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Sri Lanka shares end up 2.4-pct

Jan 27 (LBO) Shares closed sharply higher Friday recovering more ground after recent heavy losses with turnover also high and investors buying into fundamentally strong companies, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed up 2.38 percent at 5,725.44, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 3.43 percent to close at 4,921.81. Turnover was 1.7 billion rupees. Commercial Bank accounted for the biggest turnover, closing at 104 rupees, up four with 3.48 million shares done. more..

Ceylon Totay Cartoon

Kumari men rescue 4 Lankans at sea

Jan 27 (ENS) Four Tamil-speaking Muslim fishermen from Sri Lanka’s eastern province, whose mechanised boat went adrift after running out of fuel, were rescued by a group of fishermen from Colachel in Kanyakumari district and brought ashore. The district administration is making preliminary efforts to repatriate the Lankans, now kept in a local hotel, under police protection. Hailing from Ambarai district in the eastern province, the fishermen — Naib (36), Abdul Rahim (58), more..

Sri Lanka production for tea bags up in 2011

Jan 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's production of CTC (crush, tear, curl) type teas, used mainly in tea bags, rose sharply in 2011, although overall output was slightly lower than the record crop in 2010, brokers said. The Sri Lanka Tea Board said annual production for 2011 was 328.3 million kilos, about one percent less the previous year’s record output of 331.4 million kilos, mainly because of bad weather. Tea brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said that crop loss came mainly more..

GMOA objects to reduction of pass mark

Jan 27 (DM) The GMOA objected to a decision by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Chief to negotiate the reduction of the pass mark for foreign qualified students to practice medicine in Sri Lanka. The GMOA said the move would bring down the standards of medical treatment in the country. The Examination for Registration to Practice Medicine (ERPM) pass mark was brought down from 50 per cent to 44.5 per cent on a court order in April last year. more..

Minister Ratnayake threatens to sue LPBOA boss for defamation

Jan 27 (Island) Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka on Wednesday warned Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne against issuing statements to the media without knowing the facts. He said he would sue Wijeratne for defamation and claim Rs. 50 million as damages. Ratnayaka said that at a recently held media conference Wijeratne had maliciously accused him of issuing illegal orders without any basis. more..

UK visa applicant arrested for deception

Jan 27 (DM) On January 9, 2012, a Sri Lankan visa applicant was arrested for using deception and counterfeit documents to apply for a UK visa. The visa applicant was referred by the UK Border Agency to CID police in Colombo. The person concerned had submitted a passport containing a counterfeit Sri Lankan immigration arrival stamp. The counterfeit stamp had been obtained to conceal the duration of a visit made to the UK by the applicant in 2011. more..

Lankan files case against X-files actress

Jan 27 (DM) A differently abled Sri Lankan Army Captain who had been appointed as a caretaker of the properties owned by popular X-files actress Gillian Anderson had filed a case at the Colombo Commercial High Court against Ms. Anderson and her husband claiming Rs.100 million as compensation. This transpired in court when the case against the differently abled army captain over alleged misappropriation of Rs.17.8 million from the more..

SL- Indonesia trade to reach USD 1b by 2015

Jan 27 (IN) Sri Lanka and Indonesia resolved to set a target for bilateral trade to reach US $ 1 billion by the year 2015. This was decided at the Joint Commission meeting on Bilateral Cooperation between Sri Lanka and Indonesia chaired by External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris and visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. Marty Natalegawa yesterday. The Indonesian Foreign Minister is on an official visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of Prof. Peiris. more..

Pakistani trade delegation in SL to enhance bilateral trade

Jan 27 (IN) A Pakistani trade delegation of fruit and vegetable producers and exporters is visiting Sri Lanka to explore the ways and means to enhance bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The participants of the delegation specialize in the production and export of various fruits and vegetables including Guava, Chikoo (Sepatila), Mango, Citrus, Berry, Potato, Dry fruits, Gurr, Tobacco (cigar), Fresh and dry dates etc. The delegation consists of 6 more..

Media activists challenge govt

Jan 27 (CT) Media activists coming down hard on Minister Keheliya Rambukwella for his statement accusing journalists of being in the LTTE payroll have demanded legal action against those reporters if proved. “We challenge the got to prove these charges, because we’re ready to face the consequences,” said Sunil Jayasekera, Convener of the FMM. “So many people have been labelled this way, but till today there has been no legal action taken against anyone. more..

SLC defends Marsh sacking

Jan 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s cricket chief Friday defended the sacking of Australian coach Geoff Marsh and the selection of a new team captain, saying the changes would help usher in a new era of “cricketing excellence”. “We will reap the benefits of these changes in the fullness of time,” Sri Lanka Cricket president Upali Dharmadasa said in statement. The sacking of Marsh on Wednesday —just three months into a two-year contract —was widely criticised, with former team skipper more..

FTZ worker seeks compensation

Jan 27 (CT) A Free Trade Zone worker complained to the Supreme Court, on Thursday (26) a police gunshot permanently damaged his right leg, diminishing the chances to marry his girlfriend. Petitioner A.M. Dhammika Attanayake (31) of Andiambalama, a forklift operator, filing a rights plea stated the police shot him in the right leg above the knee for nothing when he was not engaged in illegal activity or not taking part in the protest organized by the Joint Trade Unions against more..

Oman may help Sri Lanka if Iran oil sanctions bite

Jan 27 (Reuters) Oman may sell oil to Sri Lanka in the event of a crisis, which the island nation is racing to avert with U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude threatening its primary refining supply, Sri Lankan officials told Reuters on Friday. Omani Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy on Friday was holding a second and final day of talks with Sri Lankan Minister Susil Premajayantha, who is hunting for a new oil supply amid limited options. more..

Political plaque could have saved 'Shrine of the innocents’ - creator

Jan 27 (SM) “If I have my way I’d imprison the broken narrative of the Shrine in a new memorial to commemorate the Shrine of the Innocents, “says the creator of the monument Professor Jagath Weerasinghe. He has said thus in an article titled – ‘The Disappearance of the Shrine’, which is on the removal of the Shrine of the Innocents. The memorial was made for those lives lost in 1988-1991 massacres in the south of Sri Lanka. more..

Probe over threatening of Sports media sectretary

Jan 27 (SM) Cinnamon gardens police today (27) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli that several persons who had allegedly threatened the media secretary of the Sports Ministry are being investigated on. Media secretary of the Sports Ministry, Harsha Abeykoon has been receiving death threats to his mobile phone after answering a question at the ‘Waada Pitiya’ programme broadcaston Jan. 24 on Derana TV. The case was filed after Mr. Abeykoon lodged a more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.01.2012

Sri Lanka not complacent about India in tri-series

Jan 27 (Hindu) The new Sri Lankan cricket captain, Mahela Jayawardene, has said that his team will not be complacent about India because of its current run in tests in Australia. Speaking just ahead of the team’s departure to Australia, where Sri Lanka will join India and Australia for a triangular one day series, he recalled that in the last India – Sri Lanka encounter in the finals of the last ODI World Cup, Sri Lanka had lost. “They [Indians] are struggling. more..

Movie on Sri Lankan journalists in exile

Jan 27 (SM) A movie produced by an award winning Norwegian film maker on Sri Lankan journalists living in exile is to be pre-premiered in Oslo, Norway on February 9th. The film titled ‘Silenced Voices – Tales of Sri Lankan Journalists in Exile,’ is a new documentary by Norwegian filmmaker Beate Arnestad, who directed and produced the award winning documentary ‘My Daughter the Terrorist’ in 2007. The film is about journalists, who have contributed to international exposure of more..

Tamil MP doubts LLRC implementation

Jan 27 (BBC) Sri Lanka govt has no intention to implement the recommendations of the presidential war panel, says a young Tamil govt MP. Journalist turned politician Sri Ranga told BBC that the govt should implement panel's all recommendations including a special investigation into alleged war crimes by certain elements of the military. The panel concluded the military gave the "highest priority" to protecting civilians and more..

Buttler serves up victory for England Lions

Jan 27 (CI) Somerset's young wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler confirmed some of his potential as one of the most promising of England's one-day prospects, with the first limited-overs century of his career against Sri Lanka A in Dambulla. Buttler hammered a 56-ball hundred to build on the good work from another tyro, Alex Hales, and his Somerset team-mate Craig Kieswetter as England Lions racked up 335 for 5 on their way to a 68-run win in the first unofficial ODI. more..

Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka against pro-abortion law

Jan 27 (AN) The Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka is "firmly" opposed to the proposed abortion law. "The human race - the statement of the Catholic bishops - is not safe if the child is not protected in the womb." The govt emphasizes that the bill will only cover “unjustifiable pregnancy ", but promised to consider "alternatives" offered by religious groups opposed to abortion. However, the Cbcsl declares: "We categorically reject any attempt to legalize abortion, more..

1,500 schools on verge of closing due to lack of funds

Jan 27 (DM) While the authorities had taken steps to set up private educational institutions some 1,500 schools in the country on the verge of shutting down as they did not have the money for maintenance, the Maoist Ceylon Communist Party said. The party’s Secretary Surendra Rupasinghe said a large number of schools did not have basic facilities such as buildings, classroom furniture, computer laboratories, libraries and other resources more..

Wanni transport - Still some distance to go

Jan 28 (NS) Transport is a basic need. But for many in the war affected Wanni, this basic need is a luxury. Life has grown better slowly and steadily ever since they were resettled in their hometowns months after fighting ended. Kilinochchi received the brunt of the ethnic conflict during its final stages for several reasaons. One of them was that it was the LTTE’s de-facto capital. Therefore, the importance given was more than what was given to other LTTE controlled areas. more..

External sector keeps expanding – Central Bank

Jan 28 (NS) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) issuing the recent External Sector Performance statistics for the month of November 2011 stated that the structural shift in the economy driven by broad based economic growth including that of former conflict affected areas have contributed to the continuous expansion in external trade, as well as identified sustainable foreign exchange inflows to support and nurture continuous economic activity. According to the Central Bank, more..

Irresponsible diaspora sections cause many problems in Jaffna

Jan 28 (DBS) Rajasingham Jayadevan is an accountant based in London, Britain. He has been and continues to e a political activist concerned about the future and well-being of Sri Lankans in general and Tamils in particular. Some years ago while visiting Sri Lanka Jayadevan had an unpleasant experience at the hands of the LTTE which he had supported at one time. He was detained and interrogated by the tigers in the Wanni while pressure was exerted by more..

Galle Literary Festival: A strange world where writers watch writers

Jan 28 (Island) In E Unibus Plurum, his 1993 dissertation on Television and U.S Fiction, David Foster Wallace wrote: "fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers. The minute fiction writers stop moving, they start lurking and stare. They are born watchers. They are the ones on the subway about whose nonchalant stare there is something creepy and somehow, almost predatory. This is because human situations are writers’ food. more..

Minorities should consider adopting an inclusive approach

Jan 28 (Island) The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) has generally refrained from proposing any specific solutions to the ethnic conflict because successive governments have invariably gone against the advice given by moderate individuals and groups in this regard. It would have been counterproductive for CIMOGG to have tendered yet more unsolicited advice that was bound to be ignored. Even the interim recommendations made months ago by the LLRC, more..

Strengthening cultural tourism in Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (SO) The leading and trusted monthly travel magazine in Britain Condé Nast Traveller has nominated Sri Lanka as one of the top five destinations to watch in 2012. The travel experts of the magazine have predicted that Sri Lanka will be among the hottest new holiday destinations for travellers in the coming year. Sri Lanka has been placed third in the list of destinations, ahead of Britain, Australia and Abu Dhabi. more..

The University System: Politics and Audit Queries

Jan 28 (Island) I was a little surprised to read in today’s Island (26th January) that the UGC opposed Prof. R.O. Thattil’s appointment to the z-score inquiry committee on the grounds there were several audit queries when he was working as the Director of Peradeniya’s Post-Graduate Institute of Agriculture. To me the only news in this is that the Auditor General’s concerns are suddenly for the first time important to those in charge of our universities. more..

Editorial: Snake bites and agonising cries

Jan 28 (Island) British Prime Minister David Cameron, a knight in shining armour on a much hyped crusade for human rights the world over, is strangely lamenting that the EU human rights laws have prevented his beloved country from being able to protect its citizens from terrorists. He did not mince his words when he said so before the Council of Europe the other day. How would Britain and its friends have reacted if a leader from a developing country plagued by more..

More than 300 artists to make their mark at 17th Kala Pola

Jan 28 (ST) The George Keyt Foundation (GKF) will be holding its 17th annual Kala Pola (Art Mart) on Sunday, January 29 on the sidewalks of Lotus Pokuna-Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha from 9 a.m. onwards. This year, about 300 artistes have registered to exhibit their work. British High Commissioner John Rankin, will be the Chief Guest this year following a tradition of Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Colombo often opening the event: in recent years they were, more..

50% of Colombo condos sell out pre-construction : report

Jan 28 (ST) Most condominiums in the country's business capital of Colombo experience an average pre-construction sale ratio of around 50%, according to a report by the local office of global big four audit firm KPMG, in conjunction with Research Intelligence Unit. The report titled 'Sri Lanka Real Estate Market Brief', said that "more prestigious developments like the Empire, Emperor, Lumiere and Trillium tend to sell around 80% of their units by completion of construction. more..

Cash strapped Lankans seek Indian solace

Jan 28 (ST) Its all looks a fairytale ending for Sri Lanka’s financial woes as the proposed FTP (ICC’s Future Tours Programme) Indian Test tour of Sri Lanka will become a reality in a different format in Late June-July this year. Last week the new Sri Lankan cricket management held a series of discussions with their Indian counterparts and agreed to convert the 3Testseries to amore profitable limited overs series. Though earlier there were speculations that more..

Needed: An Academic Spring

Jan 28 (Island) There seems to be nothing that the Ministry of Higher Education touches that, to put it mildly, does not end in controversy. From the (mis)handling of student demonstrations, booing of the Minister by the students, the agitation by the university teachers and non-academic staff for a reasonable wage, subjecting all new entrants to compulsory training in military camps, compelling all universities to employ a Defence Ministry-backed security firm, more..

Indian High Commission celebrates 63rd Republic Day of India

Jan 28 (DN) The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community celebrated the Republic Day of India on January 26. The full text of the press release: The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 63rd Republic Day of India on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at India House in Colombo. High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha, unfurled the National Flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by the BSF contingent. more..

First green energy system launched

Jan 28 (DN) Sri Lanka's first green energy system was launched by Agrarian Services and Wild Life Minister S.N.Chandrasena on Wednesday at Buthawa Wild Life bungalow in the Yala national park. The solar system was introduced to Sri Lanka by James Consulting (PVT) Ltd, NiceLux (PVT) with the partnership of Nawoo L.D.D.Incorporated in Korea. Two street lamps were installed with separate solar panels which change its direction according to the movement of the Sun so that more..

The inevitable 20% depreciation in the Rupee

Jan 28 (CT) Fast eroding foreign exchange (forex) reserves and a ballooning trade deficit has led to internecine warfare between Sri Lanka’s two economic policy setting organs; i.e. its Treasury and Central Bank such that the latter was kept in the dark when President Rajapakse announced the unanticipated 3 percent devaluation in the rupee-US dollar (USD) exchange rate to 113.89/90 during his budget speech. Rupee trading had to be halted and more..

People’s Bank hosts Jaffna and Vanni Arts Festival

Jan 28 (Island) The Arts Festival organized by the People’s Bank for Jaffna and Vanni regions was held recently (22) at the Kailasapathi Auditorium of the Jaffna University. The festival organised by the Arts Circle of People’s Bank witnessed the staff members of the bank from the North and East together with their children on one stage performing Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim cultural items. The chief Guest at the event was the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University, more..

Civil Appellate Court grants leave to Sunday Leader upholding media freedom

Jan 28 (FT) The High Court of the Western Province exercising Civil Appellate Jurisdiction in Colombo (Civil Appellate Court) recently granted Leave to Appeal in two Petitions filed by The Leader Publications Pvt Ltd. and Fredrica Jansz, Chief Editor of The Sunday Leader against an Enjoining Order issued by the Additional District Court of Colombo in a defamation action filed by Nalin Ladduwahetty, Attorney-at-Law. The Civil Appellate Court also suspended the more..