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Sri Lanka year-end inflation targeted at below 7-pct

May 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank is targeting average inflation to be around 6-7 percent and is expecting year end inflation at 7.0 percent or below Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. While the so-called 'annual average inflation', is a number averaged over two years and is difficult for ordinary people to understand or calculate, the so-called point-to-point is a more transparent target to hold a central bank to. more..

Committee seeks AG’s intervention to get back 500,000 ‘illegally acquired’ shares

May 13 (Island) Amidst the controversial NSB-TFC share trading transaction, the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Chartered Accountants on Golden Key (GK), has written to the Attorney General’s department on the alleged failure of a one-time Chairman of a state-run bank to "transfer 500,000 shares of a Ceylinco company he had illegally acquired and reverse the millions of rupees involved in the deal". more..

India’s ITC now finalises deal, Sheraton moves to Kollupitiya

May 13 (ST) The Board of Investment (BOI) signed an agreement with Kolkata-based ITC for a mixed development project opposite the Galle Face Green, while contrary to reports of the five star Sheraton hotel being established at this site, its building is now seen rising in the heart of Kollupitiya -- through a different party. The international luxury hotel chain Sheraton under the Starwood Group was introduced through more..

'No going beyond 13th Amendment'

May 13 (ST) Scrapping of the Concurrent List to the 13th Amendment, a proposal on distributing land in the Provinces and putting on hold the vesting of police powers to the Provincial Councils are among the highlights of the Communist Party proposals put forward to the Govt. The proposals have been put forward after the Govt sought the views of the constituent parties of the UPFA on the implementation of the proposals in the LLRC. more..

'Shortage of qualified ambassadors for Sri Lanka'

May 13 (SL) Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions overseas are facing a shortage of qualified personnel according to acting Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera. He stated that with the expected opening up of new embassies in some countries the Ministry will face a shortage of qualified people to be appointed as Ambassadors. He explained that the Ministry is always looking for new people as they are forced to deal with people both entering and leaving the more..

Big profit when jet fuel turns kerosene

May 13 (ST) Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament this week that the govt has earned a ‘high profit’ by converting the substandard jet fuel that was imported to kerosene because of the discount the supplier, British Petroleum (BP) Singapore, gave. The minister said the 7,500 tons of substandard jet fuel would be used as kerosene as they had received a commission of a quarter US dollar. more..

‘Gota’s War’ launches tomorrow

May 13 (SL) A book, titled “Gota’s War: The Crushing of Tamil Tiger Terrorism in Sri Lanka” is to be launched tomorrow at Water’s Edge, Battaramulla. According to author C. A. Chandraprema, “Gota’s War” is a book on “the entire conflict”, encompassing events that took place from 1956 onwards. “It deals with the political as well as the military aspect of the conflict,” said Chandraprema. more..

Sajin, GL cause of grave commotion in South Africa

May 13 (ST) The names of Sajin Vass Gunawardena and G.L. Peiris were to cause some confusion at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, South Africa last Wednesday. A Protocol Officer of President Jacob Zuma was running helter skelter trying to find out who was the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka. It appeared that the confusion was whether it was Peiris or Gunawardena? It was at the state funeral of Radakrishnan (Roy) Padayatchie, Minister of Public more..

MR invited to Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

May 13 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been invited to participate at the British Monarch Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee on her ascension to the throne. The President will also undertake a visit to the United Kingdom from 3 June on a four-day visit. Sources from the British High Commission in Colombo confirmed the visit, but added they were unable to confirm whether Rajapaksa would be meeting with any govt officials during the tour. more..

No rush to seek Nirvana - Mervyn

May 13 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva said he was not in a big hurry to die and seek Nirvana immediately. Addressing a meeting at Parawahagama in the Kekirawa electorate to mark the unveiling of a statue of the heroic Weera Keppetiopola Nilame, the Minister said, “Every day I go to bed after listening to Pirith. Therefore if I die in my sleep I would pluck flowers with an angel. I can’t seek Nirvana in a rush because it would lessen my joyful period. I want to die with the angels putting my hands over their shoulders. more..

Be bygone

May 13 (Hindu) For rail enthusiasts, who want to re-live (re-ride) the Raj era trains and associated systems, there is no place like Sri Lanka. Most of Sri Lanka is trapped in this past, barring a few busy stretches in the Western corridor. The only element missing from the British era is the steam engine; all trains in Sri Lanka now run on diesel power heads. The uniforms of the Guard and the Station Master too are from the same era — black and white overcoats respectively. more..

Global Tamil Front strengthens international links

May 13 (Island) With the government still struggling to come in to terms with the recommendations made by its own LLRC, the Global Tamil Front (GTF) seems to be making rapid progress in its two pronged campaign targeting the GoSL by strengthening its bonds with the international community, thereby bolstering its position among various diaspora groups. The govt grappling with economic woes, the backlash of the controversial NSB-TFC deal and more..

Another Expert Committee to analyse A/L examination issues

May 13 (NF) Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake has said that another Expert Committee has been appointed to look into the issues that had arisen with regard to the results of last year’s Advanced Level Examinations. He said that under the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the new committee will be appointed in the coming days. Minister said that this decision had been arrived at after taking into account the opinions of intellectuals and court. more..

Police raid brothel in Peliyagoda

May 13 (DM) Six young women alleged to be prostitutes and their manager were arrested by the Peliyagoda Police during a raid conducted at a boarding house in the Peliyagoda area on Saturday. It was revealed that the house was used for prostitution purposes for a long time in a secret manner. There were girls at the age group of 20-30 coming from various quarters and they have been charging at the rate of Rs.2,000 to Rs.5,000 from each customer. Peliyagoda Police Criminal Division, OIC and other police officers conducted more..

UNP ready to bring TNA into parliamentary select committee

May 13 (PTI) The UNP is ready to persuade the TNA to join the parliamentary select committee (PSC) if the govt implements the LLRC recommendations to achieve reconciliation. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake was responding to a govt comment that UNP must bring the TNA into PSC. "The govt must initiate confidence building measures to take opposition into confidence. more..

Sri Lanka showcased to United States biz leaders

May 13 (CT) The investment and biz community of United States received a rare taste of Sri Lanka as a part of promotional efforts at the Annual World Trade Week held recently in Los Angeles, United States. “This was one of the largest events and the most extensive and unique programme of its kind in the USA” revealed Sidath Kumar, Consul/Minister (Commercial) of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles who represented the country at the 86th Trade Week organized by more..

Gifted Sri Lankan elephant dies, another depressed

May 13 (SL) An elephant gifted to Pakistan has died after officials at an Islamabad Zoo drank the wine that was meant to be given to the animal, Pakistan media reports said. According to zookeeper Muhammad Bilal, who was sacked after the death of a female elephant “Saheli” on May 1, said that liquor is given to elephants in order to tame them. However, the Director and Deputy Director and their staff would drink all the wine brought in. He said the lack of wine resulted in more..

Sri Lanka offers information on war detainees

May 13 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities released information for the first time on Sunday about thousands of people held under draconian anti-terror laws despite it being three years since Tamil rebels were crushed. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said an information centre was set up to provide details of detainees, a long-standing demand of rights groups which accuse the government of holding thousands of suspects without trial. more..

Malinga in Sri Lankan central contract list

May 13 (PTI) Lasith Malinga, who is currently playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League duty, has been placed in the top bracket of $100,000 in the central contracts announced by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The fast bowler figures along side Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera in the central contracts, that will come into effect from June this year. Malinga, however, will be only entitled to $40,000 as his appearance would be limited to the Twenty20 and one-day cricket. more..

Express willingness to resign

May 13 (LT) The Chairman of National Savings Bank (NSB) has expressed willingness to take the responsibility for the move to buy 7.8 million shares of the bankrupt The Finance Company for a value that far exceeds the market value and resign from his post. As a result of the transaction the Bank has incurred a loss of Rs.390 million, the depositors have lost trust in the bank and many have shown intention of withdrawing their deposits. It is reveled to ‘lankatruth’ Mr. Pradeep Kariaywasam has to take the responsibility for the fraud more..

SLRC to take legal action against MTV

May 13 (SL) Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) is to take MTV to Court over the broadcasting rights of the London Olympic Games. This is after MTV publicly announced last week that the private channel will be telecasting the 2012 Games which begins in July. SLRC Chairman Mohan Samaranayake insisted that only the state television network has the rights to broadcast the games live on television. He said that the deal was reached with the more..

AEA checks to radioactive elements in imported fish

May 13 (SL) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is to conduct workshops later this month for importers of both canned and fresh fish, based on the AEA’s ongoing checks for radioactive elements in every consignment of imported fish. AEA Chairman Dr. Ranjith Wijayawardana said that the AEA has been testing imported fish for more than a year now, ever since the Fukushima incident in 2011, when a tsunami triggered leakage of contaminated water from a nuclear plant. more..

Bharatha’s brother asks MR to step in

May 13 (SL) Siblings of slain MP, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, have said that it is “incumbent on the president” to take action regarding the alleged death threat to Hirunika Premachandra. In a statement dated May 9, 2012, Asela Premachandra, brother to Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, has said that “Hirunika has bravely stepped in seeking justice for her father’s and other three brutal murders. It is obvious her action has made some ultra powerful people in more..

'Kudankulam comments taken out of context'

May 13 (Hindu) Long after the controversy created by his remark on the safety of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam has died down, Sri Lankan Minister Champika Ranawaka has blamed the Indian media for taking his comments out of context. He had stated that Sri Lanka would take up in the next session of the IAEA the safety of the new Indian reactors at Kudankulam. Sri Lanka was concerned, he had said, about the fallout in the event of an accident at the plant. more..

Galadari looking for rescuers

May 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s loss making Galadari Hotels (Lanka) PLC is calling for an extraordinary meeting of shareholders (EGM) this month to discuss dwindling capital as losses mount. "The company’s unaudited financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 discloses that it’s currently facing position of serious loss of capital," the hotel said. The EGM is scheduled for May 29. One of the capital’s long-standing five-star properties, the hotel was founded by the Dubai-based more..

Brutal murder of boy (6 years) in Ella

May 13 (LB) On May 4, having woken up early, he had said his prayers, eaten a vadai and left for school, prior to which he had tapped on the doors of his uncles’ homes on the way – a regular practice. As he hurried towards the school and had reached the main gate, Malamardi, a cousin who had been waiting for his arrival, had started pelting him with stones. A shocked Manoj Kumar, being attacked by his cousin, had started to run into the school premises. Malamardi had then got her pet dog to more..

Country spends Rs. 2.9 Mn to celebrate Earth Hour

May 13 (SL) The event held to mark Earth Hour this year has cost the country Rs. 2.9 million. The country therefore had to spend several millions in its bid to show concern towards environmental issues. The monies spent on the event had to be increased from its initial estimates due to the shifting of the venue of the programme from Colombo to Kandy. The event was organized by the Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Small Irrigation, more..

Brothel mastermind and several women deported

May 13 (SL) Following a raid carried out by the Investigation Unit of the Department of Immigration and Emigration on Thursday morning, a Latvian national and four other foreign women working in a brothel were to be deported from Sri Lanka. S. Jayakody, Member of the Investigation Unit, told The Sunday Leader that they had been investigating the Latvian national for several weeks. “We were aware of his operation but could not formally arrest him as we did not have any evidence,” more..

UNP must win the people’s confidence: President

May 13 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that if the UNP wants to defeat the government and take over power, it should first stop blaming the government and go before the people in order to gain their trust. Speaking at the first meeting of the SLFP’s reorganizing event in Anuradhapura on Saturday the President also said, “I came to this village to meet the people and not to talk about any elections. As long as the people are with us, we will win elections. more..

The mustache

Issack aims to raise the importance of the player

May 14 (SL) PLEDGING commitment to grassroots development so as to unlock the gates of international sport to long-impoverished village athletes is the popular opening line of most newly-elected chiefs of sport. It’s a message that might help curry favour with politicians, so, there’s no harm really in throwing in the clichéd line. After all, answerability to promises unfulfilled isn’t a requirement in local sport administration. So at felicitations welcoming sport’s new bosses, more..

The revolting Diplomat

May 14 (NS) “You will recall that my instructions were to be in Geneva on time to handle the 18th Session of the Council in September 2011. However, vital information on a US initiative calling for an interactive dialogue on Sri Lanka was withheld from me. It was only fortuitously, and only five weeks before the Session opened, that I discovered that this information had been communicated, as early as June 2011, to the private email address of my predecessor in Geneva by the US Ambassador. more..

'KKS Cement Factory to resume operations'

May 14 (SO) The Kankesanthurei Cement Factory, the oldest in the country was set up in 1950 by the then Industries Minister G.G. Ponnambalam. The factory was destroyed by the LTTE when it was manufacturing the best quality "Kankesen" cement in Sri Lanka. The factory will resume operation before the end of this year under the program to revive State ventures, said State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Willy Gamage. more..

Roller Coaster Rupee

May 14 (CT) A liquid market is defined as there being willing buyers and sellers at all times, and, the expectation that the next trade will be executed at a price equal to the last one. On the other hand, illiquid markets cannot accept large buy or sell orders without significant price movements. The resulting volatility will induce market participants to reduce participation making thinness and volatility joint self-perpetuating features irrespective of the fundamentals of the market. more..

Tell me, which school did you go to, ah?

May 14 (LB) Sundara Nihathamani de Mel, the editor of our sister newspaper the Irida Lakbima and his unabashed paean to his school Mahinda College, Galle, evoked pleasant and very probably nostalgic sentiments among all who came for the book launch last Thursday, (May 10) at Colombo’s Foundation Institute. Though most were, not all the reactions were effusive, however. Sunanda Mahendra, pedagogue, man of many parts, made some tongue in cheek observations about the ‘tribalism’ more..

Let’s not ruffle their feathers

May 14 (NS) More than three decades ago, Sri Lanka’s once prolific bird population roamed free in their natural habitats. From the jungles of Vanni to Udawattakele in Kandy, from the coastal belt of Puttlam to the marshes in Hambantota and Kumana, they could be found in large numbers and many different species in forests, marshes, hills and plains, valleys, and villus as well as in towns, cities and home gardens. Their numbers and variety of species were vast enough to be mind boggling. more..

An independent audit commission: DEW has worked hard

May 14 (CT) If you were to ask a cross section of the voting population whether they believe that elected officials fill their bank accounts through bribes, commissions, falsification of accounts and other kinds of illegal, immoral and fraudulent means, it is likely that the vast majority would respond ‘Yes, they do!’ For decades, the people of this country have seen exponential growth in the fortunes of the elected, regardless of their humble beginnings, more..

Mullivaikaal: The time for mourning is over

May 14 (CT) What happened three years back at this place called Mullivaikaal? Some called it a climax of a long story. It is a turning point. Some called it a full-stop. It is a comma. Many call it a tragedy. Of Epic proportions in the history of the Tamils. Tragedies are often best expressed in verse. I found the best description of what happened in Mullivaikaal in the verses of Pablo Neruda. “Here they brought rifles loaded with gunpowder, they ordered bitter extermination: here they found the people singing, more..

Ayodhya and Dambulla: The situation in Sri Lanka is entirely different from India

May 14 (DBS) Was the JHU directly involved in the attempt to remove the Dambulla mosque? This was the question posed to me by an Indian journalist who contacted me recently. I answered in the negative. His next question was whether the JHU would go in a procession and tear down the mosque in Dambulla in the same way that the BJP tore down the Barbary Mosque in Ayodhya, which it claimed was the more..

Editorial: Of short-changed students' right to change schools

May 14 (Island) UPFA ministers and their deputies––in other words, almost the entire government which has only a handful of ordinary MPs left––suffer from a peculiar disease, which may also be called AIDS (Acquired Intelligence Deficiency Syndrome) caused by a bug called arrogance. Some of the symptoms of this ailment are aggressiveness, logorrhoea, myopia and callousness. When afflicted, politicians make a public display of their asininity, making as they do idiotic claims more..