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Ranil briefs BJP on Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe has briefed the Indian opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the political developments in Sri Lanka. Wickremsinghe, who is in India on an official visit, met Rajnath Singh, the National President of the BJP and discussed several issues, including the rift between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen. The UNP leader had said that when he was Prime Minister at the time the BJP was in power in India, he made attempts to resolve the fishermen issues more..

Crown's Colombo casino to stay put

Aug 20 (TA) As Sri Lankan politicians continue their war of words over tax concessions for James Packer's Sri Lankan casino plans, one thing has become clearer in recent days about the billionaire's $US400 million casino and hotel project in Colombo. Local media in Sri Lanka reported last week that the govt asked for the design of the project to be modified, including a reduction in the building's height and a potential move to another location. But Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said more..

UPFA predicts landslides in NWP, CP

Aug 20 (Island) The UPFA yesterday predicted that, except in the North, they would record landslide victories at the other two provincial council elections. Addressing the weekly media briefing, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that according to the first survey, in the run up to the Northern, North–Western and Central Provincial Council elections, the UPFA could easily secure all 19 electorates in the Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts. more..

Lanka agrees to Jakarta declaration

Aug 20 (CG) Sri Lanka and 13 other countries today reinforced their commitment to pursue coordinated joint actions in the fields of prevention, early detection, protection and prosecution to address the irregular movement of persons. The agreement was reached at the Jakarta Declaration on Addressing Irregular Movement of Persons at the conclusion of the Special Conference On Irregular Movements of Persons, held at the initiative of Indonesia, the Bernama news agency reported. more..

Dayasiri sweeps aside rumours of his CM post

Aug 20 (CT) "Someone is spreading a rumour that Dayasiri Jayasekera who joined UPFA recently will become the Chief Minister for the North Western Province only for six months. If that 'someone' thinks that Jayasekera will therefore become the Chief Minister only for six months, let me remind him that Jayasekera will become the Chief Minister for five years and not for six months. Nobody needs to entertain doubts about it," the UPFA candidate for Wayamba, Dayasiri Jayasekera, declared more..

TNA to highlight a plethora of issues with Pillay

Aug 20 (CT) The TNA will stress on the need to demilitarize the North, and request the UNHRC's intervention to obtain the release of Tamil political detainees, when the Alliance meet the UNHRC Chief, Navaneetham Pillay, on 30 August. Pillay, who is scheduled to arrive in Colombo on 25 August, will have several rounds of talks with Lankan leaders. She has invited the TNA for talks scheduled to be held on 30 August, more..

Hurt both ways, TN fishers ‘hit’ both ways?

Aug 21 (DBS) The recent Indian demarche to Sri Lanka on the continuing arrests and judicial detention of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the island-nation should bring back to memory the October 2008 Joint Statement on the subject. According to this statement, the two countries had “agreed to put in place practical arrangements to deal with bona fide Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen crossing the IMBL… keeping in mind the humanitarian and livelihood dimensions of the fishermen issue”. more..

The staunchest friends of the regime

Aug 21 (NS) The word in the street is that Ranil Wickremesinghe’s is the regime’s best friend. Inept leadership, fuelling division in opposition ranks to prompt defection, refusal to take on the Govt in any meaningful manner on crucial issues of public concern, rhetorical slip-ups made to be pounced on for purposes on ridicule and being conspicuously out-of-touch with the sentiments of the masses are often cited as evidence to support this friendship claim. On the other hand, it must be more..

Jaffna Central College gets ready for new chapter in education

Aug 21 (SO) Many schools in the Northern Sri Lanka were destroyed due to the three-decade-old war against terrorism not only affecting billions of rupees worth of infrastructure but also shattering the priceless dreams of thousands of children who were to benefit from free education. Jaffna Central College is the second oldest school in the country that became and suffered from the devastating war on terrorism that shadowed more..

Meanwhile in a parallel universe called Humility…

Aug 21 (NS) I, Suresh Premachandran, recently stated that Minister Basil Rajapaksa should not stop at saying ‘sorry’ to the near and dear of those killed and injured in Weliveriya. I said he should apologize to the loved ones of Tamils killed during the war. It is good that Basil has the humility to recognize wrong and to apologize to the wronged. It would be good if all wrong-doers, including those who sanctioned wrongdoing by omission or commission said ‘sorry’. That is an important step in the process more..

Rosa Polla Geneng Balla Maranna

Aug 21 (SL) Journalists are used to being kicked by all and sundry but not by beauty queens – rather ex-beauty queens. Last week we were surprised to read a front page report about Rosy Senanayake ‘flaying the media’. Rosy, the young lady – rather not so young – ex beauty queen, turned diplomat, turned politician had taken on the media, particularly the press at a press conference last week and said that some journalists, instead of highlighting the rampant corruption and abuse of power by more..

'People around MR think like Ostriches'

Aug 21 (CT) Q: Do you view the arrival of High Commissioner Pillay as an opportunity or as a warning to the govt? A: This could be a great opportunity for the govt but some elements in it may treat it as something to worry about, which could have unfortunate consequences. Q: The UN is still exerting pressure on the govt to investigate alleged war crimes and has voiced displeasure over the govt's apparent failure to launch a more..


Aug 21 (Island) Close on the heels of a call by election monitors for all political parties to act with restraint in the run-up to the PC polls and help minimise the incidence of violence, comes the news of a bloody clash between two pro-govt groups campaigning for candidates backed by Minister A. Thondaman and his rival MP P. Digambaram in the Central Province. Monday’s battle in Kotagala demonstrates how violent UPFA politicians could become when they feel their interests more..

Governance of Central Bank boards

Aug 21 (CT) In the principles of central banking 1 published two weeks ago, it was pointed out that central banks have been brought into existence by societies and not by govts or politicians with a single objective to attain. That objective is to preserve the value of the money which a central bank is mandated to issue for use by society’s members. It was mentioned that the value of money has to be preserved because any erosion of the value means that people would be losing the value of more..

Esala Perahera: Religious and cultural significance of a much-awaited pageant

Aug 21 (ST) Come August and Sri Lankans look forward to the Esala Perahera; a much anticipated event which has both religious and cultural significance. For Buddhists, it is an opportunity to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It is also an event where history is brought back to life in the music, dance and traditions that accompany the procession. Upon its arrival to the island from the Kalinga Kingdom in India more..

Extremist reactions to condemnation of the killings at Weliveriya

Aug 21 (CT) The various reactions to the statement issued by Tamara Kunanayagam and several others about the Weliweriya incident indicate why Reconciliation in Sri Lanka is such an uphill task. One extreme is represented by Kumar David who claimed the statement was hypocritical because it ignored what he described as the tens of thousands of Tamils killed during the war. The other extreme was the view that the statement represented a break with the current govt by rats leaving a sinking more..

The visit of Pillay

Aug 21 (Island) The next installment on "Let them die to maintain the hegemony of western science" has to be postponed to pen a few words on the visit of Ms. Navaneethan Pillay originally from Natal in South Africa where the Dutch settled down Vellala people or agricultural labourers brought to that part of the world from present day South India. However, I am not implying that Ms. Pillay is a descendant of the Vellalas brought to Natal by the Dutch. Ms Pillay could begin her "investigations" by more..

A few thoughts for Navi Pillay

Aug 21 (Island) As the Commonwealth Summit draws closer, the world is going to turn its attention to the situation in Sri Lanka. It is a major international event, and people will want to know what is happening in the host country. When Mahinda Rajapaksa stands up to welcome his fellow heads of govt, talking about their shared values and vision, he will give them the perfect opportunity to ask questions – principally, more..

Little doesn’t mean less for Randika

Aug 21 (ST) For many years the only dwarf Randika Cooray saw was the one in the mirror. Born with achondroplasia, Randika had a genetic condition that resulted in disproportionately short arms and legs. Short though they may be, Randika’s limbs didn’t let her down at the 2013 Dwarf Games held in Michigan, U.S.A. The biggest yet, the event brought together 400 dwarf athletes from 17 countries. Surrounded by people who struggled with many of the same problems she had, Randika rose to more..

Dilshan to join Guyana Amazon Warriors

Aug 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has become the fifth Sri Lanka player to sign up with the inaugural Caribbean Premier League. He will join Guyana Amazon Warriors as a replacement for the injured NZ batsman Martin Guptill, who broke a bone in his right hand in the match against Antigua. Dilshan will join his SL team-mate Lasith Malinga, who is also with Guyana. The other Sri Lanka players in the CPL are Muralitharan and Sangakkara (Jamaica) and Mahela (Trinidad & Tobago). more..

The underdog entrepreneur who challenged the multinationals

Aug 21 (ST) When Sri Lanka’s top tea brand, Dilmah marked 25 years in the global market, it celebrated the anniversary in style with 150 invitees at the Sydney Opera House! “I don’t think any Sri Lankan has had a celebration at this prestigious venue; We did,” said a proud and enthusiastic Merrill J. Fernando, widely considered Sri Lanka’s ambassador of tea and the flag bearer of ‘Pure (unblended) Ceylon Tea’ for more than more..

Sampath Bank signs MOU with Central Bank for corporate EPF Payments

Aug 21 (Island) Sampath Bank signed a MoU with the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) recently at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Managing Director, Sampath Bank Aravinda Perera and Deputy Governor Central Bank, Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe signed the agreement. Assistant Governor, Mrs. R. Deerasinghe, Superintendent P.W.D.R Nihal Rodrigo , Director IT Mrs. R.A.S.M. Dayarathne, Additional Superintendent Mrs. Deepa Senevirathne, Additional Superintendent Yasalal Perera, more..

Jayasuriya’s ton powers Sri Lanka to win

Aug 21 (GT) Sri Lanka Under-23 proved to be a better team on Tuesday to defeat a fighting UAE by 30 runs in the second Group B match of the Asian Cricket Council’s Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore. After Shehan Jayasuriya’s century had given Sri Lanka a challenging total of 236, UAE, at one stage, were looking in a strong position to chase down the target. But once the solid partnership between Shaiman Anwar and Saqib Ali was broken, none of the other batsmen succeeded as more..

NDB eyeing Union Bank?

Aug 21 (FT) Cash-rich National Development Bank (NDB) is scouting for an acquisition as part of strategic expansion with small time player Union Bank of Colombo being under its radar. FT learns that there have been several rounds of talks between the two leading to few options being laid on the table. However both banks, which are listed, haven’t made talks public on the basis that they are either preliminary or inconclusive. more..

Sri Lankan boy among two rescued by special police teams

Aug 21 (Hindu) Special police teams from Tiruchi rescued two boys, including one from Sri Lanka, who were reported missing, and handed them over to their parents after producing them before courts. One of them from Kandhalur near Navalpattu, who went missing in 2009, was traced to Velankanni in Nagapattinam district on Monday, and brought back. The boy was 13 years old, when he left home, unable to bear the torment of his father and had been working in a cycle shop at Velankanni more..

Agricultural, processed food sectors get a boost

Aug 21 (Island) Local food production would receive a welcome boost when the 12th annual Pro Food / Pro Pack show and the 8th annual Agbiz exhibition, gets underway on Friday at the BMICH. The Sri Lanka Food Processors’ Association said that the Exhibition would be a central meting point for consumers and producers. Participation, he noted, would include International pavilions from India and China and exhibitors from Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore and Pakistan. more..

GL flies to Pakistan tomorrow

Aug 21 (DM) In the aftermath of a meeting with Indian leaders, Minister G.L. Peiris will undertake a visit to Pakistan tomorrow to discuss matters related to bilateral relations ahead of the CHOGM. Prof. Peiris said he would meet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharrif and Foreign Minister Hina Khar to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations between the two countries. Pakistan has been a key political ally of Sri Lanka. more..

SLMMF condemns Egypt turmoil

Aug 21 (AT) The Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) strongly condemns the Egyptian army’s brutal crackdown on supporters of the wrongly ousted President Mohamed Morsi which has reportedly left thousands of people dead and many more in pool of blood in Cairo. “We strongly condemn this savage behavior of the Egyptian army probably backed by Jewish support and some Arab aid, and firmly demand that they army that grabbed the power in a total illegal manner to more..

Around 6,000 police 119 callers per day

Aug 21 (DN) About 6,000 calls are received daily on the Police 119 emergency hotline. However, the Police are able to respond to only about 2,000 of such calls, SP H.M. Dharmasena said. He said of the 2,000 telephone calls dealt with by the Police daily, around 200 convey unimportant information, while the rest contain valuable information. SP Dharmasena said among the callers are those seeking urgent help, adding that the Police act swiftly upon receiving such information. more..

I am no dictator, says President

Aug 21 (DM) President Rajapaksa said that many people who called him a dictator were unmindful of the fact that they were using such slogans while being on a democratic platform which allowed them the freedom to express such opinions about the President of the country. President said he could not understand how they could term him a dictator. “I don’t understand how they could accuse me of being a dictator while casting such more..

Beware of fake marriage proposals

Aug 21 (DM) Police warned parents to protect their daughters from being duped by fake marriage proposals involving suspects who have used them to pay for their house rents, vehicle repair and purchase of electronic equipment. The victims are always women who are divorced or those who widowed. In recent times as many as 25 complaints were received where the victims were cheated. There was a tendency sometime ago where the suspects used to get money by selling more..

CA Sri Lanka signs MoU with Microsoft

Aug 21 (Island) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka in its continuing efforts to partner with the world’s best, recently signed a MoU with Microsoft Sri Lanka with the aim of providing world class IT education for the benefit of its members and students. In its capacity as one of the country’s largest professional organizations and tertiary education providers, CA Sri Lanka conducts regular programmes aimed at developing the IT skills of its primary stakeholders. more..

'No prejudgment on Sri Lanka': visiting French Senator

Aug 21 (FT) A Sri Lanka Friendship Group is to be constituted in the French Senate in September in a bid to boost links between the legislatures of the two countries and improve trade, tourism and commercial ties, a visiting French Senator said yesterday, on her maiden visit to the island. Independent Senator Nathalie Goulet from the Orne constituency in Normandy, who was in Sri Lanka for a three day visit on the invitation of more..

Monk in Harsha controversy handed over to Police by BBS after being caught drunk

Aug 21 (CT) The Buddhist Monk who was involved in a controversy created by state media regarding Dr Harsha de Silva resting his arm on the shoulder, was handed over to the police by Bodu Bala Sena, after being caught drunk in a office at Dematagoda with a friend. The monk has been identified as Kirindiwela Piyaratana and was taken to the BBS headquarters by a group of people. After an interview with him we handed him over to the Kirulapona Police, CEO of the BBS more..

Sri Lanka's credit utilization by private business in transition

Aug 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector credit utilization is higher than bank loan data suggest due to structural changes that are taking place this year. During the first six months of the year credit to private business and individuals from commercial banks rose 74.6 billion rupees, down from 229 billion rupees a year earlier. The state and loss making state enterprises borrowed 260 billion rupees in the period, keeping lending rates high and crowding out private borrowers. more..

Visiting Royals pay homage to Sri Dalada Maligawa

Aug 21 (IL) The visiting princesses of Japan and Thailand paid homage to Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth) in Kandy this afternoon (20) on Nikini Full Moon Poya Day. Princess Tsuguko of Takamado of the Japanese Royal Family and the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand met President Mahinda Rajapaksa prior to their visit to the Maligawa. Two separate meetings took place at the President's House in Kandy. more..

CMC officers to be interdicted

Aug 21 (CG) Four officers of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) are to be interdicted over the burning of CMC files at the Borella cemetery, Colombo Mayor A.J.M Muzzamil said. The Mayor said that while the police are investigating the incident he had requested Chandrani Samarakoon, Commissioner of Local Government (Western Province), to interdict the four officers which includes a female officer. Over 6000 CMC files and documents were set on fire at the Borella cemetery last Saturday but more..

Karunanidhi on ‘Madras Cafe’

Aug 21 (Hindu) The State must enquire whether the film ‘Madras Cafe’ depicted Sri Lankan Tamils in a poor light ahead of its scheduled release in Tamil Nadu, and ensure proper action, DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi has said. He also criticised the reported statement by Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesikan that it was not possible to call Sri Lanka an enemy State because one had to engage with it officially to demand for better rights for the Tamil minority there. more..

Questionable investment!

Aug 21 (CT) Mystery surrounds the manner in which the govt is getting an Indian sugar manufacturer, with dubious credentials, into investing US$ 220 million in a raw sugar refining plant at the free-port area in Hambantota. Experts say this would sound the death- knell for the local industry. A Cabinet Memorandum, which has been prepared by Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, dated 14 August states there will be an infusion of more..

Chief Priest, driver and van attacked

Aug 21 (CT) Chief Priest of the Mahiyangana Rotalawala Temple, Watareka Vijitha Thera, who is also a UPFA Mahiyangana Municipal Councillor, and his driver, were allegedly attacked by a group of about 30 persons on Monday. The priest was travelling to Colombo from Mahiyangana in a van with his driver, when he was attacked. Vijitha Thera said, "When traffic in the Pilimatalawa area was heavy, and vehicles were crawling, I heard someone shout 'there he is.' Suddenly, around 30 men more..