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Chinese - Lankan engineers in tug of war over Norochcholai

Sept 6 (LB) The engineers of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Chinese engineers have been clashing over the breakdown of the Norochcholai power plant. Chief engineer of the Norochcholai coal power plant, Zhao Wenxue, last week issued a press release which stated, “The Norochcholai coal power plant had passed all the performance tests and was in operation continuously from February 2012 till end July 2012. more..

Sangakkara bags 3 awards at CEAT

Sept 6 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara reiterated his status as a cricketing colossus winning three top awards — the CEAT Cricketer of the Year, CEAT Peoples Player of the Year and Best Test Batsman, at the 2012 CEAT Sri Lanka Cricket Awards. Among other top award winners at the glitzy awards night at Waters Edge Last night were Rangana Herath (Best Test Bowler), Mahela Jayawardene (Best ODI Batsman), Lasith Malinga (Best ODI Bowler), more..

The news that ‘UPFA would get an outstanding win’ is a blatant lie – JVP

Sept 6 (LT) The govt, using state media, is publishing lies. In the main news item of today’s (5th) ‘Dinamina’ it has been stated that a survey carried out by Kelaniya University had revealed that the UPFA would win the elections in a big margin, but at the moment all university dons are engaged in a strike action and the Kelaniya University has been closed down states JVP MP Vijitha Herath. more..

‘UPFA will win 41% of votes in Eastern Province’

Sept 6 (DN) Seventeen days ago the UPFA vote stood at 33% of votes in the Eastern Province but by August 1 this percentage has increased to 41%. The UNP will exceed 10% of votes only in one electorate in the Eastern Province. The UPFA challenges the UNP to win four electorates in the Eastern Province, SLFP treasurer and Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. more..

'TN should not dictate policy on Sri Lanka'

Sept 6 (PTI) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Thursday demanded that the Centre issue a direction to Tamil Nadu govt to “stop interfering” in the country’s policy on Sri Lanka and also ensure the safety of Sinhalas in the state. In a statement in New Delhi, he said President’s rule should be imposed in Tamil Nadu if the state govt fails to follow the directions. “I demand that the Union Govt send Tamil Nadu Govt a direction under Article 256 of the Constitution to stop more..

HC freezes drug baron’s assets

Sept 6 (Island) Acting on representations made by the CID to the Attorney General’s department, the Colombo High Court yesterday froze property, vehicles and cash belonging to a notorious drug dealer, identified as ‘Badowita Wele Suda.’ Authorities estimated the value of the seized property at Rs. 200mn. The CID, investigating smuggling of heron into the country, recently arrested Suda’s wife, who returned from India using a forged passport. more..

Bahrain International Airport welcomes inaugural flight from Mihin Lanka

Sept 6 (TDN) The Bahrain Airport Company welcomed the inaugural flight of Mihin Lanka to the Kingdom of Bahrain on Sunday September 02, 2012. Mihin Lanka’s commercial flight service, using its Airbus fleet between Sri Lanka and Bahrain, is expected to bolster tourism and commercial ties between the two countries. In his welcome remarks at the landing of the Mihin Lanka’s inaugural flight at Bahrain International Airport, more..

Sri Lanka's universities open but academic strike continues

Sept 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's universities were opened on Thursday after the closure of nearly a fortnight but academics on strike have vowed to continue their protest. Since 4 July all academics have been on an indefinite strike in the country leading to the closure of all universities late last month. The FUTA, the trade union of the academics, has emphasized that the strike will continue until all demands have been met. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 54 Australia-bound asylum seekers

Sept 6 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy on Thursday arrested 54 Australia-bound asylum seekers. A boat carrying the asylum seekers to Australia was spotted off Mirissa, Galle in the south of the country by navy boats. Following a pre-dawn raid on the fishing boat the asylum seekers were brought ashore and handed over to the police. The navy media unit said that among the asylum seekers heading to Australia were 47 minority Tamils, 5 Sinhalese nationals and 2 Muslims. more..

Stocks end firmer; foreign buying boosts turnover

Sept 6 (Reuters) Stocks clawed back after losses in early trade to end firmer on Thursday, with turnover boosted by block foreign buying in Asiri Surgical Hospital. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index gained 0.31%, or 16.79 points, to 5,388.92, its highest close since May 3. It fell 1 percent in early trade. It has risen eight straight sessions and Thursday's rise helped boost market capitalisation by 6.4 billion rupees ($48.37 million). Shares in Asiri Surgical Hospital gained 2.47% more..

Sri Lankan Buddhist party to seek ban on animal sacrifice

Sept 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main Buddhist political party on Thursday said it will seek a ban on animal sacrifices in the country which are performed at religious events. The JHU, an alliance member of the govt, said it is currently studying laws in some Indian states where animal sacrifice is banned. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that a draft document on the proposed ban is now being prepared and more..

Sri Lanka's largest distiller says 'illegal' alcohol supply increasing

Sept 6 (LBO) Illegal alcohol production is on the rise in Sri Lanka, made with 'artificial toddy' and spirits imported under the guise of making paint and baby cologne, Sri Lanka's largest distillery has alleged. D H S Jayewardena, chairman of listed Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka Plc (DCSL) told shareholders in the annual report that a sharp increase in 'artificial toddy', a key raw material for alcohol making, has been observed. more..

India-Lanka Bilateral Trade meet postponed

Sept 6 (NIP) A stakeholder consultation on India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade and Procedural Non-Tariff Barriers that was to be held in Chennai on Wednesday was indefinitely postponed on account of the protest and attack on Tuesday against Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting Poondi Matha and Velankanni churches in Tamil Nadu. The objective of the meeting, which the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) and CUTS more..

'Socialism is the system that gives benefits to the very people who create the economy'

Sept 6 (LT) A system that that gives benefits of the economy that we create is the need of the day, socialism is such a system and issues of the masses would not be solved until socialism is achieved says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at the final propaganda rally of the JVP held at Anuradhapura on the 4th Mr. Silva said President Mahinda Rajapaksa attempted to defeat struggles of more..

'67 substandard drugs & devices distributed throughout the island'

Sept 6 (LT) The Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority has decided to reject and discontinue from being used 67 types of substandard drugs and devices that have been distributed throughout Sri Lanka during this year states the General Secretary of Prof. Senaka Bibile Memorial Organization Dr. Jayanthe Bandara in a media release. The media release issued with the signature of Dr. Bandara discusses ten points. They are: 1. The Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs more..

'Before long we’ll hoist red flags throughout the country'

Sept 6 (LT) Before long the red flag will be hoisted throughout the island and already state employees are rallying for the struggle to demand a salary increase from the budget to be presented in November says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP K.D. Lal Kanthe. Speaking at an election rally held at Anuradhapura to support candidates of the JVP contesting the North-Central PC election Mr. Lal Kanthe said; only one group will win the election. more..

Full transcript: Sri Lankan envoy on Tamil Nadu tension

Sept 6 (NDTV) Tamil Nadu fishermen should avoid crossing International Maritime Boundary line to avoid dispute, says Sri Lankan envoy to India, Prasad Kariyavasam. He says that it is time Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen who were deprived of the fishing during the conflict period get to fish in the Lankan waters. Mr Kariyavasam speaks to NDTV's Nitin Gokhale and here's the full transcript of the interview: more..

Jayalalitha's gambit

Sept 6 (Economist) Are relations between India and Sri Lanka falling to bits, as various news outlets have suggested in the past few days? On the face of it, tensions are growing across the Palk Strait. Perennial problems over the harassment of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka’s navy cause intense anger in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Now Sri Lankan pilgrims have been attacked, their buses stoned, by Indian Tamils suspected to be sympathisers of the now-defunct rebel army, the LTTE. more..

Pettah traders protest attack on pilgrims in India

Sept 6 (AP) Tamil shopkeepers have protested in Sri Lanka’s capital to condemn an attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims this week in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Some 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims were mobbed Monday in Tamil Nadu and had to seek refuge in the church they were visiting. About 200 Tamil shopkeepers demonstrated Thursday near the Indian Embassy in Colombo, demanding Indian authorities ensure the safety of Sri Lankans visiting India. Tamil Nadu is home to some 60 million more..

'Politicising education to harm the future generation condemned'

Sept 6 (GDI) The Govt vehemently condemn the attempts being made by certain bankrupt political groups to politicize the education of this country by dragging to the streets children of 10 to 11 years in the pretext of malpractices in the grade 5 scholarship exam. Investigations carried out by the CID has revealed that the person named Mahinda Jayasinghe, the Secretary of a Teachers Union, who made statements to the more..

Media personnel get Mass Media scholarships

Sept 6 (GDI) Under the Mahinda Chintana programme of providing facilities to the media personnel, 118 scholarships were awarded to 118 Media personnel today. This scholarship programme is being implemented annually since 2006 and under the programme media personnel gets financial assistance to undertake media courses, to purchase cameras and other media equipment etc. The scholarships were awarded to the media more..

Hirunika to strengthen president’s hands

Sept 6 (SM) Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, spoke at a UPFA election platform yesterday. At the public rally in Hingurakgoda, she said she had no intention of joining a combined opposition or a collapsing opposition. She was responding to claims by Mawbima Janatha Party leader Hemakumara Nanayakkara recently that Ms. Premachandra has joined hands towards the creation of a combined opposition. more..

'Blue Brigade have asked for the polling cards of voters'

Sept 6 (CT) “Such a situation would not be good for the country and would add to international opprobrium the country is already facing. It would also irreparably damage the country’s confidence in the democratic process. In the circumstances, I would urge you as Head of State and also as the Leader of the UPFA., the ruling party to take steps to ensure that none of the illegal acts feared are allowed to happen, and that a genuine more..

No fishermen in Sri Lankan custody: S M Krishna

Sept 6 (PTI) No Indian fisherman is in Sri Lankan custody and the government is engaged with the neighbouring nation to ensure that the fisherfolk carry on their livelihood safely, Parliament was informed today. "Presently, there are no Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody on fisheries related charges. However, some Indian nationals have been arrested in Sri Lankan waters on charges of smuggling narcotics and contrabands," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said more..

Poland asks Gota if LTTE was “completely” defeated

Sept 6 (CG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been asked by Poland if the LTTE has indeed been completely wiped out. A statement by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Poland said that the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslav Sikorski ahd asked this from the Defence Secretary when they met each other during an ongoing visit to Poland by the Defence Secretary. During his visit Secretary Rajapaksa had a number of meetings with key personnel of the Polish Government. more..

Sri Lanka SEC says no probes on named listed firms

Sept 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission said there were no investigations into companies themselves that were named in recent media reports as being probed by the regulator in relation pump and dump frauds. "The SEC wishes to categorically mention that there are no ongoing or pending investigations at present in respect of any of the companies disclosed in the above mentioned articles," the regulator said more..

Powerful South African biz delegation in town today

Sept 6 (FT) The biggest and most powerful South African business delegation ever to arrive in Sri Lanka will land in Colombo today (5) morning. “We extend a warm welcome to the strong business delegation led by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Hlengiwe Mkhize to Sri Lanka. I have no doubts that this visit will help further strengthen current trade levels of $ 65 million,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan agree to strengthen defense co-operation

Sept 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka and Pakistan today agreed to maintain and promote closer military cooperation and intelligence sharing to counter the growing threat of terrorism. This was decided at a meeting between senior Pakistani and Sri Lankan defense officials held in Islamabad, Pakistani High Commission said in a statement here today. During the meeting between Pakistan's Secretary Defense Production Lt Gen (retd) Shahid Iqbal and senior Sri Lankan defense official more..

Video: Police disperse protesting students

Sept 6 (DM) The police used water cannons to disperse protesting students opposite the University Grants Commission a short while ago. Heavy traffic is reported around the roads leading upto Lipton circus. Seven students have been taken into custody by the Cinnamon gardens Police, and students are currently gathered outside the Police station in order to hold discussion with the Police. Meanwhile Police media spokesman more..

Music fights the ravages of civil war

Sept 6 (EEN) IT was a conflict that spanned a quarter of a century and claimed the lives of more than 80,000 people. Now, an Edinburgh tutor has helped Sri Lankan children to cope with the aftermath of the island’s civil war through a music workshop. Dr Tanya Ekanayaka, who was born in Sri Lanka and lectures part-time in the music department at the Edinburgh College of Art, staged the event in the northern part of Sri Lanka, which bore the brunt of the 25-year-long conflict. more..

TN fishermen attacked by Lankan Navy

Sept 6 (OI) In yet another incident, Sri Lankan Navy allegedly attacked some fishermen off Kodiakarai coast and damaged a boat, fisheries department officials said today. The officials said eight fishermen of Arucottuthurai in Vedaranyam in the district complained that the Lankan Navy personnel attacked them last night. Quoting the fishermen, they said 120 fishermen put to sea in 25 boats yesterday morning and when they were fishing off Kodiakarai in the night, Sri Lankan navy reportedly surrounded two of the boats. more..

'Sri Lanka 2012 minimum growth seen at 6.7%'

Sept 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economic growth this year may range between 6.7% and 7.2% depending on the impact of the current drought, down from the last year's record 8.3%, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said. The central bank has forecast 7.2% economic growth this year, after revising it down in March from the original 8 percent. However, drought extending from the beginning of the year has weighed more..

An apolitical public service PART II

Sept 7 (NS) It was less than four decades ago that the legitimate critique of the inefficiencies and the dampening of enterprise associated with ‘big govt’ was countered, in industrialized societies led by the USA, by the workman’s fear that the withdrawal of the State from its regulatory functions would remove the only institution capable of standing up to the corporate putsch. What’s happened since has not only been the contrary but has led to the ‘Occupy’ movements in the USA. more..

Declining imports unlikely to stem trade deficit

Sept 7 (NS) Despite a noteworthy decline in imports in May and June this year, the country is heading towards a large trade deficit. The declining imports have been offset by declining exports to negate the benefits of decreased import expenditure on the trade balance. In the first half of this year the trade deficit was US$ 4.7 billion. This was 11.2 per cent higher than the deficit of US$ 4.2 billion in the first half of last year. The trade deficit reached more..

Running away with Akila Dananjaya

Sept 7 (ST) Mahamarakkala Kurukulasooriya Patabendige Akila Dananjaya Perera did not get into the main stream through the back door, but he happened to overtake the prevailing system which is living in a visionless illusion. Dananjaya owes his entry into the mainstream to none other than Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena, who saw through his raw inbuilt ability, and when put to the test at the SLPL the young lad impressed the doyen. more..

'We strongly condemn attacks on Srilankan pilgrims and Civilians in Tamil Nadu'

Sept 7 (DBS) We very strongly condemn the treatment meted out to the Srilankan pilgrims in Tamilnadu today and yesterday. These hooligan TN groups by their lunatic behaviors are only encouraging their counterparts in Sri Lanka. These protests and near attacks on the Lankan civilians, which included touring Lankan Tamils as well are staged under the banner of solidarity with the Lankan Tamils. What solidarity they are talking of? This is no solidarity. more..

While building economic linkages, also bridge the ethnic divide

Sept 7 (DBS) Sri Lanka is undergoing catharsis after a resurgent Sri Lankan army ended, on 19 May 2009, the twenty-five-year-long national ordeal at the hands of V Prabhakaran and the LTTE. Since 1983 Sri Lanka had waged war against the LTTE in three spells that ended in a stalemate. The final victory came only in the fourth episode that started in mid-2006. The victory has come at a great cost – the lives of nearly 24,000 soldiers, over 27,000 LTTE cadres and about 80,000 civilians. more..

Goodbye home: Why I left my career in Sri Lanka

Sept 7 (ST) Whistle-stop tours are never great for contemplation. A recent trip back home provided a feeler on what both managers and workers are feeling about life. Some issues just don’t seem to go away. Managers complained at length about the “lack of skills” and workers about the “lack of proper pay and opportunities”. I thought it best to undertake some basic surveys from former workers to test the hypothesis that we are more..

The American Dilemma

Sept 7 (CT) Now that the LLRC Action Plan is out, it has drawn the usual reactions. Those who find good things in it claim that these have been forced on govt. Others claim that it does not go far enough. Kusal Perera does both. Interestingly we do not yet find criticism that it goes too far, though I suspect this viewpoint too will be expressed in time, for the usual reason. Meanwhile, predictably, we do not find credit given to govt, and we certainly do not find expressions of regret that the govt has more..

Tamil Nadu Is Delhi, Period

Sept 7 (CT) On Monday, a group of pilgrims from Chilaw numbering 154 visiting the Poornimatha Church in Thanjavur were mobbed by an organized gang chanting anti-Sri Lanka slogan. They were forced to take refuge in the church. The incident prompted the Ministry of External Affairs to issue a Travel Advisory warning Sri Lankans not to visit Tamil Nadu until further notice. It was not the first time and sadly it might not be the last that Sri Lankans have been harassed in that state. more..