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Sri Lanka's many spices

Sept 20 (Yahoo) Iam sitting in the warm early morning, facing palm trees, golden sand and the ocean, sailing canoes passing with big, seemingly tea-stained cotton sails, surrounded by sarongs and saris, eating my first beautifully spicy breakfast of the trip. Where to start with this tour of Sri Lanka? Well, at the beginning. For the island's flavour will both gently and strikingly unfold day by day on this tour with Wildlife Safari. And I simply must start with this scene - this breakfast more..

Vaas to cut Northants ties

Sept 20 (SKY) Chaminda Vaas will not continue his association with Northamptonshire next season after enduring an injury-hit 2012 campaign. The Sri Lanka seamer was one of the players of the 2011 season with bat and ball, taking 70 Championship wickets and scoring over 400 runs. However, this time around he saw his summer ruined by a series of injury problems and he was only able to play six Division Two matches. "He has contributed a great deal to Northants Cricket during more..

'130 LG members to resign if I’m not appointed'

Sept 20 (DM) Former North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake said that 120 UPFA local govt members of the Anuradhapura district will resign if he is not appointed Chief Minister of the council. Referring to the resignation and subsequent declaration by Minister S.M Chandrasena to the effect that his brother S.M Ranjith was assured to be the next Chief Minister, Dissanayake said that it was more..

ADB signs 15 mln USD loan for Sri Lanka's war affected

Sept 20 (Xinhua) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement for a 15 million U.S. dollar 10-year lending facility with a local bank to provide finance to war- affected in Sri Lanka, an official said here on Thursday. ADB Country Director Rita O'Sullivan was upbeat about the opportunities given to middle income people to have access to finance through the facility. Around 30% of the facility will be given to rural borrowers while 5% is earmarked for women, more..

India to relax garment import quota from Sri Lanka

Sept 20 (LBO) India will increase a garment import quota by 3 million pieces a year to 8 million without a sourcing requirement being imposed on Sri Lanka, the island's industry ministry said. Sri Lanka's ministry of industry quoted India's textile ministry secretary Kiran Dhingra as saying in Colombo when she led a textile industry delegation to the island on Sept 19. Dhingra had said that from Sept 6, India has removed duty for HS code 61 and 62 apparels, the industries ministry statement said. more..

Senasinghe complains to Bribery Commission

Sept 20 (DM) UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe today filed a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption over the EPF and ETF investments in the stock market. Mr. Senasinghe charged that because of these questionable investments the EPF and the ETF had incurred a loss of Rs.12 billion. In his complaint he said Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Treasury Secretary more..

Mahinda complains to HRC

Sept 20 (LT) A complaint has been filed at the Human Rights Commission by the General Secretary of Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe against the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardene, Police spokesman SSP Ajith Ronaha and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. In his petition filed yesterday Mr. Mahinda Jayasinghe states reliable information regarding the leakage of the question paper of the Grade five scholarship exam held on 26th August has been received from more..

India's Krrish Group signs 450 mln USD tourism project in Sri Lanka

Sept 20 (Xinhua) India's Krrish group has signed a 450 million U.S. dollar property deal with the Sri Lankan govt to develop a seven-star hotel and mixed development project in the heart of the capital, a top official said here on Friday. The Indian company has leased the land for 99 years from the Sri Lankan govt for 49 million U.S. dollars, said Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. "There have been 152 foreign direct investment projects signed so far this year more..

Govt. commitment questionable: TNA tells UN

Sept 20 (DM) The TNA told the visiting UN delegation that it remained questionable whether the govt was unequivocally committed to the implementation of the LLRC and he UNHRC resolution adopted in March, 2012. The TNA delegation led by party leader R. Sampanthan met Hanny Megally, Chief, Asia, Pacific, Middle East and North Africa Branch, Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division of the Office of the more..

Defence talk between Pakistan Sri Lanka commences

Sept 20 (PT) A high powered defence delegation from Pakistan is visiting Sri Lanka to hold first formal staff level talks between Sri Lankan and Pakistani Armed Forces. The Pakistani delegation is led by Major General Inam-ul- Haque, Director General Joint Staff Headquarters Pakistan. Other members of the delegation include senior personnel from the three services of Pakistan’s armed forces i.e. Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force. more..

Man loses appeal over chemical attack

Sept 20 (AAP) A man who was jailed for at least six years for his part in a bashing and chemical attack on two Sri Lankan students in Sydney's west has lost his appeal against the sentence. Amalatheepan Srikantharajah, 28, was sentenced to a maximum 10 years in jail with a non-parole period of six years in December 2010 for two offences of aggravated break, enter and commit serious indictable offence. The court found Srikantharajah had been part of a group of men, armed with cricket stumps, more..

Water to cost more from next month

Sept 20 (DM) Up to a 20 per cent increase on water bills will come into effect from next month, Water Board General Manager Lal Premnath said. “We have not yet finalised what the percentage increase for domestic users but they will be billed on varying slabs depending on the use of water by a household,” he said. Mr. Premnath said the tariffs for water consumption for commercial purposes will be increased by 15%, for small industries by 5% more..

India-Sri Lanka must change tack

Sept 20 (ZN) With Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in India on a three-day visit, the challenge between the two countries is to restore sense of urgency in bilateral ties. The first positive sign has already come with New Delhi’s decision to accord summit-level status to Sri Lankan president’s visit to inaugurate a Buddhist university in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh at the invitation of the state govt. The development augurs well for India-Sri Lanka ties which have cooled down more..

Rajapaksa Intimidates Chief Justice

Sept 20 (CT) President Rajapaksa wanted the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to meet him regarding the functions of the JSC, but the JSC, in an official meeting, has decided not to meet anyone regarding its official functions as such discussion would be unconstitutional. It is after this meeting that the JSC has issued a statement condemning the interference it faces, the Colombo Telegraph has learnt. The case against the Chief Justice‘s husband is being used to twist her arm, informed sources told Colombo Telegraph. more..

Protesters led by Buddhist monks oppose UN human rights officials' visit to Sri Lanka

Sept 20 (AP) Hundreds of Sri Lankans protested Thursday against a visit by U.N. officials to discuss human rights issues during the country's civil war. Monks led about 300 protesters from the Buddhist nationalist National Heritage Party during the demonstration opposite a local U.N. office. They complained Sri Lanka is being unfairly criticized for alleged abuses as the war was ending in 2009. They alleged the visit was a step more..

Jaffna cashes in on post-war development drive

Sept 21 (NS) Jaffna was a mystery for millions of people in the country and foreigners alike because it was closed to the ‘outside world’ for the past 30 years. The roads were closed, the sea route was not considered safe and it was a long tiresome journey. There were a couple of domestic airline services from Colombo to Jaffna after 1994 so that people could move about in times of emergency. Jaffna was a mystery for millions of people in the country more..

Anagarika Dharmapala’s vision for Asia

Sept 21 (NS) Much has been written on Anagarika Dharmapala’s contributions to the Buddhist cause, but little attention has been paid to his perception of international politics vis-à-vis Sri Lanka – a view that is valid now as then although the global scene has undergone vast changes during the past 100 years. As we commemorate his 148th birth anniversary tomorrow (September 17) it is worth recalling his views at a time when European colonialism was at its peak. more..

The shining star - Pradeep Sanjaya

Sept 21 (SO) They are the super humans in real life. They win obstacles with courage, where others find it impossible - This is the message an unknown young man hailing from Mirigama has carved. He is a super star today as he had the courage and determination to set a mark in Sri Lankan history. Sri Lanka Army's Sergeant Pradeep Sanjaya, proud of his achievement at the 2012 Paralympics continues to fight to bring 'greatness' to his mother. more..

Rauff concedes in the East as Basil suffers a legal setback

Sept 21 (Island) Earlier this week, the UPFA secured control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) when the SLMC led by Rauff Hakeem decided to throw in its lot with the govt as opposed to forming a provincial govt with the TNA. No sooner had the results been announced than the UNP indicated that it would back an opposition takeover of the Eastern Province Administration, given that the UPFA had fallen to just 32% of the popular vote and had only 14 seats in the 37 member more..

Higher Education problem and its context

Sept 21 (Island) As neoliberal market forces have expanded into the education field, there are numerous educational providers around the world professing to provide a world-class education to those who can afford to pay. These providers have developed marketing and other mechanisms to cross national and regional boundaries in order to engage with prospective students and their sponsors. State controlled universities in some countries – developed and developing - have also followed in this example and more..

Relic-politics and the slow erosion of Rajapaksa magic

Sept 21 (SL) How more blatant can it get? President Rajapaksa had reportedly wanted a special exposition of Kapilawastu-relics at Temple Trees. ‘Relic diplomacy’ is a standard weapon in the arsenal of those in possession of movable holy-objects, from the Catholic Church to India and China. The Rajapaksa version is relic-politics: using sacred items venerated by masses of believers as a means to bridge popularity more..

Midweek Politics:Towards impunity and democratic erosion

Sept 21 (CT) The Silvas are at it again. A week dominated by news of political brats on the rampage once more, this time directing their rage at an Army Major, ended with the soldier recanting his story and the two main suspects in remand being transferred to prison hospital on “medical” advice. The whole incident smacked of impunity and was strangely reminiscent of the incident involving a Samurdhi Officer being tied to a tree on the orders more..

Sri Lanka A Banana Republic?

Sept 21 (CT) Sri Lanka’s present constitution (the 1978 constitution), defines Sri Lanka as a democratic and socialist state, as distinctly unitary, and as a state governed by a semi-presidential system, i.e. a mixture of a presidential and a parliamentary system. According to Article 3 of the 1978 constitution, in the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is with the people and is inalienable. And, sovereignty includes the ‘powers of govt’, fundamental rights and franchise. more..

වර්තමාන පරිසර අර්බුද සහ මධ්žයම පරිසර අධිකාරීය

152 FDI projects signed so far in 2012, Govt. eyes more Fortune 500 firms

Sept 21 (FT) The Govt is eyeing for more Fortune 500 firms to invest in Sri Lanka on the back of a pickup in foreign investor interest. “There have been 152 foreign direct investment projects signed so far this year and we are confident that we will continue to attract proposals from international companies. We want to see Fortune 500 companies in Sri Lanka,” Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. “We are open to work with any company which is willing to meet Govt guidelines,” more..

BOC goes for Rs. 6 b listed debentures; Fitch gives AA rating

Sept 21 (FT) Fitch Ratings Lanka has assigned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC; ‘BB-’/Stable) proposed subordinated debentures of up to Rs. 6 billion a National Long-Term rating of ‘AA(lka)’. BOC’s ratings reflect Fitch’s expectation of support from the Govt of Sri Lanka (‘BB-’/Stable), if required. This is based on its quasi sovereign status, high systemic importance and role as one of the main bankers to the Govt. BOC is the largest bank in Sri Lanka and fully owned by the Govt. more..

COPE may summon two former SEC chairpersons two weeks from now

Sept 21 (Island) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday tabled a motion in Parliament requesting the COPE to summon two former chairpersons of the SEC seeking a full disclosure into their resignations. "Former Chairman of the SEC and a former Member of Parliament Tilak Karunaratne said that the stock market was being manipulated by a ‘mafia’, who had forced his resignation, and also the resignation of more..

T20: Zimbabwe crash out with huge loss

Sept 21 (CI) If Australia's victory over Ireland can be called routine for a bigger nation against a smaller one, then South Africa's over Zimbabwe was surgically clinical, almost coldly so. After limiting their neighbours to their second-lowest total in T20 cricket, South Africa chased down the target inside 13 overs. With some assistance for the seamers, Dale Steyn was able to scare the Zimbabwe batsmen with swing and pace while Morne Morkel intimidated them further, more..

President's popularity has increased - Dullas

Sept 21 (DN) Heads of State of 57 nations attended the 58th CPA conference held in Colombo while more than 200 million cricket fans all over the world are watching the T20 cricket tournament. All these are international events which has given Sri Lanka wide international exposure. Popularity of every world leader had waned during the second term of office. But this is not so with President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the only leader who has increased his popularity during his second term. more..

Vehicle importers demand extension of reconditioned vehicles' age limit

Sept 21 (DM) The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka has submitted a proposal requesting the government to extend the stipulated age limit of used vehicle imports from two years to three and a half years. “The majority of customers in Sri Lanka are within the Rs 2 million price bracket, and so they are deprived of choice due to the non availability of affordable and suitable vehicles as a result of the age limit of two years, and more..

Confident Munaweera up for Dale Steyn challenge

Sept 21 (Island) There are many facets to Dilshan Munaweera than just his cricket. The stocky 23-year-old right-handed opener takes a keen interest on his studies and looks a confident man never afraid of a challenge. Both his parents played cricket. While dad Sudath, a fast bowler, represented Tamil Union and Colts and was in the Sri Lanka pool in 1984, his mother Manjula represented Bloomfield. His use of the English language is perhaps second only to that of Kumar Sangakkara. more..

Don't use religion as a tool says Azwer

Sept 21 (DN) Religion must not be made a tool to win wars, win elections, get votes and win over people, MP A H M Azwer said in Parliament on Tuesday. "This will never be condoned by anybody," he said. Azwer said: "I would like to place on record our revulsion and protest not only of the Muslims but of the entire Parliament against a You Tube video that is in circulation, which vilifies, defames and insults Prophet Muhammed. I am getting SMSs from the Centre of Islamic Studies urging all brothers of Islam to protest against the US diplomatic more..

Berty’s Doosra

Sept 21 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the North-Central Province (NCP), Berty Premalal Dissanayake, has thrown a monkey wrench into government plans to appoint S.M. Ranjith as the Chief Minister (CM), by warning that 120 members and 15 leaders of Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Anuradhapura District would resign in he is not re-appointed as CM. He said the members and the leaders of the Pradeshiya Sabhas had informed him in writing that they would resign if he is more..

US Embassy Statement on Objectionable Video

Sept 21 (USE) The US embassy wishes to reiterate the expressions issued by Secretary Clinton and President Obama regarding the recent inflammatory video that has offended many Muslims and others around the world. It should be noted that the United States strongly rejects both its contents and messages, and had nothing to do with the video. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. more..

Mangala attacks govt. over corruption

Sept 21 (Island) Colombo Stock Market has become a laundry where black money is converted into white, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the debate on the adjournment motion on the midyear fiscal position policy, he said the corruption is prevalent in almost of all development projects being carried out by the govt and large amounts of money running into billions of rupees are stockpiling in the hands of politicians. more..

Indian President hails Sri Lanka's rehabilitation process

Sept 21 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called on his Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on Thursday evening. The president and the Sri Lankan delegation were warmly welcomed by the Indian president. President Rajapaksa held a special meeting with the top Indian leadership. They discussed many key bilateral issues, including South Indian fishermen. India pressed for an more..

Identify callers and arrest them – CM Singappuli

Sept 21 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate, Rashmi Singappuli, yesterday (20), ordered Cinnamon Garden Police to arrest the anonymous telephone callers who made death threats to Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, President of Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA), and produce them before courts. Police officers of Cinnamon Garden Police, who appeared for the Plaintiff said, a team of police is investigating the death threats on Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, along different lines. more..

Quality evaluation offices in all hospitals

Sept 21 (Island) The entire hospital network could collapse if quality of its services is not maintained. That was essential in a competent human resources management system, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the National Standard and Quality Office for Patients’ Safety at the Maternity Hospital at Castle Street recently, he said "Quality evaluation procedure of the employees, training of the staff on politeness and courtesy towards the visitors and the patients, empathy and the importance of more..

Pakistani diplomat in Sri Lanka linked to espionage module

Sept 21 (Hindu) Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a diplomat attached to the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka, has been named in the First Information Report on the suspected ISI-sponsored espionage module busted by the Tamil Nadu police in Thanjavur on Monday, police sources said on Thursday. Mr. Siddiqui, whose designation is given as Counsellor (Visa) in the official website of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka, more..

Chauhan asks “best friend” Vaiko to call off protest

Sept 21 (Hindu) It was an ironical scenario in Bhopal as a President accused of genocide arrived here on Thursday to inaugurate a ceremony on world peace. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Bhopal on Thursday evening, even as MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who has accused Mr. Rajapaksa of genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils, continued to wait on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border after he was denied entry into the State. Mr. Rajapaksa, along with Bhutanese more..