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India urges Sri Lanka to release 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen

July 26 (PTI) India on Thursday urged Sri Lanka to immediately release on humanitarian grounds 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested on charges of entering the island nation's waters. External affairs minister S M Krishna urged the Sri Lankan government to release the fishermen, who were also accused of ramming into Lankan naval ships, on humanitarian basis immediately. Fisheries department officials in Rameswaram had more..

Editorial: A for Accountability

July 26 (DM) Every crime has a perpetrator. Likewise, every wrong doing has a culprit. And then there are victims, who, in the current Sri Lankan context, are rendered absolutely helpless by the lack of transparency and accountability of the govt high heads. Surrendering to the whims and incongruities of the former is clearly an anti-climax for a citizenry that has always prided itself when it comes to appointing representatives for its governing bodies. The long and short of the story of more..

Sri Lanka herbal remedies firm in research drive

July 26 (LBO) A Sri Lanka based herbal remedies and personal care producer, has begun trials on therapies linked to anti-diabetes and improving the quality of life, to meet increasing consumer demand for natural remedies, officials said. Link Natural Products Private Limited, a subsidiary of CIC Holdings Plc, says it is working local medical and scientific community to develop products suitable for local and foreign clients. more..

Odel bought by Parkson Retail

July 26 (LBO) A 41.8 percent stake in Sri Lanka's ODEL, a fashion retailer has been acquired by Parkson Retain Asia, a department store which has operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia for 1.424 billion rupees. The East Asian firm paid 23.50 rupees a share to buy the 60.6 million shares from founding siblings, Otara Gunewardene (27.8%) and her two brother Ajit (13.6%) and Ruchi (0.34%), more..

Stocks close down 0.16 pct, rupee weaker

July 26 (LBO) Stocks fell 0.16 percent Thursday, with strong interest in ODEL which was taken over by a foreign department store at a price below today's market price. The Colombo All Share Price Index fell 7.69 points to 4,876.19 and the S&P 20 Index of large cap stocks fell 0.23 percent to 2755.59. Turnover was Rs. 266 million. The spot US dollar closed around 131.25 rupees with 58 billion rupees of liquidity building up in money markets, which is negative for the rupee. more..

Sri Lanka says returned asylum seekers will be dealt according to law

July 26 (Xinhua) Amidst Sri Lankan asylum seekers flooding to Australia, the Sri Lankan government said Thursday that those deported to the country after failing to secure asylum bids would be dealt according to the country's law. Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the attempts to seek asylum state is against the country's immigration law and they have to face legal procedures once they are returned more..

Unravelling the secret of a mystery spinner

July 26 (DM) The whole of Sri Lanka including the cricket fraternity received a shock last Friday when Sri Lanka’s 30-member preliminary squad was named for the forthcoming World T20 to be hosted by Sri Lanka. One name in particular created a stir as none had heard of him and no information was available even on the web. This led to a flood of speculation some of which bordered on absurdity with even suggestions of bribes and more..

'I will come and knock on your door'

July 26 (NF) General Secretary of the Citizens' Front, MP J. Sri Ranga says that he will create an environment where public representatives meet with their constituents even after elections. He said this while addressing a public rally in the Nonawaththa area in Kandepola. MP J. Sri Ranga shared these views in that rally. 'We do not go to Parliament to warm our seats. We have come here to show you that we know that if we can come here at night to canvass, more..

Large crowds at Nallur Annual Festival

July 26 (GDI) Our correspondent in Jaffna says that the renowned Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil Annual Festival 2012 flag hoisting was held last Tuesday (24) on a very grand scale with the participation of several thousand devotees at the kovil premises. The correspondent adds that devotees from all over the North and even from the East participated in this year’s festival. The festival will end on August 17 with the water cutting (theertham) ceremony. Nallur has an old and rich history. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News 27 07 2012

An Investment tab launched to support regional entrepreneurs

July 26 (GDI) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), International Alert Sri Lanka and Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) recently launched the ‘Investment Tab’. It is a web based portal to encourage and enable regional entrepreneurs who want to start their own business but do not have sufficient funding to upload their business proposals to the Regional Enterprise Development Initiative (REDI) platform. It is also meant for potential investors and partners, including more..

Pakistan’s FM to visit Sri Lanka next week

July 26 (ST) The Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar will be visiting Sri Lanka from August 1 to 3 at the invitation of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, a Pakistan High Commission statement said. During her three day visit, Ms. Khar will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and will also meet several top leaders of Sri Lanka. Discussions will be held between the two sides for strengthening political, defence, cultural, tourism, media, economic, business and trade relations while forging strong bondsbetween the two nations, more..

Sri Lanka to end power rationing, coal plant fixed

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has repaired an breakdown-prone Chinese built 300 MegaWatt coal plant allowing the state-run CEB end to power cuts, the power ministry said. The CEB has provided continuous power with no official power cut for more than 10 years until the Chinese plant went down. The power ministry said a 100MW steam section of a 270 MW combined cycle would also be connected to the grid over the weekend. more..

Kohli, Perera in exalted company

July 26 (CI) Virat Kohli, who scored his 12th ODI century (fourth in 2012) and set up India's comfortable win in the first ODI, has won 11 Man-of-the-Match awards so far in his career, in just 87 matches. Since 2011, he has won seven awards in just 47 matches. However, the rise of Thisara Perera, who was Man-of-the-match in the second ODI, is even more astonishing. In just 41 ODIs, Perera has won six awards, including five in 26 matches since the beginning of 2011. more..

UN bid for Tamil to stay fails

July 26 (SMH) A last-minute plea from the United Nations to stop immigration authorities deporting a Tamil asylum seeker came too late to prevent him being sent to Sri Lanka, despite claims that he faces torture. The man has been sent back to Sri Lanka despite official Australian advice warning people against travelling to the northern city of Jaffna where he lived. The UN human rights commissioner in Geneva had sent the urgent request to the Australian embassy in Thailand more..

War abuse inquiries may take 5 years

July 26 (AP) Sri Lanka estimated Thursday it may take up to five years to investigate alleged killings of ethnic Tamil civilians by govt troops at the end of the country’s devastating civil war — a timeframe criticized as an attempt to outlast international attention. The government recommended that investigators conclude inquiries into alleged killings within a year and start court proceedings up to four years after that. more..

Kumaratunga Munidasa Commemorated

July 26 (GDI) The 125th birth anniversary of late Kumarathunga Munidasa was commemorated yesterday (25) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The ceremony was chaired by Kumarathunga Munidasa Foundation founder Ven. Ahangama Mahinda Thera. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara delivered the keynote address under the title of "Importance of Kumarathunga's Thinking". Several books written by late more..

SLPA, KDU offer diplomas in port security

July 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) commenced a special diploma course on port security for the security personnel of the institution. The course is conducted in collaboration with the Sir John Kothalawala Defense University (KDU) in Rathmalana. The MOU was signed on 24th July 2012 at the Kothalawala Defense University in Rathmalana. On behalf of the two institutions, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA and Major Gen. Milinda Peiris – Vice Chancellor of the KDU Signed the MOU. more..

'Sri Lanka's business climate and free trade can soften Eurozone effect'

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka can further improve its business climate to propel growth, attract more investors while freeing trade could ease also soften the impact of a Eurozone crisis, a diplomat has said. British high commissioner (ambassador) John Rankin, told an annual meeting of Sri Lanka's Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that greater protectionism could threaten trade and investment, a driver of growth amid more..

Sri Lankan schools in great need of Natural Teachers

July 27 (NS) Is Sri Lanka’s education crisis due to our children not studying or is it because our teachers cannot teach? Students would list out why they are lethargic to study, why they can’t understand their teachers, why nothing makes sense while teachers when asked would say students are not interested in studies, they lack concentration and they lack motivation to teach because they are poorly paid. more..

In Search of the Rainbow Nation

July 27 (NS) The thirty-year-long bloody war brought suffering to all Sri Lankans, irrespective of ethnicity. Thousands of youth, from the north to the south, perished leaving wailing widows and traumatized orphans. The country lost many opportunities for development, hopes of prosperity were shattered and the economy staggered. Crime and the underworld thrived and the society was brutalised. Sri Lanka was gradually turning into a wasteland, everybody wanted to flee in search of more..

Is the university teacher strike fair?

July 27 (NS) The third meeting between the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) and the Presidential Committee lead by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to solve university dons salary issue and several other issues did not take place due to the absence of some officials. The first and second meetings between two parties ended with no result, but paved the way for another round of discussion. more..

“Tempest in a Tea pot!” or is it?

July 27 (SL) For writers to this publication to be threatened or abused in less-than-Parliamentary terms is pretty well par for the course, particularly by members of that element of the media which defies description if one is not to step in to the gutter. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s unseemly tirade against Frederica Jansz has had an interesting response from the local media and punditocracy. At the risk of provoking the ire of the large number of ill-bred, uneducated yobs more..

Of watches, watch dogs and old schools

July 27 (SL) Two good old friends of the Forward School for Backward Boys were meeting for their monthly pow-wow on local and world affairs but this time it was not at their common waterhole but at the newly built house of Nodath Pandithaya. Nikang Sududath had arrived and was at the door of the spacious bungalow while Nodath was holding open the massive Mahogany door roaring the usual welcome: ‘Hallo, hallo, yakko, addo baddo-kohomada bung?’ Sududath who is usually more..

Interview with Chandrika Kumaratunga

July 27 (GV) On 25th July, Groundviews met with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Colombo to get her views on Sri Lanka’s present state of governance, plus a range of other issues, including – as is often today hinted at – the chances of re-entering active politics. This is the first in-depth interview she has given any media in over six and a half years since she left office. We talked for close upon two hours. more..

It all began with LTTE ambush and Army retaliation

July 27 (DBS) Many Tamils who recall horror stories of the July 1983 riots lived in Colombo at the time. This was where the worst atrocities were committed. In Jaffna, however, where Tamils were the majority, not much violence is related. I, being a native of Thirunelvely, Jaffna where it all started, come from one of the very few families who do relate it. Thirunelvely is a little town in the Jaffna District and some believe, the name translates to ‘God’s-paddy-field.’ more..

'Violence was perpetrated by handful of Govt sponsored Sinhala civilians'

July 27 (DBS) Leader of the TULF, V Anandasangaree is known for his denouncement of violence committed by any party. Sangaree, who is a staunch supporter of federalism, was awarded the 2006 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, for being an indefatigable advocate of democracy and a promoter of a peaceful resolution to the conflict. When the July 1983 riots were burning the country, Sangaree was serving as an elected MP more..

Boston Lanka presents: Dear Suminda

Vasudeva and putting social integration policy into action

July 27 (CT) The national social integration policy of the government is the latest in its multi-pronged effort to affirm and reaffirm its commitment to improvement in practices of governance and making Sri Lanka the home of all Sri Lankans. It comes at a time when the flight of boat people from Sri Lanka to Western countries has reached a level that is attracting international media attention that is not complimentary to the country. Less visible is the brain drain that is depleting more..

The rule of law to the fore again: But who are its sworn enemies?

July 27 (CT) In the recently concluded Sri Lanka Economic Summit, India’s Gurcharan Das, the author of the book ‘India Unbound’ published in 2000 making a scathing criticism of the unknown dark side of India’s economic policy since its independence until India began to unbind itself in early 1990s, delivered a very strong message to Sri Lankans. He said, Sri Lankahas got peace which was good. But without the Rule of Law and good governance, Sri Lanka cannot more..

Provincial Councils are White Elephants

July 27 (SL) According to our Constitution there are specific responsibilities and duties allocated to Parliamentarians, Minicipal Councillors, Provincial Councillors and Pradaysheeya Sabha Members. They are all elected through our votes and are paid by us. But they all forget their duties once they get into office. The Provincial Councillors from the day they are appointed, wait for the monies from the central govt to start spending it. more..

Editorial: MR and JRJ

July 27 (Island) The JVP has likened President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) to the late President J.R. Jayewardene (JRJ) as we reported yesterday. However, MR, in our book, is JRJ, Ranasinghe Premadasa, D. B. Wijetunga and Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) all rolled into one! Yes, as Rathu Sahodarayas argue, in some respects, MR has overtaken JRJ. The latter was only toying with the idea of securing a third term but the former has done away with the presidential term limit and is getting ready for another contest. more..

All seven SL athletes to attend Olympic Opening Ceremony

July 27 (Island) Despite having a tough schedule the following day, all seven Sri Lankan athletes were schedule to attend Friday’s Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics 2012. The Sri Lankan officials in London confirmed that all seven athletes including shuttlers Niluka Karunaratne and Thilini Jayasinghe would take part in the parade where Karunaratne will be the flag bearer. The shuttlers are scheduled to compete against top ranked badminton players on Saturday. more..

CB asked to phase out forex trading restrictions

July 27 (Island) The Central Bank has been asked by the IMF to phase out restrictions imposed on foreign exchange trading by commercial banks. The multilateral lending agency has also exhorted the bank to focus on inflation controls rather than attempting to control the exchange rate, while warning that it was less optimistic than the Central Bank on the balance of payments front. Releasing a staff report on Sri Lanka more..

'SEC should send market offenders to jail'

July 27 (Island) For the good of the stock exchange and country, says respected good governance activist in letter to the President. Good governance and minority shareholder rights activist K. C. Vignarajah has bolstered the argument put forward by concerned citizens of this country that capital market offenders should be jailed, as wrongdoers attempt to mislead the President and prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from cleaning out the market. In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa Vignarajah said: more..

Russia will develop nano technology in Sri Lanka

July 27 (DN) The outgoing ambassador of Russia to Sri Lanka Vladimir P. Mikahaylov, made a farewell call on Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne at Visumpaya. He said it was Russia's policy to give continued support for the future development programmes of Sri Lanka. He said: "Sri Lanka was on an accelerated development drive and during his tenure he strengthened diplomatic relations between the two countries. "Russia is prepared to extend support to develop Nano technology in Sri Lanka. more..

Exporters call for more govt. support

July 27 (FT) Impacted by negative growth so far and mounting challenges, exporters are urging the Govt should extend more support for an early turnaround to save jobs and boost foreign exchange. Discussing the present state of the export sector and proposals to be submitted to the National Budget 2013, industry stakeholders on Wednesday noted the need for higher cooperation and the importance of implementing a National Export Policy to support future growth. more..

418 prosecuted by PHI, for breeding mosquitoes

July 27 (Island) The Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIUSL) said yesterday that they had issued 7,800 notices during the one month mosquito inspection programme which ended on Wednesday (25). Secretary PHIUSL, A. M. Senarath Bandara said that 418 of them had been taken to court after two weeks for not having complied with the notice. Bandara said that at 1,933 places they had found mosquito larvae in government and private sector institutions inspected. more..

More neutral polls monitors needed – Mano

July 27 (Island) DPF leader Mano Ganesan says that more neutral, local or international, elections monitors should be deployed for the upcoming provincial council elections. He said that already a large number of election law violations had been observed in the Sabaragamuwa province, mainly the abuse of State property for election related activities by the candidates of the ruling party. "The Commissioner of Elections had once stated that he could only issue instructions but the implementation of laws is not under his control, more..

‘Terrorism Tourism’ The Sri Lankan Way

July 27 (CT) “What I did was right,” read the words on the wall of chamber D-05, a small and dingy cell that still smells of urine. Sivakumari, a Tamil woman, had left them there. The army believes she was killed by fleeing terrorists before the war’s end. She was among an estimated 76 people locked up in LTTE prison cells at Visuvamadu. Most of them were executed. There are other, equally poignant, notes scratched into those dirty walls. more..