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Jaffna peninsula seeks more trade and investment

Aug 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula, which has emerged from a 30-year civil war, has untapped potential for greater investment and trade officials said. "We welcome all the new businesses and investments," K Pooranachandran, president of the Jaffna chamber of commerce and industry said. "We are here to help them. The place is very conducive for businesses and new developments." more..

India, Thailand maps Buddhist historical sites

Aug 18 (Island) The Govts of India and Thailand are working together to generate a map of Buddhist historical sites across South East Asia, including India, as part of bilateral efforts to promote tourism. The map would not only contain Buddhist archaeological sites but also detailed information which tourists usually seek such as accessibility, visiting times, nearby accommodations, and relevant historical information. In addition, the map would also enable users to discover more..

NLB launches Mega 50 lottery with biggest-ever Rs. 50 million grand prize

Aug 18 (Island) The National Lotteries Board (NLB) launched the new Mega 50 lottery last week with a super grand prize of Rs. 50 million on offer to mark the institution’s 50th anniversary. This will be a once-and–for–all lottery to celebrate this momentous event. In addition to the grand prize, there will be 50 Panda cars and many other prizes. Priced at Rs. 100 per ticket, each numberical on the ticket will carry prizes of varying value to make this the highest ever lottery draw in Sri Lanka, more..

Polls Dept seizes 24 ministerial vehicles

Aug 18 (CT) The Department of Elections has seized 24 ministerial vehicles engaging in polls malpractices and violations in the run-up to the 2013 Provincial Council polls. “The majority of them have been in the North-Western Province and a few in the Central Province with no complaints from the Northern Province,” Deputy Elections Commissioner, M.M. Mohamed, said. He also explained there were 110 more..

Five novels short listed for Sri Lanka’s richest literary prize

Aug 18 (Island) The five Sinhala novels short listed for the 2013 ‘Swarna Pusthaka’ award, Sri Lanka’s richest literary prize, were submitted on Thursday (15) to the panel of judges that will select the winner. The five books are ‘Atha Atha Nera’ by Sumithra Rahubadda, ‘Senkottan’ by Mahinda Prasad Masimbula, ‘Kaala Sarpa’ by Keerthi Welisarage, ‘Kande Veediya’ by Kapila Kumara Kalinga and ‘Theppasema Gini’ by Samaraweera Wijayasingha. The five books were presented by more..

NP National Physical Planning Committee to start development planning

Aug 18 (ST) Maankulam will be the administrative centre of the Northern Province, while Jaffna will be the cultural hub, with Kilinochchi as the trade hub and Mannar as the port city, according to the National Physical Planning Committee of the Northern Province, which will commence its development planning in the Province. This was revealed at the Committee’s inaugural meeting held on Friday at the Urban Development Ministry headquarters in Battaramulla, more..

Hirunika, legal adviser for Rajitha

Aug 18 (SL) Hirunika Premachandra has joined the Fisheries Ministry as a legal adviser to Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. Premachandra, daughter of the late Bharatha Lakshman, joined the Ministry on an invitation extended by the Minister. She said that she would work with the Minister until she received her law exam results next year. Hirunika said that her father was a good friend of Minister and that was why she accepted more..

India calls for fair polls

Aug 18 (SL) The Indian govt says that it hopes the Northern Provincial Council elections next month will be held in a free, fair and credible manner. India’s High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha said that India has also conveyed to the Sri Lankan govt its views on the recent political developments and looks forward to further steps that facilitate the process of national reconciliation. Sinha said this in a message last week to mark India’s 67th Independence Day anniversary. more..

Grandpass dispute due to Musthapha

Aug 18 (SM) It is reported that the tensed situation which erupted in the Grandpass area recently is an attempt made by the President to enhance he reputation of deputy minister Faiszer Musthapha against Minister Fawzi who is the Central Colombo organizer. The root cause for this dispute has been the use by Islamic devotees of this place, which was initially a warehouse, as a mosque during the Ramazan season. The dispute had been settled previously in a manner which the devotees to more..

CMC files burnt in cemetery

Aug 18 (AD) Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzammil has instructed the Internal Auditor of the Colombo Municipal Council to conduct an immediate investigation into the suspicious torching of a large number of important documents of the CMC. Around 6,000 documents belonging to dates between the years 2008-2013 were reportedly taken to the Borella cemetery and set ablaze last evening. Upon being notified of this several CMC more..

Two teen brothers killed after being run over by van

Aug 18 (AD) Two boys from the same family have died after they were run over by a van on the Puttalam-Kalpitiya road in Karamba this afternoon, leaving four others injured. The deceased, two brothers aged 14 and 15, are residents of Palawiya-Karamba. The van was traveling from Kalpitiya to Ratmalana when it had suddenly veered off the road and hit the two boys before crashing into a pole. The brothers were rushed to the Puttalam hospital, however had succumbed to injuries shortly. more..

148-year-old Police Ordinance to be overhauled

Aug 18 (ST) The 148-year-old Police Ordinance is to be overhauled to empower law enforcement officers to crack down more effectively on criminal activity. The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has appointed two official committees to identify changes required. One comprises representatives of the MoD, the Attorney Generals Department and a senior police officer. The second committee comprises retired and serving police officers. The Police Ordinance has so far more..

Objective report sought from Pillay

Aug 18 (CG) The govt hopes the UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay will submit a balanced and objective report on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC’s next session in September. Pillay will visit Sri Lanka later this month to take stock of the country’s progress on reconciliation with the Tamil minority since the end of the island’s ethnic conflict. Sri Lanka is looking forward to Pillay’s visit, Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe told the PTI. more..

Munneswaram prepares for sacrifice

Aug 18 (SL) The Munneswaram temple in Chilaw is preparing to stage the annual animal sacrifice this week after a Chilaw Court had last week issued an order prohibiting any protests near the temple till the 22nd of this month. The acting chief priest of the temple said that the animal sacrifice has been continuing for 13 generations and will continue this year as well. He said that there is no law prohibiting animal sacrifice and so it will be held on Thursday as scheduled. more..

Ruhuna undergrad wins Gold at Inter University Chemistry competition

Aug 18 (ST) Dinesh Amarasinghe of the University of Ruhuna won the Gold Medal at the all island Inter University Chemistry Competition 2012/2013, conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Sri Lanka at a ceremony held recently. Thirty top performers from the six universities competed. K.K.D.P.D. Godakumbura and Ruvini Rajapaksha received two merit awards. The Awards Ceremony was held at the SLAAS Auditorium at which Amarasinghe who obtained a first class more..

Sri Lankan leader Ranil 'disappointed' over poll process

Aug 18 (PTI) Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe said that he was disappointed over the election process to the Northern Provincial Council polls in Sri Lanka. "We are disappointed," Wickramasinghe told reporters at the airport, adding, the demand of the opposition parties to post election observers for the provincial elections has not been met. "Also, we are disappointed as a civilian has not been made the Governor. more..

Army seeks public comments

Aug 18 (CT) The committee appointed by the Sri Lanka Army has decided to obtain statements from the general public in connection with the incident transpired in Weliweriya, during which three people were killed earlier this month. However, it was reported the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (SLHRC) has intervened and stopped an attempt made by the military to summon people to army camps to record statements in this regard. Accordingly, the army is now inviting the more..

32 gemstones found in smuggler’s rectum

Aug 18 (E24|7) A Sri Lankan businessman was caught trying to smuggle out of the country 32 gemstones worth SLRs8 million concealed in his rectum, the ‘Mirror’ newspaper has reported. He was arrested at the BIA on Friday night. A resident of Beruwala, a popular destination for gem dealers, the 56 year-old man had arrived at the airport to board a flight to Singapore at 11.30pm. Customs said nine different kinds of gemstones were hidden in a a condom inserted in his rectum. more..

'India must raise concerns with Lanka over rights violations'

Aug 18 (PTI) India must raise serious concerns with Sri Lanka over human rights violations during and after the end of the nearly three decades long civil war, a leading rights group said today. India must raise serious concerns with Minister G L Pieris, on his scheduled visit to New Delhi this week, about the crackdown on dissent, repression, thousands of cases of disappearances and extra-judicial killings during and after the war more..

Bigger delegation this year for Japan Travel Showcase

Aug 18 (LBT) A bigger delegation from Sri Lanka will be participating in the JATA Travel Showcase in Japan this year. According to a spokesperson from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau there will be 20 travel and tourism companies participating in the annual event held in Tokyo, Japan. Last year, 14 companies participated in the Japan travel show, one of the biggest travel events in Asia. With more new hotels coming up around the island, the travel agents are optimistic that more..

Eastern University seeks Rs. 5 bn for Medical Faculty upgrade

Aug 18 (ST) The Eastern University of Sri Lanka has requested Rs.5 billion from the Ministry of Higher Education to carry out a number of development projects within the Faculty of Healthcare Sciences (Medical Faculty), the section’s Dean, Dr. K.T Sundaresan, said. Dr. Sundaresan said that the university was going to use the funds to build a five-storied building for a special teaching unit within the hospital, to provide better infrastructure facilities and build a fully-equipped faculty to more..

'Sri Lanka will like PM to participate in CHOGM meet'

Aug 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it would like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the upcoming CHOGM meeting in Colombo despite opposition from political parties in Tamil Nadu on his participation on the grounds of human rights violations of Tamils there. Minister G L Peiris expressed his country's keenness in this regard on the eve of his meeting with the prime minister here to extend an invitation to him on behalf of President more..

COPE, BoC and Corruption

Aug 19 (SL) The Bank of Ceylon, now celebrating its 74th Anniversary, is the first bank in Sri Lanka to achieve the prodigious milestone of a trillion rupees in assets. It has been ranked No 1 bank in Sri Lanka, and by now it is strongly in business globally with 500 branches in the island and a strong global link to serve its clientele of about ten million. Despite all these BoC’s high marks, the COPE put on it a bomb. The COPE pronounces the doom of the state banking sector for providing a life-line to more..

Old Tennis nationals is getting a new shine

Aug 19 (SL) BIG prize-money tennis tournaments might have diminished the once-paramount National Tennis Championship in mostother countries, but in Sri Lanka national titles remain the most coveted yet – just as it was back in 1884, the year of the event’s commencement. That the annual eventboasts of a history longer than the SLTA, two years shy of its centenary, gives it a sacred aura all its own. National Championships prior to the SLTA coming into being, in 1915, must certainly have been organized more..

'Good relations with UN maintained'

Aug 19 (SO) Excerpts of an interview with Mahinda Samarasinghe on the upcoming visit of UN Human Rights, High Commissioner. Q: The visit of the UN High Commissioner Navanetham Pillay falls next week. When will she be in the country, for how long and where would she be visiting during her stay? A: She is expected to come on August 25 and she will be here for one week, the exact departure dates are not known yet. more..

Effluent damage concerns on the rise

Aug 19 (NS) A variety of environmental issues have hit Sri Lanka in recent weeks, raising the question as to why these matters come to light in the aftermath of various crises instead of being dealt with before the disasters occurred. In the town of Weliveriya, three people were killed after the Army opened fire at demonstrators demanding clean drinking water. They were claiming the factory operated by a corporate giant was discharging toxic chemicals that affected their water supply. more..

Opposition unity and the return of the uncle nephew party

Aug 19 (DBS) The jury is no longer out on the UNP-led protest rally in Colombo last week and what it revealed about the state of that party. The Sunday Times, the newspaper least sympathetic to the govt, most hostile to the UNP’s dissidents and the most charitable to the existing opposition leadership carried this definitive assessment in the column by its Political Editor. “…Barely hours after the Magistrate’s order, a crowd of some 2,000 gathered for the protest… The organisers of the event more..

'Quality higher education through State accredited Institutes'

Aug 19 (ST) A National Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (NQAAC) will be introduced from next year to look into the quality and accreditation of all universities in the country, said Chairperson of the UGC, Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama. “This way we can assure a solid education system,” said Prof Hirimburegama on the current state of higher education in Sri Lanka, in an interview with the Education Times. more..

View from Ritigala - by Mahasona

Aug 19 (NS) Comrade Bahu, a colorful frill to whatever political coalition he chooses to tag himself on to, has said ‘now even capitalists have joined us’. Time was when red went with blue but now this evergreen red seems to have taken ‘evergreen’ literally, hooking up with the UNP, strange bedfellows certainly! But Comrade Bahu knows enough about power to know who calls the shots. Left has fooled itself into believing that coalitions are about each member having equal more..

Tamils are not discriminated in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (Island) The exact nature of the so called ethnic problem, sometimes referred to as the National Problem or the Tamil Problem, has not been clearly defined by those who comment on the subject ad even those who propose elaborate solutions which impact on the lives of everybody who lives in this small island. Some vaguely say the Tamils are discriminated in relation to language, culture, employment, land ownership, security etc. without giving facts and figures to support more..

Sri Lanka has become a country of mediocre rulers, politicians, officials and supporters

Aug 19 (DBS) From wherever one looks and to wherever one looks, one sees that the Govt is in deep, deep trouble. They may put out a brave façade. They may brush aside all criticism. But there is no denying that they are knee-deep in ‘fertilizer’. Whenever a crisis takes shape, they look to the Chief Executive, not so much to convince a public who is getting increasingly disillusioned about the excessive powers vested in the Presidency more..

Manamperi murder case, Incident at Ratupaswela and the law

Aug 19 (CT) When thousands of people from several villages around Weliweriya were demonstrating and if the law enforcement authorities considered this to be an unlawful assembly which is a threat to the maintenance of Law and Order, then under our law the Police is vested with powers to disperse such an assembly under Section 95 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Under Section 95(3), the military can be used only when such an assembly cannot otherwise be dispersed and if it is more..

Mad milk mayhem for P & P

Aug 19 (CT) DCD (dicyandiamide); Chlostridium (C.); Botulinum; Whey Protein. What do I know about all those medical and specialised lingo? Nothing until a huge uproar broke out in media about a week ago and prompted some digging in. How much would a nurses’ trade unionists in Sri Lanka know? Doubt they know it right. The medical doctors in govt service? They may know something, but what is their credibility? What do journalists know? They know what others say. more..

Mr. Merrill Fernando responded

Aug 19 (Island) The Tea Exporters’ Association (TEA) of Sri Lanka agrees with the need for Dilmah to import speciality tea for servicing its retail trade customers worldwide. As a globally recognized brand name, retailers demand that we supply the full complement of tea they require for their on their supermarkets. Apart from supermarkets, Dilmah is penetrating leading airlines and five star hotels. more..

Hot-blooded Don Juan in police net

Aug 19 (SO) Death evokes sadness, not joy. However, in the case of Sunil Wimalaweera it was the other way around. The death of Sunil who hails from Galenbindunuweva, a small village in the North Central Province was an event for rejoice for the villagers. When news broke out about Sunil's death the villagers lit fire crackers and prepared milk rice to show their pleasure and relief. Sunil Wimalaweera, 50, was born in Hingurakgoda. He could not study beyond grade nine as he was from a poor more..

Press Sri Lanka to honour promises

Aug 19 (ENS) Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris’s visit to India presents New Delhi an opportunity to communicate its serious concerns over recent developments in SL, such as the move to dilute provisions of the 13th Amendment ahead of crucial provincial polls, the ongoing crackdown of its security forces on dissent and continuing repression of the minorities. Peiris is scheduled to meet prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, when he will hand over a formal invitation for the CHOGM more..

The post-war growth bump has hit the ceiling

Aug 19 (Island) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most common measure of a country’s prosperity. Can Sri Lanka expect higher sustained GDP growth post war? The first two years after the war were positive, but the data suggests it was unsustainable, and the signs are that the post-war bump-up is over for the time-being. GDP is a measure of the value of all the goods and services produced "in the country". more..

Elephantine injustice

Aug 19 (Island) The mission of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is to provide care and sanctuary to pachyderms in need, especially calves. But, sadly, it has apparently lost its raison d’etre; it has become a place where baby jumbos born in captivity are orphaned; calves are separated from their mothers even before they are weaned. The Department of Wildlife has drawn heavy flak for shifting two calves below five years of age from Pinnawala to the Dehiwala zoo. more..

Lankan teens record historic win

Aug 19 (ST) Sri Lanka Under-17s led by Chamika Karunaratne recorded a historic win by thrashing the England Under-17s by an inning and 81 runs on the final day of their three-day match which ended at Bedfordshire in England. The England juniors trailing by 209 runs to cover an innings defeat were bowled out for 128 with a session and a half remaining as the lads from the Indian Ocean Island walked out as proud victors after recording the first ever win against an England team at this format. more..

Colombo will try Indian fishermen

Aug 19 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has ruled out early repatriation of over 100 TN fishermen arrested by it recently for allegedly crossing into Sri Lankan territorial waters. Some of them have been in custody for over two months, and Colombo says they would have to undergo the judicial process though the intention is not to deprive them of their liberty for long. “But there has be some deterrence, otherwise why won’t they come more..