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Heritance Kandalama emerged Champions at Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition 2013

Aug 29 (Island) Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel Heritance Kandalama, emerged Champions at the Bocuse D’Or Culinary Competition, competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels recently. Chef W.M Augustus Lowe, Chef De Cuisine at Heritance Kandalama with 22 years of experience in the culinary field and his apprentice, B.A.L.H Thisera, Commis III with 3 years of experience in the field were the winning duo who bought glory to Heritance Kandalama. more..

BOC to uplift fisheries sector with Rs. 2bn low cost loan scheme

Aug 29 (Island) State-owned banking giant Bank of Ceylon (BOC) recently launched ‘Diyawara Diriya Stage 2’, a low cost loans scheme for the fisheries sector with the bank intending to grant Rs. 2 billion worth of credit. BOC ventured into the fisheries sector 38 years ago, in 1975, and contributed to the development of this sector. The Bank also successfully implemented 26 loan schemes to enhance the fisheries community in the country. At the beginning the fisheries sector more..

JKH taps shareholders for Rs. 40 b

Aug 29 (FT) Following up on its mega move, John Keells Holdings (JKH) yesterday announced a staggering Rs. 40 billion fund raising exercise via shareholders, who last week overwhelmingly voted for the biggest-ever private sector investment worth $ 650 million for The Waterfront integrated resort in Colombo 2. The company announced a Rights Issue of two shares for every 13 held at Rs. 175 each. more..

Mystery container to be opened today

Aug 29 (Island) A Navy Fast Attack Craft (FAC) was engaged yesterday to bring ashore a mystery container, found floating 10 nautical miles off Chilaw. The big box was in the process of being towed at the time of going to press. It would be opened on the Udappuwa shore this morning, the Navy said. Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya, when contacted, said a group of fishermen had spotted the container and informed the Naval detachment in the area. more..

MoH seeks Rs 12 B to purchase medical equipment

Aug 29 (CT) The Ministry of Health is seeking Rs 12 billion from the next budget to purchase new medical equipment for govt hospitals, saying what is presently available are either outdated or malfunctioning. Minister Maithripala Sirisena, said the ministry had held discussions with the Treasury in this regard, stressing the importance of obtaining state of the art medical equipment. The minister added, as a result of not having the latest equipment, doctors are unable to more..

We rarely cross maritime boundary line, say Indian fishermen

Aug 29 (Hindu) The arrest of 35 fishermen from Pamban by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in the neighbouring country’s waters has come as a shock to the fisherfolk of Rameswaram island. A. Simon, was shocked and upset when he heard that 35 fishermen from Pamban area of Rameswaram were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in the neighbouring country’s waters. more..

Illegal asylum seekers arrested

Aug 29 (CG) The Ambalangoda police arrested 27 Australia bound boat people at several locations last night. According to the police media unit, the arrests were made based on information received by the police. The police first arrested a group staying at a hotel in Ambalangoda last night while they were preparing for the boat journey. Another group was then arrested from a house in the Galle area while a third group was arrested from Beruwala, the police media unit said today. more..

Journalists in Sri Lanka petition HRC

Aug 29 (Scoop) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) extends its support to affiliates and partners in Sri Lanka, in their effort to secure the active involvement of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in addressing long neglected issues of media freedom in the country. The Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ-affiliate, coordinated the meeting with the NHRC Chairman, Justice Priyantha Perera, on August 27, at which a letter was handed over with more..

Pillay goes off track

Aug 29 (DM) The visiting UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillay had no right whatsoever to dictate how Sri Lanka should organise its defence affairs; they would flatly reject it if she had the temerity to do so, the govt said. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said Sri Lanka had given permission to Pillay to visit Sri Lanka, travel anywhere and talk to any individual, group or organisation on her fact-finding effort freely more..

'Govt's inaction prompted Pillay's visit'

Aug 29 (CT) The visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, was prompted by the failure of the government to address issues pertaining to human rights and the law and order situation in the country, the Leader of the New Left Front, Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, alleged. Addressing the media yesterday, he accused the President of being fully responsible for creating an unpleasant image about the country, in the eyes of the international community. more..

'Nearly 5,000 security, police personnel abducted by LTTE'

Aug 29 (DN) Nearly 5,000 security and police personnel believed to have been abducted and ‘disappeared’ during the 30 year war had perished at the hands of LTTE terrorists having being subjected to torture, according to recent investigations by Defence Intelligence Units. Although the LTTE diaspora is harping on losses incurred by the LTTE, no one spoke about or highlighted the injustices caused to these Security Forces personnel and innocent civilians and violations of their more..

Sri Lanka and Belarus inked Seven Bilateral Agreements

Aug 29 (IL) Belarus Republic and Sri Lanka have inked the seven bilateral agreements designed to promote all-round cooperation on Monday at the Cabinet Hall of the Govet House in Minsk, during Sri Lankan President’s three day state visit to the country. On Sri Lanka side President Rajapaksa signed the joint statement with his Belarus counterpart, President Alexander Lukashenko at the end of bilateral discussions. more..

Police probe canine wedding

Aug 29 (Island) Police headquarters yesterday commenced an investigation into a canine wedding ceremony. The Police Canine Division, as part of the Police Canine Breeding Programme, held a mass ‘wedding’ complete with a poruwa ceremony on Monday at the Asgiriya Grounds in Kandy, for the animals belonging to the Asgiriya Police Kennels. This investigation commenced after Minister T. B. Ekanayake made inquiries from the Police Headquarters as to who had permitted more..

Pillay admits giving more time to SL issue

Aug 29 (Island) UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay yesterday said that she had given more time to Sri Lanka in spite of it being a small country. Comparing the UNHRC focus on Sri Lanka and Russia, Pillay said that the former was taking more time than even Russia. The South African born commissioner was making farewell remarks following a meeting with citizens’ representatives in Trincomalee. Pillay was speaking after SLFP Batticaloa District organiser more..

Segu Dawood to be kicked out

Aug 29 (CT) President of the SLMC, Basheer Segu Dawood, is to be removed from his post and the Party. SLMC National Organizer, Shafeek Rajabdeen, said it has been decided to expel Segu Dawood at the Party convention scheduled for September. "Segu Dawood who has now become a supporter of the govt, is being used to hatch conspiracies to split the SLMC into two. What is important is not to safeguard the more..

Police looking for B’deshi monk’s killers

Aug 29 (Island) The Welikada police have commenced investigations into killing of a Bangladeshi bhikkhu, Ven. Burawa Thera, who resided at the Sri Sudarshanaramaya, in Kalapaluwawa. Ven. Burawa was receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital following an assault and succumbed to his injuries yesterday. A group of unidentified persons had broken into the temple and assaulted the monk on August 20. The monk’s head had been seriously injured more..

Video: Mysterious container in the seas off Chilaw

Aug 29 (DM) Arrangements are now under way to salvage and bring to shore a large container found in the sea off the Chilaw coast. The fishermen who spotted this container on Tuesday had informed the Navy officers on patrol duty in the area. The fishermen said they had even noticed sea oysters round the container. Attempts to tow the container ashore using small dinghy boats had proved futile. The navy is now planning to use a Dora boats for this purpose. more..

Mandana says ‘gold haul’ found by police does not belong to her

Aug 29 (Island) The Sunday Leader Associate Editor, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, has said that the gold jewellery the police claim to have recovered from the men who broke into her house does not belong to her. Police said the jewellery (12 bangles, 14 chains, two bracelets, ten pendants, ten rings and nine ear rings) had been recovered from the robbers who broke into Abeywickrema’s residence on more..

Honour the vocation of medicine

Aug 29 (DM) The free health service and free education service since independence in 1948 have been two of the main pillars to bring about equality and social justice in Sri Lanka, with healthy people and the highest literacy rate in Asia. Tragically, after Sri Lanka swallowed the globalised, capitalist market economic policies, we are seeing a gradual and dangerous erosion in both these vital sectors and the consequences could be disastrous. Today the Daily Mirror wishes to focus more..

Kachchativu was part of Sri Lanka even before the Agreement of 1974

Aug 29 (DM) It is reported in the print that the Minister, Prof. Peiris has made certain comments to questions raised by the journalist in Delhi to the effect that the 1974 Agreement determined the demarcation of Kachchativu in terms of an International Maritime Boundary Line with regard to the historic waters between India and Sri Lanka. His comments provoked to write this article, unfolding the fact that Kachchativu was part of Sri Lanka well before the Agreement of 1974, more..

Was water acidity in Weliweriya ‘hand in glove’ with industry?

Aug 29 (DM) This was one of the hottest topics discussed everywhere in Sri Lanka recently after the unfortunate incident that occurred there a couple of weeks ago. I have gone through most of the letters and articles which appeared in the media in this regard, and some of them have been written by people not fully aware of the production process of latex-based gloves for domestic and industrial use. more..

First impressions of UNHRC on Sri Lanka’s ground situation

Aug 29 (DM) Trilingual sign boards and sign posts in Colombo perhaps impressed the visiting United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay. Upon arrival in the country on Sunday morning, and meeting with Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Attorney General Palitha Fernando and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem, on the following day, Ms. Pillay called on National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara. more..

Politicos turn child rapists: NE Deputy Mayor on the run

Aug 29 (ST) Nuwara Eliya Deputy Mayor Tissa Seneviratne is on the run after Court issued an arrest warrant against him. Police have still not been able to track him down. Nuwara Eliya Magistrate issued an open warrant on August 19 following a request by the Children and Women Bureau after a woman had complained that her son had been a sex victim of the ruling party member. The suspect had sexually abused about five more..

Accountability issues: Tambimuttu urges Pillay not to be selective

Aug 29 (Island) SLFP Batticaloa District Organiser Arun Tambimuttu yesterday urged visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay not to be selective in examining accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Thambimuttu said that those who had been demanding an investigation into the alleged war crimes claimed to have been committed during the final phase of the war in early 2009, had been silent on more..

Sri Lanka holds back the tide

Aug 29 (TA) "My question is this: if people are really persecuted here, why don't they go to India, which is two hours away? Why do they take a dangerous journey of 25 or 30 days in a boat to Australia?" So asks Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, in the course of a long discussion in naval headquarters in Colombo. Sri Lanka is a fascinating place right now. Its war of nearly 30 years with the separatist Tamil more..

Nepotism rules?

Aug 29 (SL) Nepotism is rampant in Sri Lankan politics and this is clearly evident when one goes through the list of North Western Provincial Council candidates. Not only is the ruling party accused of nepotism, but also the main opposition UNP. Although there are a very few family members of UNPers contesting this election, people in Wayamba say that had the UNP been in power they too would have given nominations to most of more..

President Rajapaksa inspects agricultural machineries at Minsk automobile plant

Aug 29 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the Minsk Automobile Plant for an inspection tour at the conclusion of his three-day state visit to the Belarus Republic, the former Soviet Union country in Eastern Europe on 27 August. Minsk Automobile Plant is highly established industrial plant where high quality passenger buses, trucks and lorries are manufactured for both local and export markets. more..

Jayalalithaa slams Centre for 'muted response' on fishermen issue

Aug 29 (PTI) Slamming the Centre for remaining a "mute spectator" on the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today said there was no concerted action on securing their release. In her letter to PM Manmohan Singh, Ms Jayalalithaa sought his immediate intervention through diplomatic channels to secure the release of all fishermen from Tamil Nadu who are in Sri Lankan custody. more..

Namal rubbishes allegations

Aug 29 (CG) MP Namal Rajapaksa has rubbished the allegations raised against him over the break-in at the residence of journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema. Some websites had alleged that the men who forced their way into Abeywickrema’s house had been looking for some files involving MP Namal Rajapaksa. While the police insist that the men were part of a robber gang, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and others have more..

SF flays Pillay for pursing personal agenda

Aug 29 (Island) DP leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka alleged that visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner was pursuing an agenda of her own. An irate former war winning army commander said that the UN mission in Colombo and the visiting Commissioner had deprived him of an opportunity to make representations, in spite of her being here on a week-long visit. "The UN could have easily accommodated me," the former MP said, more..

When will this abuse stop?

Aug 29 (CT) In a scenario that aptly captures the essence of the idiom 'Like water off a duck's back' the abuse of State property by candidates of the ruling party continues with nary a pause, despite the routine warnings issued by the Commissioner of Elections and the meticulous recordings by the various election monitors that literally name and shame the candidates. Abuse of State property in election work is not a new phenomenon. Along with election related violence, this has become more..

A question of hope: Holding on to the final straw or letting go?

Aug 29 (CT) ‘We were on the run because of shelling while we were walking towards Puthukuddiruppu, one moment my husband was still next to me, the next moment I couldn’t see him because of all the smoke. I was not sure if he was injured by shelling but I knew that if I with my children would stop running that we would be the next victims. I just prayed that he would be fine and once this all would be over, we would meet again’ until now her husband has not returned more..

'Team choice not about loyalty or money'

Aug 29 (CI) Players who choose to play for their IPL franchise over their local team in the Champions Trophy do not betray their nation, Kumar Sangakkara has said, after a meeting with SLC on Tuesday yielded no concrete decisions on which team he would represent in the tournament. Sangakkara has been named in the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad, but SLC have also asked him to play for the Kandurata Warriors side, more..

UPFA intra-party fights spread to Jaffna

Aug 29 (Island) Intra-party clashes between UPFA candidates in the run-up to the provincial council elections have spread to the Northern Province as well. Two persons injured in a shooting incident were rushed to hospital in Jaffna on Tuesday night. National Organiser of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Ahmed Manas said that after the shooting one person had been assaulted around 7.45 pm on Tuesday near the Chavakachcheri Post Office in Jaffna. more..

Sri Lanka prepares for UPR

Aug 29 (CG) The govt says it will make all preparations to ensure there is further progress on the human rights front ahead of the next Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka at the UN in Geneva in 2017. President Rajapaksa's human rights envoy, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said this after meeting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today. He said that the govt will not wait till 2017 and will soon implement all what it promised at the last UPR in March. more..

Experts question logic of importing costly foreign cows

Aug 29 (Island) The govt has spent a large sum of money to import and maintain Australian cows, according to the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB), but they are producing only about 22 litres of milk per day while the local cows produced about five litres of milk at little cost. About 2,000 Jersey and Friesian cows have been imported from Australia for farms in the hill country at a cost of Rs. 300,000 each. more..

Sri Lanka rupee off record low as state bank sells dollars

Aug 29 (Reuters) The rupee firmed on Thursday, after hitting a record low as a state bank, through which the central bank directs the market, sold dollars to stabilise a panicked market, dealers said. The rupee spot next or one-day forward, which was active in the market in the absence of spot trade, was traded at 133.30/60 per dollar, from Wednesday's close of 133.70/134.00. It hit a record low of 135.00/15 per dollar on Wednesday. Spot rupee was quoted at 133.40 in early trade, more..

Tug of war over blood tests?

Aug 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Society of Medical Laboratory Science urged the Health Ministry to attach at least two Medical Laboratory Technologists each to the OPD lab of the National Hospital and other teaching hospitals to carry out blood tests. SLSMLS president Ravi Kumudesh said that the need had arisen first at the NHSL and an appeal had been made to Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake when he visited the hospital following his appointment to the post last year. more..

Sri Lankan court bans animal sacrifices

Aug 29 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan court on Thursday banned the slaughter of animals for religious purposes. The Appeal Court issued the order after a petition was filed by a group of Buddhist monks. Monks representing the Sanga Samelanaya filed the petition seeking a ban on animal slaughter at the Muneswaram Temple in Chilaw. The Appeal Court ordered the police to prevent such animal slaughter from taking place in future. more..

A’pura Kidney transplant unit shut down

Aug 29 (Island) Kidney transplant operations have come to a complete halt, at the Anuradhapura Kidney Transplant Unit (AKTU), due to a shortage of doctors to assist the Consultant Surgeon there. The GMOA said that the Health Ministry had agreed to provide the required number of doctors to the AKTU so that operations could be resumed. As the North Central Province was the worst affected by the chronic kidney disease, the shutting down of the transplant unit, in the biggest town there, more..