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Good early demand for BOC’s historic $ 500 m bond

Apr 27 (FT) The historic $ 500 million five year bond of the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) which opened yesterday had drawn good early demand, according to analysts. Sources said that all Sri Lankan sovereign bonds so far had been quickly snapped up and the same appetite was likely for the BOC’s issue, which is also the country’s biggest-ever corporate bond. Rated B1 by Moody’s and BB- by Fitch, on par with Sri Lanka sovereign, the five-year bond’s price guidance is 7.125% area, more..

Premadasa procession not in competition with Jaffna May Day rally – Karu J.

Apr 27 (Island) The May Day, procession from the Sugathadasa Stadium to Hultsdorp, organised by the R. Premadasa Commemoration Committee, should not be construed as being in competition with the main rally to held in Jaffna, Karu Jayasuriya MP said yesterday. Jayasuriya, who has been the Chairman of the Premadasa Commemoration Committee since 1994, said that they had decided to hold a procession this year on a request by a large number of UNPers at grass roots level. more..

Somali pirate saga: Freed Lankan fishermen arrive to emotional welcome

Apr 27 (DN) The six Lankan fishermen held hostage by Somalian pirates for nearly six months, returned to Sri Lanka yesterday morning. The fishermen were rescued by the Spanish Navy. They left Tanzania on Wednesday aboard an Emirates flight and arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake early yesterday. They left Tanzania on Wednesday aboard an Emirates flight and more..

Revision application filed by Duminda Silva’s father

Apr 27 (Island) The revision application filed by Premalal de Silva, father of MP Duminda Silva injured in the Local Government polls day shooting incident at Mulleriyawa, was taken up for inquiry before High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksha yesterday. The Judge queried from President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuirya, appearing for the applicant, in support of the application, whether the magistrate had respected him when he, as a President’s Counsel, more..

False charges framed against war heroes – SL

Apr 27 (Island) Convenor of Manel Mal Movement, S.L.Gunasekera yesterday said that the movement would continue to provide legal assistance free of charge to security forces personnel if legal action was instituted against them on the basis of baseless allegations of human rights violations during the final stages of the Vanni war against terrorism. "We pledge that we will fight for justice on behalf of the war heroes," Gunasekera said. more..

'A change in the political arena vital'

Apr 27 (LB) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka said that there was no person called Kumar Gunaratnam in the JVP’s Central Committee or the Politburo. Responding to a question on whether one should be a member of those committees to be a leader in the JVP, he answered in the affirmative. On being questioned if there had been defections by members of the JVP recently which could have led to the formation of a new political party, the FSP, more..

FARAB proposes lower quality product for Uma Oya project

Apr 27 (SL) The Iranian company awarded the contract for the construction of the mega-sized Uma Oya Multipurpose Project is currently making a pitch to install lower-priced equipment. Contractual agreements have placed an onus on the Iranian-government nominated contractor to supply equipment which have proven track records and are from prime manufacturers in Europe, The difference in price – between the contractual price and more..

May Day in Jaffna: EPDP averts possible confrontation with TNA-UNP alliance

Apr 27 (Island) UPFA constituent EPDP yesterday altered the route of its May Day procession in a bid to avert a possible confrontation with the TNA-UNP alliance in Jaffna. The EPDP promptly changed its route after Jaffna police pointed out that the processions of the govt partner and the Opposition alliance would cross each other near Vembadi Junction, Jaffna. Jaffna police said that it might cause unnecessary trouble, more..

Sapugaskande oil refinery to be renovated

Apr 27 (CT) The Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will be renovated at a cost of Rs. 210 billion ($1.6 Bln) over the next few years to accommodate crude oil from markets other than Iran. With this new plan Sapugaskanda oil refinery, which is now only productively compatible with Iranian oil, will be able to accommodate oil imported from other countries. Over 95% of Sri Lanka’s oil imports are currently from Iran, and the govt is expected to lower this figure to around 60%, more..

Wheat flour increased by Rs.8.50 a kilo

Apr 27 (DM) The price of wheat flour was increased by Rs.8.50 a kilo yesterday. Main stakeholders Prima and Serendib Flour Mills said they were compelled to raise wheat flour prices because of severe losses incurred by them after the huge increase in fuel prices and electricity tariffs in February. Serendib Flour Mills CEO Sathak Abdul Kadar said after prices the new electricity tariffs and transport charges cost the company a massive loss of Rs.3.2 million a day. more..

'Sri Lanka refugee returns lower'

Apr 27 (DM) The UNHCR said that the number of Sri Lankan refugees returning home has fallen in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the previous year and part of the reason could be the suspension of the Colombo-Tuticorin ferry service from India. Latest UNHCR statistics show that some 408 individuals voluntarily returned to Sri Lanka with UNHCR’s help during the first three months of this year, nearly a third less than the same period last year when 597 refugees returned. more..

Sri Lanka policy flexibility to bring longer term stability: IMF

Apr 27 (LBO) On going policy tightening in Sri Lanka and commitment of policy flexibility, will slow growth and may push up inflation but will bring stability to sustain long term growth, an International Monetary Fund official said. "Yes, growth will slow, inflation will rise, cost of living will rise, but the balance of payments should turn around, diminution of reserves should slow down," IMF's resident representative Koshy Mathai said. more..

‘White vans’ keep fear alive in post-war Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (AFP) The choice of vehicle was almost inevitable. While describing his terrifying abduction ordeal in Sri Lanka, political activist Premakumar Gunaratnam said his captors came in a white van. The Sri Lankan-born Australian citizen says he was grabbed by six to eight gunmen outside his house in Colombo in April, stripped and then “sexually tortured” during his detention that lasted four days. His colleague and fellow hard-left more..

Muslims sore over Mosque relocation

Apr 27 (Hindu) Salat al juma (Friday prayers) in Sri Lanka will attract attention from afar and near: today’s prayers and the sermons that follow, will determine which direction the country’s Muslim minority will take to salvage its rights. It was last Friday that a mob, comprising of Buddhist radicals, wanted a mosque demolished, because it was built in a place considered sacred by Buddhists. Trouble is brewing in the Muslim majority areas of Sri Lanka, following the attempts to desecrate a mosque built in more..

GL to present Lanka's action plan to US

Apr 27 (DM) The government has sought views from its alliance partners to prepare an action plan to be presented to the United States (US), on the implementation of recommendations made by the LLRC. The US -sponsored resolution demanding the implementation of constructive recommendations of the Commission was adopted at the UNHRC on March 23. Minister G.L. Peiris has decided to go to Washington next month with an action plan on the implementation of LLRC recommendations. more..

The Finance Company dominates a dull bourse

Apr 27 (LBO) Stocks closed the week on a negative note on Friday, as investors remained on the sidelines watching for some stability in the foreign exchange markets, brokers and dealers said. Colombo's broader All Share Price Index shed 15.42 point or 0.28 percent to 5,429.59, while the more liquid Milanka Price Index fell 7.09 points or 0.14 percent to close at 4,853.53. Friday’s turnover closed at 778.9 million rupees, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures. more..

Editorial: A sick nation can't be the hub of Asia

Apr 27 (DM) Whatever the rates of growth, inflation, foreign direct investments and other economic factors – with opposition critics and independent analysts saying Government officials are blowing up or doctoring the figures – one clear factor is that the general health of Sri Lanka’s people is far from healthy. Despite all the modern discoveries in medical technology, most people find themselves falling sick often and hospitals have become the most crowded places more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

India Investrade to promote trade with Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (Hindu) The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has organised a three-day exhibition and buyer-seller meet on realty construction and construction material at Colombo starting April 26. Supported by the Ministry of Commerce of Industry, India, the exposition, ‘India Investrade 2012’, is aimed at promoting trade and business engagement between India and Sri Lanka. According to an ICC spokesperson, the event would introduce Indian entrepreneurs of the realty sector with more..

Roadmap of Nuclear Technology for Agriculture

Apr 27 (GDI) The Atomic Energy Authority has taken steps to enlighten the people on developing the agricultural sector using nuclear technology as it is being done in many countries in the world. A two day seminar is being held on 26th and 27th at the Peradeniya Gene Resources Centre to enlighten the farmers on the advantages of using this technology in their agricultural activities. The seminar is being jointly organized by the Atomic Energy Authority and more..

Fire destroys car of outlawed Tamil group’s former leader

Apr 27 (NP) A former director of an organization outlawed by the Canadian government over its ties to Sri Lankan rebels said Thursday he was living in fear after his car was destroyed in an unexplained fire. Kamal Navaratnam’s 2002 Honda CRV was parked in his Toronto driveway when it went up in flames at about 3 a.m. Monday. “The car was completely destroyed,” more..

It’s a matter of ‘two quid of betel’-Wimal

Apr 27 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said if the price of bread was increased by 5 or 6 rupees after the imposition of a Rs. 15 tax on a kilogramme of wheat flour, an unfortunate family that eats bread for all three meals will have to spend only an additional price equivalent to the price of two quids of betel. The Minister in a statement said “as a nation we should encourage local food production, while facing challenges posed by the price hike.” He also said that it was time to change eating habits, more..

University teachers demand a stop to universities being politicised

Apr 27 (NF) University Teachers engaged in a protest march today calling on the authorities to stop universities from being politicised. The protesting lecturers also made a number of other demands. The protest march which was organised by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) and a number of other lecturers unions, commenced from opposite the Science Faculty of the Colombo University yesterday. more..

Mervyn goes before disciplinary panel

Apr 27 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva appeared before a three member disciplinary panel headed by senior lawyer Champani Padmasekara of the SLFP at the party headquarters in Colombo a short while ago to answer allegations against him, informed sources said. The SLFP central committee earlier announced that it would hold a disciplinary inquiry against Minister Silva for his statement saying asserting that hat no one could touch him while President more..

Bread price hike likely

Apr 27 (CT) Discussions will be held tomorrow to determine the increase in the price of bread, President of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association, N.K. Jayawardene told Ceylon Today Online. Jayawardene said that 25 officials from the association will be meeting to finalize details on the price increase. “We have not decided on by how much the price of a loaf of bread will increase and this will be discussed at the meeting tomorrow,” he added. more..

Won’t make Kelaniya another Libya: Mervyn

Apr 27 (DM) While denying allegations that he was behind the attack on the house of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Vice Chairman this morning, Minister Mervyn Silva today said he will not allow to transform Kelaniya into another Libya, his media secretary said. Media Secretary Rehan Wijeratne said there was a conspiracy against Minister Silva by few people, who want to create an internal crisis within the SLFP. “I am not ready to become Kelaniya as another Libya, more..

Muslims demand religious freedom

Apr 27 (Xinhua) Thousands of Muslims in Sri Lanka blocked the roads in the capital on Friday, protesting against the alleged move by the government to relocate a mosque in a proposed Buddhist sacred site in the central Sri Lanka. After Friday's prayers in the heart of capital, Muslims led by opposition politicians representing Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil ethnic groups staged the protest, demanding religious freedom. more..

The Onion Miracle

Apr 27 (GDI) Studies carried out by doctors and scientists have found that onion has a miraculous quality of attracting bacteria and viruses. Researches have proved that placing an unpeeled onion on a dish in a room could prevent people getting affected during the times of flue epidemic as the onion absorbs the bacteria. A woman contacted with pneumonia has been found to be cured since she placed an onion cut at both ends off in an empty jar; and place the jar next to her at night. more..

Fonseka to be admitted to hospital

Apr 27 (CT) Former General Sarath Fonseka is currently being transported to a leading hospital in Colombo for treatment, wife of Sarath Fonseka, Anoma Fonseka told Ceylon Today Online. “He was due to go to the hospital for treatment at around 10 a.m. however, he was not taken on time. He then threatened to go on a hunger strike if he was not transported to hospital within a certain period,” she said. Previously, Colombo High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa ordered the Prison more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.04.2012

Iran commends religious coexistence in Sri Lanka

Apr 27 (AD) Iranian top cleric and cultural advisor of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri today commended the religious coexistence in Sri Lanka. Ayatollah Taskhiri, head of the world Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, who is in Sri Lanka to attend a conference on “Proximity between Islamic denominations,” met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne today morning. He had expressed Iran’s admiration of more..

Jaffna Magistrate ordered to investigate Lalith, Kugan disappearance

Apr 27 (AD) The Court of Appeals today ordered the Jaffna Magistrate to conduct an investigation into the disappearance of activists of the Movement for People’s Struggle, Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan. The state attorney during a previous session had informed the court that both activists have not been arrested detained by security forces. Therefore the Appeals Court instructed the Jaffna Magistrate to investigate the matter, and the petition, more..

Sri Lanka prepares grand celebration for war anniversary

Apr 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is preparing to celebrate the third anniversary of the end of a three-decade years war in grand style next month. The month of May has been declared the "War Heroes Commemoration Month" or "Ranaviru Masaya" by the Defiance Ministry, which is also making elaborate arrangements to celebrate the end of the war with a massive parade and remembrance ceremony. more..

Robber claims Lankan cashier was in on it

Apr 27 (TLL) A Tamil man accused of robbing a New Malden petrol station told a court that the Sri Lankan cashier allowed him to take the goods. Kabiloan Venayakamoorthy, 23, Lewisham, on trial with Hajendra Saravanababanantha, 26, Streatham, denies charges of robbing Murco garage in Kingston Road, New Malden, on October 15 last year. The pair were among a group of four who allegedly arrived at the petrol station in a BMW and threatened worker Mahes Tharmashaar more..

UNP May Day rally confirmed in Jaffna

Apr 27 (CT) Main opposition UNP’s working committee has firmly decided that the UNP May Day procession will be held in Jaffna, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. The UNP has decided to celebrate May Day with Tamil political parties in the North, he said, addressing a media briefing in Colombo today. “The reason for this step is that terrorism is over, and it is our duty to restore democracy in the North. Jaffna has not had a political frame for some 30 years, and we should work with Tamil parties that more..

'Be a partner in Sri Lanka's march to prosperity

Apr 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited Korean business community to invest in Sri Lanka and to be a partner in the prosperous march of our nation. "I can confidently assure you that you will truly be happy that you took such a decision," President said addressing Sri Lanka- Korea Business Forum hosted by Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In all these investment decisions, our Board of more..

'Tamil groups' fratricide weakened Eelam struggle'

Apr 27 (PTI) Reiterating that fratricide among Tamil groups in Sri Lanka had weakened the Eelam (separate homeland) struggle, DMK president M Karunanidhi today said this was a temporary setback and urged partymen to dedicate themselves to reviving this cause peacefully,as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. "The Sri Lankans exploited the fratricide among Tamil groups to emerge victorious, leading to the downfall of the Tamil race," he said about the military victory against more..

Kelaniya PS VC house attacked

Apr 27 (CT) The house of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Vice Chairman Chamilaka Duminda has been attacked by a group of individuals, police spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said. “The incident took place at about 11.30 this morning,” he said. A complaint was made by the Vice Chairman stating that a group of individuals had arrived in his residence and vandalized the property. “After initial investigations we found that five of the windows in his house were damaged as a result more..

The UN is making lasting peace in Sri Lanka less likely

Apr 27 (TC) The Sri Lankan parliament has begun debating the resolution from the UNHRC urging Sri Lanka to conduct an investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its battle against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009. On hearing of the UN passing the resolution the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, immediately hailed the council's action, saying it "encourages the govt of Sri Lanka to continue on the path more..

Robber barons, Medamulana politics and the performance of miracles

Apr 28 (CT) Several months ago, in an article I wrote, I gently chided Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri for his comment that we should make up our minds to live with this regime for the next 15 years. Reading his recent interview in the Divaina dated 15th April, 2012, it is clear that Dr Dewasiri has changed his mind. He has no intention of waiting 15 years anymore; in fact, he does not want to wait even 15 months! What has happened during the last several months to have more..