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'Reveal SL owners of Swiss bank accounts'

Aug 27 (LT) The co-coordinator of ‘Anti-imperialist People’s Movement’ (A-iPM) K.D. Lal Kanthe challenged the govet to reveal Sri Lankan’s who have deposited billions in Swiss bank accounts. He made this challenge at a public seminar held under the theme “Do we let economic hit men roam unabated?’ on the 25th. Mr. Lal Kanthe said Sri Lankan’s had deposited Swiss Franc (CHF) 22.9 million in 2002, 34.7 million in 2003, 105.5 million in 2004, 177.8 million in 2005 more..

'No official communication so far'

Aug 27 (DM) It is widely speculated that Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chief Dr. Nalaka Godahewa will be appointed as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new Chairman, following the contentious resignation of Tilak Karunaratne. Godahewa said that there has been no official communication so far from the Finance Ministry, though his appointment as the head of the regulatory body is extensively speculated. more..

Sri Lanka offers islets, beaches, wetland on 99-year leases for tourism

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist development agency has offered islets, hundreds of acres of land bordering beaches, a wildlife reserve and a wetland on 99-year leases to build tourism related projects. Eight islets in Kalpitiya off the western coast of Sri Lanka 150 kilometres north of the capital Colombo are being offered for development. In Kuchchaveli in the eastern coast, 300 kilometres northeast of Colombo, 510 acres are being offered which more..

Power cuts to continue until Lakvijaya is ‘fully commissioned’

Aug 27 (AD) Power cuts will continue until the Lakvijaya power plant is fully commissioned, the CEB said today. It said that test runs are still being carried out at the coal power plant and that although the operations were commenced at the malfunctioned Norocholai plant yesterday, the generated power has not been added to the National Power Grid. The inspections have not been completed yet therefore power cuts will continue in parts of the island as per previous schedule, more..

Sri Lanka exporter warns against tea nationalism

Aug 27 (LBO) An exporter of branded teas that has catered to emerging global consumer needs has warned that nationalism and protectionism in tea was losing Sri Lanka an opportunity to play a bigger role in the global tea industry. "The tea industry in Sri Lanka has unfortunately got stuck in a time capsule and vested interests have prevailed upon decision market to adopt a protectionist policy to stop any Sri Lankan brand builder from becoming a multinational more..

A history of unfair educational practices

Aug 27 (DM) While agreeing with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement that “Education blunders led to terrorism” (DM Aug. 20), I am writing to correct his claim that “the arms struggle in the North began with students being unable to enter universities. This happened in 1973, 1974 and 1975.” The insidious practice of keeping Tamils out of universities began with the 1970 admissions. The Maanavar Peravai (Great Forum of Students) that was formed in response held demonstrations more..

Dilith: ‘Illang kewaa’

Aug 27 (ST) There is a pithy Sinhala saying ‘Illang Kewa (meaning you asked for trouble and got it)’. This is exactly the ‘trap’ powerful Sri Lankan businessman Dilith Jayaweera fell into last week. It was not only Mr Jayaweera who committed ‘hari kiri’, but it appears that his business colleague Nalaka Godahewa has done the same issuing a statement to the Business Times (in response to a comment), which is published in full. more..

Sri Lanka stocks up 1.2-pct, rupee weaker

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed up 1.2 percent in a broad based rally that saw index heavy and several small caps making gains, brokers said, while the rupee traded weaker, dealers said. The Colombo All Share Index closed up 60.2 points at 5,073.10, and the S&PSL20 closed up 0.88 percent at 2,853.54 (+25.00 points). Turnover was 454 million rupees. The rupee weakened to around 132.55/70 in late trading after opening stronger around 132.20/40 rupees, more..

Editorial: The Geneva nightmare

Aug 27 (DM) Come October, Sri Lanka will be on the hot seat again with the UNHRC sessions and the Universal Periodical Review. Perhaps, it is too early for us to predict the outcome of the crucial sessions and too late to analyze the progress we have made in the aftermath of the UNHRC sessions in March that ended in betrayal and tragedy. In the latest turn of events, the govt that repeatedly had turned down UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s request to visit more..

Sri Lanka emergency medical service with Denmark's Falck

Aug 27 (LBO) Denmark's Falck, an emergency medical services company has taken a 50 percent stake in a Sri Lankan firm Med1 Ltd, and will invest in a 24-hour ambulance service, Sri Lanka's Board of Investment said. The BOI said Med1 was started in 2011 under its approval to provide medical and first aid trading, a public access defibrillation program, and a 24-hour, trilingual first aid advice line. Falck will provide more..

Won’t allow communal hatred to destroy peace – President

Aug 27 (GDI) There are groups who attempt to damage peace through creating feelings of communal hatred in the country which our war heroes protected scarifying their lives. But we will never allow them to destroy the peace in our country, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was addressing a rally for the Eastern Provincial Council election, at the Ampara yesterday. The Govt has successfully carried out a massive development programme, more..

Catchment areas get rain

Aug 27 (DM) Hydro catchment areas in the country had received a considerable amount of rain with the highest rainfall of 65.6 mm recorded from Laxapana. The Department of Meteorology said Norton Bridge had received a rainfall of 60mm, Canyon 23mm, Moussakele 21.5 mm and Castlereagh 19.1 mm and Samanalawewa 15.2 mm. However Rantambe, Randenigala and Victoria had not received any rainfall. In addition, Ratmalana had recorded a rainfall of 15 mm, Ratnapura 55 mm, more..

Wrong inference irks former regulators

Aug 27 (NS) The two former Chairpersons of the SEC have strongly refuted the claim made by Advertising industry specialist turned investor, Dilith Jayaweera that they might have been misled by officers within the SEC Secretariat who had their personal agendas when carrying out their duties. “How lame for him to assume such a thing? This is irritating. I can assure you that there was no pressure at all and all that I did was through more..

Malinga not satisfied with his performance

Aug 27 (DM) Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga said that he was not satisfied with his own performance in the SLPL but said that he hoped to do well in the Twenty20 World Cup. “Definitely, my performance was not up to the mark. But I am hoping that I will do well in the Twenty20 World Cup,” said Malinga who took seven wickets from six matches. Malinga also said that he feels that his side will have a distinct advantage over other countries during next month`s Twenty20 World Cup as most of the more..

Bumper harvest from Yala Chili cultivation

Aug 27 (GDI) Cultivation of chili has been successful in several districts and the Yala season chili harvest is being received in large quantities in the local trading centers. Deputy Director of Agriculture of the Department of Agriculture, R S Wijesekera who is in charge of chili cultivation said that the market is now receiving the Green Chili harvest of the Yala Season, which was cultivated in thousands of hectares in Embilipitiya, Hambantota, Monaragala, Matale, Puttlam and Kalpitiya areas. more..

Rishad Bathiudeen released on bail

Aug 27 (AD) Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was released on bail when he appeared before the Mannar Magistrate’s Court today, over the alleged threatening of a magistrate. The Minister of Industry and Commerce, who is accused of threatening a magistrate in Mannar to change an arrest order, was ordered released on two personal bails of Rs. 500,000 each and cash bail of Rs. 10,000. He was also ordered to reappear before the court more..

Minister Vasu voices concern

Aug 27 (DM) Legal amendments will be brought to deal with state institutions that do not implement the govt’s languages policy, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said yesterday. Mr. Nanayakkara, who is the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, said that the Official Languages Commission Act would be amended in this regard. He said the present law did not have enough teeth to take action against those who did not comply with the official languages policy. more..

Father and daughter shot dead in Horana

Aug 27 (NF) The police are conducting investigations on an incident where a man and his daughter have been shot dead in the Moragahahena area in Horana. The police stated that the shooting took place at around 8:30 last night in the Polhena area in Moragahahena. The police added that when the man, his wife and daughter were travelling on a motor cycle an individual on a parked motor cycle had carried out the shooting. The deceased have been identified as 33-year-old more..

Thilak says it was "day light robbery"

Postal voting begins in Sri Lanka's provincial elections

Aug 27 (Xinhua) Postal voting for elections in three provincial councils commenced on Monday in the run up to the main poll next week, an official said here. Postal voting for the upcoming provincial council elections on Sept. 7 will be held till Tuesday. There are 100,818 voters eligible for postal voting, statistics released by the department noted. Around three million people are eligible to vote in the main elections next Saturday. more..

Govt's downfall has begun – Bimal

Aug 27 (LT) The downfall of the government commenced a year ago and it would further accelerate at the forthcoming PC elections said the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Bimal Rathnayake. Addressing an election rally at Polonnaruwa Mr. Rathnayake said the government, while denying land ownership to masses at Kantale who safeguarded their lands and country during the terrorist war, does not hesitate to hand over lands to multi-national companies. He also said tanks more..

India will continue to train Sri Lankan defence personnel

Aug 27 (PTI) India will continue to train Sri Lankan defence personnel at its establishments, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said today, notwithstanding opposition by parties from Tamil Nadu. The minister's statement came against the backdrop of the demand for expulsion of two such Lankan officers from Defence Staff Services College in Wellington by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha. more..

Deployment of 16,000 graduates for Divi Neguma Development

Aug 27 (GDI) The govt has allocated Rs.3,000 million for the granting of Samurdhi allowance through the current Budget and there is no reduction in this amount as alleged by certain Opposition members. This was stated by the Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He said that Basil Rajapaksa recently presented in Parliament the Bill to set up a new Department for Divi Neguma Development with the aim of alleviating poverty and uplifting the livelihoods in the rural areas. more..

Annul scholarship exam - CTSU

Aug 27 (AD) The Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union today called on education authorities to annul the Grade 5 scholarship examination held on Sunday and conduct the examination again, as they have received reliable information that the exam papers were leaked. Yesterday’s scholarship examination had caused injustice to hundreds of thousands of students, therefore it should be held again to do right by them, General Secretary of the CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said. more..

Maheswaran murder suspect sentenced to death

Aug 27 (Xinhua) The assassin of a prominent Tamil politician was on Monday sentenced to death. A judge found the gunman guilty over the 2008 murdering of UNP politician T. Maheswaran. Colombo High Court judge Sunil Rajapaksa sentenced the gunman to death but as Sri Lanka has yet to implement capital punishment, the accused will serve life in prison. more..

Kapilacvastu Relics for election campaign

Aug 27 (LT) NEM–IHR states it has received a written complain that Kapilavastu relics, taken to Jayanthi Viharaya in Anuradhapura on 24.08.2012 by the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, is being used for election propaganda of the UPFA. The complaint has been made by the JVP candidate for North – Central PC elections Wasanthe Samarasinghe. He has sent copies of this letter to the Commissioner of Elections, CaFFE, PAFFREL as well. The complaint by Mr. Wasanthe Samarasinghe states more..

President receives UAE envoy

Aug 27 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa received on Monday in Colombo UAE’s ambassador Mahmoud Mohammad Mahmoud who called on him to bid farewell on the completion of his tenure as ambassador. Rajapaksa expressed gratitude to the UAE for its humanitarian efforts in his country and said that such efforts had played a great role in enhancing bilateral relations. Mahmoud also expressed his gratitude to the people and the govt of Sri Lanka for their cooperation during his more..

'Centre insulting Tamils by training Sri Lankan defence personnel'

Aug 27 (IE) Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK today launched a scathing attack on the Centre, charging it with "insulting" Tamils by imparting military training to Sri Lankan defence personnel. The meeting of the party's executive, attended by the Chief Minister among others, said the Centre had taken it up as a "duty" to train Lankan military personnel in India. While demanding that some of them presently in India be immediately sent back, it also more..

Indian grant to build 200-bed ward complex in northern Lanka

Aug 27 (PTI) India has provided a grant of 200 million rupees to construct a 200-bed ward complex in Sri Lanka's northern town of Vavuniya, ravaged by three-decade-old conflict. The Vaviniya hospital project would be funded through grant assistance of Sri Lanka rupees 200 million, the Indian High Commission said here today. The project envisages construction of a four-storey ward complex to improve the existing infrastructure of the hospital to meet the growing demand for more..

Bandula asks IGP to investigate ‘conspiracies’

Aug 27 (AD) Education minister Bandula Gunawardana has written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) requesting an inquiry into an alleged conspiracy to tarnish the people’s trust in the education sector. He claims that the statements from certain individuals and teachers’ unions are spreading ‘false’ information that there were shortcomings and errors in the exams held recently by the Department of Examinations and results released. The letter further stated that more..

'I am not a Sinhalese-only president'

Aug 27 (PTI) an election rally in the Tamil and Muslim dominated eastern province that he was the president for all races. "I am not the president for Sinhalese, not the president for Muslims, not the president for Tamils but the president for all Sri Lankans," Rajapaksa told a rally in the Muslim- dominated town of Kalmunai in the east today. Rajapaksa's comments came as his ruling UPFA accused the main Muslim party and ally, SLMC, of raising Muslim passions for electoral gain in more..

India-China factor in Asia

Aug 27 (NS) The extent to which the leaders handling India-Sri Lanka affairs have mishandled the situation is evident by the fact that whilst the entire country is in agreement that India should have no piece of the peace dividend, opening too many doors to India has left India demanding more than it deserves and projecting itself as an aggrieved party for not been given what it should not deserve in the first place. That damage needs to be fixed by those responsible for creating the situation. more..

Code of ethics for Kandy three-wheelers steers

Aug 27 (NS) The little three-wheel vehicle that creeps along the streets in busy and congested roads are the ‘tuk tuks’ that are making life a lot easier for many people. It has now become one of the leading transportation methods of the country. Since widening of Kandy roads is a distant dream for the people in the city, to get to a place in the Kandy City and suburbs on a scheduled time the ‘tuk-tuk’ is the best they can afford as it can run through roads that are narrow and congested with traffic. more..

Govt. should change its priorities

Aug 27 (NS) The strike action by the FUTA started on July 4 is still continued and discussions and efforts taken to meet their demands so far have been failed. Higher Education Ministry and UGC had stopped their July salaries and last Wednesday, they closed the universities indefinitely except the medical faculties. Meanwhile, the FUTA organized a public rally in Colombo to show their strength and they had succeeded in gathering a massive crowd to Colombo more..

Why some University Teachers are not Participating in the FUTA Strike Action

Aug 27 (DBS) Everybody knows by now that the FUTA has been leading an all out trade union action of university academics. However, it has not been so widely known that there are some lecturers who refused to join the strike action. Some of them continue to teach their students without interruption and I am one of them. Many would find it difficult to understand why some of us stay away from the trade union action while many others are engaged in. more..

Resignation of Tilak Karunaratne has further exposed the crisis in the stock market

Aug 27 (DBS) The resignation last week of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson Tilak Karunaratne, after he blamed “a mafia of high net worth investors and their crony stockbrokers” for mobilising political pressure, has further exposed the crisis in the stock market. Over the last year, there has been much discussion of two aspects of this crisis. First, the collapse of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from one of the best performing markets in the world two years ago more..

Valaichchenai paper mill to become a jewel of the East

Aug 27 (SO) Once a thriving industry in the centre of the Eastern province, the Valaichchenai paper mill after years of slow operations and going through the restructuring program initiated by the State Resource Management and Enterprise Development Ministry, is now gearing to resume its full capacity to become a jewel of the Eastern province again. The paper mill which boasts more than five decades of history through its supply of a onsiderable share of more..

Can Sobitha Thero pull off victory where Fonseka flunked?

Aug 27 (CT) A significant political development that has gained momentum this month is that a substantial and growing number of political organizations and individuals have begun to promote the candidacy of Ven. Maduluwewa Sobitha Thero, Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Naga Vihara, as a presidential challenger to Mahinda Rajapaksa. This was implicit (there was no explicit reference to a candidacy) at a meeting of the National Movement for Social Justice at the Colombo more..

Strengthening a common struggle across ethnicities

Aug 27 (CT) At first look, the sight of darkly unsmiling men with a few women scattered among them, gathered together in a dilapidated school hall of an impoverished village deep in the dusty interior of the East of Sri Lanka is both formidable and unsettling. The tense translator whispered that this was, at one time, a favourite recruiting area for the LTTE regional leaders who had preyed on the poverty stricken Tamil youth of this village. Long before the war ended and more..

‘If you love Eelam you should oppose Tamil Eelam’

Aug 27 (DBS) The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) held a pro-Tamil Eelam Conference on Aug 12 Aug in Tamil Nadu, under the patronage of its former CM, Karunanidhi. Organizers of the conference had to overcome several legal barriers since the LTTE is a banned organization in Sri Lanka. They took all possible steps to avoid any activity, which risks the banning of the conference. more..