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Invest in energy efficiency, experts urge

Dec 28 (FT) One third of all energy consumption comes from buildings, the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority revealed recently. Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala, Director General of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) made this comment at a media round table discussion on the importance of energy-efficient buildings facilitated by global innovation giant 3M Sri Lanka recently. Speaking at the event, Dr. Sugathapala said that global consumption of energy is forecasted more..

Chandimal, Mendis edge home in thriller

Dec 28 (CI) It had been widely noted that Dinesh Chandimal hadn't made an ODI fifty in nearly a year. He chose a thriller to end the drought, guiding Sri Lanka home in the last over, with the No. 10 Ajantha Mendis for company. Sri Lanka went into the Tests with a scoreline of 2-3, but it could easily have been 1-4. Pakistan made the target of 233 look like 333, despite Kusal Perera's quick 47 at the start. They absorbed those early blows, more..

Boost for Southern cinnamon cultivation

Dec 28 (DN) The Export Agriculture Department has initiated measures to promote cinnamon cultivation in the Southern region. According to Director Research, Cinnamon Research Center at Palolpitiya, Thihagoda, K.G.G. Wijesinhe, the newly introduced cinnamon strains of Sri Gemunu and Sri Vijaya are popular among cinnamon cultivators in Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts. He said novel methods of cultivation, nursery control, addressing issues affecting both cultivators more..

‘Siddhartha Gautama’ wins best movie award

Dec 28 (DM) The much-hyped epic Sinhala movie ‘Sri Siddhartha Gautama’ which enjoyed a successful run in Sri Lanka, won the award for the best film in the World Cinema section at the second Delhi International Film Festival in India which concluded a short while ago, the film’s director Saman Weeraman told the Daily Mirror. Navin Gunaratne who produced the film on behalf of the Light of Asia Foundation was also given a special award for his role as producer. more..

CPJ calls for release of Indian journalist

Dec 28 (CPJ) The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for the immediate release of an Indian journalist and filmmaker who was arrested in Sri Lanka on Wednesday while allegedly filming and photographing a military base. Tamil Prabhakaran was arrested by security forces in the northern Kilinochchi district and is undergoing an investigation by the island nation's Terrorist Investigation Department on charges of more..

Another 130 students complete Com Bank’s English Programme

Dec 28 (Island) Another 130 young Sri Lankans have been given the gift of English language skills under the Commercial Bank’s ongoing community project to promote English literacy on a national scale. This is the second batch of students to be presented with certificates under the programme after successful completion of the course for schools in the Kalutara District. Comprising of 16 two-hour lessons spread over four months, the English course was conducted by the Life English Academy, more..

Two British nationals arrested for assaulting hotel employee

Dec 28 (CT) A British couple, who had assaulted a hotel employee in Unawatuna, Galle has been taken into police custody on Thursday night. British nationals had allegedly assaulted a hotel employee, when he was walking past the room rented by them. The worker has been admitted to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital after sustaining injuries due to being attacked with a bottle. Incident has occurred due to another worker knocking on the door of the room the couple was staying in. more..

CBK to be the common candidate

Dec 28 (CT) The UNP has decided to present former President Chandrika Kumaratunga as the opposition’s common candidate to contest against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the upcoming presidential elections. This decision has been made on Sunday (22) by the UNPers during a special discussion conducted at Mangala Samaraweera’s residence in Bolgoda. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Pope’s envoy meets Maha Sangha

Dec 28 (Island) Pope Francis’ emissary, Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco, who was in Sri Lanka, paid a courtesy call on Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero and Ven. Kiniyawala Palitha Thero at Mahabodhi Temple in Maligakanda yesterday. He was accompanied by Dr. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and several Catholic priests. Cardinal Angelo appreciated the religious amity that existed between Buddhists and Catholics. He admired the natural beauty of Sri Lanka, too. more..

Fishermen meet Khurshid over detention of compatriots in Lanka

Dec 28 (PTI) A delegation of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, led by DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu, today met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid seeking his intervention to ensure release of Indian fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka. According to Baalu, the delegation sought the release of 227 fishermen and 77 boats, detained in the island nation. They also demanded steps for convening a proposed meeting between fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka to resolve more..

Video: Doctors ready to face inquiries regarding medical negligence

Dec 28 (DM) GMOA said, doctors were ready to face any inquiry on their negligence in providing medical services. Dr. Nalinda Herath said the health ministry followed a specific procedure when dealing with instances of doctors’ negligence and said they would not interfere into such inquiries. “Not all patients who fight for their lives could be saved. But if a patient’s life is at stake due to the carelessness of the doctors, more..

Delft Island for wild horses to run free

Dec 28 (DM) The Government is expected to declare a landmass of 100 acres as a wild life park in the Delft Island off Jaffna for the conservation of the wild horses roaming freely in the area, officials said today. The Delft Island can be reached after an hour’s boat ride from Karaikattuvan Jetty near the historic Nagadeepa Island. The Deft is famous for wild horses which were the present day decedents of those brought and reared by the then Dutch rulers. Minister Douglas Devananda had more..

Milk powder price hike in the offing

Dec 28 (Island) A milk powder price hike is under consideration by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). A spokesman for the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade said that the importers of powdered milk had requested an increase of Rs. 250 per one kilo packet, but not for the 400-gramme packs. The current price of a one kilo packet of milk powder is Rs. 810 and a 400 gramme pack is Rs. 325. However, consumers complain that powdered milk is not available more..

Major changes in top Army positions

Dec 28 (DM) Reporting the first major changes in the top ranks of the Sri Lanka Army in the recent times, six Major Generals in the Army including Jaffna Security Forces Commander Mahinda Hathurusinghe have been transferred with effect from Jan 1, 2014. Accordingly, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe has been appointed as the Adjutant General (AG), Army Headquarters. more..

Biggest-ever gold catch at Madurai airport

Dec 28 (Hindu) Customs officials at the airport had their biggest ever catch on Friday when they detained three Sri Lankans, including two women, and seized 1,189 grams of gold rods worth around Rs. 36 lakh. The three, who arrived from a Mihin Lanka flight, claimed themselves to be friends and followed a novel modus operandi. They had hidden the gold rods under the handles of three trolley cases carried by them. “This is the first time that we had come across such a modus operandi. more..

Panicked by fire, passengers hit by another train: 3 killed

Dec 28 (DM) At least three people were killed and several others injured when panicked passengers of the Kandy bound train jumped off the train when the train’s engine caught fire at Waduruwa, Veyangoda a short while ago, official sources said. They said the passengers who jumped off the train were hit by the Matara bound train which was travelling on the next track. However, the railways authorities were able to bring the fire under control within less than thirty minutes without any casualties. more..

Vote on VVT Urban Council budget: Fresh turmoil as TNA splits

Dec 28 (Island) The five-party TNA is in fresh turmoil in the wake of an abortive bid to defeat the budget, of the Valvettiturai Urban Council, yesterday. The TNA comprises the ITAK, PLOTE, TELO, EPRLF and TULF. The ITAK is the dominant partner. Of the nine-member UC, the TNA secured seven seats while the UPFA obtained the remaining two seats, at the last Local Govt polls held on July 23, 2011. more..

Massacre of the innocents

Dec 28 (DM) As the world marks the day on which innocent people and especially children were killed or made to suffer, mainly by wicked and selfish political leaders, we could reflect on how this is happening in many countries including Sri Lanka on a larger scale and what we as a people need to do to curb or stop it. The flashpoint where there could be an apocalyptic catastrophe is Syria. Many world political analysts believe the crisis there is the gravest since the Second World War more..

Abolition of Grade V Scholarship Exam: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Dec 28 (DM) I entered Ananda College after sitting for an entrance examination, conducted by the school authorities. That was at the end of 1953. At that stage Ananda College was an assisted school run by the BTS. Many children of the rural middle classes entered the reputed Colombo schools in this manner. This showed the expanding social mobility in the capitalist society. Slowly but steadily feudal structures of the old society were breaking down. Free education was a strong ladder used by more..

The big wave of corruption: How some found a gold mine in tsunami reconstruction

Dec 28 (DM) Nine years ago on a day like today in Sri Lanka more than 40,000 people died while over 800,000 people became homeless due to the Tsunami: a gush of water that suddenly came from the ocean and washed away many lives and buried homes, people and memories inside the cold blue sea. After the Tsunami, ‘recovery’ was a term no one believed (Yet everyone tried and worked towards). more..

An Indian or Sri Lankan Ethnic Problem?

Dec 28 (Island) To solve a problem we must address that problem, not something else, and we must also understand that problem in all its dimensions. In this article I pose the question whether our Tamil ethnic problem is an Indian problem or a Sri Lankan one. Obviously it is a Sri Lankan problem and it will be perverse to deny that. But it will also be perverse to deny that it is at the same time an Indian problem, because more..

Rs.30 billion Fertiliser Subsidy: How was it spent? – Ravi K

Dec 28 (Island) The UNP challenged the govt to explain as to how it had spent the Rs. 30 billion fertilizer subsidy that was allocated for this year. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the Rajapaksa regime had engaged the private sector to provide fertilizer for its subsidy scheme, announced amidst much fanfare, but many suppliers were complaining that they had not been paid. Citing examples, he said that two companies had more..

Micro camera in staff toilet: Minister couldn’t care less

Dec 28 (Island) Child Development and Women’s Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said that the incident where a micro-camera had been installed in a hospital staff toilet was not his concern as it did not come under his ministry’s purview. However, investigations had commenced into the alleged installing of a micro-camera on the towel rack of the hospital staff toilet. Meanwhile, MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said that more..

No go for bogus Census

Dec 28 (DN) Census and Statistics Department Director General D.C.A. Gunawardena said that no organization other than the Department of Census and Statistics is authorized to carry out surveys or a census of persons, in the Northern Province. Gunawardena's comments came in the wake of the TNAs announcement that 'an alternate survey on human and property damage in the NP during the 30 year conflict' more..

Coconuts at discounted prices

Dec 28 (CT) Large coconuts will be sold at a discounted price of Rs 45 each at three places around Colombo, according to the Ministry of Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development (CDJED). The statement issued by the ministry stated that the three places; No 11, Duke Street, Fort (Kilo Plantation), Coconut Development Authority (CDA) Narahenpita and the Denzil Kobbekaduwa Centre Battaramulla will more..

Singapore man deported from US in LTTE arms plot

Dec 28 (PTI) An Indian-origin Singaporean has been deported home from the U.S., after he had completed a jail term for offences related to trying to buy arms worth $900,000 for Sri Lanka’s outlawed separatist group LTTE. Balraj Naidu Ragavan, 51, returned to Singapore on December 16 after serving almost four years in a U.S. prison. “As a convicted felon, Naidu is prohibited from re-entering the US,” more..

Strikers given ultimatum: Return to work or lose job

Dec 28 (Island) Ministry of Labour has moved into settle the week-long strike at the Narahenpita and Digana factories of Milco (Pvt.) Limited. Ministry had wanted to go in for arbitration and demanded that the workers return to work immediately. Milco Chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe said that the strikers were told to get back to work by 8.30 a.m. yesterday itself, but they were defying Labour Ministry orders to return. more..

Sri Lankan SEC in talks on attracting foreigners into stock market

Dec 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission is talking to govt funds about making large share parcels available to foreign investors to boost interest in the stock market, the SEC head told Reuters. Lack of liquidity and concerns over the time it can take to sell shares on the island nation's 2.43 trillion rupees ($18.6 billion) bourse have deterred foreign funds from buying more than a few select stocks. more..

TNA to push for international probe into Lanka war crimes

Dec 28 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has said it will push for an independent international probe into alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the civil war against the LTTE in 2009. TNA legislator Suresh Premachandran said that his party would push their case when the UNHRC meets next March in Geneva. The party would also brief the international and diplomatic communities on the need to more..

Cricket as war: Shit in the cricketing lounge

Dec 28 (CT) Is cricket akin to war? It surely cannot be. Whether in the American Civil War, the trenches of the Somme, the battle fields in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and other African civil conflicts or the Eelam Wars between Tamil militants and the Sri Lankan state, the blood and gore of injury and death in large numbers destroy any effort at arguing similarity. The ramifying grief among kin folk immediately associated with more..

Need for transparency in EPF investments

Dec 28 (CT) Concerns are once again being raised about the fate of the State-managed pension fund, the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), increasingly pillaged and plundered by a govt that has corralled the hard earned savings of the private sector employees as its personal property. Reports that allege the Fund is being used to prop up the stock market are indeed disturbing. Last week, economist and UNP MP, Dr. Harsha de Silva, spelt out just how nonchalantly these monies are being more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

A political alternative for New Year 2014

Dec 28 (CT) The only good thing is, in about 80 hours from now – mid day 28 December – this year would be over. There’s nothing nostalgic about it, except in personal and private terms. Politically, much expected Northern Provincial Council elections and the much favoured electoral victory for the TNA seems no exceptional achievement in post Northern and Tamil politics. For the Southerner, casinos have been decided upon and is being half heartedly protested by “puritans”. more..

Scrapping grade five scholarship exam: The poor as cannon fodder

Dec 28 (CT) The word ‘free’ in the term ‘free education’ is misleading. Education in Sri Lanka has never been free. In face there is no country in the world where education is free of charge. That is not simply possible as funds are necessary to pay teachers, lecturers and academics, not to mention the other support staff. The much needed money is generated via direct and indirect taxation as well as international aid. This is the stark reality in the face of mounting pressure to more..

JVP expects series of elections, campaigns to defeat Govt.

Dec 28 (FT) The JVP says it would continue with its current campaign until a people-friendly administration is set up in the country. JVP Politburo Member and the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Western Provincial Council election K.D. Lalkantha said that party would not end its campaign with the conclusion of elections like other parties, but would continue with it until the Govt was defeated. more..

Politico triggers docs’ strike at Nuwara Eliya hospital

Dec 28 (Island) Doctors of the Nuwara Eliya General Hospital yesterday struck work in protest against a MP insulting one of the female doctors in the Hospital on Thursday night. The MP had come to the Nuwara Eliya hospital around 8.00 p.m. to obtain treatment for his son and had allegedly abused the doctor on duty over a slight delay, Director of the hospital Dr. Aruna Jayasekera said. He said that he held several rounds of talks with the doctors on strike demanding more..

Sri Lankan increases flights to Oman

Dec 28 (FT) SriLankan Airlines has increased its frequency of flights between Muscat and Colombo from five days a week to daily flights. This measure has been taken due to the increasing number of outbound tourists travelling to Sri Lanka from Oman. According to the tourist arrival statistics of the year, there has been a 76% increase in the number of Omani tourists visiting the country. The amount of Omani tourists has increased to 3,850 from last year’s 2,300 and Sri Lanka has more..

Beware of Pettah fruits

Dec 28 (CT) The officials attached to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday confiscated 75,000 kg of fruit from vendors at the Manning Market while they were spraying the chemical ethaphon onto their fruits to ripen them. The fruits were valued at over Rs 10 million. Though the ethaphon packet specifically states that the chemical should not be used on fruits, the officials found bottles of ethaphon spray next to the fruits when more..

New Director CID assumes duties

Dec 28 (Island) SSP D.R.L. Ranaweera yesterday took over duties as Director of the Criminal Investigation Department. Ranaweera succeeded newly promoted DIG B.K.H.G. Mathurata, who was then SSP. Ranaweera was the Colombo Crime Division director until he was transferred on Dec 24 on service exigencies. During his tenure he succeeded in arresting suspects connected to various national crimes such as the museum robbery. He joined the police department as a novice more..

Officiating Replay System trial for Pakistan-SL series

Dec 28 (CI) The ICC will be trialling the use of the Officiating Replay System (ORS) during the final ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi today, as well as during the first Test between the two at the same venue next week, the National has reported. The system was trialled during the Ashes in England earlier this year, where Nigel Llong sat in a separate broadcast truck and effectively mirrored the role of the third umpire Kumar Dharmasena during the third Test at Old Trafford. more..