Islamic Republic fully supports the progress and stability of Iraq.

As for the situation in Syria, Ahmadinejad stated that both Tehran and Baghdad believe in empathy and understanding as the best solution to the Syrian crisis, noting that “the Syrian issue will not be resolved through war and conflict.”

PRESS TV

Bank of Ceylon’s 30 mn debenture issue opens



“We had witnessed three significant events in the history of the Bank of Ceylon. We have issued an international bond of US $ 500 million and have also successfully achieved the one trillion mark balance sheet, which is a remarkable achievement. I see the issuing of the largest debenture today as the third milestone in our history,” said P. A. Lionel, Deputy General Manager of Treasury and Investments, Bank of Ceylon.

P A Lionel, Deputy General Manager International, Treasury and Investments of BOC and Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe, Chairman Bank of Ceylon at the press conference on the BOC debenture issue. Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa


He said that foreign investors were also able to come into the investment. However this is mainly aimed towards the local investors since they have shown an interest in debentures. “Local foreign banks have also indicated an interest,” he said.

The long term fund base raised through this debenture issue could effectively be utilized to finance the long term financial needs in the priority sectors of the country’s economy such as exports, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure/manufacturing industry and SME etc.

This issue would also provide an excellent opportunity for investors to earn an attractive regular return over a period of five years at a minimal risk. These debentures are rated AA(lka) by Fitch Rating (Lanka) Ltd, unsecured, subordinated and redeemable on maturity after five years and will be listed on the Main Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The five year debentures have three interest payment options to suit the investor eagerness, (Type A – Fixed Interest Rate of 16 % p.a. paid annually, Type B – Floating Interest Rate of 6 months gross treasury bill rate + 1.25 % paid bi-annually or Type C – Fixed Interest Rate of 15.25 % p.a. paid bi-annually.)

The bank has revisited the corporate strategy keeping in mid the huge potential for business development in the country, the North And East in particular, after the end of the war and are now focused on undertaking new business to move away from traditional banking business.

This debenture issue would generate additional funds for the purpose of expansion of advances portfolio of the bank which will contribute to growth of the Sri Lankan economy in turn.

In view of the requirement of investments around 35 % of the GDP by public and private sector to maintain economic growth of the country, the significance of this debenture issue, could be identified, he said.

SLT group 9 months operating profits up by 16% to Rs. 5 bn


 Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), released its financial results for the first nine months of 2012, recording Rs. 5.01 billion Group Operating Profit, a growth of 16% Year on Year (YoY).

The Group revenue has increased to Rs. 42.07 billion, an increase of 12% YoY. Despite the gain on foreign exchange translation in Q3 2012 due to appreciation of rupee against Q1 and Q2, 2012 and the impressive increase in Group Operating Profits, cumulative group translation loss on exchange has diluted the Profit before Tax (PBT) and Profit after Tax (PAT).


Normalized basis (without exchange loss on translation), the group has reported an impressive PBT of Rs.5.76 bn, an increase of 21% and PAT of Rs.4.33 bn, an increase of 26% YoY. These normalized results further underscore SLT as the leader and the enabler in integrated telecommunications in Sri Lanka. However, after the Loss on Exchange Translation arising from Mobitel, Group PBT and PAT declined by 11% and 18% to Rs. 4.3 billion and Rs. 2.9 billion respectively.

SLT Group Chairman Nimal Welgama said “Consistent Growth in operating profits in 2012 demonstrates our strength, resilience and aligned growth strategy of our group of companies to deliver strong results. As the catalyst in enabling ICT in the country, we will continue to invest in Network Modernization, Capacity and Coverage Expansion with a view to take ICT in our country to the next level while creating value for stake holders.”

At company level, revenue for nine months YTD increased by 7% to Rs. 25.82 bn. PBT and PAT of SLT Company increased by 2% and 3% to Rs. 3.69 bn and Rs.2.7 bn respectively. Revenue streams including fixed broadband, PEO TV, Wholesale, Enterprise and International were drivers of revenue growth.

Defying the global trend of declining fixed line subscribers, Sri Lanka Telecom’s wide product range and demand for high speed uninterrupted broadband and entertainment through PEO TV have seen fixed wire line customers increase by 6% YoY to 985,752 steadily heading towards the major milestone of 1 mn Megaline subscribers.

Despite the increase in revenue of the company, increases in International Telecommunication Levy and energy costs have contributed to a significant increase in operating costs which had an impact on profit growth.

Mobitel, continued to grow its revenue despite heavy competition in the industry. Revenue for the first nine months of 2012 grew by 14 % to Rs 18.2 bn compared to the same period in the previous year. The revenue growth was mainly driven by the increase in Mobitel Subscriber base. With the completion of the Stage VI expansion project by mid-2012, significant enhancements in network capacity and coverage have translated in to better customer experience.

Despite many challenges, Mobitel managed to record growth in key profitability indicators with EBITDA and EBIT growing by 20% and 30% respectively during the period under review.

Growth in these profitability indicators was achieved from growth in revenue coupled with initiatives for cost optimisation and productivity improvement.

These initiatives have strongly contributed towards the growth in EBITDA as well as EBITDA margin withering challenges faced by increasing fuel, electricity and other input prices.

Company reported a healthy EBITDA Margin of 33% which is a notable improvement over last year.

Without the exchange loss on translation, PBT has recorded an impressive growth of 45 % for the period under review.

Mobitel made an impressive PAT over 1bn during 3rdquarter as a result of increasing revenues complemented by marginal appreciation of the rupee.

As a result of that company was able to wipe off losses incurred during the first half brought about by heavy exchange losses incurred.

The publication arm of SLT Group, SLT Publications recorded revenue of Rs.461mn.while recording a PBT and PAT of Rs.243.mn and Rs.175 millions.



The 13-year-old Sumatran tiger named Manis, or Sweetie in English, gave birth to the cubs on October 18, just over a year after she successfully bore three male cubs, Terawan said.

“This is our latest contribution in conserving the critically endangered species,” he said, adding that the zoo now has six cubs, and two male and one female adult.

AFP

Three rare Sumatran tiger cubs born



INDONESIA: A critically endangered Sumatran tiger has given birth to three cubs at an Indonesian zoo, a veterinarian at the facility said Wednesday.




“She gave birth naturally, without human intervention. The three cubs are all healthy. Two are male, while we haven’t been able to get close to the other to identify it,” Suci Terawan, a vet at Medan Zoo in northern Sumatra, told AFP.

Record vote for UN resolution condemning Cuba embargo

UN: A record 188 countries voted Tuesday for an annual UN General Assembly resolution condemning the five-decade old US embargo against Cuba.

The almost-ritual UN debate saw Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez lash out at what he called "the inhuman, failed and anachronistic policy of 11 successive US administrations" since the full embargo was imposed in 1962.

The United States reaffirmed that while $2 billion in remittances had been sent to the Communist-ruled island by Cuban Americans in 2011, it would only ease the embargo when Cuba carries out major social and economic changes. The vote in favor rose from 186 for the 20th anniversary resolution last year.

This time the United States, Israel and Palau opposed the resolution while the Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained. Rodriguez said US President Barack Obama had offered a new beginning with Cuba when he first came to power in 2008. "However the reality of the last four years has been characterized by a persistent tightening of the economic, commercial and financial embargo," he told the 193-member assembly.

The minister said Cuban hospitals could not get heart and anti-cancer medicines as he restated his government's annual charge that the US sanctions amount to "genocide." "There is no legitimate or moral reason to maintain this embargo which is anchored in the Cold War," Rodriguez argued.

Russia, China, Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states and the Non-Aligned movement all spoke out against the embargo.

AFP

Secret Codes for AnDroid

Android is going to be very popular now these days. Android market provides wide range of applications for fulfill all your needs. As a Android user all you need to know about Android OS. So here i m sharing with you some secret code. This code helps you to access some hidden option which is generally not given as default. Please use this code carefully because if you are unaware of these advanced settings then it may be harmful for your phone.









*#*#7780#*#*   - This code is used for factory restore setting. This will remove Google account setting and System and application data and settings.

*2767*3855#   -  This code is used for factory format, and will remove all files and settings including the internal memory storage. It will also reinstall the firmware.

*#*#4636#*#*   - This code show information about your phone and battery.

*#*#273283*255*663282*#*#*    - This code opens a File copy screen where you can backup your media files e.g. Images, Sound, Video and Voice memo.

*#*#197328640#*#*    -  This code can be used to enter into Service mode. You can run various tests and change settings in the service mode.

*#*#7594#*#*   -  This code enable your "End call / Power" button into direct poweroff button without asking for selecting any option(silent mode, aeroplane and poweroff).

*#*#8255#*#*  -  This code can be used to launch GTalk Service Monitor.

*#*#34971539#*#*    -  This code is used to get camera information.Plz avoid update camera firmware option.


WLAN, GPS and Bluetooth Test Codes:

*#*#232339#*#* OR *#*#526#*#* OR *#*#528#*#*   -  WLAN test (Use “Menu” button to start various tests).

*#*#232338#*#*    -  Shows WiFi MAC address.

*#*#1472365#*#*    -  GPS test.

*#*#1575#*#*    -  Another GPS test.

*#*#232331#*#*   -  Bluetooth test.

*#*#232337#*#    -  Shows Bluetooth device address.


Codes to launch various Factory Tests:

*#*#0842#*#*   - Device test (Vibration test and BackLight test)

*#*#0588#*#*    - Proximity sensor test

*#*#0*#*#*    -  LCD test

*#*#2664#*#*   -  Touch screen test

*#*#2663#*#*    -  Touch screen version

*#*#0283#*#*   -  Packet Loopback

*#*#0673#*#* OR *#*#0289#*#*    -  Melody test

*#*#3264#*#*    -  RAM version


Code for firmware version information.

 *#*#1111#*#*   -  FTA SW Version

*#*#2222#*#*   - FTA HW Version

*#*#44336#*#* - PDA, Phone, CSC, Build Time, Changelist number

*#*#4986*2650468#*#*   - PDA, Phone, H/W, RFCallDate

*#*#1234#*#*  - PDA and Phone

** Try it at you own risk. i am not responsible for any damage caused by any means.**

Katrina Kaif And Ranbir Kapoor At A Diwali Party

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bollywood Star Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor spotted at a Diwali Party in this year 2012. Katrina Kaif spotted in red color saree. This stars Katrina & Ranbir Saying they are best friend and they are not dating each other.

666 plots in Mumbai under whoopingly high lease rent renewal, rest will follow


Mumbai 9th Oct 2012: Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan announed government’s intention to increase lease rentals on lease plots in Mumbai. The chief minister also inserted that Mumbai has 1,282 lease land parcels which are on long lease while suburbs have 295 plots. As many as 517 plots in the city are up for renewal while 149 in suburbs are also coming up for fresh contract.

These plots who were paying meager amount, for say, Rs.17, will have to pay Rs.3, 04,000/per annum. Similarly, a plot of 3000 sq. meters paying Rs.74 will have to pay Rs.33, 07,000/per annum. Which means the Property tax and lease rentals of Nariman Point areas will increase 18000 times? “Properties where lease contracts are to be renewed will now attract higher rent. But properties where lease contracts are still on will not be affected, at least for now,” he added. The government has also made another important change in the lease related law (Maharashtra Land Revenue Code) which restricts the period of lease to only 30 years.

Properties on lease specifically public utility buildings like hospitals, schools will have to shell out more lease rentals. The biggest land on lease is with Western Turf Club at

Mahalaxmi who is having decades of in fight with BMC on lease terms and lease rentals.
Mr.Paras Gundecha, President MCHI-CREDAI said, “This move will have far reaching effects on the rental and lease property market in Mumbai.

Maharashtra government’s decision to allow land to be given on lease only for 30 years will put potential leases in a quandary. Moreover, the increase in lease rates will have an adverse effect on the rental and lease property market in Mumbai. In an economy which is already reeling under market pressures, this move will further affect the buyer sentiment.” Lalit Kumar Jain, President CREDAI – National, says he is surprised at the Maharashtra Government’s decision to increase lease rates and decrease the tenure of the lease. This move will further pressurize the real estate market, which is already suffering from poor demand. Lessees will now shy away from the market due to shorter tenure and increased lease rates. The revised policy is against the affordable housing principal and it will put a lot of pressure on the home buyers. The government needs to reconsider this decision as it will only add to the woes of the real estate sector in India, the release said.
  

The meeting was called upon to address the plea of about 5 lakh people residing in dilapidated buildings of MHADA. ShriLodha said, “It is important to bring in new regulations for construction of the affordable housing. This will enable better quality of homes along with reduction in the corrupt practices of awarding contracts bringing in greater transparency. Project timelines will be adhered with and timely completion of projects will be ensured.

Moreover, huge amounts of penalties can be recovered on violations of DCR norms.” ShriLodha further stated that due to stringent norms of current Development Control Rules, about 56 MHADA’s redevelopment projects are stalled. It is also causing troubles for about 5 lakh residents of 3,700 MHADA colonies.

He suggested that the MHADA is a trusted name amongst the home seekers in the city and to protect its dignity, it is essential that instead MHADA constructing the projects, they should be handed over to the private players to improve the situation.

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