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Mobitel, SLT host business solutions forum for SMEs

Aug 24 (Island) The Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel in collaboration with its parent company, SLT recently conducted a Business Solutions Forum for Small and Medium Enterprises in Ratnapura, themed ‘Accelerating your Business’. Over 150 SMEs participated from the Ratnapura District representing the following sectors: banking, plantations, tourism, gemmology, services; the Chamber of Commerce, opinion leaders as well as the management of Mobitel and SLT. more..

SLIIT 2013/2014 intake for IT, engineering and business degrees now open

Aug 24 (Island) SLIIT has commenced enrollment of students to undergraduate degree programmes for the academic year 2013/2014. Students who wish to follow degree programmes at SLIIT and their parents are invited to attend the open day on the 14th of September from 9 am at SLIIT’s main campuses situated in Malabe and Kollupitiya and established centres at Matara, Kandy, Jaffna and Kurunegala. The four year SLIIT B.Sc. Honours degree in Information Technology, more..

Yamaha to build iconic motorcycle and marine showroom in Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (Island) Marking yet another milestone in the 32 year relationship enjoyed by popular global brand Yamaha with Associated Motorways (AMW), the motor industry leader in Sri Lanka, the country is set to receive a state-of-the-art Yamaha Motorcycle and Marine Showroom which will be built to the highest standards in accordance with its Yamaha principals in Hamamatsu, Japan. With the AMW Chairman and AFG Group Director more..

Agro Tech online courses for farmers

Aug 24 (ST) Online courses for the farming community have been introduced by the Institute of Agro Technology and Rural Sciences of Weligatta, Hambantota. The programme that teaches the farmers Agro Technology in four levels which are Certificate Course Level, Diploma, Higher Diploma and Degree Levels is provided to farmers interested in pursuing the subject for their advancement. “The lack of updated knowledge, information and technology has caused many farmers to more..

Probe ordered into death by hanging inside police cell

Aug 24 (ST) The police have re-opened a probe into the death of a suspect found hanging inside the cell at Baddegama police station earlier this month, a senior police official said yesterday. The fresh probe was initiated on an order by Baddegama Additional Magistrate Wimalaratana Mahapalagama, following a plaint filed by the victim’s mother Kariyawasam Pathirige Gimara, that she suspected foul play in the entire incident. The victim, Gamini Karunaratne 47, from Borulugoda Baddegama, more..

SAARC Commerce Ministers meet President

Aug 24 (MoD) Two ministers in charge of commerce and four commerce secretaries from member countries of the SAARC called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees this evening. During the discussion with the president, they stressed the need for further strengthening bilateral relations between SAARC nations. The group included Ghulam Quader, Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh, more..

Rehab centers for drug addicts

Aug 24 (CG) Cabinet has approved a proposal to setup rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, which will function under the Bureau of Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. The govt says drug addiction has become a huge calamity to the society at present. In addition to destroying the state wealth, that has turned into a mechanism of converting an energetic youth generation with capabilities into patients, the govt said. In said that in 2011, the number of imprisonments due to more..

Kolonnawa CEB fire raises suspicions

Aug 24 (Island) While some CEB employees claim that yesterday’s fire at the Kolonnawa Central Stores premises may have been caused in an attempt to destroy Rs. 10 billion in substandard goods imported from Iran lying there for nearly three years, a senior official said that he believed that the fire had broken out close to some 15 discarded locally made transformers to be sold as scrap through the Lanka Transformers Limited. "Those items are not even worth Rs. 200,000, however, more..

Second CHOGM advance team here

Aug 24 (CG) The programme for the second advance visit teams got underway in Colombo this morning. Nearly 80 representatives from approximately 14 Commonwealth countries are participating in the second advance visit ahead of the CHOGM 2013, the Taskforce Secretariat for CHOGM 2013 said. The opening session was chaired by the Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena more..

Isle of delight beckons

Aug 24 (TS) Viewing the Lion Rock of Sigiriya, a UNESCO heritage site that’s long had ancient astronaut theorists debating its extra-terrestrial origins, it was strange to think that the monolith’s introduction to the world’s popular culture came by way of British pop band Duran Duran’s Save A Prayer music video. But the mysticism surrounding the ancient rock was simply one of the innumerable charms of a country that’s steeped in conservation and preservation awareness. more..

Court martial against Army officer begins

Aug 24 (DN) Army officer Captain A.M.U. Samarakoon of 2 (Volunteer) Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps nabbed while attempting to rob the Kandy National Savings Bank branch disguised as a Muslim woman is being court martialled in accordance with the provisions of the Army Act. This is the first time an Army officer, involved in criminal activities in civil society is being tried before a Court Martial with regard to connected military offences while his civil case, filed by more..

Pakistan PM accepts CHOGM invitation

Aug 24 (PT) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the CHOGM scheduled to take place in November this year in Colombo. The formal invitation to attend the biennial summit meeting of heads of states and govts from the former colonies of Britain was extended by Sri Lankan Minister Prof G L Peiris on Friday. Sri Lanka’s top diplomat, who is on a two-day trip to Pakistan, held formal talks with PM’s more..

Arson attack on anti-DCD activist’s house

Aug 24 (Island) Unidentified persons set fire to a window at Dr. (Mrs) Ajantha Perera’s house in Rattanapitiya, at noon on Thursday. She said that members of the household were away at the time of the incident. Dr. Perera, who is a vehement campaigner against contaminated milk powder is also the Chairperson of the Association of Consumer Action and Consumer representative of the Food Advisory Committee at the Health Ministry. Asked whether she suspected anyone, more..

Milk issue: Don’t scare the people

Aug 24 (ST) The main issue that has dogged the milk debate in Sri Lanka has been the need to increase local production and reduce dependence on imported milk powder. The Finance Ministry since last year has emphasised the need to curb milk imports to save foreign exchange and provide incentives to increase local production. Sri Lanka spent US$ 307 million on 79.4 million kg of imported milk powder last year, down from $345 million and 84 million kg in 2011, according to Central Bank statistics. more..

Dayasiri demands Rs 4 B in damages

Aug 24 (CT) Former UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, has demanded compensation of Rs 4 billion from eight persons, including his former colleagues, for alleging that he crossed over to the govt after accepting Rs 250 million. Counsel for Jayasekara has sent letters of demand to the relevant parties, informing them that legal action will be instituted against them, if they failed to prove their allegation against Jayasekara. more..

President Rajapaksa to visit Belarus

Aug 24 (DN) President Rajapaksa will begin a three-day official visit to Belarus on Sunday. During the visit, President Rajapaksa is expected to hold bilateral discussions with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister Prof Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Anatoly Rubinov and the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Belarus National Assembly Vladmir Andreichenko. more..

Prince Charles to stay at Tintagel

Aug 24 (CT) Prince Charles, who is expected to attend the CHOGM in November, has decided to spend his stay in Sri Lanka at the Bandaranaike mansion at Rosmead Place, Colombo. All the other Heads of State will be accommodated at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. About two weeks ago, a special security team for Prince Charles arrived at the mansion, also known as Tintagel, to inspect the place, which was converted into an upmarket boutique hotel several years ago. more..

Green light for 10 brands of imported milk powder

Aug 24 (DN) The Food Advisory Committee of the Health Ministry has decided to release to the market 10 brands of imported milk powder and infant formula as the Ministerial Sub Committee appointed to look into the safety of imported milk powder has found no Botulinum bacteria in the following milk powders containing Whey Protein. The Health Ministry has stated that on the directives of the Ministerial Sub Committee more..

Sivam’s film ‘A Gun and Ring’ at Montreal festival

Aug 24 (LR) Inspired to tell the kind of story “no one else was telling,” Canadian filmmaker, born in Jaffna Sri Lanka, Lenin M. Sivam and Eye Catch Multimedia have created the riveting new feature film “A Gun & A Ring,” which has been officially selected to screen at the 37th Montreal World Film Festival. Weaving six stories together, linked to a single gun and a wedding ring, the film explores the harsh realities faced by different generations of Tamil Canadians who try to rebuild more..

UN rights chief should push Sri Lanka on press freedom

Aug 24 (CPJ) When the human rights watchdog for the United Nations visits Sri Lanka this weekend she should forcefully address the govt's problematic record on press freedom. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka August 25-31 ahead of next month's regular session of the UNHRC. She plans to meet with govt leaders and members of civil society. Given the abysmal state of press freedom in Sri Lanka, we hope she will also meet with more..

Police, STF placed under new ministry in line with LLRC recommendations

Aug 24 (Island) President Rajapaksa has created an Internal Law and Order ministry to take charge of police operations with immediate effect. During the conflict the police were under the direct supervision of the Defence Ministry, though the UNP had brought law enforcement operations under a newly created Interior Ministry following the Dec. 2001 general elections. The police were brought back under the Defence ministry by more..

White is right, the delusion of white lies

Aug 24 (DM) The Daily Mirror in its Editorial yesterday and on several other occasions spotlighted the subtle and sophisticated strategies through which rich and powerful countries are continuing to plunder the remaining wealth and resources of third world countries like Sri Lanka. Earlier the imperial colonial powers did it through their military forces and battleships. Now they are doing it through what is known as economic neo-colonialism and the armies for these more..

Inclusive Development: Stronger Together

Aug 24 (DM) In parallel to the Twenty-Third CHOGM, which will be hosted by Sri Lanka during 15-17 November, 2013 at the BMICH, the 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) is scheduled to be held from 10–14 November, in Hambantota. This is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs and the National Youth Services Council. The Youth Forum is to be attended by about 200 Youth Delegates more..

New ‘Law and Order Ministry’ a step towards militarization

Aug 24 (AHRC) The establishment of a Law and Order Ministry under the President has been announced. The Secretary to this Ministry, according to reports, is Major General (Retired) Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer. Maj.Gen. Mallawarachichi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army. He later became the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia. He reported to have played a major role in kidnapping more..

Low-interest loans for undergraduate studies in non-State Universities

Aug 24 (ST) A loan scheme for students who wish to pursue higher education in Engineering and Medicine at non-State universities, is to be proposed to the Govt by the UGC, revealed its Chairperson Prof Kshanika Hirimburegama to Education Times. “We are going to introduce nonprofit and non State faculties for Engineering and Medicine in the country. These faculties will be service oriented and semi govt. more..

President clips Gotabaya's wings

Aug 24 (ENS) President Rajapaksa has established a new Ministry of Law and Order, bifurcating the Defence Ministry, which has been in-charge of the police as well as the three armed forces, according to reports. Even though an official statement establishing such a ministry was yet to come, political sources said that the new measure was tantamount to clipping the wings of the powerful Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Tensions grow over fishing issue

Aug 24 (SL) Tensions are growing in Tamil Nadu among fishing communities as proposed talks between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen remained deadlocked with no immediate breakthrough in sight. N.J. Bose, president of the Rameswaram Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association, told The Sunday Leader that fishermen in southern India continued to protest last week over the Sri Lankan fishing issue and over 1,000 boats had not more..

Lanka welcomes Madras Cafe, TN yet to open doors

Aug 24 (ENS) The contrast could not have been starker: Madras Café, a movie set in the backdrop of the Lankan insurgency of the 1990s has found place at a movie hall in Colombo, while in Tamil Nadu, no theatre is willing to screen the same – not even after the reported assurance from the Police Commissioner of Chennai. The movie was released in Colombo after a cinema regulatory body there suggested more..

New machinery to preserve internal waterways

Aug 24 (MoD) Under the auspicious of the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project led by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, new dreading machines and modern equipments were handed over to the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation at a function held at the Ministry premises yesterday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa participated at the event as the Chief Guest. more..

Fonterra to resume operations soon

Aug 24 (Island) The Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited yesterday decided to suspend its consumer operations in Sri Lanka, until further notice, due to the unstable situation its 755 employees were facing. But, it will resume its operation in a few days when the situation improves. Fonterra’s Corporate Social Engagement Manager Ashan Jayatilaka said that Fonterra CEO, in the parent company, Theo Spierings had more..

Vaas summoned over alleged death threats

Aug 24 (CT) Acting Fort Magistrate, Dhammika Hemapala, yesterday ordered the Prison Superintendent to produce defamed DIG Vaas Gunawardena, before the Fort Magistrate, to investigate the allegations that the latter had threatened ASP Shani Abeysekara and another group of officers with death. Accordingly, Gunawardena will be produced before Courts on 26 Aug. Vaas Gunawardena, who is a suspect in the more..

Govt. politicians go scot free after raping children, women – UNP

Aug 24 (Island) Many govt politicians had been accused of raping and killing children and women, but no action had been taken against them, the UNP said. UNP MP Chandrani Bandara told a news conference that in the majority of cases where children and women had been raped and in most instances killed, the culprits were UPFA politicians, but the Rajapaksa regime was protecting even such criminals, she said. more..

Armed men hold Lankan newspaper editor at knifepoint

Aug 24 (AFP) Five armed men held a Sri Lankan newspaper editor at knifepoint as they searched her home on Saturday before police burst in and shot one of the intruders dead. The attack was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving the staff of the Sunday Leader and media activists said they suspected the incident at the Colombo home of Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema was an attempt to intimidate her. more..

Long war, cold peace: Revaluation of the past and Reconciliation

Aug 24 (CT) The two sessions of the Marga Institute’s Panel Discussion on Dr Dayan Jayatilleka’s book “Long War Cold Peace” have been organized under the titles “Was it a just war?” and “Can we have a just peace?”. Those who have read the book will appreciate the appropriateness of these titles for the two main parts of Dr Jayatilleka’s book first, his analysis of the ethnic conflict as it escalated to the war with the LTTE – the Thirty Year War as he calls it more..

Credibility of Army inquiry on Weliweriya killings?

Aug 24 (CT) Even after three weeks of the killings, no charges have so far been filed against the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. No one was arrested or taken into custody, by the army or the police. There is a possible cover up in the offing. The opposition leader and the opposition at large should not forget about their call for an ‘independent inquiry’ into these events. When this issue was raised in Parliament on 6 August, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Leader of the House, more..

Sri Lanka economy beyond 2014

Aug 24 (DM) In the aftermath of the military conflict of May 2009, the country was expecting an economic take off sustainable over a decade. That was possible only by building on the reforms of the liberalization of the late 1970’s. A small island, with a limited market, limited capital and resources could only progress by embracing globalization and building competitiveness of its agriculture, industries and services. more..

Onus is on the Polls Chief

Aug 24 (CT) On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan chapter of the corruption watchdog, Transparency International, revealed that only a mere one per cent of a total of 3,785 candidates of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections have declared their assets and liabilities. According to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act No. 74 of 1988, candidates nominated for election to be held under the Presidential Elections Act No.15 of 1981, the Parliamentary Elections Act No.1 of 1981, more..

Some notes on Moors religious exlusivism

Aug 24 (CT) I would like to sketch some points about Moors to help readers to understand the trend. Note that I am neither hired by external forces, as some alledged, to criticize Moors nor do I hate my own community so I criticize it. As I pointed on my facebook wall “We need to be critical of our own choices and paths. I know well about my own community, when we think that we are the perfect and others are always bad, we actually contribute to tensions. more..

'Break-in at journalist’s house a burglary'

Aug 24 (AD) The break-in at the Bambalapitiya residence of Sri Lanka Journalists Trade Union President, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema this morning was only an attempted armed robbery and nothing else. Five suspected burglars had broken into the house located in Dickman’s Road at around 2am today, before clashing with police officers who had responded to a call received by the police emergency hotline. more..

The return of the Damselfly after 154 years

Aug 24 (ST) An animal or plant is considered ‘extinct’, if it has not been recorded for more than a century. The Sri Lanka Emerald Spreadwing (Sinhalestes orientalis) a beautiful Damselfly that had not been recorded for 154 years and thereby considered extinct had made a re-appearance last year. The finding is published in the recent issue of the Asian Journal of Conservation Biology authored by young researcher Amila Sumanapala and expert on dragonflies M. Bedjanic. more..