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Spotlight on top guns at transparency seminar

Aug 31 (Island) With two top guns of John Keells Holdings (JKH) agreeing to join a seminar titled ‘Building integrity and transparency in business relationships’ scheduled for September 3 in Colombo, the corporate sector expects the focal point to be the landmark Supreme Court ruling on privatization of the Lanka Marine Services (LMS) and the impending judgment on the privatization of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. more..

Central Bank advises public to injected coins into circulation

Aug 31 (Island) Whether it is transacting business in the marketplace or using public transport, the grave shortage of coins – the vital small change – has become a major hassle, as the average man would readily acknowledge, but the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) insists that there is enough and more in circulation. "There is certainly no supply shortage as we continue to issue coins to the public", a senior CBSL official assured last week. more..

Tougher cordon around Temple Trees

Aug 31 (ST) The Government has banned the movement of trucks, trailer lorries, parades, demonstrations, rallies, gatherings political or otherwise and motorcades within the High Security Zone in and around Temple Trees with immediate effect. It has also warned violators of stiff penalties that include stiff fines and even the confiscation of the vehicle. In future any person or persons intending to enter the HSZ with a truck or trailer lorry must have prior written permission of more..

Battered UNP at crossroads

Aug 31 (ST) Last week's elections to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils were different from all previous ones in many respects. It delivered different messages to the victor and the vanquished. For the victor, the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was an overwhelming voter endorsement of the on-going military campaign against Tiger guerrillas. more..

The grave story of the 'ghost' aircraft

Aug 31 (ST) Last Tuesday (August 26) was a cloudy night in eastern Sri Lanka. At a jetty in the Dockyard in Trincomalee, home for Sri Lanka Navy's eastern headquarters, there was hectic activity. Troops were preparing to board the "Jetliner," the transport vessel acquired from an Indonesian company. It is capable of carrying some 3,000 passengers besides cargo. At dawn next day this vessel was to begin its voyage to Kankesanthurai (KKS). more..

Time bomb at wristwatch stall, 45 wounded

Aug 31 (ST) At least 45 people were wounded, some critically, when a time-bomb exploded at Olcott Mawatha in Pettah shortly after noon yesterday, police and hospital sources said. They said the bomb had been concealed close to a pavement stall selling wristwatches a few metres away from the Bo Tree at Pettah and it exploded around 12.15 p.m. while hundreds of people were at the busy junction. more..

Attempt to swindle state insurance assets

Aug 31 (LD) A local newspaper is exposing an attempt by a privatized insurance firm to swindle its insurance assets in the event of it being reacquired by the state. ‘Ravaya’ reports that Sri Lanka Insurance management has unsuccessfully tried to register two institutions - Sri Lanka Life Ltd. and Sri Lanka Insurance General Ltd. The aim of this attempt was said to be to prevent the insurance deeds SLI is already having from being going into the hands of the state. more..

Sri Lankan maid’s interpreter turns out to be non-Tamil

Aug 31 (AN) The interpreter who translated the statements of a Tamil-speaking Sri Lankan maid sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a Saudi baby in her care is an ethnically non-Tamil Kannadiga speaker. The revelations were made during a high court hearing held here yesterday. Kateb Al-Shammary, the lawyer representing the maid, Rizana Nafeek, asked whether the interpreter, Karim Mawiya Cader Mohammed, was qualified to accurately translate Tamil into Arabic. more..

LP gas price up on time-lagged formula

Aug 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices would move up by 7.2 percent from September 01, on a price formula that has a two-month lag, the island's largest distributor, Shell Gas said. A cylinder of 12.5 kilograms will cost 1,863 rupees, up 126 rupees from midnight Sunday, the company said. The price which is approved by the consumer protection office is based on a formula which has a two-month time lag and is based on the Saudi Aramco contract price of June and July. more..

Sri Lanka army accused of killings

Aug 31 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have accused the army of killing five civilians, including two children, in the rebel-controlled north. The rebels said artillery shells fired by the military fell inside a camp for internally displaced people near the northern town of Kilinochchi. But a Sri Lankan military spokesman later denied the rebels' accusation. On Saturday, the government accused the Tigers of planting a bomb in Colombo which wounded at least 43 people. more..

Stranded fishermen return home after two months

Aug 31 (Xinhua) Five fishermen who were stranded in the middle of the ocean for more than three weeks and ended up on an island off the coast of Thailand were flown back toSri Lanka Saturday morning, a local newspaper reported on Sunday. According to The Sunday Times, the fishermen set out from Dondra harbor in southern Sri Lanka on June 26 in their fishing boat "Samanala". On the fourth day the engine failed, and the boat started to drift out to sea. more..

The latest 'great game' involves Indian Ocean

Aug 31 (AP) This battered harbor town on Sri Lanka's southern tip, with its scrawny men selling even scrawnier fish, seems an unlikely focus for an emerging international competition over the energy supply routes that fuel much of the global economy. An impoverished place still recovering from the devastation of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hambantota has a desolate air, a sense of nowhereness, punctuated by the realization that looking south over the expanse of ocean, the next landfall is Antarctica. more..