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Whatever happens in Uva, more relief packages for big poll

Sept 21 (ST) The curtain raiser for next year’s early presidential election, the outcome of Uva PC polls, remains the major highlight in a week of significant political developments. Unlike the other PC polls whose outcome was obvious, Uva has caused more than a little suspense for the UPFA leadership. This is because the UNP had shown signs of gaining substantial ground. The star attraction no doubt is former Badulla District more..

Registering boats, recording catch a must: Fisheries Dept.

Sept 21 (ST) The Fisheries Department issued two gazette notifications concerning deep sea fishing by Sri Lankan fishermen which makes it compulsory to register all boats and maintain log records of the catch on each fishing trip. The two gazette notifications were issued to comply with a requirements set out by the European Union if Sri Lanka was to continue exporting its fish products to its member countries. The deadline to comply with the requirements set out by more..

Ranil not confirmed as Presidential Candidate

Sept 21 (SL) The UNP has not yet confirmed whether UNP National Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe will be the presidential candidate of the party. UNP MP Kabir Hashim said that the UNP has not decided who would be the Presidential candidate of the party. He rejected claims that the UNP had decided to back former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka as the candidate for the Presidential election. “We were focused on the Uva Provincial Council Election and more..

UPFA wins Uva PC election with a thin majority of 2 seats

Sept 21 (AM) The UPFA secured the power of the Uva PC for the next four years with a thin majority of two seats. The UPFA obtained 17 seats from Badulla amd Moneragala Districts while the UNP, managed to get 13 seats. The JVP obtained two more seats adding to the strength of the opposition. The UPFA obtained 349906 votes from the two districts while the UVP received 274773 votes, and the JVP received 35585. more..

Violation of election laws to be legalised

Sept 21 (ST) Polls laws are to be amended ahead of next year’s presidential election and possibly a general election — with the limited objective of relaxing provisions related to campaigning. Draft amendments are now being formulated, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, National Organiser of the SLFP, told a meeting of leaders who are partners of the UPFA Govt. The move comes against the backdrop of flagrant violations of existing laws, especially by the ruling party at elections and more..

SL raises another US$250 mln through NSB

Sept 21 (ST) Sri Lanka raised another US$250 million long term international bond through National Savings Bank (NSB) to finance counterpart funds required for infrastructure projects and other projects as well as to maintain cash flows and general corporate purposes as the earlier $750 million raised by the bank is almost exhausted, official sources said. The Central Bank will absorb the proceeds of NSB's $250-million bond sale following a directive of the Finance Ministry to more..

Resume talks with TNA, BJP urges Sri Lanka

Sept 21 (NIE) Muralidhar Rao, general secretary of the BJP in-charge of Tamil Nadu, and Vijay Jolly, global convener of the BJP’s overseas affairs committee, have appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to “immediately” resume talks with the TNA. An immediate resumption of talks is vital for lasting peace in Sri Lanka, they told Rajapaksa at a 45-minute meeting here on Friday. The BJP leaders said that more..

Dr. Kodikara honored with Apex award

Sept 21 (Island) Dr. D. S. Kodikara, a senior veterinary Surgeon was recently honored with the National Apex Award for excellence in agriculture and in the sphere of veterinary science, at a ceremony at the Kingsbury Hotel. He is a graduate of the faculty of veterinary science and medicine of the Peredeniya University. He has served the profession for 32 years. Among the discoveries made by Dr. Kodikara were diagnosing, for the first time in the world, rabies in elephants. more..

SL delegation visits Kerala Feeds Limited

Sept 21 (PTI) A five member Sri Lankan government delegation visited the state-owned Kerala Feeds Limited at nearby Kallettumkara today to explore the possibilities of producing feed in their country at the least possible cost. Secretary to Ministry of Livestock and Rural Development, Dr D R T G Rathnayake, one of the members,told reporters after the vist that the team was highly impressed by the functioning of the factory marketing system and other related activities. more..

Special unit to monitor international schools

Sept 21 (NS) The Education Ministry will establish a special unit to monitor international schools and their curriculum, Secretary to the Ministry Anura Dissanayake said. The special unit will serve as a coordinating point between the Ministry and international schools. Dissanayake said that a Gazette notification had already been issued where international schools have been ordered to include subjects necessary for Sri Lankan students. more..

Russia, Ukraine crisis hits SL visitor arrivals

Sept 21 (ST) Hoteliers are expecting a good winter season with increased arrivals this year but this is likely to be dampened by a drop in Russian and Ukrainian travellers. “We are concerned about the situation in Russia and Ukraine because the Russian Rouble is depreciating and destinations that operate in dollars might go to short haul locations,” Aitken Spence Travels MD Nalin Jayasundera said. He noted that the situation has aggravated further since Russian tour operators more..

Parkson Retail Asia undecided on Odel offer

Sept 21 (ST) A week after Softlogic Holdings offered a full buyout of Odel after taking a 45% stake, majority shareholder Parkson Retail Asia Ltd said it was undecided whether to sell or not. The leading Southeast Asia-based department store operator, said that its management will decide in due course whether to accept or reject the mandatory offer from Softlogic. Last week, a 45% stake for Rs. 2.7 billion owned by Otara, and her brothers, Ruchi and Ajit was sold to Softlogic. more..

Govt didn’t heed IMF call

Sept 21 (NS) The decision by the Govt to announce a 25% reduction in electricity tariffs last week was in sharp contrast to the advice given by the staff mission of the IMF to increase tariffs. When the staff mission of the IMF was in the island in July this year, the team in its Risk Assessment Matrix (RAM) had forecasted a ‘Medium’ likelihood of a continued drought in the country and thus had suggested that the policy response should be more..

UN official raises rights issue

Sept 21 (SL) At the recently concluded 7th Beijing Forum on Human Rights held in Beijing, China, the Director of the Human Rights Treaties Division, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has raised certain concerns over human rights issues in Sri Lanka. Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that he represented the HRCSL at the Beijing forum and explained to the forum of experts that more..

Two children fall to their deaths at Koneswaram temple

Sept 21 (ST) Two children were killed last afternoon when they fell from the Swami Rock, on which the Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee is built, police said. Their mother, who also fell was injured and has been hospitalised. The 34-year-old woman was rescued by Army and Navy personnel. The victims have been identified as Salomi Priyamary de Silva (12) and her brother Asal Gayes de Silva (6) from Kantale. more..

Atapattu still in contention for head coach job

Sept 21 (NS) SLC will either go ahead and appoint a permanent head coach for the national team or prune down the list of applicants further from the nine who have been short-listed for interviews through Skype by next week.The interviews was to have taken place last week but SLC CEO Ashley de Silva stated that due to some members of the 11-member special committee appointed to select the national coach more..

Kotmale profits dip due to capacity constraints etc.

Sept 21 (Island) Kotmale Holdings PLC, a member of the Cargills group of companies, has seen group profits dip in the year ended March 31, 2014 to Rs.93.4 million from Rs.116.1 million a year earlier. This followed the consolidation of the dairy sector operations within the Cargills group and capacity constraints where some of Kotmale’s branded products are now manufactured elsewhere. However, the royalty fee is being paid to the Kotmale for the use of the brand, more..

The night belonged to Josephian allrounder Sadeera

Sept 21 (ST) St. Joseph’s College allrounder and Sri Lanka Under-19s deputy skipper Sadeera Samarawickrama became the 35th Bata-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2014 at a glamorous awards ceremony held at the Musaeus College Auditorium on Friday. Sadeera becomes the second Josephian to win this coveted award since Rohan Weerakkody won it in 1987. The first runner-up was allrounder from Prince of Wales’ College, Shanuka Dulaj, the first schoolboy batsman more..

Data issues taken up by IMF, again

Sept 21 (CT) The IMF in a new Staff Report released last Friday again highlighted several issues with the country's official data regime. Staff Report is a result of the 2014 Article IV Consultation and Second Post-Programme Monitoring Mission that concluded earlier this year, and data issues discussed in the report were also highlighted in last year's report. IMF said macroeconomic statistics were broadly adequate for surveillance, more..

Lakmali keen on living up to expectations

Sept 21 (Island) Asian Games is the only major international event the national javelin record holder Nadeeka Lakmali has not taken part in during her more than decade old athletics career. In Incheon, when she makes her debut she is one of the few medal prospects that Sri Lanka has. The thrower trained by A.J. Rodrigo (junior) has competed at Asian Grand Prix, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Championship and at the Olympics. more..

The Scotland vote and Sri Lanka

Sept 21 (NS) On the face of it, the referendum held last week on the future of Scotland and therefore the future of the British union, has some relevance for Sri Lanka. After all it was about separation. This is why it excited the Eelamist commentariat. The fact that the Scottish people chose, by majority, to remain in the union need not dampen their enthusiasm because the ‘unionists’ bent over backwards to offer concessions and the ‘losers’ can demand that they deliver. more..

Uneasy limbo prevails at Maitland Place

Sept 21 (ST) Definitely there is a buzz in the air and a hum in the corridors. No 35 Maitland Place, Colombo 7 is back at work after a short limbo. Or is it an optical illusion like the famous Muralitharan action which was responsible for over two thousand victims at the end. Right now there appears to be calm after the storm. This impasse did not take place because our cricketers were on the decline or their payments were getting late. more..

Sri Lanka rugby 'at the crossroads’

Sept 21 (NS) Just as her players found their feet and rediscovered their potential, Sri Lanka’s rugby administration has realised it can no longer hide the fact that without a platform or what it calls “scientific infrastructure” there is very little or nothing the country can do with an eye to the future.The scenario may be puzzling to outsiders with players eclipsing the administration and taking their place on the field as finished products, but the Sri Lanka Rugby Union can more..

Indo-Lanka relations after Xi’s visit

Sept 21 (Island) The reason why Indo-Sri Lanka relations were on a particularly good footing during the Bandaranaike era between 1956-1965 and 1970-1977 is because under the Bandaranaikes Sri Lanka had a foreign and domestic policy that was identical to India’s. During that period, both India and Sri Lanka had the same friends overseas. Both countries associated more with the socialist camp than with the capitalist camp. Last week, thanks to the Chinese President’s visit to SL & India, more..

'Inviting new HR high commissioner a step in right direction'

Sept 21 (SL) With developments taking place with the investigations on the war by the OHCHR and the stand to be taken by the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Witness Protection Bill is a much talked about subject. Minister Hakeem says that Sri Lanka is a party to UNHRC mechanism and President Rajapaksa inviting the new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka is a positive step more..

Post-election opposition alliances and govt’s wardrobe malfunctions

Sept 21 (SL) This week is of pivotal importance to all the political parties in Sri Lanka who are vying for power. The outcome of the Uva PC election will be a key factor that determines the timelines of two national level elections in Sri Lanka, i.e. the Presidential election in 2015 and the Parliamentary election which will be held subsequently. Although the govt is confident about victory at the Uva PC election it is doubtful about the winning margin. With the allocation of three additional seats more..

Anagarika Dharmapala: 150th Birth Anniversary

Sept 21 (ST) On cue with the Chairman of the Anagarika Dharmapala Trust writing to the newspapers saying that the vision, mission and ideals of the national icon, Anagarika Dharmapala must not be confined just to his birthday on Sept 17, President Rajapaksa this week announced that the next 12 months would be ‘Dharmapala Year’. It is a fitting tribute to a personality who inspired the national freedom movement in the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, more..

'Tamils want to keep their identity, cultural practices'

Sept 21 (SL) TNA has been pushing the govt to re-merge North and East as stated in the Indo-Lanka Accord. At the recent Convention of the ITAK, they also passed a resolution to launch a non-violent campaign if the govt fails to consider merging the two provinces by the end of this year. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran pointed out that the govt is spending unnecessarily by having separate PC administrations for North&East more..

JR’s legacy enlivens paradise politics

Sept 21 (ST) My Dear JR, I thought of writing to you as people are talking about you once again, perhaps because it was your birth anniversary this week. In doing so, they seem to realise that even though 25 years have now passed since you left office, your influence on Paradise is as great as it was back then. First there is this issue about the Constitution you introduced 35 years ago. What is funny about it is that when in opposition, everyone promises to abolish it but once in power, all of them more..

Sri Lanka in the Asian Century

Sept 21 (NS) In his classic work of historical sociology, ‘The long twentieth century,’ Giovanni Arrighi uses the term ‘long century’ to connote eras of domination, tracing the unfolding of capitalism through the fortunes of Florence, Venice, Genoa, the Dutch, English and finally the USA. The twentieth century, the last of the 7 centuries long relationship between capital accumulation and state formation, belonged to the USA, there’s no argument there. Today that at one time seemingly more..

'People in East don’t need to merge with North'

Sept 21 (SL) Re-merging the North and East is an issue which is of no concern not only to the Tamils in the two provinces but also to the Muslims and Sinhalese living in the East. Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, better known as Pillayan, feels the issue is being raised once again purely for political reasons and not in the best interest of the people living in the North and East. more..

Lankan medal prospects good at Asian Games

Sept 21 (NS) Sri Lanka who returned home empty-handed at the last Asian Games are hopeful that its contingent of 80 athletes would put up a better performance in the nine sports they will participate at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Sri Lanka’s medal prospects lie in athletics with javelin throw champion Nadeeka Lakmali and 400m women’s champion Chandrika Subashini. Both are in good form with their recent performances. Lakmali finished with her best throw at the recent more..

Scottish verdict: Better together than unnecessary risks

Sept 21 (SL) The outcome of the referendum on Scotland would have been one great disappointment to those regions and secessionist groups waiting to break away from their mother country and to those who have been waiting for the collapse of the British Empire for long years – although the Empire disappeared well over half a century ago. It was welcomed by stable democratic countries, particularly of the Western bloc and even less affluent developing countries would have more..

'FDI inflows increased during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's tenure'

Sept 21 (SO) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the total number of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) gained by Sri Lanka from 1978 up to 2005 was US$ 3 billion. However, US$ 8 billion worth FDI inflows have come in during President Rajapaksa's tenure from 2005 to 2013 which is a 74% increase in FDIs. He said when we look at the past, all former governments expressed confidence over Europe as they thought the more..

The Uva election

Sept 21 (Island) By the time you read this commentary, you would hopefully know who had won or lost in the Uva, what kind of voter enthusiasm has been displayed as indicated by the turnout and, most importantly, if there has been violence and/or cheating. Unfortunately the latter is far too common at elections in this country and the situation gets worse and not better at each succeeding poll. The political will to end that is sadly lacking as evidenced by more..

President, the architect of new Sri Lanka

Sept 21 (SO) Now that the Uva PC elections have concluded, the focus will be on the next Presidential election and the Parliamentary general elections. Unlike earlier Presidents, the incumbent President Rajapaksa invariably held elections ahead of schedule. The Opposition hopes that the two elections scheduled for 2016 could be advanced to early next year. Although President Rajapaksa could continue as the Head of State till Nov 2016 and the UPFA Govt with a two-thirds majority more..

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