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South Africa's Sri Lanka-phobia

Aug 3 (CI) South Africa are the best Test side in the world by some distance, but their ODI fortunes haven't been as favourable recently. In 2013, they've won only seven out of 18 ODIs, and their win-loss ratio of 0.70 is seventh out of nine teams who've played at least ten ODIs this year - only West Indies and Zimbabwe have done worse. South Africa are currently ranked fifth in ODIs, but they didn't even play like the fifth-best team in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, who are more..

JKH to raise equity, foreign debt for casino

Aug 3 (LBO) John Keells Holdings said an $ 800 million casino resort project will raise foreign debt and the parent may also make a cash call to invest $ 240 million in equity. The project is estimated to cost $ 820 million with the first phase expected to cost more than $ 650 million, JKH said in a circular to shareholders. Investments of $ 60 million will be made by land and JKH will invest $ 240 million US in equity. more..

Gem mining licensing to be modified

Aug 3 (CT) The Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy is expected to implement a new method when they issue licences for gem mining. Minister Susil Premajayantha, has decided to introduce a new methodology as many businessmen who engage in gem industry have complained of having to face a number of inconveniences when they apply for licences to mine gems. Director General of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), Janaka Udaya Kumara said, more..

Ananda Sarath Kumara plans a return?

Aug 3 (CT) Nilantha Wimalaweera, a close relative of Ananda Sarath Kumara, the politician who allegedly forced a female school teacher to kneel before him, said if he is elected to the Provincial Council, he would gladly give up his position to accommodate his uncle. Wimalaweera said he has been given nominations to contest the NWPC election from the UPFA in place of Ananda Sarath Kumara, adding that he expected his uncle’s support to win the election. more..

Demand for local milk to soar due to DCD issue

Aug 3 (Island) The local milk powder production is about 57,600 MT a year, but with the programme to increase production in place, the country’s needs could be met in four to five years time, Milco (Private) Limited Chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe told The Island yesterday. Wickramasinghe said that his company produced about 400 MT, of Highland full cream and non-fat varieties, a month and they sold fast and more..

SL Nenasalas successful despite high global telecentre failure

Aug 3 (FT) The Nenasala Telecentres (wisdom outlets) set up island-wide including in the North and East Provinces have yielded remarkable positive results, despite the high failure of telecentres in the international arena. ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura says that Sri Lanka’s telecentre model ‘Nenasala’ is a live example of the successful implementation of the telecentre concept. The success of most of the telecentres set up in developing countries is only around 25%. more..

Colombo Dockyard readies to launch 400 passenger vessel MV Corals

Aug 3 (Island) Work is progressing at a rapid pace to launch the 400 Passenger cum 250 Ton Cargo Vessel being built for the Union Territory of Lakshadweep Administration, Govt of India next month. This is the first of a series of two vessels being built. Once the hull is completed and launched, the vessel will move in to the next stage of the construction process, where it will be outfitted with machinery, piping, electrical, automation, Navigation, Communication and more..

Microsoft, EWIS set up country’s first PC manufacturing plant at H’tota

Aug 3 (Island) Microsoft OEM partner, EWIS, set a significant milestone with the setting up of the country’s first PC manufacturing plant in Sooriyawewa, Hambanthota. "The 25,000 square ft facility is a partnership between EWIS and Microsoft and is aimed at manufacturing Tablet PCs, Laptop Computers and Desktop Computers to fulfill the growing demand for innovative yet affordable computers in Sri Lanka as well as in the more..

Gallantry medals for 2,467 navy personnel

Aug 3 (Island) The Sri Lanka Navy on Thursday awarded Gallantry Medals to 2,467 of its personnel at a ceremony. The awards ceremony was held under the patronage of Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera, Director General and senior naval officers attached were present on the occasion. Gallantry Medal awarding ceremonies were also held at all Area Naval Commands to coincide with the event. more..

Lankan wins 2013 N Peace Award

Aug 3 (DN) Thavachsri Charles Vijayaratnam has been named as a recipient of the 2013 N Peace Award for her efforts to improve the lives of rural communities. She will be among six other women's rights activists who will receive the 2013 N-Peace Awards, a prestigious prize which recognises the leadership role of women and peace advocates from six Asian countries. Vijayaratnam wears many different hats from serving as secretary of Community-level Women's Rural more..

Rejected petrol stock being released

Aug 3 (CT) Mystery surrounds the manner in which the CPC is now clearing the 5,000 Metric Tonnes of substandard Octane 95 petrol from the Colombo Port, which was rejected by the CPC laboratory thrice within the last week. The clearing of the stock has begun at midnight on Thursday. Although all three samples of the petrol stock were rejected by the lab, it was later approved by the Technical Evaluation Committee, more..

UK visa applicant arrested

Aug 3 (CT) A Sri Lankan visa applicant was arrested for using false documentation and a fake identity to apply for a UK visa, the British High Commission in Colombo said. The suspect was referred by UK Visas and Immigration to the Fraud Investigations Bureau of the police. The visa applicant was applying to visit the UK. Investigations have revealed the applicant had made four previous attempts to get a visa under a different identity and has then applied using a different name more..

Transporting sand only at night from Matale, Polonnaruwa

Aug 3 (DN) Sand transported from Matale and Polonnaruwa areas will only be permitted during the nigh time with effect from August 1, according to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau. Transporting sand from those areas to Colombo and other main towns of the country will be permitted only from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Holding a press conference, Chairman Senarath Jayasundara informed the media about the new changes happening in issuing permits to transport sand. more..

Canada attacks 'evil' of Sri Lanka hosting Commonwealth summit

Aug 3 (Guardian) The Canadian govt has launched a blistering attack on Sri Lanka's "appalling" record on democratic accountability as the controversy intensifies over the Commonwealth's decision to allow Colombo to host its biennial heads of govt meeting later this year. The Commonwealth's general secretary said on Friday that he saw no reason to strip Sri Lanka of the honour of staging the meeting in November despite mounting more..

Wary Weliweriya!

Aug 3 (FT) Residents and authorities yesterday traded blame for the breakout of a mini war in the Gampaha District late Thursday night after a protest by residents in the area demanding clean water took a deadly turn. At least one person was killed and dozens injured in the clashes that erupted between demonstrators and troops deployed to clear the New Kandy Road in Weliweriya town on Thursday night. Twelve security forces personnel, including the OIC of the Weliweriya Police Station more..

President to address all UPFA candidates

Aug 3 (Island) SLFP leader President Rajapaksa will address all candidates contesting the forthcoming Provincial Councils elections, on the UPFA ticket, today at Temple Trees. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that the government’s aim was to hold a violence free election and UPFA candidates would be made aware of all election related activities by the President at today’s meeting. He said that the UPFA planned to visit a home twice during the propaganda campaign more..

Fonterra defends its products

Aug 3 (Island) Fonterra denied reports that its products sold in Sri Lanka contained any harmful substance. Fonterra Managing Director, Leon Clement, said that there was no truth in the recent allegations made on the basis of Sri Lanka’ ITI findings that his company’s milk products contained a high llevel of dicynamide (DCD). Fonterra called a media briefing yesterday, close on the heels of GMOA urging more..

Gota barred from election posters

Aug 3 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha, has strictly instructed the UPFA candidates and their supporters in the North, to refrain from putting up election posters portraying Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe. Minister was in Jaffna when the UPFA candidates filed nominations for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls. Speaking to the UPFA candidates soon after their more..

Govt. expresses its condolence over boy’s death

Aug 3 (Island) The govt expressed its condolences to the family of the teenager killed when troops opened fire on a crowd blocking the Kandy-Colombo main road on Thursday. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had condoled with the family of the victims. He said the innocent schoolboy had become a victim of a protest organised by some anti-govt elements. The govt had taken several measures to solve the water problem in Weliweriya. more..

Sri Lanka rulers provide more water to protesting villagers

Aug 3 (LBO) Elected representatives of Gampaha district met Friday and decided to increase the distribution of water by bowser to villagers who were protesting about tainted water, one whom was shot dead by security forces. Minister Basil Rajapaksa had convened a meeting of factions of elected representative groups on Friday to help solve the problem. Villagers near Weliweriya, Gampaha, had protested claiming that more..

Is this a people's uprising?

Aug 3 (CT) It was reported yesterday that two people were shot and killed in the Gampaha District, while dozens more were injured, during a protest against the alleged supply of contaminated water that posed a grave health risk. This is not the first time that protesters lost their lives to fire from government guns. It goes back to the time when Peradeniya University student, Weerasuriya was shot and killed during a protest in the early 1970s. Years ago, it was possible for entities like more..

Initiation of independent commissions

Aug 3 (CT) The seventeenth death anniversary of Dr Chanaka Amaratunga , founder leader of the Liberal Party falls on 1st of August.. He died under tragic circumstances 1996. Among his contributions to constitutional reform debate in Sri Lanka the idea of independent commissions is of great importance though he was not among us to see the passing of the 17th amendment to the constitution in October 2001 without any serious division in the parliament of Sri Lanka. more..

No starting point to resolution

Aug 3 (Hindu) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in Sri Lanka is expected to take place later this year. Colombo is entertaining hopes that holding the elections will help win India’s support in multilateral venues. New Delhi has made the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution — a by-product of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord — the centrepiece of a political solution. The Indo-Lanka Accord purportedly addresses the more..

'Govt should not have started Mihin'

Aug 3 (CT) The 2013 report of the COPE, which was released last week, slapped the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in their face, with COPE recommending immediate attention on four SOEs deemed continuously making losses. The report comes amidst damning revelations in the 2012 Central Bank report of both CEB and CPC incurring operational losses up to Rs 61 billion and Rs 89 billion respectively. more..

Weedicides suspected of poisoning rice; tests to determine truth

Aug 3 (Island) Weed killers used in rice cultivation posed a serious threat to rice consumers as they could be contaminated with Cadmium, Arsenic and other heavy metals, Agriculture Ministry Secretary W.A. Sakalasooriya said. He said that the chemical analysis of the rice was still in progress and the results would confirm scientifically whether or not rice grown in Sri Lanka contained toxic heavy metals. more..

Eight people expected to face trial over Briton's murder in Sri Lanka

Aug 3 (Guardian) Campaigners for justice for a British Red Cross worker murdered in Sri Lanka have given cautious welcome to reports indicating eight suspects will shortly face trial 19 months after his death. Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow, near Rochdale, was shot and stabbed on Christmas Day 2011 while on holiday in Tangalle in the south of the island after an altercation at his hotel. Eight people, including a prominent more..

New beginning for Laksala under Divi Neguma program

Aug 3 (MEA) Laksala, the oldest and well known gift and souvenir boutique in Sri Lanka will opened its landmark store at the Colombo Museum premises to popularise and promote the Sri Lankan handicraft industry locally and globally. The state-of-the-art showroom ‘National Museum Gallery Café’ which is being constructed at a under the Divi Neguma social development scheme. One and a half acres of land has been designed in a more..

Norochcholai de-loaded to 120 MW over technical hitch

Aug 3 (Island) The CEB has been saddled with paying an additional Rs. 160 million per day and this heavy expenditure will have to continue as the first 300MW coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai had since Tuesday de-loaded its capacity due to technical issues, top officials confirmed. The board now depends on seven independent power producers, who supply a unit of electricity at Rs. 30. more..

'TNA, SLMC strike deal to control N&E'

Aug 3 (Island) Batticaloa District SLFP organizer Arun Tambimuttu yesterday alleged that the TNA was seeking an unprecedented political arrangement with the UPFA constituent, the SLMC. Thambimuttu said that the TNA move would be inimical to the well being of Eastern Province Tamils, though it might help the TNA’s short-term political project aimed at comfortably winning the northern provincial council polls. more..

UN wants media freedom

Aug 3 (MEA) The United Nations says journalists should be able to carry out their work unencumbered and free of intimidation. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said this in response to a question raised on Sri Lanka at the daily UN press briefing held yesterday. The spokesman was asked to comment on reports that in the run-up to the CHOGM in Colombo, there has been a lot of controversy about freedom of the press. more..

Philippines, Sri Lanka to explore trade, investments

Aug 3 (BWO) In a press release, the agency said Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris met with DFA Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and "discussed possible areas for bilateral cooperation, particularly in agriculture, trade and investments, construction, power and energy, tourism and air services." A Sri Lankan business mission was in the country on Thursday for meetings with business and government officials, more..

Bribery: Ex CJ harassed while ministers, officials go scot free – BASL

Aug 3 (Island) The Bar Association said that former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was being harassed despite declaring her assets, but many politicians and public officials, against whom there were Bribery and Corruption complaints, had gone scot free. Bandaranayake had declared her assets at the time she was hauled up before the Bribery and Corruption Commission, Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya told The Island. more..

$3.2m fraud: Sri Lanka issues arrest warrants to 4 Aussies

Aug 3 (E24|7) Four Australian nationals wanted in connection with the swindling of money to the tune of US$ 3.2 million from a Sri Lankan investor in order to set up a business venture, have been issued warrants by Colombo High Court Judge through Interpol for their arrest. The local investor has been promised the position of the Managing Director after setting up a cable television company. However, the suspects were alleged to have returned to Australia with the money more..

Will Wigneswaran raise the issue of economic freedom under 13A?

Aug 3 (CT) A close examination of the 13th Amendment, would reveal that the NPC is powerless to manage the Provincial Fund required for the economic development of the Northern Province, because of the enormous powers vested with the Governor. Actually it denies the economic freedom that would lead to the growth and prosperity of the Northern Province. Economic freedom denotes the ability of the individuals to undertake economic direction and actions. more..

Boat people to Australia: One man’s odyssey

Aug 3 (ST) An employee of a Non Governmental Organisation, Virendran Ilangovan, 32, from Batticaloa decided to migrate to Australia last year. Several of his colleagues had taken the illicit boat ride to get there. He was asked to get in touch with a local agent in Batticaloa who disclosed his plans. He was told that the journey would cost over Rs. One million. Illangovan was willing to spend that amount of money, more..

Thirty years on: Remembering Black July

Aug 3 (Island) For the past 30 years, July 23, 1983 has been remembered in Sri Lanka as ‘Black July’. It marks the tragedy and horror of thousands of Tamil people being attacked by rioting mobs acting with impunity. Hundreds of Tamils were killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. Many Tamil people who survived these attacks fled the country, fearing they would never be able to see their home again. The repercussions of these brutal actions are still felt by the Tamil people more..

Health Ministry schedules exam without informing all candidates

Aug 3 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association urged the Health Ministry to make the necessary arrangements to conduct examinations for Public Health Nursing Sisters, who had fulfilled the required criteria. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that over a thousand nurses, who had fulfilled all conditions, were not able to sit the exam as admission cards had not been sent to them. Explaining the situation, Ratnapriya said that applications for the position had been more..

Bootleg toddy and diazepam rackets alarm authorities

Aug 3 (ST) Police and the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority have commenced a joint operation to track down a racket involving the sale of diazepam (valium), a popular anxiety-relieving medicinal prescription drug, after 200,000 pills were recovered from a house in Kosgama. The raid took place last week and the suspect, who did not possess the licence to distribute to pharmacies, has more..

Pensioner's lover 'leaves' him dead

Aug 3 (E24|7) An elderly man in an alleged relationship with a much younger woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel in Sri Lanka. A 59-year-old pensioner regularly checked into a room to spent time with his 36-year-old lover. Last week, the deceased – who had served at the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council – had rented a room at a lodge in Maharagama. However, a day later his body was found in the room and the woman was more..

Motorcycle prostitute conned by cops

Aug 3 (E24|7) A young woman engaged in motorcycle prostitution has been arrested in Sri Lanka. The beautiful young woman ran a mobile brothel in Kadawatha area. She was arrested by Kadawatha police in an undercover operation. A police officer who posed as a client called her and the suspect agreed to meet him immediately. She promised to meet him at a motel in Kadawatha. As agreed, when the police ofcial was waiting for her at the motel, she arrived on a motorcycle. more..