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Fonterra suspends Sri Lanka operations after protests

Aug 23 (TVNZ) Fonterra says it has suspended its consumer operations in Sri Lanka, where sales of its products have been temporarily banned, because of protests outside its local offices. The company's Sri Lanka business is currently prevented by a court order from selling, advertising or making public statement with customers or consumers, it said in a statement. The company has begun legal action to resolve the order. more..

Getting them off the streets

Aug 23 (CT) Police raid brothel in Colpetty, screamed a headline in yesterday's issue of this paper. The ensuing article went on to elaborate that the brothel had been operating under the guise of a licensed massage parlour and that the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) had apprehended eight females, six of who were allegedly serving as sex workers. Some may argue that such stories about the mere arrest, detention and subsequent release of sex workers have no news value. more..

Uma Oya Project being accelerated

Aug 23 (GDI) Work on the implementation of the Uma Oya Multi Purpose Development Project has been accelerated with the purchase of two tunnel boring machines considered the latest and most efficient in the industry. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said his ministry has purchased the two machines to help speed up the construction of the Uma-Oya tunnel system. Uma-Oya is a multi-purpose project which will divert water for agricultural and drinking purposes in more..

Grandpass: A commitment to peace after ugly clashes

Aug 23 (ST) It was time for Friday prayers but the old mosque on Swarna Chaitya Road in Molawatte, Grandpass, stayed empty last week. Hunks of wood, sawn off the Bo tree that had overshadowed its minarets for many years, were piled outside the door. There were no devotees at the disputed new mosque —or “prayer centre” — either. It stood across the street, with its windows shattered and an armed STF policeman more..

NSB's bond road show to begin on Aug 26

Aug 23 (LBO) State-run National Savings Bank will kick off a road show from August 26 to sell a dollar bond depending on market conditions. Investor meetings will be held in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London and will wrap up on Sept 3 in Singapore. NSB is going to the market amid some turmoil in international markets. International bond market sources say conditions are much tighter compared to when state-run Bank of Ceylon sold a 500 million US dollar bond. more..

The President visited Kandy: O Lord! The clouds are gathering

Aug 23 (CT) The Pageant of the Golden Palanquins or the Randoli Perahera held for 5 days ended last night which was undoubtedly the most attractive and colourful night of the festival. The Tooth Relic was temporarily deposited in the Gedige Vihara of the Asgiri Temple last night until it is taken back to the Maligava (Temple of the Tooth Relic) today. At about 3am today the lay-priests of the devales went in procession to the ford at Getambe, Kandy on the Mahaveli River. more..

Maliban wants proof of DCD in its milk products

Aug 23 (Island) The Maliban Group of Companies said that if proof was provided that its milk products contained DCD, it would withdraw all of them from the market forthwith. Maliban Executive Director Lakshman Weerasuriya laimed that though the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) had announced that Maliban non-fat milk con tained DCD, that was not the case as there had been a mix-up at the ITI. more..

Wayamba candidates clamour for Sajith

Aug 23 (CT) A brainstorming meeting held for the UNP candidates, who are contesting the upcoming North-Western (Wayamba) Provincial Council election, had turned unruly on Wednesday (21) when the candidates started demanding the presence of former Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa, at election campaign meetings. The demand had apparently caused much embarrassment to UNP MP, Joseph Michael Perera, who was heading the meeting. more..

Kandy becomes Ayoddhya’s sister city

Aug 23 (Island) Governor of Ayoddhya City, Thailand Vitthaya Piew Pong and Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa entered into a MoU yesterday for the Cultural Development of Kandy as a sister city of Ayoddhya. The agreement was signed by the two governors, at the Secretariat of the Central Province Governor in Kandy, in the presence of a delegation from Ayoddhya, and a representative the local group headed by Kandy Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte. more..

UN rights chief stays open-minded ahead of Sri Lanka trip

Aug 23 (Reuters) The UN human rights chief said she has an "open mind" and will not be "pre-judging anything" ahead of her first trip to Sri Lanka, which is under growing pressure from the international community to address alleged war crimes. Navi Pillay, who arrives in Sri Lanka on August 25 for a week, is the first senior U.N. official to visit the country since the end of a nearly three-decade-long bloody conflict in 2009, despite Colombo more..

Jaffna houses to be handed back to owners

Aug 23 (MoD) Taking another significant step in reducing the presence of troops and handing over civilian properties in Jaffna, the Sri Lanka Army is handing over 46 houses and over 55 acres of land today in two sectors, namely Valikamam and Vadamarachchi areas. 52 acres of land in Maradankeni and Pallai in Vadamarachchi will be handed over to the civilian owners. Security forces will move into formally built military accommodation. Seven houses will also be handed back more..

Bribery and corruption: Way Lankan youth see it

Aug 23 (Island) 40% of urban and 23% of rural youth are willing to engage in unethical behaviour in certain situations to please a relative or simply because ‘it is how things are done’, a recent survey by the Transparency International of Sri Lanka (TISL) reveals. TISL Executive Director S. Ranugge said that the survey had found 6% of youth, at all education levels, felt that they knew ‘a lot’ about corruption rules and regulations and 45% of the respondents felt that their voice would not more..

Video: Public service turned into a political movement - UNP

Aug 23 (AD) The UNP today voiced concern over the politicizing of the country’s public service sector and the alleged move to militarize the education system. The govt’s today boasts that the public service is evolving and that state employees are being recruited in large numbers, UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. “We would like to ask whether state employees can engage in public services while maintaining more..

Canadian delegation in the north

Aug 23 (CG) A Canadian delegation visited north on a fact finding mission where they also had talks with the TNA on the upcoming elections. The delegation from the Canadian embassy visited Jaffna and Killinochchi and had talks with political parties and civil society members. The Canadians also visited the Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna and had talks with the management and Editor. In Kilonochchi, the Canadian delegation met TNA Chief Ministerial candidate C.V. Wigneswaran and more..

Polls chief helpless –monitors

Aug 23 (Island) The Elections Commissioner has no powers to take legal action against candidates who violate election laws, polls monitors say. They told The Island yesterday that in the run-up to the September 21 elections there could be an increase in the number of polls law violations. Executive Director of the CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon told The Island that the Polls Chief had only powers to stop such violations and seize the vehicles if those belonged to the State. more..

Pakistan will back Sri Lanka at UN

Aug 23 (CG) Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, says Pakistan will continue extending support to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and UN Security Council. He expressed these views in a meeting with Minister G.L. Peiri in Islamabad today. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has always supported Sri Lanka in its endeavour to defeat terrorism and expressed Pakistan’s commitment to continue extending support more..

Pakistan Under-23s beat Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (CI) Pakistan Under-23s pulled off a thrilling one-wicket win against Sri Lanka Under-23s to set up a title clash against India on Sunday in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore. Set a target of 231 for victory, Pakistan had a bad start, losing Babar Azam off the first ball of the innings. The teams were evenly matched for most part of the chase as Sri Lanka struck with quick wickets right after the Pakistan batsmen had managed to get a partnership going. more..

Import tax on potatoes and big onions increased again

Aug 23 (AD) The import tax on potatoes has been increased from Rs.25 to Rs.40 per kg while tax on big onions have been increased from Rs.30 to Rs.35 with effect from today, Finance Ministry stated. It was only on May 3 this year that the Ministry announced that import taxes on Potatoes would be increased by Rs.10 from Rs.15 per kg to Rs.25 per kg. The Ministry announced on June 12 this year that the special import tax on big onions would be doubled from Rs.15 per kg to Rs.30. more..

Sri Lanka creates new ministry control its police force

Aug 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka has created a new ministry to control its police force folowing international criticism of the department being supervised by the powerful Defence Ministry. The police department will now be under the new Law and Order Ministry, officials said. A govt gazette notification dated August 16 places the Police Department under the new ministry. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have the control of the ministry, they said. more..

Ban on second hand refrigerators, etc soon

Aug 23 (Island) The National Ozone Unit (NOU), of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy, will ban all imports of second hand refrigerators and air conditioners to stop Ozone depleting substances (ODS) entering the country. National Ozone Unit Director G.M.J.K. Gunawardana said yesterday that the impending ban would include the import of second hand high cooling racks in Sri Lankan super markets as some of them contained ODS. He was addressing the inaugural session of more..

Sri Lanka confirm Zimbabwe tour

Aug 23 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed its national team will travel to Zimbabwe for a full, 35-day tour, which begins on October 3. The boards have added two Twenty20s to the Future Tours Programme's schedule of two Tests and three ODIs. SL will also play a two-day warm-up match before the Tests. Both Tests and the first two ODIs will be played at the Harare Sports Club, before the action moves to the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo for one ODI and the Twenty20 matches. more..

Budget 2014: Private entrepreneurs and industrialists meet President

Aug 23 (IL) Two separate discussions to obtain views and proposals of private sector entrepreneurs and leading industrialists for preparing the budget-2014 were held recently at Temple Trees with the patronage of President Rajapaksa. Presiding the meeting the President said that the govt takes all decisions based on the policy of safeguarding local industries and promoting local products. more..

UN refugee chief urges common sense in Australia asylum debate

Aug 23 (Reuters) The head of U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday he hopes common sense will prevail in Australia's election-season debate about how the country treats asylum seekers. "We are of course very much interested, not in the election itself, but in the debate about asylum policy in Australia," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. Opinion polls predict the govt of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labor Party will be unseated by the conservative more..

Indian editor wants SL media to intervene

Aug 23 (CT) A top rung Indian website Editor and a President of a regional journalists' body, on Tuesday night, passionately implored Editors and other members of the mainstream Sri Lankan media to intervene in finding solutions to the ethnic crisis which had engulfed the nation for the last three decades. "This issue is very complicated as it has been made complicated, but it is the media which has a vital pivotal role to play in the determination of a lasting solution and the media is a vital more..

Court lifts order against dairy giant Fonterra

Aug 23 (PTI) A Sri Lankan court today lifted an enjoining order against NZ dairy giant Fonterra that barred it from selling its products in the country over fears of chemical contamination after the company announced a temporary closure of its local operations. The district court at Gampaha, had last week restrained Fonterra from releasing stocks, distributing and advertising of milk powder and dairy products. more..

First mass uprising – Hartal 1953

Aug 24 (NS) The adverse effects of irresponsible fiscal and economic management and policies by the 1947/53 governments on foreign reserves and balance of trade caused a severe economic crisis in the financial year 1952/53. Further catalyzed by the Korean Boom, the economy was heading for a crash-landing. The distressing news forced the govt to impose a ferocious cutback in rice subsidy, a legacy of World War II, which was considered by the people as their birthright. more..

When the ‘teacher’ appears

Aug 24 (NS) Saman studies at a school in a rural part of Anuradhapura District. Although he is in grade 12 of the A/L biology stream, he has not had the opportunity to do the recommended practicals for biology, chemistry and physics. Knowing that practical knowledge is essential to pass A/L to enter university, he is worried about the inability to do practicals at school. Saman has been talking to friends in his school and some other friends from nearby schools about this issue more..

Regular inspections of industries, a pre-requisite

Aug 24 (SO) The recent protests by the people living around Rathupaswala in Weliweriya over the contamination of ground water in the area pointing an accusing finger at one BOI company producing rubber gloves was an eye opener for many chemical-based industries in the country. A significant outcome of this incident is that there is a risk with other chemical- based industries set up in Sri Lanka which might face a more..

Remembering, to never again repeat: Launch of 30 Years Ago site

Aug 24 (GV) The culmination of months of dedicated research, travel, challenging production work and curation, I am very pleased to launch 30 Years Ago. The project is an attempt to remember and probe Sri Lanka’s epochal anti-Tamil pogrom of ’83 through perspectives rarely, if ever, featured before. The producers have used a wide range of media and methods – from a mixed media triptych to info-graphics, from audio podcasts to video, from photography to compelling write-ups more..

Delft: Taking a look at EPDP’s home turf

Aug 24 (CT) The largest of seven islands in the northern waters is known as Neduntheevu in Tamil and the Dutch, when they colonized the North, named it after a traditional city in the Netherlands known as Delft, which is nestled between Rotterdam and The Hague. The Delft Island is also inhabited by ponies that were believed to have been brought here by the Dutch for transportation within the island. The only access to Delft is the sea passage from Kurikattuvan jetty in Punkudutivu, more..

‘You’ve got to get out there with an innovative mind’

Aug 24 (ST) It was 2008 going on 2009 when Sharad Amalean turned to his elder brother Mahesh Amalean and said, “This is going to unravel completely.” It wasn’t news to Mahesh, who as Chairman of MAS Holdings had watched as the company reeled under the economic downturn. As orders dropped, they had had to lay off people for the first time, releasing 3,000 employees and closing factories in Sri Lanka and India. more..

What is good in pro-growth authoritarianism

Aug 24 (CT) Over the last week, other than the usual traffic jams, several extra million crowds thronged to the streets of Colombo. By the end of the last week, over 2.5 million people had visited the newly-opened Colombo South Harbour, a US$ 500 million mega port funded by a Chinese Govt owned company. The new expansion would add an additional capacity of 7.2 million TEU to the Colombo Harbour, making it the only South Asian port capable of handling mega ships, which more..

The visit of Navanethem Pillay

Aug 24 (Island) The impending visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, can be seen as a great opportunity for the govt to improve policies and practices as to Human Rights in this country. I can only hope that this opportunity will be taken, and that she will not instead be seen as a threat. Unfortunately, some indiscretions early in her career have coloured our perceptions of her. Most notably, back in 2009, when the Council was discussing Sri Lanka more..

Madras Cafe: Bollywood film stirs up a storm in India

Aug 24 (BBC) Bollywood's big cinema release this week, the spy thriller Madras Cafe, has caused controversy in India with Tamil groups demanding a ban. Geeta Pandey in Delhi meets the film's director and lead actors to find out what the row is all about. Watching the official trailer of the film, it is obvious that the conflict in Sri Lanka and the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is its central theme. more..

'Why don’t you like my post?' Americans keep it apolitical on Facebook

Aug 24 (CT) I became an active user of Facebook only after I migrated to America. I had an account for a few years back in Sri Lanka, but until now I rarely had the time or the inclination to respond to posts, comments or share what was on my mind. But Facebook for me in America has turned out to be a whole new, and refreshing, experience. I have only about a hundred “friends,” both American and Sri Lankan. But their posts are as different as salt and pepper. more..

Sri Lankan housemaids: Law of Kafala – Modern-day slavery system

Aug 24 (CT) When we look in to the TV, radio and news paper advertisements published by the housemaid recruiting agencies they are offering precious opportunities to housemaids. They are even providing the visa and air tickets. But unfortunately we are not aware about the poisons snake call Kafala, wrapped in that gift pack. Poor people think this as a great chance to go abroad and earn but what they don’t know is the price for this gift. Kafala (Sponsorship system) more..

Jayasiri Semage's murals to adorn Divulpitiya ancient temple

Aug 24 (SO) From the day Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka the artists here have devoted all their talents to pictorially communicate the evergreen message of the Buddha to the masses. Buddhism provided them with the rich treasury of resources full of beautiful stories, colourful images and aesthetic concepts. The kings facilitated the artists with material support while the Bhikkus provided freedom for imagination. more..

Animals on holiday

Aug 24 (Island) Elephants must be trumpeting, monkeys chatting, birds chirping, wild pigs grunting and buffaloes lowing in Yala. For, they will be left alone for a few weeks. For the entire month of September, the Yala sanctuary will be closed to visitors in view of the seasonal dry spell so that animals could roam freely in search of water without being disturbed by meddlesome bipeds menacingly moving about in monstrous contraptions that emit choking fumes and ear-splitting noise. more..

Bringing folklore to life

Aug 24 (ST) Sapta NAARI, a modern interpretation of seven legendary tales and characters of local folklore will return to the stage next weekend at the Punchi Theatre. Directed by Prof. Asoka de Zoysa and choreographed by Nilan Maligapse of Arpeggio, this second instalment of the show is all set to be even bigger, bolder and braver than the original version staged in May. Local folklore brings out the larger than life characters of Sanda Kinduri, Sokari, Lenchina, Nonchi Akka, Ahelapola more..

Lack of Lecturers, facilities hinder local Higher Education

Aug 24 (ST) Lack of facilities and competent lecturers has affected the higher education system in the country, said top officials of educational institutes. The disclosure was made at a meeting held at the Higher Education Ministry, Nawala on Wednesday. between Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake, Higher Education Ministry Secretary, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratna and National Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, more..