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DSG informs Court: NIC info in Sinhala, Tamil in six months

Aug 9 (Island) Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Viraj Dayaratne yesterday told the Supreme Court that it would be possible to provide information, both in the Sinhala and Tamil languages, as regards the National Identity Cards, within a period of six months. He added that electronic ID cards would be issued both in Sinhala and Tamil with English as a link language within three years. The Deputy Solicitor General appeared for the Registrar General of Persons, made a respondent, more..

Dufry to operate duty-free at Mattala Rajapaksa International airport

Aug 9 (DFN) Dufry has signed a master concessionaire agreement to operate duty-free spaces at Mattala Rajapaksa International airport (MRIA). MRIA is located in southeast Sri Lanka and was officially opened as Sri Lanka’s second international gateway in March 2013, as reported in the August issue of DFNI. The new airport expects initial annual passenger handling capacity of 1m to be reached by 2015. more..

SLFP vows to hold free and fair polls

Aug 9 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the ruling party was committed to holding free and fair polls to establish democracy, especially in the Northern Province, to provide an example to the world. He said that all UPFA candidates had been asked to strictly adhere to election laws and regulations. He added that they had been advised not to use state assets for election campaigning. SLFP would hold its first rally of their election campaign on Sept 2, celebrating the more..

Redeem or forfeit pawned jewellery

Aug 9 (CT) Tea estate workers in the Nuwara Eliya District who had pawned their gold jewellery at State banks are said to be in a quandary, consequent to banks informing them to repay half of the cash advanced for the pawned items plus the interest for the same, before a stipulated date, failing which the items pawned will be auctioned. The continuous rain in the hill country in the past three months had affected the tea industry, with many workers being laid off regular work. more..

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra locked in battle with Sri Lankan health authority

Aug 9 ((Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal issued an order Friday to prevent Fonterra Brands Lanka, which is locked in a battle with local health officials over allegations of contaminated milk powder, from publishing any advertisements in the "manner and style deceiving the consumers and public that the products imported by them are 100 percent perfect." Fonterra, which is the world's largest dairy exporter, has been accused of more..

Govt. wants to blame protestors for Weliweriya carnage – Ranil

Aug 9 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged the govt was trying to misdirect investigations on the Weliweriya protest to blame the people who fought for clean water. Speaking at the UNP Gampaha district electoral organisation meeting he said the govt’s false charge that protesters had fired at the armed forces was enough to guess where the investigations were headed. “One cannot rely on the investigations that are being carried out by the authorities because of more..

New Indian envoy keen to further ties

Aug 9 (PTI) India's new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha today met the country's powerful Buddhist monks and underlined his desire to build on the existing close ties between the two nations. Sinha stated this while visiting the Buddhist leaders in the central town of Kandy. Sinha called on both main leaders of the two Buddhist chapters in Kandy who wield considerable power in the Buddhist-majority island. He said he was looking forward to build on the existing close friendship more..

Massive Gampola cutout removed

Aug 9 (CG) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) says that the large election cutout of UPFA candidate Anuradha Jayarathne, erected at the Old Bridge along the Gampola – Nuwara Eliya road was removed today (9). This action was taken after CaFFE complained to the Commissioner of Election of this brazen election law violation and managed to generate massive media publicity through continuous campaigning, more..

'Entitlement Syndrome' the scourge of SL

Aug 10 (CT) In the ancient world, rulers ruled by dynastical power. Family-rule ruled the waves and power flew downwards from the parent generation to that of the children. The question of succession was never an issue, provided the ruler had children of his or her own. Even in the event there were no children to succeed, succession from brother to brother or to a close blood relation was never questioned by the subjects. This was so in the West as much as it was so in the other parts of the world more..

TNA's majoritism in minority politics

Aug 10 (CT) During a recent televised political discussion on a private television channel, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, made a very interesting statement, in his attempt to justify the Alliance's decision to boycott the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) set up to find a solution to the crisis in the North and East. He said the TNA decided to boycott the PSC as a majority of its members are Sinhalese. According to him, post-independent Sri Lanka was ruled more..

Chandran Rutnam : First Lankan director to win Best Director Award

Aug 10 (SO) Since the 1960s, no Asian Director has won a ‘Best Director’ Award at an International Film Festival. Now, Chandran Rutnam stands up with the only other South-East Asian Director, Satyajit Ray, who won the Best Director Award, at the Auckland International Film Festival for his film. “The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha” in 1969. The Madrid International Film Festival awarded Chandran with the Best Director Award, more..

My father pointed out the difference between the LTTE and the Tamil people

Aug 10 (CT) As Camus writes in his book The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt, “Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.” My father had a strange form of love for his fellow countrymen, which was deemed rebellious due to the political situation that existed during that time. Many of the political decisions he made at that time made him unpopular, but in such a volatile time I believe the decisions he made were the right thing to do. Today marks the 63rd birth anniversary more..

Our Zimbabwean Future?

Aug 10 (DBS) Robert Mugabe’s landslide victory barely caused a stir, internationally. When the predictable happens, it is not quite Breaking-News. The world seems to have realised that Mugabe will never relinquish power, voluntarily. The usual Western condemnations did emanate, but they were almost token protests, lacking in vigour, purpose or direction. As journalist Wilf Mbanga pointed out, “What happened…was a demonstration of what can be done by a small group of people who more..

A day in the life of a parking attendant

Aug 10 (CT) Everybody likes a little bit of comfort in their lives, but for people who take care of your vehicles in a public parking lot, it is luxury. Standing from dawn to dust just to earn a decent living life is a struggle for the parking attendants around the city. We met Jayawathi Perera, a 61-year-old, single mother ,who works as a parking attendant in a public parking lot close to the Colombo General Hospital. more..

Falling out of love with the Army

Aug 10 (SAAG) How quickly a besotted Sinhala public turned from adoration to angst of the country’s military and police has taken me by surprise. Perhaps this is but a passing lover’s quarrel which will blow over and adulation of the “brave heroes who vanquished the most ferocious terrorists on the globe” will soon return. Or perhaps a paradigm has shifted. I am referring to the change in public mood evident after the shooting of civilian protesters at Waliveriya village on 1 August 2013. more..

How did it come to this?

Aug 10 (CT) Once again, the Govt is desperately seeking an excuse. The Army has shot dead at least three people on the streets of the Gampaha district in the process of breaking up a protest. Dozens of others are still undergoing treatment for their injuries. Unsurprisingly, it has been doing its best to put the blame on what it calls ‘subversives’ – the new terrorists. Ministers have told the press that the villagers of Weliweriya were on the verge of calling off their agitation, with the Govt having more..

Pura Neguma model towns in local bodies

Aug 10 (SO) Local Authorities across the country are the most-closest service delivering mechanism of the people as it is the authority responsible even to handle the garbage bin in the households and also the approving agency of their housing plans and other construction. Apart from that they are also playing a key role in providing the key infrastructure facilities in the urban centres which has become the hub of the community more..

Vitro meat for the poor: Pie in the sky?

Aug 10 (Island) If the cattle knew about man’s latest scientific feat, they would burst in jubilation, mooing and hoofing it. He is now capable of eating beef without killing bovines! The day may not be far off when there is no need at all for rearing animals for slaughter thanks to the invention of ‘test tube meat’. In what is being flaunted as a baby step towards meeting the shortfall in global meat production, scientists have ‘grown’ burger in a lab. It has come to be aptly dubbed the ‘Googleburger’ more..

Can people tackle climate change, when science remains uncertain?

Aug 10 (ST) Scientists may debate and differ on the exact nature and manifestation of climate change impacts. Are the changes in temperature and rainfall simply an anomaly, or are they an indication of long term climatic change? But farmers and fishermen throughout the country are experiencing changed seasons year on year, and for many the past four years have been the worst in terms of aberrant weather.Many dry zone villages have teetered between flood and drought and flood again, more..

BBC: Sri Lanka Elephant Island

United in Grief

Aug 10 (Island) ‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent’. Grief is the inevitable consequence of violence. The tragic and inexcusable events of Weliweriya have left its residents with unimaginable grief. Akila Dinesh Jayawardena was a 17-year-old student of Chandrajothi Vidhyalaya, Yakkala. He was killed by a soldier’s bullet as he inched through protesters searching for his mother. more..

Go in for a tea garden therapy

Aug 10 (TOI) It's everyone's favourite brew - the cup that cheers and invigorates. Most people love their morning fix. Says Kamal Sidhu, "Tea and the plan to drink some, is among the first of my thoughts every morning. It evokes the sense of comfort and clarity I look for to kick off my day. Whether its masala chai, English green, pink or white tea, it all works for me. And chamomile flowers have what it takes to wind down a wonderful day." Did you know that tea is the most popular drink second only to water! more..

Rs. 3bn debt issue gets CSE nod

Aug 10 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said it had approved in principle Hatton National Bank’s (HNB) Rs. 3 billion debenture issue. The issue of 20 million unsecured, senior, redeemable debentures opens on Aug 23, with the option of issuing a further 10 million in the event of oversubscription. The debentures are valued at Rs. 100 each with a discounted issue price of Rs. 67.715. Capital Alliance Partners is managing more..

Expolanka Holdings profits up 7%

Aug 10 (Island) Expolanka Holdings posted its consolidated NPAT for the first quarter of FY 2013/14 at Rs. 369 Mn, with a consolidated NPBT at Rs. 463 Mn. The Group revenue for the first quarter in Financial Year 2013/14 at Rs. 13.8 billion reflects a 33% growth over the corresponding period in the previous year. The Net Profit after tax at Rs. 369 million was an increase of 7% over the corresponding period last year. The Net Profit attributable to the Equity holders of parent more..

Dialog raises US$200mn loan

Aug 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata, the country's largest mobile operator said it had raised 200 million US dollars from a syndicated loan. The 5-year loan had been arranged by OCBC Bank Malaysia Berhard and Standard Chartered Bank. The fund will be used for capital expenditure, working capital and settle existing debt, the company said. Dialog is a top foreign investor in Sri Lanka and it announced a 150 million US dollar expansion in broadband and fibre optics more..

SLC ‘UltraTech’ T20 from today

Aug 10 (Island) The Sri Lanka Cricket organised Twenty20 domestic cricket tournament, sponsored by UltraTech Cement and named UltraTech Cement Super4’s T20 Tournament 2013, will begin today at the R. Premadasa Stadium, in Colombo. The next two rounds of the tournament will be played next Monday and Wednesday. The final will be played next Saturday. CSN will provide live coverage of the tournament and more..

Orange Electric: Ready to develop next gen. technology

Aug 10 (Island) Kushan Kodituwakku, Managing Director of Orange Electric believes that over a period of time electrical appliances will have to connect with hand held mobile devices, which have become a part of modern day society! Just imagine one driving back home from work on a hot August night and being able to cool their bedroom in readiness beforehand with just a touch. All one would have to do is take out their smart phone and go to home appliance on their touch screen more..

AMCHAM and SLASSCOM to facilitate eTourism 2.0 in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (ST) The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Sri Lanka, along with local IT industry body SLASSCOM, has launched an initiative to facilitate new technology adoption amongst local hotels with the goal of better attracting, servicing and retaining guests. Termed gTourism 2.0, this engagement between the local IT and hospitality sectors also includes a conference wherein the most innovative IT solutions related to the Sri Lankan tourism industry will be highlighted. more..

Plantation Tamils’ long battle for some land and a sense of belonging

Aug 10 (Hindu) “Six feet of land”, says Jothi, drawing an imaginary rectangle above the ground, “is all that really belongs to us, to be buried after death”. Like most labourers working in Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, she does not have even an inch of land she can call her own. Toiling for nearly two centuries, plantation Tamils — brought down by the British from Tirunelveli, Tiruchi, Madurai and Thanjavur in the early nineteenth century more..

No division among media personnel Director General tells media

Aug 10 (DN) There is no division of media personnel such as Newspaper media and Provincial media. They are members of one profession who work in the same field said Information Department Director General Ariyaratne Athugala addressing media personnel of the Kalutara District recently. Athugala said that he did not agree with the saying that ‘Sports make a person disciplined’. He further said that children who get addicted to computers should be closely watched, more..

Wellawatte roads closed for Vel Festival

Aug 10 (Island) The Police Headquarters yesterday announced that some roads in and around Wellawatte police area would be closed today (10) and tomorrow (11) in view of the annual Vel Festival of the Mayura Kovil, Havelock Town. From 12 noon to 4 p.m. today vehicles traveling from Dehiwala towards Colombo from Galle Road would be turned left from the Ramakrishna junction in Wellawatta to the Marine Drive up to the Majestic cinema where vehicles could turn back onto Galle road. more..

Ranil restores membership of Range, Ashoka

Aug 10 (Island) The Working Committee of the UNP yesterday decided to restore the party membership of UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara (Puttalam) and Ashoka Abeysinghe (Kurunegala). The WC which met at Sirikotha also decided to halt all disciplinary inquiries against the two MPs. They were suspended for defying a party directive not to attend a meeting of Gen. Sarath Fonseka more..

Audio: Mahinda S hails Mahinda R

Aug 10 (CG) Minister and Former UNP MP Mahinda Samarasinghe says he has no regrets joining the govt as in his view President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a great leader. Samarasinghe said that he was the first UNP MP to join the govt although he did not have a rift with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. “I saw a leader who had put the country first,” he said. Samarasinghe said that when he was with the UNP under the leadership of Wickremesinghe he would sit in parliament in the front row. more..

Fear of homosexuals drives sailors to desert

Aug 10 (Island) Love affairs of unmarried sailors and outcomes of peer group relationships have been identified as two of the main reasons for naval ratings deserting the Navy, Parliament was told. Among other reasons for deserting were sailors’ domestic problems, drug addiction, migration, adjustment difficulties, absconding training courses, entering into other professions and getting involved in money dealings. 9097 of servicemen had been legally indicted as at July 23, this year. more..

Sri Lanka to expand spice growing areas

Aug 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to expand spice cultivation to new areas which will increase production and export especially of pepper and cinnamon. Vajira Narampanawa, secretary minor export crop promotion ministry said following initial trials, pilot projects were planned in several areas which were not previously known for spice growing. Cinnamon and pepper in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Amapara and Batticaloa. more..

Monks death suspected to be suicide

Aug 10 (Island) A body of a 79-year-old Buddhist monk was recovered from a rocky pond in the back of a the Kalatuwagama temple in the Wellawa police area in Kurunegala yesterday morning. When the body was brought out in the presence of the Kurunegala Magistrate Sugath Wijewickrema, there was a cut in the neck not that deep and the pillow he slept had blood stains. The deceased monk was earlier a married person, who had become a monk in his fifties. more..

Sri Lanka to witness dazzling meteor shower from today

Aug 10 (DN) The Sri Lankan public will be able to witness dazzling shooting stars streak across the skies for nearly four days starting today, courtesy the upcoming Perseid meteor shower, which will be clearly visible in the local skies. According to Planetarium officials, the meteor shower will peak overnight between August 11 -13 with around 50 meteors per hour while today people will be able to witness at least 10 -15 meteors from midnight to early morning if the skies remains clear. more..

Senathirajah takes control of TNA candidate selection for NPC

Aug 10 (DBS) History was in the making as nominations closed on August 1st for the first ever election to Northern Provincial Council scheduled for Sept 21st. The predominantly Tamil Northern Province comprising five administrative districts will have a Provincial Council of 38 members. Of the administrative districts Jaffna and Kilinochchi will form the Jaffna electoral district while Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitheevu together more..

DMK always stood by Sri Lankan Tamils, says Stalin

Aug 10 (Hindu) Asserting that the DMK has been supportive of Sri Lankan Tamils since 1956, party treasurer M.K. Stalin on Thursday criticised Chief Minister Jayalalithaa saying she was now shedding false tears after having demanded the arrest of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran in the Legislative Assembly. Addressing a well-attended protest meeting as part of the Statewide demonstrations to condemn alleged war crimes against Tamils in Sri Lanka and to demand implementation of more..

Video: Tissa Vitharana stresses importance of Provincial Council system

Aug 10 (AD) The power that was limited to Colombo will only be given to the villages through the Provincial Councils, Leader of the Sri Lanka Sama Samaja Party Prof. Tissa Vitharana stated. He highlighted the importance of the 13th constitutional amendment and holding elections in North in accordance with it. He said that it was the govt’s duty to develop the roads in the North and improve infrastructure but added that the govt should also allow the people of the North to elect more..