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India unable to curb poaching: Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (Hindu) India should host the Joint Working Group meeting on the fishermen’s issue without any further delay, Sri Lanka’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said. The Joint Working Group – set up to address the fisheries issue that affected fishermen of India and Sri Lanka – agreed to meet once in six months, with representatives from both countries. The group last met in January 2012 in Colombo and it is now India’s turn to host the meeting. more..

'Current account surplus by 2016'

Aug 19 (Island) Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said foreign bond issues by the corporate sector will help the country achieve current account surplus by 2016, bridge the investment deficit and boost the economy to an 8% plus growth rate. The country requires investments to reach 32% of GDP for economic growth to range above the eight percent mark. Currently, investments stand at 26% of GDP with the govt’s contribution at around 6%, Cabraal said, speaking at a forum organised by more..

Tamil groups plan to oppose release of Madras Cafe

Aug 19 (Hindu) The names are different. Prabhakaran is Bhaskaran in the film. Rajiv Gandhi is referred to as the young former prime minister. And the LTTE is LTF. Though the producers of Madras Cafe have insisted the film has nothing to do with the Tamil Tigers, the connections are unmistakable. Six months after some Muslim groups protested against the release of Kamal Hassan’s Viswaroopam, members of some Tamil more..

Budget 2014: Containing fiscal deficit tough task

Aug 19 (ST) The preparation of a budget is a difficult task at the best of times. It is especially onerous this year as the economic background in which the 2014 budget is being drafted is by no means propitious. Among the impediments to good fiscal management are the slowing down of the economy, reduction in exports and imports, high committed recurrent expenditure, political commitments to invest in large infrastructure projects, unwillingness to prune unnecessary and unproductive expenditure, more..

Army Commander recalls the vital role played by the Navy in war victory

Aug 19 (Island) The Navy was the first line of defence of Sri Lanka and all three forces participated in freeing the country from the clutches of LTTE terrorism, new Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake said. Addressing the newly commissioned officers and their parents, as the chief guest of Commissioning Parade of the Naval and Maritime Academy of Sri Lanka Navy, in Tincomalee on Friday evening, Lt. Gen. Ratnayake expressed his gratitude to the Navy for inviting him for more..

President hands over houses to War Hero Families

Aug 19 (MoD) Under the 'Api Wenuwen Api' housing project for war heroes, 102 brand new houses completed in the Nuwara Eliya district were handed over to their respective owners by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a special ceremony held at the Central College ground's in Poramadulla today (18). Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa were also present more..

Rosy wants mainstream parties to overpower TNA

Aug 19 (NS) The UNP MP Rosy Senanayake said both the govt and the UNP should strive to win minority votes in the North that were lost due to TNAs domination in the area. She said the two major political parties in the country need to work towards establishing its base in the North which is experiencing an election after a long hiatus. Her remarks comes against a backdrop where the UNP had faced a series of defeats in the past few elections, particularly in the NP where more..

Estate manager nabbed with firearm and bullets

Aug 19 (CT) An estate superintendent, who was charged with a series of robberies in Nawalapitiya and Galaha, was arrested by the Mirihana Police yesterday, along with an S.M.P. firearm and 18 bullets. Acting Police Media Spokesman, SSP Ajith Rohana, said the suspect who is a resident of Gonahena, Kadawatha, is the son of a former Deputy Minister. Police had received information that the suspect had allegedly robbed Rs 2.7 million at Nawalapitiya and Rs 93,000 at Galaha. more..

Bank credit to state spikes in June

Aug 19 (LBO) Credit to the state spiked in June 2013 to 36.7 billion rupees, up from only 5.7 billion in May, crowding out loans to private citizens to 11.5 billion rupees from 18.3 billion a month earlier. Credit to the central govt rose to 1,259.1 billion rupees in June, up 24.6% from a year earlier, picking up pace from 19.3% in May. Borrowings from local currency books rose to 883.3 billion rupees, up from 845.7 billion rupees. more..

CTU denounces Exams Dept. directive

Aug 19 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) charged that the ban on tuition classes for the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam that was announced yesterday, and effective until the exams are over, is a futile exercise, which in their opinion, had been taken to cover up the inefficiency of the Examinations Department. The latest directive has been issued in order to prevent exam papers from leaking to the students. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said there were allegations in more..

Love triangle leads to death of two

Aug 19 (CT) A dispute over a love triangle led to the loss of two lives while another person was wounded when an Air Force Corporal killed an airman and an airwoman before he turned the gun on him, at an Air Force-run resort on the picturesque Marble Beach in Trincomalee, police sources said. The injured Corporal was admitted to the Trincomalee General Hospital and is being treated at the ICU. The tragic incident took place yesterday. The two victims died on the spot. more..

Fonterra products ‘still on the shelves’

Aug 19 (CT) Accusing the New Zealand diary giant, Fonterra, of continuing to sell and distribute its milk powder products in the country, despite a Court order banning such sales, the GNOA said it will file another case against the company for Contempt of Court. President of the GNOA Saman Ratnapriya, said they have observed that Fonterra continues to sell and distribute it products through supermarkets and agents. more..

Tusker Gamunu fired at in Yala park

Aug 19 (ST) A group have opened fire at the tusker Gemunu in the Yala National park. The Minister of Wildlife Vijith Vijayamuni Soyza said he was aware of the incident. He said that the tusker was very friendly with visitors and on this occasion a group had come from behind and fired three shots into the air. The third shot struck the elephant and the animal fled into the jungle. The tusker was a popular attraction amongst visitors to Yala as it had been used to consuming food from visitors more..

Highest number of election violence – CaFFE

Aug 19 (CT) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), had received 129 complaints from the time nominations to contest the three Provincial Council elections had been handed in. The highest number of incidents has been reported from Nikaweratiya and Bingiriya. A large number of assaults, firing shots in the air, intimidation and attacks on party offices, were reported from the Kurunegala District last week. This was the result of an intra-Party clash between two groups of the UPFA. more..

‘Cremation’ of vital CMC documents under probe

Aug 19 (Island) Councillors of the ruling UNP and Opposition joined hands in attempts to save over 1,000 confidential documents of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) from being reduced to ash at the Buddhist section of the General Cemetery, Kanatte on Saturday evening. The files were set ablaze by a senior SLAS official and a senior Vice Squad officer. Roy Bogahawatte, MMC representing the DUA. more..

Fonterra refutes temporary ban on its products in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (WSJ) Fonterra Group monday said it refutes a temporary injunction to prevent it from selling products in Sri Lanka. According to Fonterra, the injunction prevents Fonterra from selling and advertising its products in Sri Lanka for the next 14 days. Fonterra earlier this month warned that three batches of one of its dairy products, whey protein concentrate, might contain harmful bacteria, which led countries like China and Russia to ban some of its milk products. more..

Sri Lanka ban worries NZ farmers

Aug 19 (RNZ) Farmers are concerned at what they say are the extraordinary developments in Sri Lanka which have seen Fonterra banned from selling or advertising its product for a fortnight. A court injunction granted in Sri Lanka has put a temporary freeze on Fonterra's business as investigations continue in that country into the agrichemical dicyandiamide, or DCD, in New Zealand milk. In a statement to the sharemarket, Fonterra says it refutes the allegations that more..

India invited to observe poll

Aug 19 (CG) India has been invited to observe the elections in the north next month, Minister G.L Peiris said. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Peiris said that India’s Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath had been invited as an observer for the Sep 21 Northern Province elections. Besides Sampath, Colombo has also invited observers from SAARC countries and from the Commonwealth to oversee the polls, more..

Save the farmers

Aug 19 (DM) The excessive use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicides is known to have caused major disasters in Sri Lanka’s farmer community and put millions of them into the mud hole of poverty. In recent months the testing of the safety and quality of the food, milk and other products we consume has been given top priority in the aftermath of the Milkgate crisis. The issue was taken up at Cabinet level last week and seven ministers were appointed to a committee more..

Tale of one city: One city with two tales

Aug 19 (DM) Reading politically savvy newspaper columns from abroad helps to touch base with Weliveriya. Is it a Tale of One City or One City with Two Tales? Was it a dress rehearsal for a regime change or a spontaneous outpouring of dissent? Look at the end result to determine the origin and intent. People took over the pavements and spilt onto the road. Protested loud and long and the message reached home. Lives were lost, injuries were caused and the military were occupied. more..

Sri Dalada Perahera makes the hill capital a paradise

Aug 19 (DM) The Esala Perahera in the hill capital was originated in 1775 A.D. under the reign of King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe and was confined to the processions of four Devalayas- Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama and Pattini. At the instigation of Weliwita Sri Saranankara Sanghraja Thera Siamese priests were brought to Sri Lanka for the restoration of Upasampada, Higher Ordination and these priests led by Ven Upali Thera advised the King more..

Loku Athula’s son arrested for allegedly leading robber gang

Aug 19 (Island) The police have arrested a son of former Deputy Minister of Power and Energy and leader of the 1971 insurrection, Athula Wimalasiri Jayasinghe, alias Loku Athula. The politician’s son, Sameera Jayasinghe, an assistant Superintendent of an estate, had been arrested allegedly in possession of a sub machine gun, a Browning pistol, 18 rounds of SMG ammunition and one pistol cartridge, the police said. more..

'More Lankan firms to invest outside'

Aug 19 (DM) Instead of having to wait for foreign companies to invest in Sri Lanka, in another four years time, local companies will step up seeking cross boarder investments in a net-foreign exchange surplus economy, according to the Central Bank Governor. “By 2016, we would probably be a net foreign exchange surplus country. Some of you will look at investments abroad. Today, maybe it is difficult to fathom that thought, but more..

Milk Powder saga intensifies

Aug 19 (SL) The milk powder consumers are eagerly waiting to know what kind of milk powder is suitable for consumption, but the Health Ministry is yet to give a full report on the contaminated milk powder. Consumers are also confused as to why the authorities concerned have failed to test all other dairy products – butter, cheese and yoghurt for DCD. Meanwhile imported milk powder companies are now facing losses due more..

Bus owners, NTC on collision course over fare hike

Aug 19 (ST) The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) are on a collision course over the latter’s decision to increase fares from September 1. The NTC on Friday vowed it would not allow an arbitrary fare hike as the Govt had given a string of concessions to private bus owners. But bus owners reacted angrily, saying the claims of concessions were not correct and more..

Bombay Velvet is happening because of Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (DN) Bollywood film director, producer, screenwriter and actor Anurag Kashyap’s latest cinematic venture ‘Bombay Velvet’ began shooting in Sri Lanka from June and will continue its second phrase at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Tele cinema Park. The movie which stars Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in lead roles has completed around 30 percent of its shooting in areas like Bentota, Galle and Colombo. more..

Grade 5 Scholarship Exam: Private tuition, seminars temporarily banned

Aug 19 (Island) All seminars workshops and tuition classes, targeting children sitting the Grade 5 scholarship exam, scheduled to be held on August 25, have been banned from midnight today till 12 noon on the day of the test. The distribution of model papers and tuition home visits were also banned. The department had banned those pre–exam activities five days prior to the exam by a gazette notification to prevent more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka agree to address drinking water issues

Aug 19 (Island) Pakistan’s Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali is participating in the 2nd International Water Cooperation Conference, organized by the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage, which began on Aug.15 and ends today, in Anuradhapura a press release issued by the Pakistan High Commission said. It said: Minister Ali had a one on one meeting with the Minister Dinesh Gunawerdena on Saturday. more..

Thai princess in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (CG) Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit which will be followed by a trip to the Maldives. The Bureau of the Royal Household said that Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is paying official visits to Sri Lanka and Maldives during August 18-23, 2013 at the invitations of the presidents of the two countries. In Sri Lanka, the princess will observe various activities and visit places of more..

CEB to lose whopping Rs 2,880 M – NCEM

Aug 19 (CT) CEB will lose a massive Rs. 2,880 million over a period of 40 days when the Norochocholai Coal Power Plant shuts down for ‘maintenance’ next week. Adviser to the National Consumers’ Electricity Movement (NCEM), Bandula Chandrasekera said, when the NCPP shuts down on 21 August, the CEB will lose Rs. 72 million a day as it has to supplement the nations’ requirement of power through private electricity companies. more..

Can Sri Lanka survive a Wickremesinghe govt after a Mahinda Chinthanaya?

Aug 19 (CT) Particularly since the Weliveriya atrocity, there has been a surge of “Ranil Wickremesinghe is the only hope” thinking! Many moons ago, in an article in the now-defunct Montage magazine I explored the same theme – of Ranil being “Hobson’s Choice” insofar as the Sri Lankan electorate was concerned – and, despite the total ineffectuality of the Wickremesinghe-led official opposition UNP, that thought (concern?) has not deserted me as my friends who had given up more..

CaFFE cites Vavuniya as role model on how election campaigns should be conducted

Aug 19 (Island) The violence free election campaign in the Vavuniya District should serve as a good role model for the Kurunegala District, which had so far reported a majority of election law violations and violent incidents especially among the UPFA candidates, the CaFFE said in Saturday in Vavuniya. Addressing a workshop titled ‘Say Yes to a Violence Free Election’, which was attended by UPFA, TNA, UNP, SLMC and Independent Group candidates, contesting NPC election more..

SL mulls listing dollar corporate bonds

Aug 19 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission is in talks with the central bank over permitting dollar denominated corporate bonds to be traded on the stock exchange, an official said. "We are talking to central bank to allow companies to issue dollar bonds," SEC chairman Nalaka Godahewa told a forum organized by S&P's in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan firms have just started raising money abroad mostly through syndicated more..

Sangakkara signs for Jamaica Tallawahs

Aug 19 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara is set to join the Jamaica Tallawahs for the final stretch of the Caribbean Premier League. The 35-year-old replaces Pakistan top-order batsman Ahmed Shehzad, who will join the Pakistan squad in Zimbabwe. "I did not expect to be playing the CPL this year, but when Muralitharan telephoned and asked whether I might be interested in playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs, I jumped at the chance," Sangakkara said. more..

Putting the house in order

Aug 19 (CT) The govt appears to be preoccupied with the beautification of the city and infrastructure development, entirely neglecting the welfare of its people, in the misguided belief that the aspirations of the people could be subdued by such superficial displays. No doubt these activities would in the long run contribute towards economic development. But the people, fighting a losing battle with the ever-soaring cost of living, don’t see them in that light. They see these improvements as grandiose more..

Ananthi to brief Pillay about the disappeared

Aug 19 (CT) Ananthi Sasitharan, the TNA candidate for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls, described the newly set up Presidential Commission to look into disappearances during the final stages of the war in 2009, as unreliable, and said she would meet the visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navaneetham Pillay. Sasitharan said she would explain in detail, the surrender by civilians more..

Jumbo not hurt in park shooting

Aug 19 (Island) After a soldier fired a shot in the air on Saturday evening to scare off an elephant, which had put its trunk into a jeep carrying tourists at Vilapawewa, Yala and the animal had fled to Sithulpawwa, sources said. The elephant named ‘Gemunu’ had been doing this in search of food and an army officer, attached to the Palatupana camp, seeing the predicament of those in the jeep, had fired into the air. There was no physical harm caused to the animal, the sources said. more..

Sri Lanka transfers 29 Indian prisoners

Aug 19 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt has transferred 29 Indian prisoners to India under bilateral agreement between both countries, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said on Monday. The High Commission said that 31 sentenced prisoners under detention in Sri Lanka were found eligible for transfer to India pursuant to the bilateral agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners between India and Sri Lanka signed in June 2010. more..

World Bank loans 200 mln USD to Sri Lanka for health services improvement

Aug 19 (Xinhua) The World Bank on Monday signed the financing agreement for a 200 million U.S. dollar concessionary loan to Sri Lanka to help upgrade health standards, the organization said in a statement. The loan will be used to enhance the performance of the public health system and enable it to better respond to the challenges of a middle income country. The financing agreement of the more..

Army sending notices to journalists undemocratic - Mangala

Aug 19 (SM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera says that it is clear from the notices sent by the army to journalists that whilst a magistrate inquiry is going on regarding the deaths in Weliweriya, the army inquiry has exceeded its limits. He said that this was a illegal and undemocratic step of militarization of the Sri Lankan society. He made these comments while speaking at a meeting, expressing his views about summoning journalists to give evidence in the army inquiry regarding Weliweriya clash. more..