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Coca-Cola launches Minute Maid Mixed Fruit

Aug 23 (GDI) After successfully delighting consumers with the refreshing taste of Minute Maid Orange, Mango and Apple flavored juice drinks, Coca-Cola Sri-Lanka announced the launch of the fourth variant – Minute Maid Mixed Fruit flavoured juice drink, today. The launch further strengthens Coca-Cola Sri-Lanka’s diverse product portfolio, comprising of home grown and globally available sparkling and Still products. Minute Maid Mixed Fruit was launched by the more..

Deshapriya explains efforts to prevent postal vote manipulations

Aug 23 (Island) Having received complaints regarding a possible attempt to interfere with postal voting on August 27 and 28, at the forthcoming elections to the Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provincial Councils, Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya has taken a series of measures to convince the Opposition of transparency in the process. He said that additional measures had been taken, in addition to the more..

Sri Lanka to tighten money laundering, terrorist financing laws

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to tighten laws against money laundering and terrorist financing to bring them in line with international standards. Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal made by Minister G.L Peiris to amend its terrorist financing laws that were introduced in 2005, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said that the Legal Draftsman has been instructed to draw out the necessary amendments, which will be presented to parliament for approval. more..

President, AG urged to probe charges against Health officials

Aug 23 (Island) The Health Service Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) yesterday urged the President and the Auditor General to probe alleged corruption charges against Health Ministry officials. HSTUC President Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero said that several health trade unions, including the nursing and midwifery, had accused the Director General Health Services (DGHS) and several other ministry officials of fraud. The corruption charges include a tender for more..

Seychelles President concludes a historic State Visit to Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (GDI) Seychelles President concludes a historic State Visit to Sri Lanka heralding a new chapter in Seychelles-Sri Lanka relations in pursuit of common endeavours towards strengthening closer friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries in a variety of fields, with enormous benefits for the two countries and their peoples. President Michel, thanked President Rajapaksa for inviting him to more..

Jaffna Catholics: govt is lying about civil war refugees

Aug 23 (AN) The reality in which civil war survivors live in northern Sri Lanka is far from the image presented by the govt to the international community. This was stated by the Jaffna Diocese' Commission for Justice and Peace (Cjpcdj), in an official statement. In the document, the Cjpcdj explains that the population of the Northern Province undergoes physical and psychological abuse of various kinds, which limit freedom of speech and violate basic human rights. more..

Siriwardene to lead Sri Lanka in women's World T20

Aug 23 (CI) Shashikala Siriwardene will lead Sri Lanka in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in September. Sri Lanka last played a Twenty20 game in a five-match series in the Caribbean. Dilani Manodara was the captain then, and she is also part of the 14-woman squad. Four players who weren't part of the squad picked for the tour of the West Indies but feature in the World T20 squad are Ishani Lokusuriya, Udeshika Prabodini, Maduri Samudrika and Nilakshi Silva. more..

WikiLeaks: Ranil had no clue how Karuna came to Colombo

Aug 23 (CT) “At the request of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ambassador met him on ‘an urgent matter’ the evening June 23. Wickremesinghe wanted to discuss recent news reports alleging that UNP MP Ali Moulana had facilitated transport toColombofor breakaway rebel LTTE leader Karuna. After an initial denial, Moulana admitted to him that he did arrange for Karuna to come to Colombo in more..

Sri Lanka to ban CFC trade next year

Aug 23 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt has approved plans to phase out trade and production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) from the beginning of next year in a bid to reduce Ozone damaging chemicals, an official said here Thursday. Sri Lanka is taking this step as part of the Montreal Protocol signed in 1987, minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the media. "The Controller of Imports and Exports will introduce regulations under the provisions provided by the legal framework," he said, more..

Sri Lanka to sign trade agreement with Oman

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to sign an agreement to promote trade with Oman, an official said here on Thursday. Sri Lanka's Cabinet has approved a proposal made by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Consultations with Oman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He told a press conference that the proposed agreement would pave the way for closer cooperation between the two countries in tourism and investment. more..

Sri Lanka announce squad for World T20

Aug 23 (CI) Ajantha Mendis has returned to the Sri Lanka squad for the World Twenty20. Mendis last played for Sri Lanka in South Africa in January this year before suffering a back injury. He returned to competitive cricket with the Sri Lanka Premier League and an impressive run so far - he's picked up nine wickets in four games - has won him a recall to the national side. The 15-man squad includes two uncapped players: more..

July tea output falls 4% on drought

Aug 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea production fell in July for a sixth straight month, data from the tea board showed, as an extended drought sapped output of the island nation's top agricultural export commodity. Sri Lanka's July tea output fell 4.2 percent to 24.11 million kg, from 25.17 million in the same month a year ago. Production in the first seven months dropped 3.9 percent to 188.16 million kg from 195.83 million in the corresponding 2011 period. more..

SL President could mediate Maldives' political crisis

Aug 23 (Haveeru) President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has revealed that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had expressed signs that he is willing to act as a mediator to help diffuse the political tensions in the Maldives. Speaking at a news briefing prior to his departure on his first trip to Sri Lanka after assuming office, President said that “he has received signs” but that no constructive discussions has been held yet in answer to being asked by more..

Teachers threaten to abstain from paper marking in solidarity with academics

Aug 23 (CT) School teachers threatened to abstain from marking A/L exam papers, in solidarity with union action taken by university academics. “The marking of question papers cannot be successfully completed without the participation of the university lecturers. Even if it is done, it will not be up to standard and will not be internationally recognized. The A/L results will lose their quality and standards, if they do not more..

Nepal to cement ties with Sri Lanka through tourism

Aug 23 (HT) Two South Asian countries Nepal and Sri Lanka which had tremendous tourism potential but could not exploit them properly are now to launch a tourism development campaign jointly. Nepal and Sri Lanka are countries which have more tourism potential than any other countries in South Asia. Whereas Nepal is rich with natural and cultural heritages, Sri Lanka is surrounded by Indian Ocean from all sides. There is a possibility of attracting a large number of tourists from more..

Stocks gain momentum ending a losing streak

Aug 23 (ST) Stocks ended a losing streak and closed up 0.21% Thursday with large cap stocks trading on higher prices. The All Share Price Index gained 10.75 points to close at 5,038.15 while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks fell 1.17 points to close at 4,692.82 and the S&P index of large cap stocks rose 15.80 points to close at 2,847.50. The turnover for the day was Rs.634.8 million. The market unwrapped the 4th day of the week by continuing the yesterday’s momentum. more..

Sri Lanka exports fall 7.9%, imports 15%, trade deficit narrows in June

Aug 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's external trade contracted in June with exports falling 11.7% to 755.8 million US dollars and imports falling 15% to 1,419 million US dollars. Tea exports fell .6% to 101.4 million US dollars, apparel fell 6.3% to 310 million US dollars and rubber products fell 15% to 64 million US dollars. The Central Bank said lower cotton prices also contributed to lower dollar earnings from apparel. more..

Nathan McCullum leaves Sri Lanka Premier League

Aug 23 (IC) New Zealand's Nathan McCullum has left the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) early, according to the tournament's organisers. McCullum is the second Ruhuna Royals import to leave the tournament citing personal reasons after Shahid Afridi's departure earlier this week. According to the chairman of Somerset Entertainment Sandiip Bhammer, Afridi left the SLPL early to be with his wife who is "undergoing urgent emergency treatment in a hospital in Pakistan." more..

TNA briefs Akashi on stalled talks

Aug 23 (CG) The TNA has had talks with visiting Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi where he was briefed on the stalled political discussions with the govt. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that the meeting with Mr. Akashi lasted for over hours last night but insisted that there was offer from him to mediate between the govt and the TNA. Sumanthiran said that at the meeting Akashi was also appraised on the ground situation in the north and east and the TNA hopes more..

Wimal discharged; no cardiac issues, dizziness due to stress

Aug 23 (AD) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has been discharged from the Kurunegala Hospital a short while ago, Hospital sources told Ada Derana. Doctors report that he did not experience any cardiac issues and that the complaint of dizziness was due to stress. Minister of Construction, Wimal Weerawansa was earlier admitted to the Cardiac Unit of the Kurunegala Hospital due to what was reported as a sudden illness. more..

‘Kathirai Maatha’ Church of ‘Little Rome’ Sillalai in Jaffna

Aug 24 (DBS) On 14 August the feast of the Sillalai church was marked on a grand scale. Many Sillalaians from all over the island and abroad travelled to the village especially to take part in its celebrations. It was a time for reunions between those who had left the village and those who still lived there. Sillalai, also called ‘Little Rome’, is a hamlet in the Jaffna district. It is rich in vegetation, surrounded by paddy fields in the North and West and villages in the South and East. more..

Do women play a role in Sri Lanka’s ‘reconciliation’?

Aug 24 (GV) In order to understand the ‘role’ of women in such a vital process of social transition, we have to understand the place of women in our society – their position, their status, their condition. This conference is being held at a time when the country is shaken by a spike in reports of sexual violence against women and girls in the South of the country. Over the past few years there has been a phenomenal rise in civilian acts of violence specifically against women:- more..

Beads to business: Empowering young women

Aug 24 (CT) Being children themselves, the teen age girls, victims of sexual assault and rape have no social recognition. Their lives are about shame, stigma and discrimination. Being victims of a grave crime, these children are doubly victimized by the legal system of Sri Lanka. The girls are usually, sent to a home as protective witnesses and then are forced to spend a life of a prisoner while their perpetrators, possible more..

Karu-Sajith-Sarath Fonseka trio will be an instant hit with the voters

Aug 24 (DBS) When one looks at the messy situation the UNP finds itself in today, some political pundits ponder as to whether there is a way out for the ‘official’ UNP and if so, what courses of action are available to it. On the other hand, the dilemma in the case of the ‘reformists’ group is even more intriguing; if they are not willing to reach a compromise on the leadership issue; all avenues seem to be closed. Not so. In the context of the current political quagmire more..

UNP’s crocodile tears of CoL

Aug 24 (NS) Ranil Wickremasinghe the leader of the UNP was shown distributing leaflets on the high cost of living and the economy at the Delkanda Fair in Nugegoda. The leaders of the UNP deserve to be reminded that it was the UNP of President Jayawardena itself that demolished the infrastructure that Sri Lanka had built up for decades since achieving independence, for combating inflation. It was also no other than Ranil Wickremasinghe himself who abolished the CWE during his Prime Ministership in 2001. more..

‘Mahinda Chinthana’ and the university crisis

Aug 24 (CT) 21 August 2012 will go into the history of Sri Lankaas a Black Day for the whole education system. The most stubborn Minister of Higher Education, SB Dissanayake, has decided to close down all universities, except medical faculties, exposing the government’s complete inability to resolve, clearly a straight forward salary issue and a policy dispute with the academic community. Academic strikes are not usual in any country let alone Sri Lanka. more..

Rajapaksa’s cynicism on education

Aug 24 (CT) Since 1945 when education in our country was made a free service Sri Lanka was able to to proudly proclaim that it had one of the finest education systems East of theSuez canal. As a result , we posses one of the highest literary rates in Asia and many of the brightest and the best who have served our country in various fields have been products of this system – the envy of many Soth Asian countries. Within this, our universities provided the highest levels of education more..

Reconciliation is not happening in Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (CT) Three years since the armed conflict between the govt of Sri Lanka and the LTTE ended, the Tamil speaking areas remain gripped by repression, ethnic tension and widespread suffering, rather than emergent reconciliation and peace – and the problem is not a question of time. The war itself ended in a cataclysm of violence in which, according to a UN expert panel’s report, over 40,000 Tamil civilians were massacred, largely by govt shelling of safe zones and hospitals. more..

Demands for inquiry into Sri Lanka 'white van' abductions

Aug 24 (Telegraph) They spoke out after a leading politician revealed how he and his guards had thwarted an apparent kidnap attempt by a gang of men in a white van in a Colombo park earlier this year. Police later confirmed the men in the vehicle were govt soldiers. Disappearances in "white van kidnappings" were a regular occurrence when the govt’s war with the Tamil Tigers was at its height four years ago. more..

FUTA trade union action– past and present –III

Aug 24 (Island) I read with interest the article by Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, a member of the Faculty of Arts Teachers’ Association of the Uni of Colombo on Education Policy and FUTA’s mandate. I know that he is not referring to me but I must state that I have no objections to the agitation by FUTA for govt policy changes regarding higher education or education in general or any other matter in general. My objections to the present demands by FUTA are on other grounds. more..

Clean Lanka’s Augean Stables!

Aug 24 (Island) The stench emanating from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is nauseating! In the recent past, we have had disastrous hedging agreements. According to The Sunday Island ‘Political Watch’ (Aug. 12), the whole deal with Standard Chartered Bank looked so simplistic to the then Chairman that his desire was to see to it that the CPC should not make losses and apparently entrusted the bank to ensure it. The bank was his trusted adviser and guide, conflict of interests notwithstanding. more..

Boston Lanka News: August 23, 2012

Editorial: Stop using children as pawns

Aug 24 (Island) We thought, with the liberation of forcibly conscripted child combatants from the clutches of northern terrorists, children would cease to be used as pawns in this country. How mistaken we have been! It is reported that the Sri Lanka Teacher Services Association has refused to mark the GCE A/L (2012) answer scripts without the participation of university teachers in the evaluation process. The FUTA, which is currently on a continuous strike, more..

Demo in support of Divi Neguma Department

Aug 24 (DN) A massive demonstration will be held today to force the government to establish the proposed Divi Neguma Department replacing the Samurdhi Authority, Samurdhi Authority chairman Bandula Thilakasiri said. The protest will be made at the Parliament roundabout at 10.00 am. “Even though a small group act against the proposed Divi Neguma Department, the majority expect a favourable response from the govt”, he said. A trade union has filed legal action against more..

No surprise! ...says TISL

Aug 24 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) says it was not surprising that the Securities and Exchange Commission faced strong resistance, from certain high net worth (well connected) investors, in its efforts to investigate market offenses resulting in the resignation of its chairman Thilak Karunaratne. Karunaratne is the second SEC Chairman to resign in less than a year, with top government officials allegedly pressurising the SEC to backtrack investigations into more..

Villagers protest RDA decision to demolish landmarks

Aug 24 (DN) Villagers of Paramulla in the Alawwa electorate have strongly protested to the RDA against its decision to uproot a gigantic Kumbuk tree and also demolish an ancient Ambalama, which have been clear landmarks of the village for years. The Kumbuk tree is said to be almost 100 years old. Its girth is over 25 feet and height over 50 feet. Its branches are widespread and provide shade from the sun. Of all trees, it is said that the shade provided by the Kumbuk, is the coolest. more..

Appointment of National Lawyers' Assn: enjoining order extended

Aug 24 (DN) Colombo District Court judge Dammika Ganepola yesterday extended the enjoining order earlier imposed on the appointment of office- bearers of the National Attorneys at Law (Lawyers) Association and notices issued on the respondents. The judge ordered the respondents to file answers on the next date of hearing re-fixed for September 5. A plaint was filed by attorney at law Mahen Gunasekera against the appointment of several office-bearers of more..

Contaminated diesel: Susil adopts counter measures

Aug 24 (Island) In the wake of continuing controversy over Vitol Group of Companies allegedly supplying a stock of contaminated diesel late last month, the Ministry has decided to restrict ‘spot purchases’. Instead, the ministry would go for term contracts with reputed govt–owned enterprises, Minister Susil Premjayanth’s media spokesman said. He said that the ministry and Ceylon Petroleum Terminals Storage more..

Colombo District 49th Scout Camporee

Aug 24 (Island) The Colombo District 49th Scout Camporee will commence at Vihara Maha Devi Park m Colombo at 4,30 pm today and ends on Tuesday at 10.45 am. The story started in 1949- when Capt. Vernon Halpe who was then a teacher at Royal Primary school, together with Mr. Aliossen, held the first in this series of events, at the Royal Primary school (now part of Royal College). According to our records this was held from the 5th to the 7th of August 1949. more..

CMC PHIs seize unfit food items

Aug 24 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council confiscated 5,000 kilos of potatoes, 1,450 kilos of garlic and 600 kilos of onions from several warehouses on Fourth Cross Street. Chief of the Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that notices had been issued to those warehouses warning them against selling such items. Dr. Kariyawasam said that ten food inspectors had carried out the raids. That followed a raid carried out by more..