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Sunday Leader Editor resigns

Sept 21 (CG) The Chief Editor of The Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz resigned from her post today following what inside sources said was a dispute with the management after she was instructed to back the govt. Meanwhile the CG has learned that a senior female journalist who was at one time at the Daily Mirror newspaper, has been appointed as the new Editor of The Sunday Leader. Most of the shares of the newspaper was recently purchased by businessman Asanga more..

MR to skip UN General Assembly?

Sept 21 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is not not expected to attend the U.N General Assembly next week despite being listed in the provisional list of speakers, reports said today. The Asian Tribune website said that Minister G.L.Pieris will be leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The General Assembly will convene a high-level meeting on the rule of law at the national and international levels next week during which heads of govts more..

Divi Neguma bill to be withdrawn from order paper

Sept 21 (AD) Leader of the House and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva today informed the speaker that the ‘Divi Neguma’ Draft Bill will be withdrawn from the order paper in Parliament. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Tuesday (18) had stated that the Supreme Court has ordered that the Divi Neguma Draft Bill receive the approval of all Provincial Councils as it comes within their scope. The govt was looking to set up a Divi Neguma more..

'Be tolerant to check hatred, enmity in world'

Sept 21 (PTI) Laying the foundation stone of a Buddhist University here, President Rajapaksa on Friday said tolerance is of "equal importance" to both East and West as enmity and hatred lead to violence and destruction. "I think this message of tolerance and understanding is of great relevance today, as we see the tragic results of enmity and hatred towards other faiths leading to violence and destruction, and great loss to societies. more..

T20: Brendon McCullum ton razes Bangladesh

Sept 21 (CI) Brendan McCullum broke a few Twenty20 international records in New Zealand's 59-run win over Bangladesh in the Group D opener in Pallekele, but his spectacular 123 off just 58 balls more importantly gave his team the breathing space in the tournament's toughest group. McCullum broke the record for the highest score in Twenty20 internationals when he went past Richard Levi's 117 made earlier this year, and more..

Sri Lanka fret over Ajantha Mendis' injury

Sept 21 (Reuters) In-form spinner Ajantha Mendis is doubtful for Saturday's Twenty20 World Cup match against South Africa due to a side strain he picked up during their tournament opener against Zimbabwe. Mendis, who returned the best figures by a bowler in T20 cricket with six wickets for eight runs in Tuesday's match, went off the field soon after he had completed his quota of four overs. "Mendis' injury is our only worry ahead of tomorrow's game against South Africa," Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake said. more..

Menik Farm IDP camp to close by 30 September

Sept 21 (IRIN) Menik Farm in northern Sri Lanka, once one of the world’s largest camps for IDPs, is to close by the end of September, say govt officials. “By 30 September the camp will be empty,” Minister of Resettlement Gunaratne Weerakoon said, noting that the final group of 1,185 IDPs would be resettled in their places of origin next week. According to the UNHCR, 827 IDPs are set to return on either 23 or 24 September, more..

Problems and future of tea industry

Sept 22 (NS) This year has been an unfavorable year for the tea industry. Tea faced three problems. The marketing of tea in the Middle East was disrupted by the political turmoil and the US embargo on trade with Iran. The Russian market was affected by imports from other country teas. A severe drought affected the country’s tea production. These three reasons resulted in earnings from tea falling by 4.2 percent from US$ 711.6 million in the first half of last year to US$ 682.0 million more..

Replaying the Race Card

Sept 22 (NS) Since 1956, gratifying the ethnic consciousness of the Sinhala Buddhist polity has been the modus operandi of every party vying to come to power. Time has proven that this method, when practiced with political circumspection and Machiavellianism, brings about most satisfactory results. It is the ethnic consciousness that unifies and divides our people. It unifies ethnicities and divides the nation along ethnic lines. In fact the national consciousness has become more..

Drunk and dangerous

Sept 22 (CT) Driving under the influence of alcohol is responsible for 10% to 15% of Sri Lanka’s traffic fatalities. As part of a campaign to crack down on persons driving under the influence of alcohol, police began implementing strict laws, not only during the night but throughout the day with effect from 10 September, due to the increase in accidents involving drunken drivers. From the beginning of the year to date, around 25,000 accidents had been recorded. more..

PC polls: SLMC to share Chief Minister Post in East

Sept 22 (DM) Politics witnessed one of the most hectic weeks, with the ruling UPFA and the TNA – engaged in roping in members to the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) that remained hung. Finally, the lid was placed on the problem by the UPFA which managed to draw the SLMC into its fold. The SLMC leader, after much bargaining, agreed to settle for two ministerial posts in the provincial board of ministers. The party also agreed to compromise on the chief minister’s post, more..

Sri Lankan hoteliers should strive for top positions overseas– Veteran hotelier

Sept 22 (Island) Veteran hospitality industry expert Roshan Fernando said that Sri Lankan hoteliers have the capacity, capability and the necessary qualifications but most of them find it difficult to fit into the position of General Manager in a top hotel overseas due to the fact they lack International hotel brand experience which is sine-qua-non. He said most of our hoteliers were as good as the world’s best, but they need to gain more brand experience. "Our hoteliers should strive to more..

Tough trial awaits Munaweera

Sept 22 (CI) One game into the World Twenty20, it is clear Sri Lanka have invested a great deal in Dilshan Munaweera. The team has split up a successful opening pair, moving their best batsman Mahela Jayawardene to a less favoured batting position to accommodate Munaweera in his familiar spot. It would have been easy for the seniors to pull rank and ask Munaweera to inject energy into a middle order carrying two accumulators, but they've been careful to more..

All-Party Administration for the Eastern Province Feasible: TNA Responsive

Sept 22 (Island) The results of the Eastern Provincial Council Elections provides an opportunity for the representatives of all three major racial groups to come together to develop the Province. This should not be missed. One of the unfortunate features of the situation that has emerged in the East after the end of the war has been the continuation of the sharp divide between the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. more..

Airtel sends 12 youngsters to Manchester United

Sept 22 (SL) Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company, has successfully concluded their football trials around the country. In partnership with English football giants, Manchester United, they have selected 12 talented footballers who will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they travel shortly to England to train at the famous Old Trafford with Manchester United. Launched in July, this first-of-its-kind island-wide hunt for more..

UNP pledges support to FUTA struggle

Sept 22 (CT) The UNP will extend their support to the university academics’ struggle and be part of the cross-country procession organized by the lecturers next Monday. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam also urged the public to participate in the campaign and fight to protect State education. He said the academics’ demands are very reasonable and that the govt should resolve the issues instead of suppressing and threatening those who were fighting to protect the education more..

Editorial: 'Water-boarding' Citizen Perera

Sept 22 (Island) The riot police are training water cannon with a generous hand on protesting undergrads in the city and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board is 'water-boarding' ordinary citizens who are struggling to keep their heads above water. In some parts of the country the weather gods have inflicted severe suffering on farmers by depriving them of water. In other areas people have water but are suffering because of the NWSDB. No sooner had the first leg of the Provincial Council polls been concluded more..

Sri Lanka returns ‘a slice of history’

Sept 22 (IE) 2300 years after Buddhism took roots in Sri Lanka when emperor Ashok sent his children with Buddha’s message, the island nation has returned a slice of history to express its gratitude in symbolism. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa on Friday planted saplings of the Buddha tree which itself had grown from the sapling of the peepal tree under which Prince Siddharth had attainted enlightenment in Bodhgaya. It was from Sanchi, 45 km from Bhopal, more..

Fast-growing Tamil Nadu’s powerful biz arrive in numbers

Sept 22 (FT) In clear signs that Sri Lanka’s trade with India is set to grow further and recent noise about Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu has almost no impact on the surging Business-to-Business (B2B) linkages, a 45-member strong biz delegation led by S. Rethinavelu, Senior President of the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (TCCI) is now in Colombo and successfully more..

Transworks House land leased for $ 49 m to Indian firm

Sept 22 (FT) The Government has leased the iconic Transworks House land to India’s Krrish Group for 99 years at $ 49 million, whilst the $ 450 million mega project is slated to be completed by 2014. The land encompasses the Transworks House, a colonial building that once housed the former Public Works Department. The building is documented as a place of archaeological value. Krrish Group is expected to construct a 30-storey seven-star hotel as well as luxury apartments more..

Wildlife Department steps-up trapping rogue elephants

Sept 22 (DN) The Wildlife Department has accelerated trapping rogue-elephant operations in the wilderness of the Anuradhapura, Vauniya and Puttalam Districts, with attribution to killing or mauling farmers and other villagers. The accelerated operations programme has been launched by the department following numerous complaints received from farmers and other villagers in the North Western Wildlife Conservation Zone which includes the Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Kurunegala, more..

LfD demands Govt. to respect the Judiciary

Sept 22 (FT) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) yesterday in a statement urged the Govt to respect the judiciary of the country. LfD said it was disturbed by the emerging evidence of coordinated moves to undermine the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. The Statement issued by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on 16th September 2012 clearly indicates that there are various attempts to interfere with the affairs of the Judicial Services Commission. more..

In King Kekille’s court

Sept 22 (Island) Writing on the Malaka fiasco you recently referred editorially, to the famous judgments of King Kekille. The latest turn of events where the complainant Major Pradeep is reported to have filed an affidavit in courts withdrawing his complaint against Malaka and others, seem to subvert the present Criminal Justice System to head towards the Kekille system. At this rate it might end up hanging the JAIC Hilton Hotel manager for running a casino in his hotel! The Premadasa regime made Sotthi Upali a Reserve Sub-inspector of Police. more..

Cricket fans rush to see their Heroes, magnificent T20 World Cup Trophy

Sept 22 (Island) Ardent cricket fans grabbed their chance to join in the excitement as they grabbed a once in a lifetime chance to see the T20 World Cup Trophy and meet their favourite Sri Lankan cricketer. As a ‘bonus’ several others even won free tickets to the world cup matches as well. This was all made possible largely due to the efforts of the dynamic team of HERO-Abans. HERO, a main sponsor of the ICC T20 World Cup 2012, recently launched their extensive range of more..

Javid Yusuf

Cargills brings TGI Friday’s restaurant chain to Sri Lanka

Sept 22 (FT) Cargills announced yesterday it has entered into a development agreement with world renowned TGI Friday’s Restaurant Inc as the exclusive franchisee chain in Sri Lanka. TGI Friday is a member of the US based Carlson Group. Cargills plans to open the first TGI Friday’s in Sri Lanka by the fourth quarter of FY13. Cargills Group also represents the other world famous restaurant chain KFC in Sri Lanka. The Carlson Group operates over 900 TGI Friday’s restaurants more..

Trilingual education policy helps social advancement - Douglas

Sept 22 (DN) The govt's trilingual teaching programme will help social advancement, said Minister Douglas Devananda. He was addressing a ceremony at the Jaffna Hindu Girls' College to mark the donation of computers and multimedia projectors to schools in the North. He said the govt's programme to teach Sinhala, Tamil and English languages in schools will help the development of education. Through the trilingual education policy, an opportunity had arisen for Northern more..

Frederica is sacked not resigned

Sept 22 (SL) The Sunday Leader’s new owner Asanga Seneviratne terminated its editor Frederica Jansz’s contract and replaced her early on in the week with Sakuntala Perera a former journalist employed at Wijeya newspapers. Asanga Seneviratne on Thursday September 13, 2012 announced to staff at The Sunday Leader and its sister newspaper the Iruresa that he was the new owner. That the takeover of the two newspapers was official. more..

Mobile service to address bus owners' issues

Sept 22 (DN) The National Transport Commission launched a mobile service programme to meet private bus owners at district level to provide solutions and consultancy services to their problems. Problems relating to bus crews, bus stands, undue pressure exerted by time keepers, operational issues and unsystematic regulations would be taken up and resolved during the mobile service programmes. The first in the series of the mobile service programmes will be held at the Samudi reception hall, Ratnapura to day. more..

Big onion farmers’ plight highlighted at CPC meeting

Sept 22 (Island) The plight of big onion farmers in Dambulla has been aggravating. Steps should be taken to prevent the farmer community from falling into a worse situation. It has become of paramount importance for the Central Provincial Minister of Agriculture to visit Dambulla to gain first hand information on the big onion farmer, said UNP member of the Central Provincial Council Sanjeewa Kaviratne. With these remarks Sanjeewa Kaviratne invited the Central Provincial more..

India wants Sri Lanka to accept TNA as interlocutor

Sept 22 (Hindu) With Sri Lanka’s human rights record coming up for review towards the end of the year, India believes that Colombo should accept the TNA as a credible interlocutor and get down to discussing a road map for political devolution of powers as this will send a positive signal world-wide to groups instrumental in arraigning it before the United Nations Human Rights Council in March this year. more..

Cricket and HIV campaign hits the road aboard the “Let’s talk” bus in Sri Lanka

Sept 22 (UNAIDS) A bus embossed with HIV messages, red ribbons and the faces of world cricketing stars is making a whistle stop tour through more than a hundred sites in Sri Lanka. Carrying young volunteers, the bus is part of the HIV awareness-raising campaign “Let’s talk” taking place around the world Twenty20 cricket tournament. An integral part of the joint UNAIDS, UNICEF and the ICC partnership known as ‘Think Wise’, more..

'India shouldn't fall into Sri Lankan net'

Sept 22 (IANS) The DMK Friday urged the the central govt, of which it is a key constituent, to save remaining Tamils in Sri Lanka and not fall into the "diabolical net" laid out by Sri Lanka and its president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. In his letter to the party cadres, a copy of which was released to the media, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said: "The Sri Lankan govt is trying to forge friendship with China and Pakistan, which have differences with India. The Sri Lankan govt is not ready to appreciate more..

'Nothing to prove Grade 5 exam leaked'

Sept 22 (CT) Results of the Grade five scholarship exams will be released by 30 Sept, and contrary to allegations, there has been no proof to prove that the examination papers were leaked; the Education Ministry said. Minister Bandula Gunawardena, said investigations have not proved that the scholarship examination papers were leaked, and the allegations hurled at the ministry by teachers unions, were false and baseless. more..

SA not intimidated by spin factor

Sept 22 (CI) If cricket was science fiction, contests between Sri Lanka and South Africa might be characterised as tussles between Ewoks and Vulcans. One side is almost cute. Their emphasis on the "Sri Lankan brand of cricket" is fuzzy, and their insistence on allowing bowlers to be themselves no matter how strange, is charmingly different. South Africa meanwhile are efficiency personified. There is little room for sentiment in their outfit and it is all the more formidable because of it. more..

India-Sri Lanka: Change tack

Sept 22 (DNA) As Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa begins his three-day visit to India, the challenge faced by the two countries is to restore a 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 government. The development augurs well for India-Sri Lanka ties which have more..

T20 SA v SL: Bully boys seek first challenge

Sept 22 (CI) Both sides have got their bullying out of the way, having beaten Zimbabwe by 82 runs and 10 wickets respectively, and Sri Lanka and South Africa are now ready to do business. That may sound odd considering that both having both already qualified for the Super Eights but neither have been challenged properly yet and will want to test themselves before a tough next round. Sri Lanka will be happy with the form of one of more..

T20: Wright's 99 helps England start impressively

Sept 22 (CI) The World Twenty20 continued to conform to expectation - disappointingly so, some will say - as England began the defence of their title with a 116-run hammering of Afghanistan. Luke Wright could not quite follow Brendon McCullum's hundred earlier in the day, but produced a blistering 99 off 55 balls after the holders overcame a slightly tricky start in highly convincing fashion. Wright became the second England batsman to be stranded one short of a Twenty20 hundred more..

Posts of Chief Ministers: Decisions to be taken when President returns

Sept 22 (NF) General Secretary of the UPFA Minister Susil Premajayantha says that the final decision on the chief ministers for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces will be reached when President Rajapaksa returns to the country. The Minister added that the two Chief Ministers would be sworn in on Monday. Who will be appointed as the Chief Minister of the North Central Province? This is the question on the minds of the general public. According to Former Minister more..

‘False statement’: Judge asks police if legal action against Major possible

Sept 22 (Island) Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeyaratne were released on bail in Rs. 50,000 cash and surety in Rs. 1 million each, when the case against them was taken up by Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne yesterday. The duo had been charged with assaulting an Army Intelligence officer in the wee hours of Sept. 8 at the Hilton Colombo Residence. While releasing them on bail, the Magistrate warned them that bail more..