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Has Mahinda lost control of the stock market?

Oct 7 (ST) Respected businessmen and veteran stock market investors on Thursday expressed concern on the resignations of two market chiefs while wondering whether the authorities have lost control of the situation. These issues emerged at a media briefing on moves by a group of investors to announce the Association of Independent Shareholders of Sri Lanka (AIS). “We saw two chairpersons at the SEC stepping down more..

Bend the rules and win the game

Oct 7 (ST) My Dear Mahela and the team, I thought I must write to you because you have taken us to the finals of a cricket World Cup for the fourth time in five years and will today take the field to try and repeat our World Cup win under Arjuna sixteen years ago. We admire your leadership and courage, Mahela, especially for the manner in which you accepted the captaincy for a second time when, after a not so successful period following last year’s World Cup finals, there appeared to be no one to do the job properly. more..

Rajapaksa govt facing retribution

Oct 7 (SL) The Mahinda Rajapaksa govt it seems is facing some sort of divine retribution. The crises following the conclusion of elections to three provincial councils have now created a rift within the key coalition party of the govt, the SLFP. The govt’s strategy of divide and rule has now boomeranged on it. After assuming office for the first term in 2005 President Rajapaksa proved to be one of the best political strategists the country has witnessed in a while. He swiftly moved to more..

Once again, a nation expects

Oct 7 (CI) There is an unnatural hush in the Khettarama locale of the Premadasa Stadium. The area is often a crush of commotion; tuk tuks spluttering around a labyrinth of roadside stalls, produce vendors squawking out prices to a tangle of passersby, and in the evening, the Muslim mosque and Buddhist temple on opposite ends of the ground go toe-to-toe on loudspeakers. On the eve of the first major final the stadium has hosted, more..

Cricket gives Sri Lankans a sporting chance

Oct 7 (CI) At the foot of Colombo's World Trade Center twin towers is a renovated piece of heritage architecture that is now home to a clutch of smart restaurants, including Ministry of Crab, a seafood restaurant that Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara co-own with a friend, and boutique shops that the city's swish set lounges around. It was built as a hospital in the Dutch colonial era in the 19th century and is still called the Dutch Hospital. This is not, however, just not more..

CPC ‘blacklisted’ by banks, official laments

Oct 7 (LB) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is in a quandary in its endeavour to purchase oil as banks have refused to open Letters of Credit (LC) due to CPC being heavily in debt, a senior official said, on grounds of annonymity. “When there is huge bank borrowing there is a capital adequacy ratio. CPC is a huge loss making institution and is now in a situation where it cannot continue with its commercial operations,” he said. In addition, state owned institutions that are more..

'Gem licences not to be issued'

Oct 7 (CT) Minister Nimal Siripala has advised the Gem and Jewellery Authority not to issue any licence to gem miners in Lunugala because they have left gem mines open. Media Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management said such people who have left these mining places open will be blacklisted as well. “Leaving these gem mines open can lead to a lot of environmental issues, such as water filling up more..

The right teams for a fitting finish

Oct 7 (CI) Sri Lanka are desperate to reward a decade of quality by winning their first major tournament since they surprised the cricketing world by claiming the World Cup 16 years ago; a West Indies win would bring hope in the Caribbean that Twenty20 can be the catalyst for their revival, just as the 50-over game inspired Sri Lanka to greater glories all those years ago. For the neutral, yearning for a victory that will be good for cricket, there has rarely been a more more..

Foreign lecturers for local Unis

Oct 7 (SL) Foreign lecturers will be brought in for two proposed engineering faculties in the Sri Lanka’s state-run education system, UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said on Friday. Samaranayake said that two engineering faculties are proposed for the Jaffna and Eastern Universities, and plans are in place to bring in Indian faculty members for teaching at the two faculties. Foreign lecturers on sabbatical leave will be brought in for the two faculties, as finding local faculty members would be difficult during more..

Losses mount onboard SriLankan Airlines

Oct 7 (ST) SriLankan Airlines has incurred a whopping Rs. 17 billion loss for the 2011/12 financial year ending March 31, and the national carrier attributes this loss to the increased costs in jet fuel for which it will be adopting a hedging policy this year to curtail costs to some extent. Compared to a Rs. 176 million loss in 2010/11, the carrier’s loss of Rs. 17.16 billion was explained to be due to the 36% increase in jet fuel costs, the national carrier’s Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena more..

Rupika bags top UNDP N Peace Award 2012

Oct 7 (Island) prominent Sri Lankan community service leader, Mrs. Rupika Damayanthi De Silva, has been awarded the prestigious N Peace Award — 2012 by the United Nations Development Programme for Asia Pacific. She will receive her award from the President of Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino, at the New World Hotel, Manila, on October 9 at 10.30 am (Sri Lankan time). Representatives of the UNDP and Ambassadors of various countries will also attend the ceremony. more..

Sammy's quest to fulfill a Caribbean dream

Oct 7 (CI) As Darren Sammy's pre-final press conference ended, a few journalists and camerapersons standing at the back of the Premadasa media room actually clapped. If you were looking for evidence of just what West Indies, even a decade-and-a-half after their decline, mean to cricket and its fans, here it was. No one clapped after Mahela Jayawardene had finished speaking to the media; not even the local media men. While there is no doubt Jayawardene and his men more..

Gayle’s girls: President no-balls ASP

Oct 7 (ST) Police have launched an investigation to ascertain whether an ASP attached to the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) made a wrongful arrest of three British students who did not violate any Sri Lankan law. The arrest has been made when the university students had gone to West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle’s room on the seventh floor of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. Gayle has said the students were his guests and more..

'Pakistan, Sri Lanka trade crosses $400mn'

Oct 7 (BR) Pakistan- Sri Lanka trade has more than doubled in the last few years to $ 400, but potential exists to take it much higher. This was said by Sri Lankan Consul General in Karachi, D.W. Jinadasa, at a reception hosted by President Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum, Tarek Moinuddin Khan, in honour of the 18-member delegation visiting Karachi to participate in the 7th Expo Pakistan Exhibition. Jinadasa said Sri Lanka was a growing market with great potential and invited Pakistani more..

An appeal to address the education crisis

Oct 7 (Island) We, as economists, academics and social activists are deeply concerned about the continuing crisis in the education sector in Sri Lanka. Austerity measures and attacks on social welfare in many countries have been disenfranchising children and youth from education as a central avenue for social equity. This has led to protests and social unrest in many countries across the board. In decades past, we saw social and human development with free education and health in Sri Lanka, to be a model worthy of emulation by more..

'Talks fruitful'

Oct 7 (CT) The FUTA expressed optimism that last night’s meeting with Minister Basil Rajapaksa, was fruitful and that they look forward to holding a meeting with Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B.Jayasundera on salary anomalies, tomorrow. FUTA President, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, and members, after a meeting close to nearly four-hours, said that Rajapaksa had said he would take full responsibility and be committed to ensuring that FUTA demands are met. more..

Cricket: Schooling up on Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (NZH) Sri Lanka used to be the laughing stock of international cricket. Granted test status in 1982, they were the easy beats. Within four years, they had won their first test (compared to 26 years for New Zealand) but still struggled. Even New Zealand pummelled them until they lost a test at Colombo in 1992. During that first decade, the weakling perception was reinforced by Australian comedian Billy Birmingham. Birmingham's mimicry of Channel Nine commentator Tony Greig mocked more..

Fishermen attack Punchinilame

Oct 7 (CT) Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Susantha Punchinilame, and officials attached to his security squad, were attacked by several fishermen, while the minister was engaged in a ceremony in Kantale. The minister and his security squad were attacked in the 87 Division, Kantale area on Friday afternoon, after they attended the ceremony which was organized to ladle out fishing equipment among the fishermen of the Kantale Tank. more..

Baila v Calypso in Colombo

Oct 7 (CI) This is a dream final for those who don't like sameness, uniformity and inhibition. These island teams have taken formula and regulation, locked it in a case somewhere and thrown the key in the sea around them. Between them, apart from the many funky hairstyles and beards, these two sides have three spinners who bowl the carrom ball; one fast bowler whose release point can be so low umpires have been asked to more..

Sri Lanka 'pitch doctors' spark debate

Oct 7 (TOI) Whenever the hosts of a tournament get to a major final, the focus shifts to the pitch on which the game will be played. Though the organizers always claim that the surface will be the same for both teams, the 'home advantage' factor is too obvious to discount. In the World T20, the spotlight on the pitch has increased. Pakistan bowling legend Wasim Akram was vehement in his criticism of the wicket on which Pakistan lost to the hosts by 16 runs in a low-scoring semifinal on Thursday. more..

Divineguma will not be withdrawn says Basil

Oct 7 (Island) "The President is not merely the protector of the people but also the champion of the sovereignty of the nation and therefore will never step back after moving forward. There is no question of withdrawal of the Divi Neguma Bill," said Minister Bail Rajapaksa who was chief guest at the 15th Session of the All Island Assistant Research Officers - Samurdhi Development and Agriculture at Battaramulla on Friday. Speaking to an over 500-strong gathering, he said that Samurdhi, established in 1994 as a poverty alleviation programme, more..

Cold war between Govt. and Judiciary continues

Oct 7 (ST) Leaders of the UPFA were preoccupied asserting the role of the Executive in the ongoing cold war with the judiciary this week too. President who held a breakfast meeting Thursday with publishers of national newspapers and heads of radio and television stations, both private and state, re-iterated the issues involved. It was clear that the major thrust was against a senior official of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). more..

Lanka to cash in from world tea production drop

Oct 7 (NS) A global shortfall in tea production may give Sri Lanka the opportunity of exporting more tea by the end of this year especially around winter and Christmas placing the country over other global tea exporters, tea market analysts said. “A 3% drop amounting to about 6.7 million kilograms in the country’s tea production so far this year from January to August against same period last year mainly due to dry weather conditions more..

JKH unveils biggest ever resort hotel investment at Beruwela

Oct 7 (Island) John Keells Holdings’ biggest ever resort hotel investment, the five-star Cinnamon Bey in Beruwela costing Rs. 3.1 billion was soft-opened last week and was running 30 percent occupancy. "Given that it’s the best property on the beach right now, we expect the hotel to be sold out in the forthcoming winter season," Ajith Gunawardene, JKH Deputy Chairman and head of its hotel segment, said. The 200-room hotel, designed more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 7 (ST) The rising cost of living, it appears, was cause for serious concern for Bandula Bandarigoda, a UNP member of the Southern Provincial Council (SPC). So, he entered the last meeting of the council wearing around his neck a garland made of brinjals. “Kilo ekak asuwai” or eighty rupees per kilo, he shouted like a vegetable vendor. A one-time beauty queen, actress and now SPC member Anarkali Aakarsha was angered by more..

How do you stop Gayle and Co?

Oct 7 (CI) It's a final matching power against precision, brawn versus brain. It's the highly colourful West Indies playing the clinical hosts, Sri Lanka. There has never been a greater collection of power-hitters assembled in one team. Led by the belligerent Chris Gayle, West Indies boast Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith, and even the captain Darren Sammy more..

Malaysian govt. donation to Tamil Forum questioned

Oct 7 (Island) Sri Lanka is seeking details of how funds given to the Tamil Forum of Malaysia (TFM) by the Malaysian Govt has been spent and the names of NGOs engaged in channeling such funds and the projects funded. High Commissioner K. Godage, Sri Lanka’s envoy to Kuala Lumpur who will be ending his assignment and returning to Colombo shortly following a recall, earlier wrote to Tan Sri Mohamed Radzi Abdul Rahman, more..

NSB-TFC deal: Report goes to AG

Oct 7 (ST) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has submitted a report and the files connected to the controversial share transaction between the state-owned National Savings Bank and The Finance Company, to the AG’s Department to ascertain whether action could be taken against persons involved in the deal. Officials said this advice was sought because there was no money transaction in the deal to be considered as a bribe, more..

Now Treasury seeks IMF loan of $500 mln

Oct 7 (ST) Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped authorities are seeking an US$ 500 million Extended Fund Facility from the IMF to continue its economic development initiative despite the huge trade deficit which is expected to climb to US$13 billion this year from US$10 billion in 2011. Earlier in April, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera announced that they planned to raise US$500 million dollar bond in October 2012 maturing in 10 years. Now Finance Ministry officials say more..

UN human rights chief yet to decide on Sri Lankan visit

Oct 7 (SL) A UN delegation, which visited Sri Lanka recently, is currently briefing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay on their findings, a UN spokesperson said. Ravina Shamdasani from the Communications Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva said that Pillay is yet to decide on a proposed visit to Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka's vanished railway network to be restored by 2013

Oct 7 (PTI) The crippled 252.5 km railway line in northern Sri Lanka, the country's longest and the symbol of the havoc wreaked by the Tamil Tigers during the decades-long civil war, is expected to be restored by 2013 with India extending a loan worth USD 800 million. It is no mystery how the railway tracks ceased to exist with just vast swaths of empty lands left now -- the network suffered several bombings as the then powerful rebels more..

Households urged to sort out garbage for environment’s sake

Oct 7 (ST) Western Province households will be urged to put a little extra thought and trouble into dealing with their garbage – for the sake of the environment. Homes will be requested to separate perishable and non-recyclable waste from the rest of their garbage. At present, all solid waste generated in households is disposed of in the same way, by dumping, and material that could be used is lost. The new approach to garbage disposal more..

India works out deal with President

Oct 7 (ST) The Government is to resume bilateral talks with the TNA simultaneously whilst the latter will agree to participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) in terms of a deal being brokered by India. The broad outlines were discussed when President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently. A five-member TNA delegation headed by its leader R. Sampanthan left more..

JSC secretary assaulted

Oct 7 (CG) The secretary to the Judicial Services Commission Manjula Tillakaratne was assaulted by an unidentified gang in Mount Lavinia this morning, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that Tillakaratne was admitted to hospital following the assault and was not in a serious condition. “Four people had carried out the assault. Police investigations have been launched but so far there has not been any arrest,” more..

Farmers in Unagalavehera suffering without water

Oct 7 (SL) The villagers of Unagalavehera in Polonnaruwa lament that they are desperate for water and even what is available at the Kumbukkan Aruwa is polluted with the paddy husk discarded by a rice mill owned by a brother of a powerful minister in the area. Nipuna Rice Mill owner Dudley Sirisena’s failure to pay attention towards the people’s request not to discard the paddy husk to the Kumbukkan Aruwa even during the height more..

Wadduwa rock barrier removed

Oct 7 (SL) A person, claiming to be from the Department of Coast Conservation, has removed the rocks from a one and a half km long safety barrier built on the beaches of Pothupitiya, Wadduwa. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Hyundai Company built it in 2005 and the rock barrier was established as a temporary harbor. As a result of its removal, many tourist hotels in the area are threatened with sea erosion. Meanwhile the chief provincial secretary said that no one more..

Petition against SAITM in Supreme Court tomorrow

Oct 7 (SL) The petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking to revoke the degree awarding status granted to South Asian Institute of Technology Medicine (SAITM) is to be taken up tomorrow. Two former Assistant Secretaries of the GMOA Dr Upul Gunasekera and Dr Sankalpa Marasinghe and two members of the FUTA Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri and Anuruddha Pradeep filed a petition in Supreme Court requesting more..

Dayasiri declines support To Fonseka

Oct 7 (SL) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera has declared that he would not support a political party led by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. He has stressed that he would support a united opposition to be launched by Sarath Fonseka on the 18th of this month while staying in the UNP and he would never leave the UNP. However, Jayasekera said that he too held the view that the executive presidency should be abolished; the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, more..

Airtel Lanka paints trains and stations red

Oct 7 (Island) The next time you take a train ride be prepared to witness Airtel Lanka’s latest innovation in branding as it takes its vibrancy to an all new level on 7 railway routes. Branded trains and customer service kiosks at railway stations are among the new sights at selected stations across the country with Airtel Lanka going full steam ahead in order to take the brand to its people. ‘Red and Hot’ Airtel branded trains now run on 7 routes namely, more..

Sweeping tax concession for Indian investor

Oct 7 (ST) The Govt has announced several tax concessions to the Krrish Group of India which will develop the Transworks Square land in Fort with a total investment of around Rs. 57.6 billion. The Indian investment has been identified under the Strategic Development Projects Act and will operate under an agreement with the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Krrish group. more..