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Invisible hand ups Dambulla vegetable prices

Feb 6 (NS) The most talked about topic in households today is the high prices of vegetables countrywide, especially in Colombo and the major towns in the provinces. It is known that 70% of the produce of vegetables reach Dambulla Economic Center and other Centers from where they are distributed wholesale to markets like the Manning Market. As usual the pricing of vegetables is determined by small self-styled group of people who call themselves the association of vegetable more..

Devout Muslims’ duty towards motherland

Feb 6 (NS) It has been reported that the recent DEVOS conference had focused on religion and its influence on economy and that Islam and Christianity compete each other to gain supremacy in so-called under developed and developing countries. However, it also had noted that secularism, Atheism and Buddhism - a philosophy which does not believe in an omnipotent god are becoming popular, especially among scholars, CEOs and senior administrators, in more..

Ranjan seeks US help to release Thungasiri, Asitha

Feb 6 (NS) Thousands of Sri Lankans both men and women including ex-Air Force officer Thungasiri and Asitha from Kadawata, languish in Saudi Arabia prisons. A large number of them sex slaves and only intervention by the US or the United Nations can save them, according to popular film actor and UNP MP, Ranjan Ramanayake. In this scenario, Ramanayake aims to hand over a letter to the US Ambassador more..

ICJ view of impeachment crisis and the misconceived statement

Feb 6 (CT) Much prominence has been given in the Island Newspaper of 2nd Feb 2013 to a statement issued by Dr. A.C. Aggarwala as Chairman, All India Bar Association (purportedly as an ICJ Statement), under the title “Int’l Council of Jurists backs new CJ” In regard to the purported impeachment of Chief Justice Ms. Shirani Bandaranayake by the Sri Lankan Govt, the statement says, “The questions are (i) whether the Constitutional requirements of impeachment have been followed by more..

IFC invests US$ 75mn in Commercial Bank to support SMEs

Feb 6 (FT) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $75 million in Commercial Bank to expand latter’s operations and increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This investment with Commercial Bank is IFC’s largest in Sri Lanka’s financial markets to date, and is expected to increase access to finance for up to 16,000 small businesses and generate about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2017 through lending to small and medium enterprises. more..

Ministry focuses attention on disaster mitigation

Feb 6 (CT) Natural disasters have become frequent in Sri Lanka during the past few months as many parts of the country faced disaster situations one after the other. When some parts of the country recovered from drought the same areas were affected by floods, giving a two-way shock to the people. Whatever the property and economic damages caused by these disasters people are more concerned about loss of lives. more..

Of great betrayals and other paradoxes

Feb 6 (DBS) If an objective perspective is brought to the calamitous events of the past few months precipitating Sri Lanka even deeper into a yawning abyss of disorder and non-governance, there is much to marvel at. For example, even though a new found activism on the part of lawyers in this country was, to borrow Hobbes’s injunction in a different context, ‘nasty, brutish and short’, the very fact that such activism was evidenced at all, was a pleasantly welcome surprise. more..

What have we to show for our independence

Feb 6 (CT) Tomorrow it will be 65 years since we obtained independence from foreign rule. Should we rejoice or lament for we have lost our personal freedom now. We are no longer governed according to Law but according to the will of the ruler. If we displease the ruler we will be punished not according to any pre-existing law but according to the dictates of the ruler. We will be punished not by the courts of law which were established by the British and which we inherited but more..


Feb 6 (CT) The number of students who qualify for university admission after successfully passing their GCE A/L examinations has continued to increase over the last few years. Over 126,000 students have passed the examination, making them eligible for tertiary education; unfortunately, not even 26,000 would make it to universities. However, regardless of triumphing the Sri Lanka’s toughest exam, many students are left stranded when more..

Editorial : Knowledge Hub or pie in the sky

Feb 6 (Island) The government had to swallow its pride and increase the number of students admitted to universities last year in compliance with a Supreme Court order following a legal wrangle over the Z-score calculation. But, that increase will be abolished with effect from this year, we are told. Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Navaratne was quoted by this newspaper yesterday as having said that the University Grants Commission could not admit an additional more..

Independence is a process

Feb 6 (Island) Independence is a word that depends on dependence. There were no independent or dependent states before western colonialism which is a product of western Christian modernity that commenced more than five hundred years ago. My concepts do not depend on the western concepts and I see the world, in other words construct the world relative to Sinhala Buddhist culture, however, I try to be consistent as far as possible not necessarily in Aristotelian logic with its more..

සංවිධිත | Coexistence - පෙබරවාරි මස 5

Sir Paul upbeat on Lanka’s FDI prospects

Feb 6 (Island) Visiting global President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and British businessman and equity market investor Sir Paul Judge was upbeat on the future prospects of Foreign Direct Investments into Sri Lanka with the arrival of top leisure brands such as Shangri La. Sir Paul, who is in Sri Lanka at the invitation of External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, to promote the cause of promoting higher education in Sri Lanka, told The Island Financial Review, more..

Separation or 'Cartelization' of Power?

Feb 6 (CT) "I doubt whether we will ever witness so moving a spectacle as the people streaming in to Parliament, as they did after the election of 1956 and reverently and affectionately stroking the benches where the members they elected would sit. The new parliamentary complex at Sri Jayewardenepura, with its sumptuousness and forbidding majesty, seems to me to typify and symbolize architecturally, regrettable processes that are going on politically and socially. more..

Sri Lankan garments losing market share in US, UK

Feb 6 (Island) Despite an increase in earnings from garment exports to the US and EU, Sri Lanka is losing market share to competitor countries Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Pakistan and Cambodia, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) says. "Despite considerable increases in absolute export earnings to both and US and EU markets, it is of concern to note that SL’s relative market share in garment exports has been losing ground. more..

Dy Minister calls for relaxed rules for aqua fish farming

Feb 6 (DN) The rules and regulations related to aquaculture fish farming are outdated and measures should be taken to change them in an effective manner which will be helpful to develop the local ornamental fish industry, Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame said. Several environmentalists have said the ornamental fish industry is a threat to the environment. The Economic Development Ministry, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department, more..

Handicraft map coming up soon

Feb 6 (DN) Plans are underway by the National Crafts Council to draw a handicraft map, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V Sivagnanasothy said. The map will be launched on March 19. The Indian High Commission will sponsor the event, he said. The Secretary was addressing a press conference at the National Crafts Council in Battaramulla recently. He said the Mahinda Chinthana future vision aims to uplift the handicraft sector. more..

Tranquillity after storm in tea cup

Feb 6 (FT) The tea industry yesterday received somewhat positive news regarding the sudden revision of the tea export cess for bulk teas, which had apparently come into force through a gazette notification dated 23 January 2013 without prior notice to the industry. An appeal made to the Line Minister of Plantation Industries received an immediate response and damage control measures were taken to arrive at more..

Remnants of Sri Lanka's Civil War

Feb 6 (HP) The north of Sri Lanka has been an area of isolation for over 26 years due to a bloody civil war that raged on between the govt and the LTTE separatist movement. Nearly four years ago, in 2009, the war came to an end with the defeat of the LTTE, paving the way for a reintegration and rehabilitation of the North. Travelling up to that region of the country earlier in the month gave me an opportunity to ascertain how far along the rebuilding has progressed. more..

Mahamodera nightingales in 4-hour walk out

Feb 6 (Island) The Mahamodera Maternity Hospital came to a standstill for four hours, yesterday morning, due to a walkout by nurses in protest against the hospital’s director and chief matron. Vice President and Organising Secretary (Southern Province) of the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) D. Boralessa told The Island that if the Health Ministry fails to take action against the director and chief matron within seven days, they would walkout for four hours every day. more..

Govt ensured basic right of water to people

Feb 6 (DN) The govt took steps to protect Human Rights and Fundamental Rights, which were violated by the LTTE by closing the Mavil-Aru anicut, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The humanitarian mission was launched to protect and safeguard Human Rights since the LTTE violated a basic fundamental right of people to have water, the President said. The govt is preserving water resources and it is the duty of all to protect it, President Rajapaksa said. more..

Lankan agro workers for Israel

Feb 6 (DN) The Population and Immigration Authority of the State of Israel (PIBA) and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), have reached an arrangement for speedy recruitment of 1500 Sri Lankan agricultural workers for a six month work period in Israel during the first half of 2013. According to an arrangement, the recruitment of the 1500 Sri Lankan agricultural workers will be carried out in Sri Lanka by the SLBFE through the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Agency Ltd. (SLFEA). more..

Conman who cheated 15 persons released on bail

Feb 6 (Island) Kesbewa Magistrate Chamath Madanayake released a suspect who was charged with cheating 15 persons to the tune of Rs 4.5 million promising employment in France on Rs 80,000 cash and Rs 2.4 million surety bail. The suspect was W.C.N.Perera of Kahathuduwa. The suspect had been charged in the courts on 15 cases and he was granted bail in respect of nine of them. He was granted 25 sureties. The judge released the suspect on cash bail of 15,000 more..

Stiff opposition to move to alter cadre composition

Feb 6 (CT) The move to alter the cadre composition of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) met with stiff opposition from all the members of the Council, irrespective of their political party affiliations. A special general meeting of the CMC had been arranged yesterday to consider the tense situation that has developed following the move, reportedly by the Western Provincial Council (WPC) to review the cadre composition of the CMC. more..

Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrations in Tokyo

Feb 6 (FT) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo commemorated the 65th Anniversary of Independence in Tokyo on Monday, 4 February, amidst a large gathering of Sri Lankan expatriates and Japanese officials including Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister of Japan, who graced the occasion as Chief Guest of the ceremony. The ceremony comprised of the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, rendering of the national anthem and reading of messages of the President, more..

Private bus owners threaten strike if bus fares not raised

Feb 6 (DM) Private bus owners threatened to go on a countrywide strike if the govt refused to accept their proposal to increase bus fares or failed to provide diesel subsidies for private buses. Bus fares were increased on Feb 14 last year and the Transport and Private Transport Ministries assured that bus fares would be amended when they were next reviewed in February this year. However the Sri Lanka Private Bus Owners Association which operates 16,000 out of 20,000 more..

Moratuwa Dy. Mayor remanded over Monk’s killing

Feb 6 (Island) Moratuwa Additional Magistrate Poornima Paranagama yesterday Rremanded till Feb. 14 Deputy Mayor of Moratuwa Sujith Pushpakumara (UPFA), who was produced before him in connection with the killing of the Chief Incumbent of the Egodagoda Sumananda Upananda Temple Ven. Matigahatenne Wimalawansa Thera. Pushpakumara was produced before the Magistrate by the CCD officers. more..

Militant trade unions main cause of factory closures

Feb 6 (Island) Militant trade unions were the main cause of the recent closure of 40 garment factories, Labour Relations and Productivity Improvement Minister Gamini Lokuge said. He said that a list of those factories would be released soon. Fraud and pilferage had also contributed to their closures, which finally resulted in thousands losing their jobs, the Minister added. He said that the govt would soon hold talks with the owners of the closed factories on the possibility of re-opening them. more..

Sri Lanka School children to showcase their dance heritage

Feb 6 (TOO) An ancient Sri Lankan dance form that is both unique and mysterious has found resonance with people across the world and in Oman as well. As part of its National Day celebrations, the students of Sri Lankan School Muscat have come together to perform this dance, which is at least 2,500 years old. About 50 students from the school have been practicing rigorously under the guidance of Prabhodani Fonseka, an exponent of the classical dance, known as the Kandyan dance, more..

Ranawaka’s removal due to fighting with Secy.

Feb 6 (Island) A tug-of-war between former Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka and Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando over the recent removal of Lanka Coal Company Chairman Tissa Herath was the primary cause of Ranawaka losing that portfolio, senior govt officials said. Ranawaka was critical of the unnecessary expenses incurred in the purchase of coal to supply the country’s first coal-powered plant in Norochcholai. more..

Divi Neguma a damp squib: UNP

Feb 6 (FT) The Govt went to war against the Judiciary for the Divi Neguma Act, claiming it was legislation to uplift the poor, but it is nothing more than a bunch of false promises, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake charged. Displaying packets of seeds that he said a man had handed over to him in Galle, Attanayake said the seeds had arrived in a Divi Neguma package that provided instructions on how to start home gardens. “The man said none of the seeds take root. more..

Marine Drive extended to Dehiwela

Feb 6 (DN) The Kollupitiya-Wellawatte Marine Drive will now be extended to Dehiwela. Stage one of the Marine Drive was from Kollupitiya to Ramakrishna Road, Wellawatte. The Marine Drive which runs parallel to the Galle Road is being widely used by motorists and is a hive of activity. Deputy Highways Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said construction work on the second phase between Dehiwala and Moratuwa will be completed soon to ease the heavy traffic congestion. more..

Central Bank’s failure on Golden Key comes to light

Feb 6 (DM) In what appeared to be a startling revelation, the Central Bank had discontinued the activities of its Special Investigation Unit way back in 2006 after it examined the accounts of the Golden Key Company (GKC) and identified a major crisis in it -- three years before the company went bankrupt. This had come to light during the proceedings of the PSC that probed the impeachment charges against former CJ more..

Several suspects in Rs. 263 m credit card fraud go missing

Feb 6 (FT) Several wanted suspects who were allegedly involved in the Rs. 263 million fraud by withdrawing money from foreign credit card holders through an e-commerce application service provided by a State bank in SL have disappeared, the CID informed Court. Filing a further investigation report in respect of the case, the CID submitted to Court that it had initiated investigations to arrest the rest of the suspects who involved in the massive fraud and found that they had fled their homes. more..

Siriwardene 'seriously super happy' with progress

Feb 6 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardene and Player of the Match Deepika Rasangika's press conference was delayed by several minutes. When President Rajapaksa is expected to call, you wait. The conference began eventually with the President's call expected any minute, and Siriwardene, a calm character not easily given to hyperbole, calling Sri Lanka's qualification to the Super Six the biggest achievement of her career. "I can't believe it actually," Siriwardene said. more..

JVP says Matale mass grave has remains of 200 torture victims

Feb 6 (Island) The JVP yesterday charged that those responsible for the Matale killings during 1987-89 period, directly or indirectly, were now holding high ranking posts in Rajapaksa’s govt. Addressing a media conference yesterday, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they could not expect from the govt justice for the victims buried in the Matale mass grave, which contained 140 skulls as well as skeletal remains. more..

Editorial: To thine own self be true

Feb 6 (DM) The glow of Independence Day of our nation was an opportune moment for deep reflection. What we celebrated was not the culmination or climax of having obtained freedom, but only a process. The last 65 years of its remembrance were years when soul-searching was needed to be done. As a nation and individually we ought to have turned to lamentation. A time given to see where we had gone wrong. A moment of mourning the loss of not having done more..

Masses invited for Mass Struggle

Feb 6 (DM) While oppositional forces are getting ready to fight back, there is a sense of frustration among those who are eager to see the Mahinda Regime being superseded by a more responsive, responsible and democratic governance. They insist that both the impeachment and sacking of the Chief Justice and her ‘replacement’ by Mr. Mohan Peries are against the law of the country. They declare that this violation of the law of the country makes Mohan, a rogue and a cheat. more..

Major clash at Moratuwa Uni highlights long standing dispute

Feb 6 (ST) On Jan. 16, Engineering and National Diploma in Technology (NDT) students at the University of Moratuwa violently clashed, in the latest episode of a series of disputes that have been around for some 14 years without an effective solution. The exact nature of the clash depends on who’s telling the story. According to Maduka Sampath, the former president of the Engineering Students Union, NDT students violently more..

The slow spread of discord

Feb 6 (SL) On January 19, an unruly group protested in front of the Maharagama No Limit, demanding that the shop be removed from the town. On Thursday (Jan 24) protesters in Kuliyapitiya burned effigies and waved offensive placards, calling for an end to halal-produced foods in Sri Lanka. Both these incidents were said to be connected in some way to the Bodu Bala Sena group at the time. However, more..