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UPFA blames Sajith for Dayasiri’s departure

Aug 15 (Island) The UPFA said that UNP MP Sajith Premadasa was responsible for MP Dayasiri Jayasekera’s resignation from the UNP. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said UNP MP Premadasa launched a challenge for the party leadership with the backing of some MPs, but now they were sidelined by the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Not only Dayasiri Jayasekera, MPs Rosy Senanayake, Buddhika Pathirana, Sujeewa Senasinghe and Danesh Gankanda more..

Navy awaits police findings

Aug 15 (CG) The navy says it is awaiting the outcome of the police investigations into the involvement of four navy members in human smuggling. Navy spokesman said that the navy is not conducting its own investigations. He said the navy is awaiting the outcome of the police investigations to decide on the next course of action. The four navy men were arrested this week after a boat carrying over 100 asylum seekers was stopped by navy boats while it was believed to be more..

Teacher misled the public: Principal

Aug 15 (CT) A fortnight ago a teacher attached to Royal College, Colombo, one of the most popular boys' schools in the country, climbed on top of a school building in protest against a transfer she received. The teacher, Kalyani Dissanayake, claimed the transfer order was issued suddenly and arbitrarily, and was an act of revenge planned by the school principal as she had apparently given a statement against him to more..

Central Bank seen keeping rates steady

Aug 15 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to keep key monetary policy rates steady on Friday, a Reuters poll showed, as it reviews the impact of policy easing in recent months. The central bank reduced commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio by two percentage points from July 1, and cut its main policy interest rates by 50 basis points (bps) in May. It reduced the rates by 25 bps in December. The island-nation's central bank's policy stance has leaned towards easing since December. more..

Regulator warns Crown on Sri Lankan investments

Aug 15 (DM) Gaming mogul James Packer-controlled Crown casino group has been warned of dangers of bribery in expanding its casino empire into Sri Lanka and the Philippines, by a state gambling watchdog. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation warned Crown to be careful with its expansion plans and it “investigated Crown Limited’s approach to managing risk and ensuring compliance with anti-bribery and anticorruption laws when investing in more..

Pop icon Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson calls on President Rajapaksa

Aug 15 (IL) Jermaine Jackson, brother of pop icon Michael Jackson and member of the once famed 'Jackson Five’ met President Rajapaksa at the President’s House last evening on August 14. Jermaine is currently visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of MP Namal Rajapaksa. When Jermaine met President Rajapaksa, he presented the President a book he wrote about his late brother Michael Jackson titled more..

Dis-engagement scuttles reconciliation

Aug 16 (NS) In response to my previous article, titled “Sinhala hooliganism’s partner in crime“, Kanthar Balanathan, a Tamil engineer and a close observers of the secessionist struggle in Sri Lanka, contending that ‘The Problem’ was created by SJVC (S.J.V Chelvanayagam), lists the sequence of events with relevant comments. ‘GGP (G.G. Ponnambalam) elected to State Council in 1934. The ACTC (All Ceylon Tamil Congress) founded in 1944. GGP asks for 50-50% representation, more..

Chandra Schaffter Reflects

Aug 16 (NS) Chandra Schaffter is a heavy weight in the insurance industry in Sri Lanka. The octogenarian is blessed with good health and has no serious physical ills. He starts his day as early as 3am in the morning and is still actively involved in running his business Janashakthi Insurance which he formed in 1994. Last year he completed 60 years in the insurance business and penned an autobiography which he titled MY SIXTY YEARS IN INSURANCE, to celebrate the occasion. more..

Linking displaced family members in the North

Aug 16 (SO) Losing a loved one can be extremely painful whether it is a parent, an offspring or a sibling. A death of a family member could agitate somebody for the rest of his life or perhaps until the memory fades away after getting the notion that the lost person will never return. But losing someone in a conflict environment and having to live with the doubt whether that person is still alive or not can be far painful than the former. more..

Back to 1915 on 1983 scale: Who is more suited to succeed the Throne than Gota?

Aug 16 (DBS) The attack on the Grandpass mosque last week is the latest of the never ending anti-Muslim provocations conducted by Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya with their extremist mob. Ever since the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 these un-Buddhist militants have taken an apparent pledge to cleanse the island of Sri Lanka of all non-Buddhist elements and transform it into a pure land of Theravada Buddhism in their own image. The real tragedy is the inaction against and more..

Calculated attack on Grandpass Mosque

Aug 16 (DBS) The timely settlement of the dispute over the mosque at the Swarna Chaithiya Mawatha averted a potentially disastrous conflict which had all the ingredients to turn the area into a killing field. This could have even spilled over to other parts of the country. This farsighted and generous gesture, in the true spirit of Buddhist teachings, included the cutting of the nearby Bo tree and offering Muslims to pray in the temple “Banamaduwa”, (preaching hall) need to be admired by Muslims more..

The lies they tell us

Aug 16 (CT) The ‘Rajapaksa Model’ of warfare had eight fundamentals, Indian journalist VK Shashikumar wrote in the Indian Defence Review. These included political will, telling the world to ‘go to hell’, a no-negotiations policy, regulating media, rejecting ceasefires and giving troops complete operational freedom. All these are discernible – albeit in embryonic form – in Operation Weliweriya. In Weliweriya, the Siblings had the political more..

Yet another despicable act

Aug 16 (CT) It doesn’t take many people to destroy a country. This is a lesson that we have to learn, and we have to do it fast, while the hard won peace in Sri Lanka is still more or less intact. On Saturday night, a mob attacked a mosque in the Grandpass area of Colombo. The respected journalist DBS Jeyaraj has said that he believes that it was carefully planned. According to his report, thugs from outside the area met at the local Buddhist temple, then made their way clandestinely through more..

Tackling the scourge of child abuse

Aug 16 (Island) Sexual abuse of children has no geographical borders, ethnicity, colour or social status. It occurs in the best of homes and organizations, and in urban or rural villages. It robs a child of its dignity, self-respect, spirit and crushes its developmental growth like a rose bud before it blooms. Child abuse occurs frequently in US and Europe. In the UK, 23,000 incidents were reported by the police during 2009-2010. In the US, it varies widely. more..

Boston Lanka: August 16, 2013

Mass frustration: Burning ember beneath the ashes...

Aug 16 (CT) It's been like this for quite some time now. The anxieties of the parents, fractured hopes and aspirations of the youth, dashed ambitions of the workers; unfulfilled dreams of adolescents, broken promises of the women, starved bellies of the poor and fleeing expectations of the professionals for justice have all been burning inside them; slowly but surely consuming the outer coating of false armour. They penetrate into the very bones and marrow, eventually attempting to more..

The Arab Winter

Aug 16 (Island) US Secretary of State John Kerry minced no words when he told a Pakistani television channel on Aug. 01 that in Egypt the army had intervened to ‘restore democracy’. He betrayed America’s prejudice against the unintended beneficiaries of the Arab Spring revolt—the ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Cynics may ask whether the Egyptian army has recently taken another step towards ‘restoring democracy’. more..

'TNA offers no solutions to the Tamils'

Aug 16 (CT) Kandasamy Kamalendran alias Kamal is the Jaffna District Leader of the EPDP, currently spearheading the district's political campaign. Having joined the Tamil armed struggle at the tender age of 12 years, Kamalendran is convinced that the country lost a golden opportunity when the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed, which led to the introduction of PCs, all due to the imprudent actions of Tamil political parties. more..

Singer committed to expansion despite challenging economy

Aug 16 (Island) Announcing its interim financial results, Singer (Sri Lanka) said although difficult business conditions adversely impacted the group’s bottom line, the company continued its expansion and upgrading to keep in line with changing customer requirements as well as to meet the expected demand in the medium term. Singer group profits decreased by 51% and company profits declined by 56% during the first half of 2013, ‘the largest factor impacting profits was more..

VAT, weather and wage increments drag down Richard Pieris profits

Aug 16 (Island) Richard Pieris and Company reported a net profit of Rs. 219.5 million for the first quarter ended June 30, 2013, down 54% from a year ago with revenue growing 1% to Rs. 8.23 billion, interim financial results filed with the CSE showed. "The retail sector had a very robust performance during the first quarter with many exciting marketing campaigns. The launch of ‘Buy what you want and not what you get’ campaign created a lot of excitement in the market. more..

Samsung gets deal to automate Treasury operations for greater efficiency

Aug 16 (FT) The Treasury signed a contract with Samsung SDS of Korea for the implementation of an Integrated Treasury Management Information System, which will automate key departments of the Treasury/Ministry of Finance and Planning and will cut across various functions of general Treasury activities enabling speedier management in revenue administration and integrated treasury operations. more..

Lankans in poor show at men's 4 x 400m relay

Aug 16 (DN) Sri Lanka was eliminated in the men's 4 x 400m relay after finishing last in their second qualifying round heat at the 14th IAAF World Championship continued at Luzhniki Stadium here in the Russian capital on Thursday. The Lankan team was nowhere near their brilliant best in painting a poor picture to clock an unimpressive three minutes and 6.59 seconds - way behind its 3:04.92 bronze medal-winning performance at last month's Asian Championship in Pune, which gave them more..

Sri Lanka religious tensions spread

Aug 16 (KT) Religious tensions between the majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities continue to spread as isolated incidents are taking place across the country. On Wednesday, in Mawathagama, a tense situation was created when the police attempted to remove a signboard in front of a mosque which they claimed was illegal. Buddhist extermists protested against the signboard installed in front of the mosque on the road which read ‘Observe silence in front of the mosque’. more..

Mahela, Malinga to feature in CPL

Aug 16 (TE) Mahela Jayawardene will replace injured South African Davy Jacobs in the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel franchise for their remaining matches in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament. Jacobs was ruled out of the tournament with an injury to his right ankle, and did not feature in the Red Steel’s previous three matches. Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who is the second in the list of all-time wicket-takers more..

SLBFE concludes issuing of Korean job applications

Aug 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) concluded the issuing of Korean examination application forms for Korean jobs yesterday. The issuing of applications commenced on August 12 at 22 SLBFE regional centres countrywide. It has been estimated that around 60,000 applications were issued. Job seekers have to learn the Korean language in order to sit for the Korean language examination which will be held on October 19 and 20 in Colombo. more..

Trishaw drivers complain of pimps in khaki uniform

Aug 16 (Island) Three wheeler drivers complain that certain policemen own trishaws and use them for a prostitution racket. Presidents of the All Ceylon Trishaw Drivers and Owners Association (ACTDOA) and All Ceylon Trishaw Drivers Union (ACTDU) yesterday alleged that some policemen, who owned trishaws, were engaged in a peculiar business of ‘transporting prostitutes to different lodges’ at night after their drivers had finished work for the day. They said that the policemen, who arrested more..

UNP 'drowning in hopelessness' under Ranil

Aug 16 (CT) Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter, Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhita Thera, charged the UNP, under Ranil Wickremesinghe, is 'drowning in a sea of hopelessness.' "The UNP Leader acts on the advice of a group of sycophant henchmen around him, who work for only self-aggrandisement, benefits and privileges. They are immune to people's suffering and the colossal hardships the public has to more..

Mobitel unveils SIM-based NFC technology

Aug 16 (Island) Launching SIM-based NFC technology recently, Mobitel earned itself yet another first in the industry. Opting to pay by tapping one’s phone which has been installed with a NFC-enabled SIM card is gaining popularity across the world. This option is one that is fast and secure, where payments done in a retail environment are 100% contactless. NFC or Near Field Technology is now available for a multitude of applications via Mobitel’s suite of Business Solutions. more..

Lanka govt must rein in Buddhist bigotry

Aug 16 (AN) One popular view of Buddhism is of a peaceable religion, some of whose devotees sweep brushes in front of them, so that they do not step on and destroy any living creature. Unfortunately there is another, far from placid side to some Buddhists which the Muslim world has had cause to see in recent years. The genocidal attacks in Myanmar on the luckless Muslim Rohingya community by Buddhist fanatics was, until this week, the most high profile example of this bigotry. more..

Court orders removal of sign board

Aug 16 (DM) Pelassa Magistrate ordered the Moulavi of the Paragahadeniya Grand Mosque in Mawathagama and the RDA yesterday, to remove the sign board erected in front of the Mawathagama Paragahadeniya Mosque, which reads, ‘Mosque ahead- keep silence’, within 14 days. The magistrate also ordered that, after removal of the notice, the matter be reported to the magistrates’ court. more..

KPMG signs MOU with Accounting Dept, of J'pura University

Aug 16 (ST) KPMG in Sri Lanka recently entered into a MoU with the Department of Accounting of the University of Sri J'pura, enabling the two organisations to work in collaboration towards the advancement of higher education and professional career opportunities in the field of accounting and finance in Sri Lanka. The arrangement is aimed at providing practical learning opportunities for students at the university, where a series of knowledge sharing initiatives are more..

160,000 imported blood transfusion units unsuitable

Aug 16 (CT) Health sector authorities have imported 160,000 damaged blood transfusion units unsuitable for use. The President of the HSTUA, Saman Ratnapriya, claimed that as many as 160,000 units of equipment used for blood transfusion were imported from Singapore in July, and each unit was found to be damaged. The overall cost was just over Rs 6.8 million, he said. "We believe that the units were damaged while they were being produced, and to cover up the damage, a sticker was more..

CHOGM advance teams arrive

Aug 16 (CG) More than 70 representatives from 15 Commonwealth countries are currently in Sri Lanka on an advance visit to make preparations for their respective delegations for the CHOGM 2013. The delegations will tour the venue of the opening ceremony, the Nelum Pokuna Rajapaksa Theatre, conduct detailed walkthroughs of the BMICH – the site of the executive sessions and meetings – and visit Waters Edge, more..

Child marriages on the rise

Aug 16 (CG) A UNICEF commissioned report says there is an increase in child marriages in Sri Lanka. UNICEF commissioned a qualitative inquiry to better understand why children were marrying young and what could be done about it. The inquiry was based on a 2009 desk review, which suggested that early marriage and statutory rape might be on the increase in Sri Lanka, particularly in less developed districts. This findings concerned UNICEF, not only because early marriage limits more..

140,000 engage in unprotected sex daily

Aug 16 (CT) A survey, has revealed that 140,000 individuals are engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with prostitutes, as well as being involved in extra-marital relationships, in the country, every day. Director of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (STD/AIDS) Campaign of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sisira Liyanage, said the figure had come to light, consequent to a survey the Campaign had conducted with the assistance of NGOs. more..

Govt. mulls privatizing People's Bank

Aug 16 (CT) The govt sent signals to the market yesterday that it was mulling privatizing the State-owned People's Bank with Cabinet approval granted to increase its share capital. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said, the Cabinet had approved the Memorandum presented by President Rajapaksa, to increase the capital by amending the People's Bank Act No. 29 of 1961, as the capital of the Bank had remained unchanged from what it was more..

Tamil Nadu fishers anxious ahead of Lankan courts' verdicts today

Aug 16 (TOI) Fishermen in Rameswaram are keeping their fingers crossed as the Lankan courts will hear the case of 114 of their counterparts who have detained in the Island nation for the last 15 days. The 114 fishermen - 34 from Nagapattinam, 31 from Karaikal and the rest from Rameswaram were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on various dates on charges of trespassing into their waters. They were produced before the courts which extended their remand till August 16 and more..

Laugfs, Rank among new mega projects approved in Hambantota free port zone

Aug 16 (FT) Hambantota Port is preparing to receive investments exceeding US$ 1.6 billion from local and foreign companies as the Government gears up to promote its development. Under the business plan launched by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the Hambantota Port Development Project will consider prospective investment ventures. A proposal made by President Rajapaksa as the Minister of Ports and Highways to award land to five companies was approved by the Cabinet more..

Army report on Rathupaswala delayed

Aug 16 (DM) The date of submission of the preliminary report of the committee appointed by Army Commander Daya Ratnayake to investigate the events that took place in Rathupaswala on August 1, has now postponed to August 21. The delay was due to the police officers who were to give who evidence before the committee being unable to do so as they had been summoned to the Gampaha courts for the more..

Sri Lanka umpire Ponnadurai dies

Aug 16 (CI) Sri Lanka umpire Selliah Ponnadurai, who officiated in the country's maiden Test victory, over India in 1985, died at the age of 78 on Thursday. Ponnadurai stood with PW Vidanagamage in the second Test at the P Sara Oval which Sri Lanka went on to win by 149 runs and register their maiden Test win. Born in Jafna, Ponnadurai was educated at St John's College and represented them in cricket as a right-hand bat and right-arm medium-pace bowler. more..