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Sri Lanka seen keeping rates steady on Tuesday

Aug 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to keep interest rates steady for a fourth straight month on Tuesday as a spike in inflation to a 42-month high complicates its efforts to bolster cooling growth. All 11 analysts polled by Reuters expected repurchase and reverse repurchase rates to be left unchanged at 7.75 percent and 9.75 percent respectively. Both rates are at their highest in more than two years. All the analysts expect more..

Sri Lanka releases 37 Chinese fishermen

Aug 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka released 37 Chinese fishermen detained by its navy, China's Xinhua state news agency reported on Monday, putting a quick end to what could have been a test of the increasingly close ties between Beijing and Colombo. Sri Lanka's navy arrested the fishermen on Sunday night for fishing in Sri Lankan waters. They were aboard two trawlers off the country's east coast town of Batticaloa, Xinhua said. more..

Bomb scare at Gampaha court

Aug 6 (DM) Gampaha police has taken steps to evacuate all the people from the Gampaha Court due to a telephone call received via 119 police emergency unit that there was a bomb in the court. Two cases which were to be heard today have been suspended and the court premises are to undergo thorough search using police sniffer dogs. One of the two cases that were to be taken up was the magisterial inquiry into the murder of the owner of the cloth store “Kapruka” in Gampaha. more..

Want to do well in T20 match: Mahela

Aug 6 (PTI) After 1-4 drubbing at the hands of Indian team, Mahela Jayawardene is hopeful that Sri Lanka will be able to turn the tables during the lone Twenty20 International to be played on Tuesday, keeping World T20 in mind. “We hope to play well on Tuesday by doing things we have to do keeping in mind the T20 World Cup coming up,” Jayawardene said at the pre-match press conference. Jayawardene said the playing XI will be decided on the day of the match. The squad has additional medium-pacer Shaminda Eranga more..

Sri Lankans seek $1M to free captured crewmen

Aug 6 (AP) Sri Lankan religious leaders have joined with the families of seven crewmen held by Somali pirates to launch a fundraising drive to pay a ransom of more than $1 million for their release. Buddhist, Catholic and Muslim clergy and the families made a joint appeal to Sri Lankans on Monday to contribute to the fund. The Malaysian-owned MV Albedo was hijacked in Nov 2010 in the Gulf of Aden as it was sailing to Kenya. more..

Lady Justice hanged, drawn and quartered

Aug 7 (DBS) The incandescent fury emanating from the Executive Committee of the Bar Association glowed around ‘Lady Justice’. The fire they breathed would have even burnt the blindfold of the goddess of justice. Such was the wrath of the members of the Bar when the facts on the Mannar incident kept surfacing. They condemned the manner in which ‘Lady Justice’ was attacked by the lord and master of the area. Finally, as many feared and few believed, the whole scenario, acted by the principal office bearers, after the initial outbursts more..

You suffered for three decades and now I come….

Aug 7 (DBS) Namini Wijedasa’s experience on her Terrorism Tour (“Throngs of people on ‘Terrorism Tour’ ”, Sunday Lakbima News, July 22, 2012/Soldiers guide pre-dominantly Sinhala visitors on “Terrorism Tour” of Mullaitheevu district’- sparked off dormant memories of my short visit to Jaffna. This was last August. It was a “very typical trip” in a Rosa bus with our large family headed by the family’s most influential person: a former high ranking officer. more..

'Mega scale fish preserving centre soon'

Aug 7 (SO) Moves are under way to invest $ 100m in Sri Lanka in the fisheries industry. A mega scale fish preservation centre will be set up. A large number of direct and indirect employment will be generated through this centre, Japanese multinational trade giant, Chairman of Kiyomura Corporation "Tuna King" Kiyoshi Kimura said. This money will be used to improve various sectors in the fisheries industry. Proper financial management was the secret to success, more..

Batticaloa witnessing rapid development

Aug 7 (NS) Road network is an important feature in infrastructure development, and development in general. Sri Lanka’s road network is still in its developing stages, as several areas of the country, especially in the North and East are yet to be covered. As far as the East is concerned, access to these areas, difficult in the past due to security concerns with the bad state of roads connecting these areas to other places. A considerable part of Batticaloa was inaccessible to the public till three years ago due to the presence of the LTTE. more..

Travails of students traveling in Kandy

Aug 7 (NS) The days of seeing students dressed as ‘white doves’ in clean uniforms at regular times in the morning and after school are gone. Students are the busiest community from dawn to dusk as they trek the roads and board buses, to catch up for tuition too, clad in school uniforms. Their uniforms look pure white in the morning. By evening after traveling in ‘jam packed’ buses, the Kandy students are a tired lot like workers coming after work from a factory or a workshop. more..

The story FUTA does not tell

Aug 7 (NS) The FUTA appears to have put its own grievances to the proverbial backburner, focusing instead on getting the Govt to set aside 6% of the GDP for the education sector. Indeed, FUTA has claimed that even if the salary issue is resolved, the larger issue of budgetary allocation will not be dropped. The selflessness is laudable, even though the demand comes as a surprise since more..

Human rights: Ours or theirs?

Aug 7 (CT) 15th Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Oration 02 August 2012. I consider it an honour to be invited to deliver the 15th Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Oration. I thank Madam Ratna Kodagoda, the Chairperson of the Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Trust, the other members of the Trust including my friend Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, the Chairman of the Board of Management, Prof. Colvin Goonaratne and its other members for more..

A Clarion Call

Aug 7 (CT) About a month before former army chief General Sarath Fonseka’s prison sentence was commuted and he was released, whispers abounded about the appeal his lawyers had filed against the controversial White Flag dissenting judgment in Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court. On November 18, 2011 two judges of a High Court Trial at Bar found Fonseka guilty of ‘propagating a false rumour’ in violation of emergency regulations and the Criminal Procedure Code. more..

Memorable Veruhal

Aug 7 (CT) The next morning was still and quiet, highly conductive for mediation. The sun rose gracefully on the western skies, presenting the pilgrims with an opportunity to welcome Surya with a Namskar (offering a yogic prayer to the Sun God). The increasing number of devotees joining the pilgrimage necessitated the imposition of certain rules. But it was virtually impossible to enforce discipline. The pada yathra proceeded more..

Police check spate of human trafficking

Aug 7 (SO) A wave after wave of boatloads of people mostly Sri Lankans have made valiant attempts to travel illegally to the Christmas Island coming under the sovereignty of the Australian government. It has been found that all the boats had left the Sri Lankan shores during the past few years. But alarmingly the intensity of the trips had increased following the defeat of the LTTE. However, a few boats were able to evade the Coast Guard and reach Christmas Islands more..

Farewell to Patricia Butenis

Aug 7 (DM) Despite the established mind-set of two groups of American foreign service officers, in Colombo and the other in Washington's state department, on Sri Lanka's perceived national issues such as governance, ethnic relations and national security since the eighties during counter-terrorism operations, a somewhat different (official) narrative was shaped within the portals of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka coinciding with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009 more..

Use of Z–Score instead of raw marks

Aug 7 (DM) The university education in Sri Lanka was in the English medium at the inception. The students sat for the qualifying exam in the English medium. After the switch over to the mother tongue students are educated and sat for the GCE A/L exam in either the Sinhala or Tamil language. Thus the use of standardized marks according to the medium to compute the rank order merit list commenced in 1971 and continued more..

Editorial: Of that tangled web of corruption

Aug 7 (Island) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe struck a responsive chord with the right thinking public when he called for a probe into offshore accounts of Sri Lankans, the other day. He wants the identities of all ruling party politicians, their kith and kin and cronies with Swiss bank accounts revealed to the public. He accuses government politicians of having bled the country dry and smuggled their wealth out of the country. The Opposition Leader's demand more..

Sri Lanka ponder the Kapugedera conundrum

Aug 7 (CI) Sri Lanka cannot seem to make up their mind about Chamara Kapugedera. His 92 ODIs have been spread over six and a half years for a disappointing average of 22.04. He has batted all the way from No. 2 to No. 9. He has gone out of the squad many times, and has made his way back again. Mahela Jayawardene spoke for almost ten minutes on Kapugedera on Monday, but the debate still remained open. more..

Kapugedara: Cricketer or model?

Aug 7 (Island) When Tom Moody drafted in Chamara Kapugedara out of nowhere in 2005, to the national cricket squad, many wondered why. Kapu made his ODI debut before turning 19, in Perth. A few months after turning 19, he was given his first Test cap, of all places, at Lord’s, the ‘Home of Cricket’. Journalists who covered that Test match remembered a similar case. One Aravinda de Silva too had made his Test debut at Lord’s and more..

IDPs resettled in four more villages

Aug 7 (DN) Resettlement in Kollonkath, Selvapuram, Mavattapuram and Mavattapuram in Valikamam North Divisional Secretariat Division was effected by Minister Basil Rajapaksa on July 20. During the war, all these villages were within the High Security Zone. However, lands are now returned to their original owners. Accordingly, 650 families were resettled on this day. The ceremony to mark the resettlement was held at Veemangamam College in Valikaman North. Electricity supply to the homes of more..

Waqar to coach Ruhuna Royals

Aug 7 (Island) Waqar Younis, the former Pakistani right arm fast bowler who is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, has been selected as the coach of the Ruhuna Royals team playing in the Sri Lanka Premier League, this month. Younis holds the record for the youngest Pakistani Test captain and the third youngest Test captain in history (22 years 15 days) and played 87 Tests and 262 ODIs matches for Pakistan during his career, from 1989 to 2003. more..

A warm-up ahead of World T-20

Aug 7 (Island) The last time a T-20 encounter was played here at Pallekele (exactly a year ago), the atmosphere was electric, with hundreds of fans waiting outside the venue in disappointment after the tickets were sold out. To top it all, Sri Lanka went onto record a thrilling eight run win against Michael Clarke’s side. Although a few hundred tickets are still available for today’s T-20 International against India, they are more..

Eye on World T20 in solitary fixture

Aug 7 (CI) This solitary Twenty20 fixture at Pallekele, along with India's two T20s against New Zealand later this month and the Sri Lanka Premier League, offers welcome preparations for teams and players ahead of the World T20 in Sri Lanka in September. This will be India's last T20 before the final squad for the World T20 is announced (the deadline is August 18); some of Sri Lanka's players will have the benefit of playing the SLPL before their squad is named. more..

Merrill happy despite her ‘ugly race’

Aug 7 (Island) Despite finishing last in her heat and being eliminated in the first round, US-born Sri Lankan hurdler Christine Merrill was quite happy, as she produced her seasonal best performance in front of a capacity crowd in the women’s 400 metres hurdles, at the 2012 Olympics at a floodlit Olympic Stadium here in London on Sunday. "I did not get my personal best, but it’s my seasonal best. It’s a good sign. I think I handled the pressure pretty well," said the 24-year-old, more..

SEC Chief and Commissioners before COPE

Aug 7 (FT) The Chairman and Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) today when Opposition is likely to query on ill doings in the Colombo Bourse including the reversed NSB-TFC deal. COPE Chairman MP. D.E.W. Gunasekara told the Daily FT it was a pre-scheduled and routine meeting with Auditor General’s comments on SEC’s 2010 Annual Report will be taken up. more..

Policy to enhance efficiency of private transport services

Aug 7 (DN) The Private Transport Ministry has taken measures to formulate a national transport policy to enhance the efficiency, quality of private transport services, said Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayake. “According to the National Transport Act, the NTC has to work within a limited framework. So through the national policy, the Commission will be able to work beyond the provisions of the Act. The Cabinet paper on the policy will be submitted for Cabinet approval within a few days.“ more..

New regulations for teachers

Aug 7 (DN) The Education Ministry will issue new regulations from the third school term of this year to school principals and teachers compelling them to be in schools during school hours. This would be a compulsory official requirement from the start of the third school term in September. The Education Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Jayaratne has arranged to issue a new circular to this effect, as it has been found during school inspections that many school principals and teachers had more..

UNP proposes Parliamentary Oversight Committees to curb corruption

Aug 7 (Island) The UNP has stepped up its campaign against rampant corruption in the Rajapaksa regime by proposing Parliamentary Oversight Committees to monitor the functioning of Ministries. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that Ministers and their cohorts were having a field day with no one to oversee their performance. There had to be a broad mechanism to keep more..

Navaratnaraja urges Tamils to shun confrontational politics

Aug 7 (Island) UPFA candidate for the Eastern Provincial Council Dr. Thurairajah Navaratnaraja yesterday appealed to the Tamil people, of the Eastern Province, especially those in the Trincomalee district, not to be foolish and support the confrontational politics of the TNA as it would not be beneficial to the community in any form. It was only by voting for the UPFA and the Betel symbol could the Tamil people enjoy benefits and more..

Elections code given to parties

Aug 7 (CT) The Election Secretariat handed over the election code of conduct for all political parties, police and the election monitors yesterday (7), Additional Elections Commissioner, R.M.A.L. Ratnayake said. “This was issued to all general secretaries and the election monitors yesterday to help carry out a free and fair election,” he said. He said the main reason to introduce such a code of conduct is due to the increase of election violations in the upcoming Provincial Council elections. more..

President orders halt to flora and fauna destruction

Aug 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the relevant officials to take immediate measures to protect wildlife and halt timber rackets. The President was addressing the Badulla District Special Development Committee meeting yesterday. He was told that the flora and fauna of the Maduru - Oya sanctuary was under threat since a mega scale timber smuggling racket more..

Three soldiers arrested for raping woman

Aug 7 (CT) Three army soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of raping a woman on a train on Sunday night, police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said. The three soldiers were later handed over to the Haputale Police by Railway security officers onboard the Badulla-bound train. Haputale police had taken the three soldiers and the woman in question to the station for further questioning. Upon investigations it had been revealed that the woman in question had willingly consented, more..

Blind man on sexual molestation charge

Aug 7 (Island) blind graduate school teacher who had been remanded on a charge of having sexually abused four school girls of his school, after taking them to various places, was ordered to be released on bail in Rs. 10,000 cash and Rs. 1 lakh personnel bond by Kadawatha –Mahara Magistrate Shan Mapa Bandara. During the period the accused had been teaching a grade 10 class, he had got the pupil’s to lead the way on different occasions and had sexually abused them. more..

New vehicle registration series to be introduced

Aug 7 (DM) The Department of Motor Traffic is to introduce a new vehicle registration, combination with three English letters for three-wheelers, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S. H. Harischandra said. The Department replaced the first vehicle registrations – the ‘Sri’ series, with ‘dash’ series – with two English letter series and will now introduce the three letter series, more..

US buyer severs ties with Lankan supplier over labour issues

Aug 7 (Island) The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) says that the recent decision by US retailer J Crew to pull out further orders from its Sri Lankan supplier Mirrai Pvt Limited, after the manufacturer refused to correct serious labour violations, is sending a message to the garment industry that codes of conduct can be more than paper tigers. Secretary of the FTZGSEU Anton Marcus told The Islandthat more..

Oil removed from abandoned vessel to prevent pollution

Aug 7 (Island) The removal of furnace oil from a dilapidated and listing foreign ship, MV Thermopylae Sierra, anchored off the Panadura coast since 2009, had been completed and the ship was ready to be moved to Trincomalee, Director General of Merchant Shipping Ajith Senevirathne said. He said that more than 300 tonnes of oil was removed from the ship to prevent any environmental harm as the condition of the ship had deteriorated. more..

'Govt. destroying education system the way it wiped out LTTE'

Aug 7 (Island) The UNP and the United Socialist Alliance (USA) yesterday launched an interaction with various stakeholders in the education system with a view to countering what they called the govt’s retrograde policies. A group of nearly 300 university teachers, former directors of education and members of the administrative service participated in the discussion with UNP and USA leaders including Ranil more..

Diesel fiasco: All spot purchases to be probed

Aug 7 (DN) Petroleum Resources Development Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday ordered a full scale investigation into all spot purchases and stock management by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012 through the Auditor General. Ministry Secretary R H S Samaratunga was to inform the Auditor General yesterday to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the dealings of the Corporation during this period, a release said. more..

Sri Lanka denies release of 37 Chinese fishermen

Aug 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's navy said on Monday it was still holding 37 Chinese fishermen to appear in court on charges of fishing within its waters, contradicting a report by Xinhua that they had been released. Sri Lanka arrested the fishermen on Sunday night for fishing in Sri Lankan waters. They were aboard two trawlers off the country's east coast town of Batticaloa, Xinhua said. "They are in our custody and they have not been released yet," Sri Lankan Navy spokesman more..