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Jayanath Colombage new Navy Commander

Sept 25 (DM) Eastern Naval Commander Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage will assume duties as the new Navy Commander on Wednesday replacing Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake. Prior to the final selection, the names of Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Rear Admiral S.M.B. Weerasekera and Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera were considered by the Ministry of Defence, they said. Meanwhile Navy Commander Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake who is to retire more..

Nalaka sets record straight

Sept 25 (FT) SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa yesterday clarified that his only investments in listed companies were Colombo Land (1%) and George Steuart Finance (5%)and he would not be trading in either whilst in office. “As part of best practices, I have taken a personal decision not to trade in shares during the time I hold office as Chairman SEC. I won’t sell my holdings in Colombo Land, whilst as a promoter shareholder, I am also locked in for one year with regard to George Steuart Finance,” Godahewa said. more..

Pushing Sri Lankan trade beyond tea and dairy

Sept 25 (NBR) Sri Lanka's new-found peace and a tourism drive could boost bilateral trade by millions of dollars, beyond traditional dairy and tea. Despite the country's civil war, which ended in 2009, New Zealand has long-standing trade links with Sri Lanka. New Zealand's biggest company, Fonterra, dominates the Sri Lankan dairy market. It has 600 staff and a factory in Bigyama. Sri Lanka is New Zealand's fifth-biggest market for whole milk powder. At least 7000 Sri Lankans now live in NZ. more..

Malaka, Rehan granted permission to go abroad

Sept 25 (Island) The Colombo Fort Magistrate, Kanishka Wijeratne, yesterday ordered the police to file a case against Army Intelligence officer Major Susena for making false statements. The Magistrate also gave permission for Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeratne to travel overseas. When the case in which Malaka Silva, Rehan Wijeratne and five others were charged with assaulting the Major and a Corporal, at the Hilton Colombo more..

Madras High Court issues directive to Coast Guard on attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen

Sept 25 (PTI) The Madras High Court bench in Madurai on Monday directed the Indian Coast Guard to file an affidavit on future steps and those already taken to protect Indian fishermen from attacks allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel in the Palk Strait. Hearing a batch of petitions seeking protection to the fishermen, Justice Vinod Sharma and Justice A Selvam also asked the central and state govts to furnish in detail steps taken more..

Minister seeks wonderful changes

Sept 25 (PSN) The Productivity Promotion Minister has called for greater efficiencies in the public sector in order to make the country “the wonder of Asia”. The Minister, Lakshman Seneviratne, said Public Service Secretaries should also have a thorough knowledge and understanding about the institutions they headed. “A change of attitude on the part of State sector officials is timely and all Heads of the Govt sector should do their best to improve the standards of Govt service more..

Officials not Ministers to go for UNHRC Periodic Review Meeting

Sept 25 (Island) Officials and not Ministers would be representing Sri Lanka at the forthcoming United Nations Human Rights Periodic Review Meeting, the UNP said yesterday. Lakshman Kiriella, MP and Vice President of the UNP told The Island that according to reliable information received by him, an ambassador based in a western capital had been assigned to lead a delegation of officials to the crucial Periodic Review Sessions more..

Sri Lanka bank credit volumes fall to 18-month low in July

Sept 25 (LBO) Loans from Sri Lanka's commercial banks to state and private borrowers fell to 10.1 billion rupees in July 2012, down from 13.5 billion rupees a month earlier, the lowest since January 2011, partly helped by a sovereign bond sale. Loans to private borrowers rose 35.7 billion rupees to 2,270.6 billion rupees in July up 31.6 percent from a year earlier. The monetary authority its policy statement for September said private credit volumes were enough to keep the economy ticking. more..

Docs’ strike in Galle brings misery to patients

Sept 25 (Island) A token strike by doctors in the Galle district brought misery to thousands of patients requiring medical attention yesterday. The strike, launched by the GMOA Branch unions, crippled 89 rural, district and peripheral, hospitals, Central Dispensaries and 19 MoH divisions. It was in protest against Galle Mayor Methsiri de Silva allegedly abusing and obstructing Galle MoH, Dr. Venura Sinagarachchi. With around 1,000 doctors joining the strike, all routine operations, more..

All not yet quiet in East: Now, Pilleyan, Ali aspire to be MPs

Sept 25 (Island) Speculation is rife in political circles that former Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) S. Chandrakanthan aka Pilleyan (TMVP) and Amir Ali (ACMC), both elected to the EPC on the UPFA ticket, are seeking to enter parliament via the UPFA National List. In a bid to strengthen the UPFA’s administration in the East, UPFA National List MP Ms Malini Fonseka tendered her resignation, but she more..

Editorial: Home sweet home, where good food grows

Sept 25 (DM) For centuries agriculture has been the foundation of Sri Lanka’s economy and also a vital part of our hallowed ancient civilisation. The farmer was looked upon as a king, so much so that a famous British writer said that the farmer, when the mud was washed off his back, was fit to be a king. During the past few decades, and more so in recent years, both the farmer and agriculture have been put into a mud hole with priority being given more..

Rectifying wrongs of the past

Sept 25 (DM) Discrimination against the Tamil population which is seen to lie at the root of the three- decade conflict has been attributed to the struggle between a majority community and a minority community, where the latter seeks space to operate within a larger polity. The notion of democracy dictates that a balance must be achieved for this, in a manner that is not at the expense of any community. The balance to be found must be premised upon the common need for more..

JSC being stymied by influential quarters

Sept 25 (LB) Lawyer J.C. Weliamuna said that the influence wielded on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) cannot be taken in isolation. Speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS he said that there have been various attacks on the judiciary in the recent past. He said one of the most prominent instances in recent times was the Mannar Magistrate’s issue which brought about a black mark on the judiciary. “When the Mannar Magistrate was threatened, the Court was attacked more..

Tales of Udappuwa asylum seekers

Sept 25 (SL) Although the government has imposed many restrictions against human trafficking, most of the Tamil youth in Udappuwa – a hamlet which is 5km away from the Chilaw- Puttalam main road still find ‘ways’ to leave the country illegally seeking asylum in many western countries. For them there is no other way to get over from poverty, which they have inherited from their forefathers. There are over 2,500 families living in Udappuwa. more..

Corruption commission fast tracks probe on former NSB chief

Sept 25 (ST) A controversial National Savings Bank (NSB) share transaction involving its former chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam is being probed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption on a priority basis, but its chairman has declined comment on why this particular inquiry is being fast tracked. The Commission’s Chairman S. Balapatabendi, a former Supreme Court judge, said the more..

Sri Lanka to open embassy in Bahrain

Sept 25 (GN) Bahrain has welcomed a decision by Sri Lanka to open an embassy in Manama to serve its nationals and to help boost bilateral relations. “The embassy in Manama will help foster diplomatic relations and coordination in various areas and will also serve the interests of the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, the foreign minister, said at a meeting with G.L. Peiris, the Sri Lankan minister of external affairs in New York. more..

Nearly 400 soldiers commit suicide in peacetime

Sept 25 (Island) A majority of soldiers who committed suicide were suffering from Adjustment Disorder (AD). Only five of them were those under treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. "Many of them committed suicide because they were unable to cope up with their problems," he said, adding that nearly 400 army personnel had, during the past three years, more..

No problem with water at T20 - ICC

Sept 25 (Sky) The ICC on Monday denied that the drinking water supplied to teams was the cause of players becoming ill, but admitted to changing the supply of water as a result of an investigation. The move follows a report from AAP on Sunday which suggested at least one team had complained to the ICC that players were suffering from gastro and this may have been linked to the bottled water supplied at match venues. "Although there is no evidence to suggest that more..

SriLankan Airlines bailed out with Rs15.4bn bond

Sept 25 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines has been bailed out with a 15.4 billion rupee Treasury bond allowing the firm fill a gap in the balance sheet created by a record 17.1 billion rupee loss in 2011. Sri Lankan Airlines at group level lost 17.17 billion rupees in the year to March 2011, wiping out last year's net assets of 6.3 billion rupees, and the capital injection from the Treasury allowed the firm to end the year with 4.1 billion rupees in equity, its annual report showed. more..

Leading Chinese children's art troupe to perform in Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (Xinhua) A leading Chinese children's art troupe will perform in Sri Lanka next week as both countries celebrate 55 years of diplomatic relations, organizers said. The Nanjing Little Red Flower Dance Troupe will be performing in Sri Lanka for the first time and the event will see over 20 children displaying their skills in various dance forms. "The event will be held from Sept 30 to Oct 1 at the Nelum Pokuna Theater and more..

UN welcomes closing IDP camp but has concerns

Sept 25 (CG) While welcoming the closure of the ‘Menik Farm’ IDP camp the United Nations has raised concerns over some of the war displaced people. United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Subinay Nandy said that there were concerns over 346 people who are unable to return to their original homes. “This is a milestone event towards ending a chapter of displacement in Sri Lanka some three years after the civil war more..

Electricity to Jaffna Peninsula after 25 years

Sept 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's former war-torn north was connected to the national power grid after the lapse of 25 years on Tuesday in a landmark move that will see electricity access increase to 95 percent in the province, an official said here. A grid substation was opened in Kilinochchi, the former heartland of the Tamil tigers, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The new station will connect the Northern Province to the national grid that provides power to the entire country and more..

Support the struggle of Sri Lankan university teachers

Sept 25 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and its student movement, the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE), wholeheartedly welcome the widespread public support given to striking university teachers. Their demands for better pay and conditions have struck a chord throughout the working class, which is being hard hit by the government’s austerity measures. The SEP calls on workers and youth to take action of their own to back the teachers as more..

India-Sri Lanka relations hostage to Tamil parties

Sept 25 (DNA) India’s neighbours are not necessarily its friends. They can hardly be called India’s allies. In regional and international forums, more often than not, they are ranged against one another. History, geography, religion, geopolitics, uneven development, competing ambitions and much else account for this state of affairs. As a result, bilateral relations have their ups and downs and can be warm or chilly, euphoric or troubling. Even so, over the decades, more..

WikiLeaks: Basil discloses plan to decongest Manik Farm

Sept 25 (CT) "Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa told Charge and A/DCM that the GSL planned to move forward with significant IDP resettlement before the monsoon season begins in October. When pressed, Rajapaksa said as many as 100,000 would be released, including students, religious leaders, the elderly, and others. It remained unclear, however, how the GoSL would deal with the more..

Sri Lanka's rapid economic growth will continue for some years - Basil

Sept 25 (GDI) Despite the global economic downturn and the drought experiencing in some part of Sri Lanka, country will achieve good results in economic development this year too and that trend will continue for some years said minister Basil Rajapaksa when he met the Norwegian New Ambassador. Norwegian New Ambassador Grete Lochen paid a courtesy call on Minister on Monday and discussed the future economic and more..

Divi Neguma bill passed in Western PC

Sept 25 (AD) The Divi Neguma Draft Bill, which was forwarded for Provincial Council approval under a Supreme Court directive, was today passed in the Western provincial Council with 40 majority votes. A total of 64 councilors voted in favor of the draft bill, which was presented at the Provincial Council meeting today while 24 members voted against it. While a petition was filed challenging the bill, claiming it was harmful to the country, the Supreme Court last Tuesday ordered that more..

Multi-national exercise 'Cormorant Strike III' draws to a close

Sept 25 (MoD) The multi-national Army-organized Exercise 'Cormorant Strike III', the 16 day long joint exercise conducted on an amphibious setting on the eastern region of the country drew to a close as dusk fell on Sunday. Nearly 2000 tri-service personnel of Sri Lankan Armed Forces and 40 foreign military representatives from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and India (observers) took part in more..

Grade 5 Scholarship results, Districts cut-off marks released

Sept 25 (AD) The results of the Grade Five Scholarship Examination have been released. 318,000 students sat for this exam which was held on 26th August. The Commissioner General of Examinations Jayantha Pushpakumara said results can now be viewed by surfing the Examinations Department website He said that the Principals of Schools in Colombo and suburbs could obtain the results of their schools from the Examinations Department this morning. more..

Top TATA executive to address Sri Lanka's Corporate Citizen Awards

Sept 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 'Best Corporate Citizen Award 2012' is to be addressed by TATA Steel's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) chief, Biren Bhuta, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) releasing a statement said. Bhuta will be delivering the keynote address at the awards show scheduled for November 12, 2012 at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo. The annual award organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce since 2004, recognizes and promotes CSR efforts and more..

Indian fisherman's death in Colombo jail sparks anger

Sept 25 (IANS) The death in a Colombo prison of an Indian fisherman has raised tempers in Tamil Nadu, with allegations that India is not doing enough to bring back its prisoners from Sri Lanka despite a bilateral pact. Fisherman Thangaraj, 63, who became paralysed some three months ago, died Sunday at the Wellikade prison, sparking a wave of anger in the coastal region of Tamil Nadu. "If only India had brought more..

Asylum seeker quits Nauru for Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (SMH) A Sri Lankan man has become the first asylum seeker on Nauru to abandon his application for refugee status and return home. This follows a decision at the weekend by 18 asylum seekers on Christmas Island to return to Sri Lanka rather than be flown to Nauru. The man boarded a plane on Nauru - where asylum seekers are being sent under the recently reinstated offshore processing system - this morning after abandoning his application for refugee status in Australia. more..

Wimal whacks ‘Google’ again

Sept 25 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has held Google responsible for the circulation of the anti-Islamic movie - ‘Innocence of Muslims’- that has sparked violent protests by Muslims all over the world. Minister Weerawansa has charged that the US authorities are operating the Google search engine to suit their whims and fancies while violating ethics. Speaking further he has strongly criticized the US for engaging in activities that have posed a threat to world peace and more..

Former CM Berty Premalal lost the battle; Sworn in as a member of NCPC

Sept 25 (IL) Former North-Central Province Council (NCPC) Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake who demanded that he should be reappointed to the post was sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa as member of NCP Council at President’s House last night. Dissanayake was a notable absentee at the official swearing ceremony which was held at more..

Sanjeewa Bandara released on bail

Sept 25 (AD) Convener of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Sanjeewa Bandara released on bail by the Colombo Fort magistrate’s Court today. Sanjeewa Bandara was arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division last Wednesday (19) for allegedly attacking police officers and vandalizing state property during a protest held on August 29. He was ordered to be remanded till Sept 25, after being produced before the Fort Magistrate, Kanishka Wijeratne, on Thursday. more..

Three held for smuggling gold from Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (ENS) Three passengers who arrived in Chennai on a Sri Lankan airways flight from Colombo were held for attempting to smuggle gold, concealed in their clothing. The total amount of gold recovered was 1.2 kg, worth `39 lakh. Kaja Moideen (57) and his wife Samseen Beevi (52) were hauled up by customs sleuths and searched. When their coats were turned inside out, officials found that there were packets covered by carbon paper with gold biscuits inside. Another woman on more..

Mass support for FUTA ‘March’ swell

Sept 25 (LT) People’s support for the ‘March’ organized by the FUTA is growing day by day say reports. The ‘March’ launched by FUTA demanding the govt to allocate 6% of GNP for education in the country and solutions for several other grievances commenced from Galle yesterday and reached Ambalangoda in the evening. The ‘March’ commenced its second phase today from Ambalandoda bus stand amidst more..

Stocks closed up 0.18%

Sept 25 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.18% Tuesday with market interest in NDB Capital and several other blue chip companies. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,926.29 up 10.39 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 6.19 points higher at 3,201.10 up 0.19%. Turnover was 1,070.8 million rupees. Top contributors to the day's turnover were Asiri Hospital Holdings with 186.58 million rupees, Dialog Axiata with 139.4 million rupees and National Development Bank with 91.9 million rupees. more..

ICC World Twenty20: Not right as rain

Sept 25 (CI) Twenty20 cricket is religion to some, a leap of faith to others, and blasphemy to the rest. During this rainy season in Sri Lanka, though, those who worship at T20's altar will have their faith tested. On the best and driest of days it is argued, and not without merit, that Twenty20 is not exactly cricket. A batsman's wicket is devalued over such a short duration, and the bowler is often so marginalised that he is slave to the skill and luck of the batsman, who more..

'Tamils need not worry'

Sept 25 (DM) Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan said the Tamils in the East should not be worried about their future as he would be playing a leading role in the development of that area since he had been appointed as the Presidential Advisor on Eastern development. He said there wouldn’t be any issue with the Muslim Chief Minister or with the SLMC as all three communities could work more..