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Sri Lanka invited to set up logistics centres in Belarus

Aug 28 (FT) The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has suggested that Sri Lanka set up logistics centres in Belarus, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mikhail Myatlikov said on 26 Aug at the Belarus-Sri Lanka business forum attended by President Rajapaksa. “We suggest setting up customs warehouses and logistics centers in Belarus where Sri Lankan products will be packaged and later sold in Belarus and the other Customs Union more..

'CB, Treasury harmony freed Sri Lanka from vicious cycle trap to virtuous cycle'

Aug 28 (FT) Governor Nivard Cabraal last night made a compelling case that the close cooperation and relationship between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance led to the creation of what he described as a virtuous cycle, aiding the rapid and sound socioeconomic growth in the country. “The harmonisation between the monetary and fiscal policies during the past seven years has led to the creation of a new more..

Archiving multiple drafts of history

Aug 28 (GV) My first memories of July 1983 remain vivid. There was red – lot’s of it. The red sarees, the red garlands and finally, red blood and flames of reddish yellow that consumed the beauty of red. I was picked up early from school because there was ‘unrest’. Near Dickmon’s Road, in Bambalapitiya, a car was turned upside down, two men were busy pouring cans of liquid. It seemed so nonsensical to me – people setting cars ablaze in the midday sun. I asked my father, what was inside the cans. more..

Ravana Balaya uses children in protest

Aug 28 (GV) On Monday (26) the Buddhist monks of the National Organisation for Ravana Power (Ravana Balaya) marched to the UN office in Colombo demanding that UN Human Rights Chief, Navaneetham Pillay, leave the country. However, in a shocking display of disregard for the safety of their followers, the “Ravana Balaya” had placed numerous child monks at the front of the protest march. When the protesters encountered the police lines they proceeded to charge them more..

Sangakkara to choose between Kandurata and Sunrisers

Aug 28 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara will have to choose between playing for Kandurata Maroons and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Champions League T20 in India, after Sri Lanka Cricket have expressed a strong desire for him to represent Kandurata in the tournament. SLC has gone as far as seeking legal counsel on whether they can ask Sangakkara to play for Kandurata, even if it will effectively cost both Sangakkara more..

Sison meets Ven. Sobitha Thera

Aug 28 (CT) US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, yesterday visited the Naga Viharaya, Kotte, and met the Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ), Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. During the meeting, Ven. Sobitha Thera had explained to the Ambassador, the negative impact the Executive Presidency has on the country. He had also said that the NMSJ is involved in a campaign to make people aware of how the Executive Presidency impacts on the country, more..

Private bus operators protest against extortion

Aug 28 (Island) Crews of private buses operating on the Horowpathana, Kahatagasdigiliya and Galenbindunuwewa routes yesterday held a protest against the failure of the police to arrest those who were extorting money from them at the new bus stand in Anuradhapura. The protesters climbed atop the buses, carried placards and shouted slogans, crippling transport on those routes for several hours. The protesters said that last Sunday three men had mercilessly assaulted and more..

New laws against enforced disappearances

Aug 28 (DM) The Govt is planning to enact a separate Bill in Parliament to deal with incidents of enforced disappearances. For this purpose, the Penal Code will be amended to make enforced disappearance a criminal offence warranting serious punishment. A committee appointed by Justice Ministry Secretary Kamilini de Silva is studying the proposed amendments as recommended in the National Human Rights Action Plan. more..

Health unions threaten legal action over import of low quality drugs

Aug 28 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) yesterday warned that legal action would be taken against the importation of low quality drugs. Addressing the media at the Union office in Punchi Borella, HSTUA President Saman Ratnapriya alleged that glass and foreign particles had been found in two injection phials used to treat patients with chicken pox and allergic conditions. Ratnapriya said the first incident had been reported from the Ratnapura General Hospital more..

TISL alerts Ministry Secretaries of their responsibilities at elections

Aug 28 (FT) Transparency Interna-tional Sri Lanka (TISL) has drawn the attention of Secretaries of all Ministries to ensure that adequate and proper arrangements are made for the safe custody and preservation of resources belonging to the government during the period of the provincial elections. Quoting the Financial Regulation 128 (1)(e), TISL has alerted them of their responsibilities in this respect both as the Secretary and Chief Accounting Officer of each Ministry. more..

'New ministry for Pillay’s benefit'

Aug 28 (FT) The police were removed from the under the Ministry of Defence and placed under the newly formed Ministry of Law and Order for the benefit of visiting UN Envoy Navanethem Pillay, the UNP charged. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said the decision had been made on the eve of Pillay’s arrival in the country. “By the this time, the Govt had responded to the people of Rathupaswela who asked for drinking water more..

Cops who captured intruders at editor’s house to be promoted

Aug 28 (Island) Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon has decided to promote five policemen including Sergeant G. P. Jayapala in recognition of their services and swift action taken to capture the intruders at The Sunday Leader Associate Editor Mandana Ismail’s house at Dickman Road in Colombo last Saturday, police headquarters sources said yesterday. The promotions would be conferred on them once the investigations were completed, sources said. more..

Kotte MC member arrested for sexually harassing wife

Aug 28 (Island) Welikada police arrested a member of Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte Municipal Council, Danuka Vishvajith (UPFA) for allegedly sexually harassing his wife for a long period of time. Police spokesman Superintendent Buddhika Siriwardana told The Island yesterday that the suspect had been arrested yesterday afternoon after his wife had lodged a complaint with the Welikada police against her husband as she had not been able to bear the sexual torture anymore. more..

LIOC to introduce Euro 3 Diesel to Sri Lanka next year

Aug 28 (DM) Lanka IOC (LIOC) will be introducing Euro 3 Diesel to the Sri Lankan market by 2014 and will also be investing Rs.90 million to modernise the required infrastructure to support this introduction. “Post introduction of Euro 3 Petrol, the introduction of Euro 3 diesel would be a further step towards achieving environmental compatibility,” LIOC annual report said. Euro 3 diesel is a variant of diesel with a lesser more..

Navi Pillay’s Visit and Day of the Disappeared

Aug 28 (Scoop) On 30 August 2013, the world will mark the International Day of the Disappeared. In Sri Lanka, some 12,000 complaints of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the UN since the 1980s – making it second only to Iraq. But the actual number of disappeared is much higher, with at least 30,000 cases alleged up to 1994 and many thousands reported after that. “The number of disappeared people in Sri Lanka is astounding. The govt has to stop making empty promises more..

Vaiko asks UN official to suggest referendum

Aug 28 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Tuesday wanted UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay to recommend a referendum in Eelam for freedom of Tamils to press for an inquiry by the UN into the charges of genocide against the Sri Lankan government. In a statement here, he said Ms.Pillay, who is on a tour of inquiry, should do everything possible for ensuring lasting justice to the Tamils. Recalling the observation of Justice P.N. Bhagwathi, who visited Sri Lanka in 2007 more..

Audio: I am ready to marry Pillay - Mervyn

Aug 28 (DM) The country’s maverick Minister Mervyn Silva said he was willing to marry visiting UNHRC Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay. “I urge her to join me to go on a trip around the country. I would teach her the history of Sri Lanka, I would tell her about Maha Ravana. It was we who gave Kuweni in marriage to Prince Wijaya and if Madam Pillay is agreeable I am ready to marry her even tomorrow,” he said. more..

India wants Buddha’s bowl brought back

Aug 28 (Island) Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, a member of the Indian Parliament and former union minister, has launched a campaign to retrieve Gautama Buddha’s "Bhiksha Patra" (bowl) that was taken away to Afghanistan some two thousand years ago. Singh, a Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, says the people of Vaishali in Bihar state (his Lok Sabha constituency) are the right claimants of this national treasure because Buddha had donated it to the people of the region when he was leaving for more..

Five final year undergrads suspended for five years

Aug 28 (CT) Five undergraduates of the Peradeniya University have been served with a five-year suspension by the University’s Disciplinary Committee for having assaulted the hockey coach. The agitation between the students and the coach allegedly took place over three months ago. However, the decision of the university authorities’ investigations were concluded recently, resulting in the extended suspension of the students involved in the fracas. more..

Tougher action mulled against TN poachers

Aug 28 (Island) The govt is mulling over a proposal by Minister Rajitha Senaratne to confiscate Indian trawlers taken into custody in Sri Lankan waters. With the first NPC polls scheduled for Sept. 21, poaching will be a major issue to be flogged by the government. Minister Senaratne told The Island that tangible action was needed to prevent the Tamil Nadu fishing fleet from plundering Sri Lanka’s maritime resources. more..

Soldiers suspended for rape

Aug 28 (CG) The govt says four soldiers have been suspended from service by the army over rape allegations. Quoting Military spokesman, the govt said that the four soldiers had allegedly raped a woman in Horowpothana. The four soldiers have already been arrested and investigations into the alleged rape was underway. It was reported that the soldiers were attached to the Anuradhapura army camp and after raping the woman they had stolen some goods from the house. more..

TN ports alerted over Lanka

Aug 28 (CG) Three main ports in Tamil Nadu (TN) have been put on alert following inputs of possible terror attacks using the coastal routes between India and Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported. The security agencies are coordinating with the three port authorities to “thwart any untoward incident.” Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan has instructed chairmen of all the three major ports in the state – Chennai, Tuticorin and Ennore – to take all precautionary more..

President Rajapaksa holds talks with Belarus Prime Minister

Aug 28 (IL) Prime Minister of Belarus, Professor Mikhail Myasnikovich warmly received President Rajapaksa as he arrived for bilateral talks at the Govt House in Minsk yesterday afternoon (26). During the bilateral discussions the two countries identified a number of areas for joint ventures including the areas of manufacturing, agricultural and military equipment, and the production of dairy products. more..

Alliance Finance to raise Rs. 1.48 bn via a debt issue

Aug 28 (N360) Alliance Finance Company is planning to raise up to Rs. 1.48 billion via a debenture issue, which will open the subscription list on the 13th of September. According to a stock market disclosure, the company will initially issue 1.2 million debentures, while keeping the option to raise another 5 million debentures, in case of an over-subscription. The subordinated, listed, rated, unsecured, redeemable debentures will be issued under four categories, more..

CSE opens branch office in Ratnapura

Aug 28 (DM) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) opened its newest branch in Ratnapura yesterday making it the seventh branch office Sri Lanka’s only equity exchange has islandwide. The branch is situated on Level 1, No: 131, Colombo Road, Ratnapura. The branch will provide investors from the Sabaragamuwa Province education and investment opportunities in shares and corporate debt listed on the CSE. The branch will conduct educational programmes and exhibitions more..

Sri Lanka police dog 'weddings' condemned

Aug 28 (BBC) Sri Lanka's culture ministry has strongly condemned a mass "wedding" of police dogs which they say offensively used traditional Buddhist symbols. Police "married" nine pairs of dogs on a platform decorated with white cloth and flowers in a ceremony resembling a traditional marriage. The "brides" wore mittens, shawls and hats while the "grooms" wore red ties. Police have defended the "wedding" saying more..

Independent Police Commission vital

Aug 28 (DM) On the eve of the long-awaited and crucial visit of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navaneethan Pillay, President Mahinda Rajapaksa acted fast to set up a new Ministry of Law and Order. The gazette notification issued on Aug 16 said the Police Department would function under the new ministry while the Minister would be the President himself. However the Secretary to the Ministry would be a former top military officer, retired Major General more..

The foreign service gets a blood transfusion

Aug 28 (DM) I need to flag some good news which was that the government had recruited twenty seven into the Foreign Service as Cadets after holding an open competitive examination. Though we have a separate Foreign Service I regret to state it is not as professional as for example is the Indian or Pakistani Foreign Services – for no fault of its members. There are today more outsiders serving in our Missions than professional Diplomats. Whilst no regular recruitment procedure more..

Battle for preferential votes forecasted in Kurunegala

Aug 28 (SL) Although there has not been much election related violence reported from Wayamba in the run up to the Provincial Council election as at last week, opposition political parties and the people in the province expect more violence after September 1st when active election campaigning kicks off. Violence will escalate mainly in the Kurunegala district since there is a race for the most number of preferential votes within the UPFA more..

Weliweriya victims recount and relive night of horror at Magisterial inquiry

Aug 28 (ST) Victims of last month’s Army shooting and assault in Weliweriya, this week relived their nightlong horror at a Magisterial inquiry. They recounted their nightmare caught up in the crossfire and also the assaults they were subject to when they took refuge inside the Catholic church. The Magisterial inquiry was held by Gampaha Magistrate Tikiri Jayatillake in connection with the deaths of more..

Saudi to turn to India, Sri Lanka for maids

Aug 28 (E24|7) Saudi Arabia is considering turning to India and Sri Lanka to meet soaring local demand for domestic workers following labour disputes with the Philippines and Indonesia and a decision to suspend hiring maids from Ethiopia. Indonesia and the Philippines, among the largest maid supplier to the Middle East, have temporarily halted the travel of their domestic workers to Saudi Arabia following disputes over more..

'Pillay’s intervention not acceptable'

Aug 28 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’s intervention in domestic affairs of Sri Lanka was not acceptable. Minister Welgama said that contrary to reports, the UN official was free to visit any part of the country. Minister Welgama alleged that the UN rights chief was silent on atrocities committed by US-led Western forces in various parts of the world. more..

Power generation cost down, tariff could be reduced - Expert

Aug 28 (Island) The average unit cost of electricity, both in generation and supply, has come down drastically, an internal analysis by the power sector’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), reveals. The rates rose to Rs. 15.54 (average generation unit cost) and Rs. 21.31 (average supply unit cost) in April this year, prompting the CEB to push for a power tariff hike. more..

MMCs who exposed 'cremation' of CMC files persecuted

Aug 28 (CT) In a strange turn of events, the three members of the CMC who had exposed the underhand actions of some officers of the Council when they carried out the unauthorized destruction of official files and documents, are now made to look like the 'perpetrators' of the crime while those who in fact are responsible for setting the said documents ablaze, have not been taken to task to date. more..

Grade 5 Scholarship exam bungling: Examination Chief calls for report

Aug 28 (Island) The Department of Examinations has called for a report from the Southern Province Education Director following allegations that Sunday’s Grade Five Scholarship Examination was not conducted properly at two centres in Galle. Exams Chief W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara told The Island that there had been two incidents, one at the Heenatigala Sariputhra Vidyalaya and the other at Bataduwa more..

Sri Lanka rupee hits record low; Centarl Bank expects stability

Aug 28 (LBO) A sharp fall in Rupee was a temporary aberration Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said after the rupee recovered to 133.30 to the dollar after falling as much as 135.00. "We have looked into the matter and it was a very small trade, Governor Cabraal said. "We think it is an aberration in the market and we believe that it should settle down to a much more manageable level." There were some official interventions more..

Fonterra back in business in Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (AAP) Fonterra has resumed consumer operations in Sri Lanka after it had suspended them following protests outside its Sri Lankan offices and a ban on it selling products in that country. Fonterra announced the business resumption on Wednesday as a New Zealand government report cleared it of a separate food scare that had wrongly linked some whey protein exports to a bacteria that could cause botulism. more..

Sri Lanka slams UN rights body

Aug 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has criticised the UN Human Rights Council as its top official toured the battle-scarred nation to probe alleged war crimes, according to state media Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is on a trip to Belarus, has told his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko that both nations are being targeted unfairly by the UNHRC whose chief Navi Pillay is visiting Sri Lanka. more..

No beggars during CHOGM!

Aug 28 (CT) With the CHOGM less than three months away, the authorities appear to have got into high gear to transform Colombo into a picture perfect, postcard city, to welcome the anticipated inflow of foreign dignitaries and their entourage. This has entailed not only getting rid of the structural eyesores and giving the cityscape a buoyant look with spruced up sidewalks, transplanted trees and artfully designed jogging tracks, but also emptying out the city of its flotsam and jetsam, more..

A brief open letter to Navi Pillay

Aug 28 (CT) Your visit to Sri Lanka, after years of failed efforts by the Sri Lankan Govt to insult and intimidate you, is most welcome. Its outcome will be critically important for the future of Sri Lanka – whether it can evolve as a democracy where universal human rights are observed or whether the present autocratic genocidal regime will be further entrenched in power for the indefinite future. We are confident that you will act strictly consistent with the responsibilities of your high Office, more..