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Achieving economic goals in the midst of global challenges

July 19 (CT) The Sri Lanka Economic Association or SLEA, the long standing professional body of economists of Sri Lanka, has published some selected papers presented at its Annual Sessions in October 2011 in a volume titled “Achieving Economic Goals in the Midst of Global Challenges”. The volume, edited by two veteran economists – Professor A.D.V.S Indraratna and Mr Sarath Vidanagama – contains 6 papers written by a number of independent economists and the more..

Is Hemakumara all thunder and no Rain ?

July 19 (Island) Q: Who are the key people in the Maubima Foundation? A: The Foundation was formed about ten years ago. There are 11 directors from various disciplines in society. There are former civil servants, professionals, businessmen and especially a couple of agriculturists. The Maubima was earlier focused from the very inception to look after the problems of farmers. Q: Can you identify these people? A: I really do not wish to do that. more..

Sampur power plant: India's double talk

July 19 (Island) The recent article by Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya highlighting the delay in starting work on the Sampur coal power plant (CPP) prompted me to write this article. This project was conceived several years ago to be executed in collaboration with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC), a government owned company. The MOU for the project was signed between CEB and NTPC last September. Initially, a 500 MW coal power plant more..

Prelude to Provincial Council elections

July 19 (NS) Poster war the prelude to Provincial Council elections is yet to start, after the political parties give the final nod for individuals who are lobbying day and night at the offices of party high rankers. The first war is the inclusion the name in a nomination paper. Then, the poster war begins sometimes, before the preference numbers are issued. Conflicts between inter-parties and independent groups are inevitable. We will also be experiencing intra-party issues in more..

JVP to march against Govt. from the South to the North

July 19 (FT) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is to commence a protest march on the 27th of this month from the Dondra Point in the South to Point Pedro in the North. The march, called the "Jana Pelagesma" would be held to protest against the "anti-people government". JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said the current administration has suppressed the people in many ways and has not provided any relief to them. more..

Editorial: When judgment is Green …

July 19 (Island) We thought only our politicos were afflicted with the foot-in-the-mouth disease. But, it seems that politicians the world over are more or less the same. They apparently think with their tongues as their diminutive brains are affected by disuse atrophy. An Australian politician has been baying for a Sri Lankan envoy's blood. Greens senator Lee Rhiannon has accused Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia Admiral (Retd.) Thisara Samarasinghe of war crimes and called for his expulsion. more..

France to upgrade its Lankan investment profile considerably

July 19 (Island) France wants to upgrade its investment profile in Sri Lanka-and in a considerable way, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka announced recently. The top EU trade partner is mulling Sri Lanka’s rubber and dairy sectors in its first wave of new investments. "My first impressions of Sri Lanka are very positive. We are keen on new joint ventures in the resurgent Sri Lankan economy. We also want to evaluate current investments by French firms in Sri Lanka," more..

Seriously out of touch

July 19 (Hindu) Veteran Tamil Nadu politician M. Karunanidhi has announced the revival of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation, a forum he had floated in the mid-1980s to drum up support for the creation of a separate Tamil nation in Sri Lanka. In 1986, it was a broad-based political platform that attracted leaders from different parts of India and there was widespread support for the cause. A quarter century on, the most striking feature of the attempt to revive it more..

Electricity Consumer Societies launched

July 19 (DN) The Public Utilities Commission has launched a programme to set up electricity consumer societies with the aim of effectively representing domestic electricity consumers and acting as a voice for them. Issuing a media release PUCSL states that despite the fact that domestic electricity consumers are the main group of consumers of electricity, their requirements and aspirations are not represented in an organized manner. The release also states: more..

'Sri Lanka series chance to assess team'

July 19 (CI) India captain MS Dhoni has said that the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka will help his team assess where they stand at the moment. "It's the start of the season for us," he said, shortly after India had arrived in Colombo for the five ODIs and one-off Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. "There are certain areas where we've wanted to improve, where we've had a discussion saying these are the areas where we need to improve upon to consistently do well … more..

Will the much hyped SLPL live up to expectations?

July 19 (Island) The gala function organized by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and their inexperienced partner, Somerset Entertainment Ventures for the launch of the inaugural SLPL at the Cinnamon Grand, reminded us of the glory days SLC enjoyed in terms of financial stability and an administration comprising true professionals. In the bygone era, the administrators had an excellent relationship with the players and the media. more..

Kattadiya rapes client

July 19 (Island) The Hanwella police arrested a ‘Kattadiya’ who had raped a woman after promising to cure her illness. The 20-year-old woman of Koswatta, in the Hanwella police division, had got know, through a friend, about the ‘Kattadiya’ and had gone to him to seek treatment for a skin condition. The ‘kattadiya’ had invited the woman to a neighbour’s house on the 12th night saying that he needed to apply medicinal oil. He had raped her there. The deeply distressed victim had confessed to her finance about what had happened more..

Candidates’ assets to be examined

July 19 (CT) Commissioner of Elections Sunanda Deshapriya intends to call for the declaration of assets of the candidates contesting at the forthcoming Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Councils. The nominations for the three provincial councils close today. Thereafter, the candidate’s assets will be examined by the election officials. The Commissioner told Ceylon Today that the relevant notice calling for the declaration of assets will be issued on 23 July. more..

Sri Lanka spends 5% GDP on education: SB

July 19 (DN) Sri Lanka is presently spending approximately five percent of its GDP for education, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said in Parliament yesterday. He observed that it is a UNESCO recommendation that a country must spend about six percent of its GDP to develop education. He observed that the UNESCO refers to the total money spent on education, and not only the government allocation. more..

Brass items stolen from Wedasisti Kanda temple

July 19 (Island) Officers of the crime investigation branch of the Tangalle police arrested six suspects, including a notorious criminal. They also seized a stocks of brass items stolen from the Wedasiti Kanda temple in Kataragama. Of the suspects taken into custody, three were members of the same family. All six were remanded by the Tissamaharama Magistrate. It was been revealed that the theft had taken place, from the stores of the Wedasiti Kanda temple when more..

'UNP not in a position to dictate terms to SF'

July 19 (Island) The UNP was not in a position to dictate terms and should stop telling the DNA to disband, Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne said yesterday. He said that the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s call for the former army commander General Sarath Fonseka to dissolve his party the DNA, if he wanted to join the UNP was ludicrous. When told that Attanayake’s comments had been made in the light of what he referred to was Fonseka’s indirect statements through various mouthpieces expressing more..

'HSBC has not yet informed any layoff plan'

July 19 (DM) HSBC has not yet informed the Department of Labour of any plans to downsize its workforce, according to Commissioner General of Labour V.B.P.K. Weerasinghe. She however added that HSBC will be required to consult the Labour Department before embarking on an extensive layoff, which may result in the bank slashing as much as 30% of its workforce in Sri Lanka. more..

Three arrested over riot in Mannar

July 19 (Island) The Mannar police yesterday arrested three protesters who threw missiles at the police building and the Courts complex. The police were forced to disperse the protesters who had gone berserk by firing tear gas. The Muslim community had launched a protest over a Court decision which banned the occupation of the boat mooring station in the predominantly Muslim area due to Tiger activity. The protesters said that after the LTTE was defeated the Tamils had more..

NCPA silenced on child abuse cases

July 19 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday refused to divulge the number of child abuse cases reported from January this year. The media unit of the NCPA said that data couldn’t be made available to the media consequent to instructions received from higher authorities. The NCPA would enroll school media units (SMUs) in its bid to prevent escalating incidents of child abuse. A communiqué issued by the NCPA Chairman’s office said yesterday that more..

'$1b bond issue most successful to date'

July 19 (FT) The Central Bank said that the US$ 1 billion 10-year sovereign bond issue concluded on Tuesday was the most successful to date, given the 10.5 times oversubscription and number of investors. “The final order books stood at US$ 10.5 billion, an oversubscription ratio of 10.5 times. This is the largest order book as well as the largest number of investors in the order book for Sri Lanka ever,” the Central Bank said. more..

'No confusion with regard to stand on Eelam'

July 19 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday reiterated there was no confusion with regard to his stand on a separate Tamil Eelam and he could not help it if some people had imagined that he had given up the cause of Tamil Eelam. “There is no confusion at all,” he said recalling his explanation in a media briefing a couple of days that “in a democracy, decisions should be taken after taking into consideration the views of the participants in the Tamil Eelam Supporters more..

Sajith seeks better deal for CDF personnel

July 19 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday demanded that the govt give more facilities to the Civil Defence Force, including a permanent salary with pension. He said that currently there were 41,000 members in the Civil Defence Force and they were receiving a daily payment of Rs. 405 as a salary. The then govt in 1985, established this unit as home guards to protect border villages from the LTTE while the war was on, he said adding that more..

Eyebrows raised over Canada rejecting ex-SLN Commodore’s refugee claim

July 19 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over Canada refusing to accept retired Sri Lankan Navy Commodore Nadarajah Kuruparan’s refugee claim, on the grounds that the navy had committed atrocities during the conflict. Authoritative naval sources said that Commodore Kuruparan had never been involved in naval operations or served in the operational area during eelam war IV (2006-2009) or before. more..

FUTA strike continues

July 19 (Island) University teachers were disappointed that Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga had not called them for the third round of discussions, which was earlier scheduled to be held on Monday or Tuesday evening, at the Presidential Secretariat. President of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that their strike was continuing as the government authorities had failed to address their demands so far. Dr. Devasiri said that FUTA executive committee decided to more..

Remove unauthorised structurers or face the consequences

July 19 (Island) One thousand three hundred unauthorized structures have been identified at the Maligawatte National Housing Scheme and after inquiry if they are not removed, legal action will be taken against the persons who had constructed those structures. However, the first priority was eradication of the dengue menace. This was the opinion expressed by the Manager of the NHDA W. Wimalaratne at a discussion organized by the Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzammil on Monday more..

FutureGov SAARC summit opens in Sri Lanka

July 19 (FG) Over 300 senior decision makers in government IT from across the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka to participate in the FutureGov SAARC Summit. They are joined by government IT experts from countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Malaysia and Indonesia to discuss shared challenges and cutting edge, innovative solutions for more..

Villagers complain about Wilpatha hospital staff

July 19 (Island) According to the police, the doctors and staff of the Wilpatha hospital in Dodangoda had reported to the office of the Superintendent of Health services of the Kalutara District, while the junior staff had remained in the hospital premises on the 16th. It is reported that the residents of the area had staged a protest rear the hospital on the grounds that the hospital staff, including the doctors, performed no service to the area and residents and more..

Lankans eating their way to diabetes

July 19 (Island) In Sri Lanka 32.3 per cent of the rural population and 20.8 per cent of the urban population had high insulin sensitivity levels in the blood due to high contents of carbohydrate in rice and sugary items they consume. Around 90 per cent of the total population eat carbohydrate-rich food and unless the current eating habits were not changed, they would be liable to become diabetics in ten years. When high amounts of carbohydrate were taken, more..

What’s good for the govt. not good for websites?

July 19 (LB) Now it is a cat and mouse game between a govt which stands accused of suppressing media freedom and killing and maiming journalists, and a host of mushrooming dissenting websites, some of which, obviously, have questionable credentials and vested interests. Last week, the govt, defying local and international criticism, imposed exorbitant fees for the registration of new websites, and announced plans to more..

Govt. could help Lankan jailed in Saudi once charges are framed: SLFEB

July 19 (ST) Govt would consider legal assistance to Sri Lankan migrant employee G.G. Thungasiri once charges are framed against him, a Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau official said. Deputy General Manager D.D.P. Senanayake said the Saudi authorities were investigating the matter and charges had not been framed as yet. He said legal assistance would be extended in consultation with more..

Research to disrupt dengue mosquito mating

July 19 (DN) The Medical Research Institute (MRI) and the University of Colombo launched joint research to develop a successful method to disrupt the mating process of dengue mosquitoes. This research has achieved significant progress. The main objective of the research is finding the correct sound waves to disturb the speed of moving wings of female dengue mosquitoes during mating. more..

Moves to break student grip over universities

July 19 (DN) Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr Sunil Jayantha Navaratna yesterday said they will take action to bring university education and administration under the control of the minister. Steps will be taken to break the stranglehold of students over universities in violation of the University Act, he said. Dr Navaratna said the Higher Education Ministry cannot allow students to control university education. more..

'Sri Lanka inflation spike could be one-off'

July 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's recent spike in inflation following a steep depreciation of the currency is mostly a structural change in prices, and not continuous monetary inflation, an IMF official said. Sri Lanka's peg with the US dollar which has served as a solid external anchor for inflation since 2009 collapsed under pressure from over 200 billion rupees of money printed by the Central Bank to off-set (sterilize) foreign exchange sales. more..

A grim search for the missing

July 19 (IPS) A bloody civil war was reaching its climax but this Tamil family, who had already experienced the conflict intimately, had one last decision to make that would prove to be the hardest one of all. Fighting during the early months of 2009, in the last phase of Sri Lanka’s 30 year-long civil conflict, was so intense that a Tamil couple in their sixties was forced to make a heart-wrenching choice when they fled the bloody warzone: more..

Sajith wants UNP to accept SF unconditionally

July 19 (Island) Former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka would soon join the UNP to help it topple the Rajapaksa administration, UNP MP and deputy leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday. He said that the party must welcome the war hero without setting pre-conditions, which could jeopardise the chances of the former presidential candidate throwing his weight behind the ongoing UNP campaign. more..

Close parliament before people set it ablaze - UNP

July 19 (Island) The main Opposition UNP yesterday called for a closure of Parliament before people set it on fire, as the members, especially those in the govt ranks, seemed to take sittings lightly. The call was made by UNP MP Ajith P. Perera while asking the Chair to call for a quorum for the third time in the day. "We are discussing an important matter here. After all, Parliament is responsible for handling fiscal matters. more..

Rupavahini dues come under COPE fire

July 19 (Island) The outstanding dues unrecovered by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation came under heavy fire at the meeting of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday. The meeting which was explosive in nature revealed that a total of Rs. 42 million was unrecovered from political advertisements provided only to the govt and its political allies and a further Rs. 596 million due for advertisements given on the basis of commercial credit but more..

Mother and daughter burnt to death in Kahawatta

July 19 (CG) Kahawatte turned into a killing field today with the discovery of the charred bodies of another woman and her daughter. The police media unit said that the burnt bodies of a 63 year old woman and her 32 year old daughter were found in the house early this morning. Initially the police received information that a house in the area had caught fire and when the police went to investigate they found the two burnt bodies inside. more..

Editorial: Subject - Tamil Eelam, banned word - Sri Lanka

July 19 (DM) Finally, DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi has woken up from his slumber and surrendered to New Delhi’s word to drop his Tamil Eelam anthem. At least that is the role he has been called upon to play by the central govt despite the former’s consistent craving to declare a Tamil Eeelam in Northern Sri Lanka. The transformation is too good to be true that, he has not only agreed to drop the subject at the recently revived Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) but more..

Indian Navy Ship in Trinco

July 19 (DM) The Indian Naval Ship ‘Chetlat’, a fast attack craft, arrived at the Port of Trincomalee yesterday, the Sri Lanka Navy said. “Ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Nitin Gupta, accompanied by Indian Defence Adviser to Sri Lanka Captain Sumeet Kapoor, paid a courtesy call on the Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage. They held cordial discussions and exchange mementos as a gesture of goodwill,” it said. However, more..