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GL to brief US officials on govt. plans

Sept 10 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris will brief visiting United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake Jr. and the new US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison this week. Ms. Sison who arrived in the country last Friday will meet the Minister today to acquaint herself with the Sri Lankan situation and discuss matters of bi-lateral interest In her introductory statement carried on the US Embassy website, she states that she is a firm advocate of more..

Editorial: Provincial Councils - A money-eating monster?

Sept 10 (DM) When the provincial council system was introduced to Sri Lanka with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, it was more of a gesture to please India than to fulfil the needs of the natives. India, with a federal constitution to govern an enormous entity, thought such a system would be the best solution to Sri Lanka’s so-called ethnic problem. After almost 25 years since its inception, India has been proven wrong; and Sri Lanka that gave way to more..

Business opportunities abound in Sri Lanka, says local entrepreneur

Sept 10 (NO) Seychelles and Sri Lanka share an outlook based on a shared vision, said President James Michel during a lecture on ‘The Role of Small Island States in the Global Tapestry’. He was speaking at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo, during last month’s official state visit to Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka is a much larger island than Seychelles. But we share an outlook which is based on a shared vision. more..

Mahela says Sri Lanka favorites

Sept 10 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene pointed to the familiarity of home conditions and a "fanatic" crowd support as reasons why his team deserves to be favorite when the World Twenty20 starts later this month. He said Sri Lanka is trying to buck the trend of losing semifinals and finals in high-profile tournaments, having lost a 50-over World Cup semifinal in 2007 and the final in 2011 plus the World Twenty20 final in 2009. more..

Lanka may open honorary consulate in Thiruvananthapuram

Sept 10 (IBN) Thiruvananthapuram is slowly making its way up in the world of diplomacy. The state capital is all set to play host to consulates of more countries in the coming days. If things go as planned, in a few months’ time, Thiruvananthapuram will be home to two full-fledged consulates and two honorary ones. The latest is Sri Lanka. Colombo is reportedly eyeing Thiruvananthapuram as one of the two state capitals in the country for appointing a honorary consul. more..

Fishermen's associations flay Krishna's statement

Sept 10 (OI) Fishermen associations here today criticised External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's statement that no Indian fisherman was in Sri Lankan custody, saying five of their community had been detained by Colombo since last year on 'false' charges of drug smuggling and demanded steps to secure their release. Referring to Krishna's statement in the Rajya Sabha last week, leaders of the associations claimed Sri Lankan Navy had arrested five fishermen from more..

Sri Lanka says demining to continue next year

Sept 10 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities on Monday said that demining work in the war-ravaged north is not expected to be completed till the end of next year. The National Mine Action Center said that approximately 94% of the areas which were mined in the north and east during the war between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebels have now been cleared. However Director of the National Mine Action more..

Stocks up 11-pct over two weeks

Sept 10 (LBO) Stocks closed up for the tenth straight session Monday in gaining 1.7 percent in a broad based rally where index heavy stocks, finance companies and poultry firms were in demand, brokers said. Colombo's benchmark had index has gained 11 percent since August 23. On Monday the All Share Price Index closed at 5.593.03 points up 94.18 points and the S&P SL 20 Index gained 1.43 percent closing at 3,026.50 up 42.6 points. ACL Plastics closed at 115.00 up 11.50 rupees, more..

Norochcholai: A metaphor for inefficiency

Sept 10 (IBNS) It is no secret that the Chinese have made deep inroads in Sri Lanka particularly in the various infrastructure sectors thereby consolidating its position in the strategic Indian Ocean Region country. Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie’s recent five day visit to Sri Lanka led to announcement of new grants to build and modernise the country’s military training establishment. But the Rajapaksa govt should be cautious in the backdrop of Chinese assisted power plant that has a poor more..

Sri Lankan Debrief 10 09 2012

Colombo fashion week resort wear show 2012 debuts in september

Sept 10 (DM) HSBC Colombo Fashion Week launches its annual Resort Wear show in partnership with Jetwing and Fashion TV. Colombo Fashion Week has always maintained that its sole purpose is to uplift the platform for local designers and after 9 years, felt the time was right to develop a secondary platform, which focuses on the high potential category. The Resort Wear show will showcase 10 designers both local and international with their Resortwear collections on more..

45 Australia bound Persons intercepted in Negombo Seas

Sept 10 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy intercepted 45 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler in the early hours of 10th Sept. The trawler named “Shaini Baba” was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command 20 nautical miles off Negombo. Among the arrested persons are 35 Tamils, 09 Sinhalese and a Muslim. They are residents of Negombo, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna, Kalmunei, Hatton, Trincomalee and Vennappuwa. more..

Teachers Union claims ‘can’t trust CID’

Sept 10 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) today claimed they cannot trust the CID to do a thorough investigation regarding the scholarship exam papers being leaked. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said the CID was under the police, and that it was therefore doubtful if the CID would conduct an honest investigation, as the police seemed to serve only the UPFA. “The police are supposed to serve the people, but from what we see these days, more..

Doctors launch strike action

Sept 10 (NF) Doctors at the Karawanella Base Hospital have launched a strike action. Media Spokesperson of the GOMA Dr. Navin Soyza stated that the strike is being carried out against the arbitrary administrative actions of the Hospital Director. Therefore, he stated that the doctors at the hospital have decided to refrain from duties. Dr. Nuwan de Soyza expressed these views ’This director does not lend an ear to the doctors. Not only the doctors but the patients too are affected more..

Oversupply hits onion market

Sept 10 (FP) The price of onions at the Dambulla Special Economic Centre remains low, despite the intervention of the Govt to increase the import tariff. Farmers said that they are incurring huge losses selling their harvest. Big onion harvesting has commenced in the Matale district and the price has fallen due to oversupply. On Friday onions were traded at Rs. 40-52 ($0.30-40 US) per kg at the Dambulla market while the Govt purchased it at Rs. 55 per kg through Lak Sathosa. more..

Top cops ordered in court over abductions

Sept 10 (CG) The Appeals Court in Colombo issued summons today on the police including IGP N.K. Illangakoon over a petition filed by the family members of two missing people. The Young Lawyer’s Association said that the family members of the two people who went missing last November in Biyagama and Mattakuliya, had filed the petition after an attempt to seek govt assistance had failed. A spokesman for the Young Lawyer’s Association said that one person who went missing more..

'Polls Chief was impartial'

Sept 10 (Island) UNP MP for Gampaha district John Amaratunga said that Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had proved his impartiality in the manner he discharged his duties during Saturday’s polls in the three provinces. Asked what those who criticised the UNP leadership would now say about the overwhelming defeat suffered by the party at recent elections, he said that there were a few incidents of violence and the Elections Commissioner could not be held responsible for them.

12 year old snatched by crocodile at Nilwala river

Sept 10 (CG) A 12 year old child went missing last evening after being dragged away by a crocodile while he was bathing in the Nilwala river. The boy, identified as Selvan Roshan, was bathing in an unprotected area in the river. In April this year a young school girl was killed after being attacked by a crocodile in the Nilwala river when she had gone to wash her face. The girl was dragged into the water by the crocodile and her body was later found following a search operation. more..

Six soldiers killed as mound of earth collapses

Sept 10 (DM) Six soldiers were killed when a mound of earth slipped and fell on them at the Diyatalawa army camp today. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the soldiers were engaged in construction work when the earth slip occurred and buried the soldiers. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that eight soldiers got buried in the sand and six had been killed. He said that the other two are not serious. more..

'Sri Lanka’s GDP growth set to outpace peer economies'

Sept 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s prospects of real economic growth for 2012E appear to be ahead of regional peer economies as well as that of world’s advanced nations, according to Asia Wealth Management. It said latest projections made by IMF indicate Sri Lanka’s expected growth of 6.75% for 2012 is considerably higher against the growth forecast for Emerging and Developing economies of 5.6% for 2012. Advanced economies on more..

Fire breaks out in Sri Lanka bound ship

Sept 10 (DM) A major fire broke out on a Sri Lankan bound merchant vessel MV Amsterdam Bridge off the coast of Mumbai, India yesterday, the NDTV reported. The 54,405 ton vessel is carrying chemical cargo which is hazardous and noxious in nature; if released into marine environment, it will have detrimental effect on human and marine life. The vessel had reached the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust at the wee hours of September 8 and was en route to Sri Lanka. more..

Cormorant Strike lll begins

Sept 10 (MoD) 'Cormorant Strike lll - 2012', the joint military exercise organized by the Sri Lanka Army began today. About 2000 local tri service personnel are taking part in this exercise held for the third consecutive time. The 16 day combined military exercise is attended by 40 foreign military personnel representing a number of countries. Participants were briefed before the operations commenced today at Minneriya more..

Lankan charged with posting death threats on girlfriend’s Facebook

Sept 10 (National) A man posted death threats on the Facebook wall of a waitress who spurned his marriage proposal - and sought the help of fellow users on how he should carry out the killing, a court heard today. Prosecutors said that SK, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan electrician, made the threat in March after the 24-year-old Filipina EK turned him down. The waitress said she was working in an Abu Dhabi hotel when she met the electrician, who was more..

Animal sacrifice: JHU against govt. decision

Sept 10 (DM) The JHU yesterday said it disapproved the government’s decision to allow the Munneshwaram Kovil’s animal sacrifice to take place after September 12 at the end of the sacred Kapilaswastu Relics exposition. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinha told the Daily Mirror that an uncivilized and cruel act such as an animal sacrifice should not take place in the country irrespective of whether the Kapilawastu Relics were exhibited or not. more..

'No evidence of SLC sex scandal'

Sept 10 (AD) A five-member disciplinary committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has concluded an investigation into an alleged sex scandal involving a woman employee of SLC and has established that no such act of any nature had occurred at the board’s head office. Reports had revealed last month that a woman hospitality manager and a foreign executive of an entertainment company which sponsored more..

Sri Lankan immigration to Italy: Reflections and anecdotes

Sept 11 (DBS) This article deals with the patterns, problems and some stories of Sri Lankan immigration into Italy during the period 1970 to 2000. Although it focuses on immigration into Italy, the problems discussed are common to most “new” countries of immigration. The latter are the non-English speaking countries, which have become Sri Lankan’s most important immigrant destinations since 1980. The writer and his family lived in Rome for 30 years during this period and more..

Sri Lanka: Noisily divided house is waking up its neighbours

Sept 11 (DBS) A Protest rightly understood is a form of mass communication with the intent to persuade policy change. The freedom to protest is characteristic of a healthy democratic society. It is a safeguard mechanism for the rights of the marginalized. Bertrand Russell argued that the most salient facts in a nationally contested issue are often lost in conventional mediums because those with unpopular views are given limited space by the mainstream media to make their case. more..

Road development work expedited under Maga Neguma

Sept 11 (SO) The Govt has succeeded in developing the infrastructure facilities and implementing livelihood development projects in the country including in the North and the East at a cost of billions of rupees. Compared to other countries in the region, Sri Lanka is reaching its development goals. Road development work has been expedited under the Maga Neguma program, implemented under the Mahinda Chinthana national development concept. more..

Let’s rate the Rajapakse regime

=Sept 11 (CT) What I do not want this to be is an occasion for venting my spleen at the Rajapakse Regime (RR); I have many openings for that. I would like it to be an opportunity for framing a level headed response to the oft posed question: “Is RR the worst govt Lanka has had in 65 years of self-govt?” This is not an exercise in idleness as the query crops up at street corners, in three wheelers and in drawing rooms, and if not said, it is implicit in the gossip. more..

Inaccuracy of ‘chest beating’ politics of Tamil Nadu

=Sept 11 (CT) In Tamil Nadu, continuing spate of recent violent, rowdy protests targeting innocent Sri Lankan civilians visiting TN and India on purely private and religious tours, define how empty and extremist and therefore emotional and violent they can turn out to be, when picking on the Sri Lankan Tamil issues. The recent escalation of these violent anti people mob attacks since they last set upon a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims in Chennai in August 2011, more..

TNA trying to form Eastern administration with UNP support under Muslim Chief Minister

Sept 11 (DBS) The TNA which contested the Eastern Provincial Council elections under the House symbol of the ITAK has initiated moves to form the Eastern provincial administration despite the party coming second in the hustings with eleven seats in the 37 member council. The UPFA with 12 seats edged out the TNA by one seat to become the party with the most number of seats in the Eastern council. Coming first entitled the UPFA to more..

Muslims and the EPC elections: Kingmakers or Pawns?

Sept 11 (GV) As the campaigning for the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) election concludes, there are only a few absolute certainties as to the outcome – most notably that there will be no outright winner. Given the electoral system, the results of recent elections, the demography in the East and the general voting pattern along communal lines, it is more or less clear that neither the UPFA nor a possible TNA –UNP combine will have a simple majority. more..

Youth in Sri Lanka need a chance

Sept 11 (GV) The Sri Lankan government shut down state universities on the 23rd of August in a bid to prevent an “Academic Spring”, rising amidst calls for 6% of GDP to be spent on Education. Other countries in the region spend between 3-6% of GDP on education. Academics have been on strike, exam papers remain unmarked and student’s have no indication of the trajectory of this stalemate; effectively leaving them in limbo. For Sri-Lanka this is not good news, because more..

FUTA slams Rajapaksa’s statement on its strike action

Sept 11 (CT) “We wish to register our disappointment regarding media reports on the 7th of September quoting the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa that as a policy he does not engage in discussions with unions while they are on strike action. He is further quoted as saying that if FUTA wants to settle issues through negotiations, it should first suspend trade union action.” says FUTA. Issuing a statement FUTA says “ FUTA has no desire to prolong more..

Worker-shared management structure mooted for tea plantations

Sept 11 (ST) At a local human resources summit for Sri Lankan plantation companies, Mohan C Varghese, General Manager, Tea Manufacture, Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Co Ltd, (Tata Tea) in Kerala shared the success story of the Indian tea plantation, a model of which can possibly be adapted in the Sri Lankan tea plantations which at the moment is at a crossroads. Speaking at the Regional Plantation Companies’ CEO forum on Human Resources Management held at more..

Govt must re-think its budgetary policy

Sept 11 (Island) The Govt needs to re-think some of its economic policies. The Govt is concentrating on public investment and such investment is mainly for infrastructure development. Infrastructure needs to be developed but there are other considerations too such as the need for macro-economic stability for otherwise there would be either high inflation or high current account deficits in the Balance of Payments which to the extent they cannot be covered by inflows of foreign capital, more..

I love the people and the people love me: Mervyn

Sept 11 (DM) Q: What are your views about the is­sue in Mun­nesh­war­am? A: This is an is­sue I spoke about a long time ago. Even last year, my friends and I res­cued the an­i­mals from the Ko­vil and re­turned them to their own­ers a few weeks lat­er. A lot of peo­ple are afraid of the ‘Poo­sari’ and the evil that can fol­low. But I know for a fact that “Ka­li Am­ma’ is a pi­ous dei­ty, and that dei­ty doesn’t want blood. There are no gods who want blood. more..

Editorial: SLMC's dilemma

Sept 11 (Island) Coalition politics is like a card game. It is all about 'hearts', 'diamonds', 'clubs' and 'spades' that come in different combinations at different times. Prior to the just concluded PC polls in the East, the SLMC, which chose to go it alone, and its UPFA allies had 'clubs' and 'spades' in hand; they had a couple of nasty scrapes with each other. But, today, the government which bashed and even threatened SLMC politicians in the run-up to more..

Fresh development bond issue to raise $ 60 m

Sept 11 (FT) The Central Bank has launched the fourth issue of Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs), aimed at raising $ 60 million by 24 September. The fresh SLDB’s tenure is three years and will be offered at a rate of US Dollar six month LIBOR plus a margin to be determined through competitive bidding to be concluded by 17 September. The Central Bank is calling for a minimum investment of $ 100,000 in multiples of $ 10,000 subjected to semi-annual interest payment. more..

Port volumes fall

Sept 11 (Island) Port volumes fell during the first five months of this year as the number of vessels calling on Sri Lanka falling 4.4% year-on-year, with the global economy engulfed in a debt crisis and sluggish growth. Ship traffic fell 5.3% year-on-year to 342 in May 2012. However, the total number of containers handled at the Colombo port grew 8.2% to 361,447 during the month, with transhipment growing 9.8% to 242,758 while the number of containers relating more..