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Eminent Sri Lankan central banker passes away

Aug 3 (LBO) Eminent banker Pelanage Amarasinghe passed away on Wendesday August 01. He has served Sri Lanka's banking sector for over 36 years as a central banker and later also in commercial banks. He retired from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka after becoming its Deputy Governor and was a former chairman of Peoples' Bank. more..

Sri Lanka earns more by selling less tea

Aug 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's tea export volumes fell by 10 percent in the first six months of this year, but earnings rose marginally by three percent, a commodity broker said Thursday. Tea, Sri Lanka's main export commodity, earned 439 million dollars from January to June this year, a three percent increase compared to the same period last year. However, the volume of "Pure Ceylon Tea" exported fell to 136.9 million kilogrammes (301.18 million pounds) more..

Sri Lanka urged to speed up telecom reforms

Aug 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka should unilaterally liberalise its telecommunications sector even further and update outdated regulations to avoid falling behind the rest of south Asia, a telecom expert has said. The country was also not living up to its commitments made in international trade negotiations and its telecom sector was losing momentum, Rohan Samarajiva, former director-general of the telecom regulator said. more..

Sri Lanka to issue $500 mln bond, likely 10-yr

Aug 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will issue a $500 million sovereign bond likely with a 10-year maturity this year to help fund infrastructure projects, the central bank said on Thursday, but gave no hint of the yield. The central bank aims to complete the country's first sovereign bond issue by mid October and the government plans to use the proceeds to help fund a raft of infrastructure projects. more..

Sri Lanka urges maritime security boost at ARF

Aug 3 (AFP) The international community must step up efforts to safeguard maritime security in the face of terrorist threats, Sri Lanka said here on Thursday. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said sea lanes, air space and territories were vulnerable to attack and that the world must focus more on securing the oceans. more..

'We pulled out because our party was insulted' - CWC

Aug 3 (AT) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has resigned from the government because the party was insulted. "There is no chance of patching up at the moment (as a result)" said CWC Vice President Mr.R.Yogarajan. Today's newsreports said that the leader of the CWC Mr.Arumugan Thondaman, who was also the Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development and four other CWC members have resigned from the government 'due to the party being insulted by Basil Rajapakse. more..

Sri Lanka home work supported

Aug 3 (GG) The 66-year-old retired surgeon, wife Kay and family have donated money to help buy land and build a house for two families who now live in temporary shacks. The Hope for Guernsey chairman joined charity founder Sarah Griffith, her son Jack, 20, retired accident and emergency nurse Jean Rouget and Maire Tyrrell on a trip to the country last month. ‘It all started when I went to one of Sarah’s open days at Capelles Methodist Church. more..

Peace or War in deed!

Aug 3 (AT) War is upon us-what with the flying tigers taking the theater of war on a new paradigm shift; the small plane can do as much damage as the small dengue mosquito: the war clouds that gathered are trickling down, before that impending storm-a war in the face of extreme poverty and a bankrupt kitty! A minister of this cabinet voiced that any power devolution to the north between a unitary state and a package falling short of ISGA proposals must be considered; more..

Israel – Lanka to strengthen the relations

Aug 3 (AT) Dr. Palitha Kohona, Secretary to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry met his Israeli counterpart, Aaron Abramovich, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, to strengthen the relations between the two countries. Both sides condemned terrorism in all forms. Both sides agreed that they have suffered from this menace and agreed to oppose terrorism as a political tool. more..

French Organizations thanked for granting help to Sri Lankan Youth

Aug 3 (AT) Tima Lazarus, of the Investor Services Asia , a Company which helps promote Sri Lanka & South India in France and other French speaking Countries, presented mementoes to the Chairperson & CEO of BioForce, Mrs.Lardy & Mr.Benoit Silve and Mr.Hubert Colaris, the outgoing French Trade Commissioner , who did a yeoman service to Sri Lanka after the tsunami at a function held at the Galadari last Saturday. more..

Colombo says ready to resume talks with Tamil rebels

Aug 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government is willing to resume peace talks with Tamil rebels as long as they end violence, its foreign minister said on Thursday. Rohitha Bogollagama told a news conference in Manila his government has not abandoned moves to end civil war through political negotiations but asked the rebels to show sincerity. "We can resume talks tomorrow," Bogollagama told reporters more..

Sri Lanka govt's majority slashed as party defects

Aug 3 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government's parliamentary majority was cut to the bare minimum on Thursday after a Tamil party defected, leaving it dependent on hardline Buddhists and Marxists for survival. The Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) said its leader, Minister of Youth Empowerment Arumugan Thondaman, and four deputy ministers in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government had resigned after an unspecified disagreement. more..

Colvin and Constitution-Making: fallacies and misconceptions

Aug 3 (FI) Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama’s piece on Dr. Colvin R de Silva in relation to the 1972 Constitution is refreshing. He has from personal knowledge of what related to the Constituent Assembly put the record straight on what communal and religious minorities do reflect on as the sore points in that Constitution. Nihal as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice in the relevant period of the 1970s had a window open on the Constituent Assembly and more..

Ranil Puts his Eggs in Mangala’s Mango Basket

Aug 3 (TC) It seems that Ranil Wickremasinghe has decided to put his eggs in the Mango basket - no innuendo implied! He is willing to ignore the displeasure of SB Dissanayake and others and offer Mangala Samaraweera the number two position in a possible future UNP led government. Chandrika Kumaratunga’s electorally useful and SLFP-destabilising support has, obviously, been prearranged and, more..

Censuring Buddhist Monks: Double Standards for Ranil and Mervyn

Aug 3 (TC) See something clearly - see a double standard? Ven. Somarama, an ordained Buddhist monk pulled the trigger on S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the man who ushered in the sanga veda guru govi kamkaru Sinhala Buddhist revival of 1956. Bandaraniake died as a result. Somarama and his mentor, the senior Ven. Buddharakitha were jailed and sentenced to die, in the sensational assassination case that followed. more..

Worker falls to death from building

Aug 3 (GT) A SRI Lankan expatriate yesterday fell to his death when “temporary winding steps” at an under-construction high-rise building collapsed near City Center. According to sources, an iron bar pierced his neck as he fell from the 15th floor to the ground. Crane operator Kannavathy Pillai Sathyaroopan, 31, hailed from Akkarayankulam in Sri Lanka’s Kilinochchi. Sathyaroopan is survived by his mother, two brothers and a sister. more..

Sri Lanka says July reserve money target met, but inflation up

Aug 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said its target for July reserve money was met with billions of rupees to spare and most of the inflation recorded in the month was due to administered price revisions. The July reserve money target was 253.8 million dollars but the actual recorded was 247.2 billion rupees. "The achievement of reserve money targets will lead to deceleration of the growth in broad money supply and thereby containing demand driven inflation in the future," the bank said. more..

Sri Lanka's Prima mill may benefit from Indian wheat policy

Aug 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Prima flour mill could get new business with reports that India is planning to slash duty on imported wheat to use milling capacity in the island. A planned lifting of a 30 percent duty on wheat flour is aimed at reducing flour prices in India, especially in the run-up to the festival season, India's Economic Times newspaper reported. more..

Vertical or horizontal strategy for Sri Lanka?

Aug 3 (LBO) Large parts of Colombo, particularly the roads, go under water whenever there is heavy rain. One explanation is that polythene bags are blocking the drains. In cities where polythene bags have been banned, there should be less flooding, if this is true. Recently, I experienced heavy rainfall in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a city that banned polythene bags five years ago (Read Link) and is frequently cited as a model by ban devotees. more..

Test hero village 'ring-in'

Aug 3 (AFP) PLAYERS at a lowly amateur English club were bowled over when former Sir Lanka skipper Aravinda de Silva turned out for the opposition and helped demolish it with ease, British newspapers report today (AEST). The 1996 World Cup winner stunned Wimborne and Colehill players by marching out for Sherborne in the Premier division of the Dorset Cricket League. more..

People in rebel-controlled areas in Sri Lanka hit hard by renewed warfare

Aug 3 (AP) Palani Amma Subramaniyam sits in quiet despair, surrounded by woven baskets and terra cotta pots in her deserted market stall in rebel-controlled territory in northern Sri Lanka. Just last year, her business was booming amid a cease-fire in the decades-long war between the government and the LTTE rebels. Customers drove from hours away to buy crafts from her and other vendors in the market in Kilinochchi. more..

Jaffna students boycott lectures protesting Journalist's killing

Aug 3 (TN) Undergraduate students at Jaffna campus and the students of Jaffna Technical College (High Tech) boycotted lectures Friday protesting the Wednesday murder of Deluxshan, 22, a young media student at Jaffna University Media Research and Training Center and Sasiroopan, 25, a student of Jaffna Technical College (High Tech) who was shot dead Thursday, sources in Jaffna said. more..

New police division for Mannaar district

Aug 3 (TN) Mannaar district is to be administered as separate police division under a Senior Superintendent of Police with effect from 6 August 6 Monday, sources in Mannar said. A separate Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) will be appointed in Mannaar to administer police stations in Murunkan, Talaimannaar, and Mannaar. Police sentries in Erukalampiddy, Pe'saalai, Thoo'dave'li and Uyilankulam would also come under the administration of the Mannaar police division. more..

What are you doing ‘Mahinda Ayya’? You are the Executive President!

Aug 3 (ISL) After nearly two decades the Nugegoda pavements were cleared of hawkers in June 2006 by the lady mayor of Kotte, enabling pedestrians to use them freely. This was a very welcome step because hawkers were creating lots of problems for pedestrians all along and there were a large number of complaints. But the hawkers returned to their usual haunts about three months ago, this time, allegedly with the blessings of none other than the President. more..

JDCSI: Corporate crime brewing in Jaffna

Aug 3 (ISL) American missionaries began their missionary activities in Sri Lanka in 1816 with their first post at Tellipallai in what used to be the Kankesanturai electorate. They founded schools and hospitals and even a press, the primary ones being the Batticotta Seminary in 1823 and Uduvil Girls College and shortly afterwards the Green Memorial and McLeod Hospitals and the American Ceylon Mission Press. more..

Policeman runs amok, assaulting devotees in Kataragama

Aug 3 (LD) A shocking incident of a policeman assaulting devotees, who were taking a dip in the Menik Ganga at the conclusion of the Esala Pageant in Kataragama, has been reported. After the traditional Water Cutting ceremony on July 31st, devotees took to the sacred waters to drink and fill vessels to take home as holy water. more..

Sri Lankan business chamber to choose top 10 'corporate citizens'

Aug 3 (LBO) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has called for applications from Sri Lankan companies for its annual 'Ten Best Corporate Citizen Awards' contest. The awards, part of the chamber's efforts to promote Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within the business community, will be held on November 29, 2007. more..

Sri Lanka seeks port partner to ramp up box business

Aug 3 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is seeking an investor for Colombo's new container terminal who can increase cargo volumes and improve cash flow, a senior official said. SLPA chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said the technical bids for the infrastructure work and first box terminal in the new South Port are under evaluation and winners likely to be announced soon. more..

Ranil invites foreign intervention to protect sovereignty of Lanka

Aug 3 (AT) Addressing a human rights body called Civil Monitoring Commission UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said to protect the sovereignty of the missing people in Sri Lanka it is nothing but correct to invite foreign intervention into the country. Civil Monitoring Commission is a partisan body whose conveyor is the Western Province People’s Front leader and parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan who is sympathetic to the LTTE who has now joined the coalition of the UNP’s Ranil Wickremesinghe and SLFP’s Mangala Samaraweera wings. more..

Is the Ceylon Workers Congress in or out?

Aug 3 (AT) There is confusion right now as to whether the coalition partner, Ceylon Workers Congress, is with the Mahinda Rajapakse government or not. Initial reports said that it had quit the Coalition after Muththu Sivalingam had a slanging match with Basil Rajapakse, brother of the President. It was reported that both flew in a rage and at the height of emotional explosion Basil Rajapakse had asked the CWC to quit, if that is what they want. Later 'Asian Tribune' was told that this was all a misunderstanding. more..

R2P – latest acronym for neo-colonial interventions

Aug 3 (AT) Delivering the Eighth Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo, on July 29th 2007 Gareth Evans, President, International Crisis Group (ICG), has in his characteristic eloquent style clinically analyzed and described the new instrument of international intervention needed to prevent future “Holocausts and Cambodia’s and Rwandas and Bosnias of the past, and the Darfurs of the present, and maybe the Iraqs of the near future…” happening again. more..

Navy arrests two LTTE extortionists

Aug 3 (GDI) Naval troops arrested two LTTE suspects who were demanding ransom from a shop owner in Trincomalee yesterday (02). Naval troops on duty at the Hospital junction arrested two LTTE agents who demanded Rs. 300,000.00 from a vendor of an ice cream shop, Media Centre for National Security informs. Further questioning have revealed that the two LTTE agents were on the way to collect the initial payment of a total Rs. 75,000.00 ransom from the ice cream shop owner. more..

President orders immediate inquires on Kataragama Devotees attack

Aug 3 (GDI) The President Mahinda Rajapaksa orders an immediate report over the Katharagama incident where a Police Constable assaults pilgrims who entered the ‘Menik Ganga” to bathe after a religious ceremony and a full scale investigation on the tear gas attack on University students protesting in front of the University Grants Commission. more..

Health Minister stern on misguiding ‘milk’ advertisements

Aug 3 (GDI) The Ministry of Health and Nutrition has taken a decision to take stern measures over the misguiding information contained in advertisements on milk food and other food products published by multi-national companies on local electronic and print media. "Most milk products do not necessarily contain nutritional properties and quantities which multi-national companies claim they contain through their advertisements," more..

Japan donates two Multi-day Fishing boats worth Rs.64 million

Aug 3 (GDI) The Government of Japan gifts two Multi-day Fishing boats worth Rs.64 million granted for the fishing community living in the Tsunami affected areas of the island, Japanese Embassy states. These boats are built to be off shore for a longer period and have a larger capacity to store the harvest. The launching ceremony of the Multi-day fishing boats was held at the Mutwal Fishery Harbor in Colombo yesterday (02) more..

Troops seize LTTE suicide belts and anti tank mines in Jaffna

Aug 3 (GDI) Following a tip-off given by a civilian, Security Forces recovered a haul of weapons including five suicide belts and anti tank mines with several other military equipments at Walikamam in Jaffna very recently. “The weapons cache was dumped in an abandoned house. The recovery of five suicide belts was a major detection in Jaffna,” military sources said. “We suspect that the LTTE was planning to carry out a major attack on the Security Forces,” sources further confirmed. more..

'University students should prioritize education not politics'

Aug 3 (GDI) The involvement of university students in politics corresponding to narrow political views of certain parties was criticized by the Minister of Higher Education Prof. Wiswa Warnapala who said that university students should give priority in education and contributes to the well being of the country. Higher Education Minister emphasized this at a ceremony held at Kegalle St. Joseph’s Girls College to award ‘Mahapola’ Scholarships to 309 students. more..

Facilities for Mollipothana Sinhala MV on Presidential directive

Aug 3 (GDI) Students of Mollipothana Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya in Kantalai, Trincomalee called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Tress during an educational tour in Colombo yesterday. The President who had a frank discussion with the students about their current educational problems, spoke to Education Minister Susil Premajayanth and requested him to address the problems highlighted by the students immediately including the teacher shortage. more..

Act tough against terror

Aug 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka yesterday called for a “cohesive and concerted stand” by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to wipe out terrorism. Speaking after Sri Lanka was formally granted membership of the 27-member ARF in Manila, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said it is no longer an option to feel ensconced on the basis of acts of terrorism taking place in some part of the world far from our shores and sharing of intelligence information was vital. more..

Moves to transport produce from Jaffna to South

Aug 3 (GDI) Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda, and Chairman of Development Committee of Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts has taken steps to provide with marketing facilities to the producers of Jaffna to market their products in the South at minimum cost. Given the backdrop in the Jaffna Peninsula, the Minister on his visit to the peninsula experienced the exorbitant transport cost to the South in moving their products, more..

Sri Lanka rupee at new low, shares end firmer

Aug 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee slipped to a new all-time closing low on Friday for a second day running amid corporate demand for dollars, dealers said, while shares rose. The rupee ended at 111.85/111.90 per dollar, surpassing the previous life low of 111.78/111.83 hit on Thursday. The local currency has hit a series of new all time lows in recent months. "There was some corporate demand (for dollars)," said one currency dealer. more..

African countries to adopt Lankan health system

Aug 3 (PISL) On a recommendation by Japan, eight groups of medical experts and management consultants from eight African countries have studied hospital administration, patient care, post and pre-natal care and total quality management systems practiced in Sri Lankan hospitals and decided to implement the same systems in their countries, Health Ministry sources said. more..

Forged money in court employees` pay

Aug 3 (LNP) The CID has started inquiries into two separate cases involving forged currency notes allegedly found among the salaries paid to staff of Badulla High Court and Colombo District Court. Badulla SSP, Sunil Maturata, said that the case, dealing with the six forged Rs. 1000/- notes allegedly found in money paid as salaries to Badulla High Court staff, had been handed over to the CID. more..

Rizana case: Govt vows action against all responsible

Aug 3 (LNP) The Government yesterday assured that action will be taken against all parties responsible for sending 17 year old Rizana Nazik for foreign employment. `The authorities are in the process of taking necessary steps against every person involved in the incident starting from the Grama Niladhari to the foreign employment agency. It will be done according to the stipulated procedure,` Cabinet spokesman Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. more..

Wasps sting 150 at Sigiriya

Aug 3 (LNP) About 150 visitors to Sigiriya were stung by wasps yesterday. About 70 of the victims were school children. The wasps had been disturbed by students from a school in Negombo as they walked past the lion`s paws at about 12.15 pm. About 70 of the victims who needed medical treatment were admitted to Sigiriya rural hospital and another 32 to Sigiriya hospital. more..

One-day private bus strike against diesel hike

Aug 3 (LNP) The Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) yesterday warned that it would launch a one-day island-wide token strike next Thursday in protest against the recent diesel price hike of Rs 4 per litre. If, however, immediate steps are taken to vest the Road Passenger Transport Authority in the Government, the proposed strike would be called off, the Association assured. more..

ICL offers Rs. 56mn deal to Jayasuriya

Aug 3 (SAMN) Dashing Sri Lankan star Sanath Jayasuriya has been offered a deal reported to worth US $ 500,000 (app. Rs. 56 million) for a three-year contract by the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), sources said. The 38 year-old all rounder, one of the feared batsmen in international cricket today has been playing international cricket for the past 18 years. The former Sri Lanka captain who was adjudged the most valuable player at the 1996 World Cup which Sri Lanka won has played more than 100 Tests (107) and 398 ODI’s. more..

Galle Face to have coloured coconuts

Aug 3 (SAMN) In a bid to make Galle Face Green more attractive, steps are being taken to plant coconut trees. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had instructed Plantations Industries Minister D. M. Jayaratne to plant coconut trees alongside the palmyrah trees that have already been planted. The programme would get under way in one month subsequent to discussion with other companies. more..

Ministry moves to develop local crops

Aug 3 (SAMN) The Agricultural Development Ministry has made arrangements to develop all varieties of local crops under the Government’s ‘Accelerated Food Production Drive’ to be launched to promote indigenous crop varieties. Under this programme, the Government plans to take steps to increase the yield of rice, subsidiary crops, fruit and vegetables, a Ministry spokesman said. more..

Spectacle Group divided on lawyer issue

Aug 3 (SAMN) A sharp division was seen in the ruling “Spectacle Group” in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Thursday with nine of its members voting in favour of a resolution to retain lawyers to defend the Council before the special commission appointed by the Western Province Chief Minister to investigate the alleged charges. Several ‘Spectacle’ members including the Deputy Mayor S. Rajendran voted against the motion while some other members of the group were absent. more..