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EPF says it has not bought shares of TFC at inflated prices

Feb 16 (Island) Apropos our news item under the caption, "EPF buys shares of loss making TFC at inflated prices: AG" in the Financial Review section on 15.02.2013, the EPF has issued the following statement: "The EPF categorically rejects the statement made by an Opposition MP that the EPF has purchased the shares of The Finance PLC (TFC) at inflated prices. The factual position is as follows. TFC offered 40 million shares at Rs. 40.00 each to the public on 21.01.2011. more..

Sunday Leader journalist Faraz Shaukatally shot

Feb 16 (SL) Sunday Leader Journalist Faraz Shaukatally was shot at by a group of unidentified men in his house at hotel road in Mount Lavinia. Shaukatally received bullet injuries in his neck and was rushed to the Kalubowila Hospital. The gun-shot wounds were however not life threatening. Eyewitnesses said they saw three men running away from his room following the shooting incident. He was on the phone more..

Editorial: A light unto the world

Feb 16 (DM) The resignation or retirement of Pope Benedict XVI from one of the most powerful posts in the world is a noble move that gives an inspiring example to other world leaders – many of whom have a tendency to cling to power. At one of his last public appearances, the Ash Wednesday Mass, Pope Benedict, in a moving sermon, said he was retiring because he believed he was physically and mentally not strong enough to carry out the world mission of bringing about unity, peace more..

Sri Lanka in dire need of a better healthcare system

Feb 16 (DM) “My little girl who walked into the MRI scanner room with her usual mischievous smile returned in an unrecognizable state. By the time she was taken out of the MRI scanner bed her whole body had turned blue, the limbs had stiffened and her stomach was swollen like a balloon” says Indumathie Ekanayake as she relates the details of what she believes were the final moments of her daughter’s life. Indumathie visited the Nawaloka hospital with her five year-old daughter more..

How good or how bad are the Rajapaksas?

Feb 16 (SL) Some three US Deputy Assistant Secretaries of State – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labour, Jane Zimmerman – arrived in the country on Jan 26, 2013. They left after threatening the govt with another resolution that would be placed before the UNHRC at more..

Grin when you're swinging

Feb 16 (CI) Growing up, Nuwan Kulasekara's fast bowling idol was six foot seven, quick and terrifying. "I loved watching Curtly Ambrose bowl," Kulasekara says. "I think he influenced my love for fast bowling a lot - the way he used to dominate batsmen and rip through teams." Almost 20 years after Ambrose was at his peak, Kulasekara feels he is reaching his. The two men have found roughly the same calling on a more..

Achala’s family can only support a legal action

Feb 16 (DM) The brother of Achala Priyadharshani, whose hand had been amputated due to alleged medical negligence, said that his family was prepared to support a legal action that could possibly be taken by the Colombo Law Faculty Students Union. Darshana Tilekaratne, the victim’s brother, said that his family did not have the means to take legal action against those responsible for the amputation of his sister’s more..

Exams Chief refutes charges, says GCE A/L results are 100% correct

Feb 16 (ST) Examinations Commissioner W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara refuted charges by a leading student body about miscalculations in the G.C.E. A/L Exam results and said the results were ‘100 per cent accurate’. Responding to the allegations Examinations Commissioner Pushpakumara said all the accusations are made based on a misconception which needs to be corrected. more..

Cable car project at Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya

Feb 16 (DM) A cable car is to be constructed in Nuwara Eliya between the Gregory’s Lake Park and the Single Tree Mountain, as a tourist attraction, the Nuwara Eliya Mayor said. The initial work of this project is expected to commence in April after conducting a feasibility study which is to be prepared with the assistance of a foreign expert who would be arriving shortly. The project is expected to be completed by March next year, more..

Sri Lanka taking delivery of Russian military equipment, helicopters

Feb 16 (Island) The inter-governmental agreement for Sri Lanka to purchase military equipment of Russian origin and the contract on delivery of helicopters was being implemented,the Russian Ambassador in Colombo, Alexander Karchava said. He said that Russia and Sri Lanka actively interacted in the sphere of military-technical cooperation and that his govt had extended a loan by which Colombo could purchase more..

Private Universities to be set up through BoI

Feb 16 (DM) The govt has undertaken to set up non-state universities through the Board of Investment (BoI), leaving aside the Higher Education Ministry only to standardize such academic institutions, officials said. Accordingly, ten foreign universities have sent their applications seeking approval to establish their campuses in Sri Lanka. They are mainly from the countries such as the United Kingdom and India. more..

Police probe shooting of journalist

Feb 16 (Xinhua) The police on Saturday launched investigations into the shooting of a journalist attached to a leading independent newspaper. Police spokesperson Priyashantha Jayakody said that the journalist, Faraz Shauketaly was injured after being shot at by unidentified gunmen at his house in Colombo, late on Friday night. President Rajapaksa had also called for a special investigation into the shooting more..

CPC: Yapa’s move to repair tanks raises eyebrows

Feb 16 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised in the petroleum sector by the news item that Petroleum Industries Minister, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa wants to renovate ten tanks at Sapugaskanda immediately to increase the capacity of the facility, as the problem there is the ageing refinery whose capacity has dropped from 50,000 bpd to less than 35,000 bpd. Due to the Sapugaskanda Refinery’s inability produce more..

Wimal fires another salvo against PB: ‘Treasury Chief, a loan addict’

Feb 16 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa yesterday fired another salvo against Treasury Chief P. B. Jayasundara claiming that the latter was in the practice of drawing massive loans and for the current year alone an overdraft to the tune of one billion rupees had been obtained. He said that there was a high level of corruption at the Finance Ministry and those who thought of themselves no end as economic more..

Editorial : This land is our land

Feb 16 (CT) In 92 days, Sri Lanka will mark the 4th anniversary of a famous victory that ended a destructive three-decade war. Given the prevailing sense of triumphalism, which seems to have a lifespan longer than the famed Duracell Bunny, it is not difficult to understand why four years on, the victor-vanquished divide seems to be expanding, with post-war developments stuck at the starter point. The defeat of terrorism promised much for a country that had suffered too much pain more..

Militarization in a socialist democracy

Feb 16 (CT) “When the people live together in unity, there are no racial or religious differences [...] The solution is to live together in this country with equal rights for all communities,” said President M. Rajapakse in Trincomalee during his Independence Day speech, most ironically forgetting the context in which he spoke. Trinco, like much of the North and East, is a symbol of the ‘peace and justice’ Tamils and minorities receive under today’s order of government. more..

Attack the enemy who paves the road and the one who treads on it

Feb 16 (DM) A dialogue has commenced regarding the directives the Human Rights Council would impose on Sri Lanka at its summit to be held in March this year. We see an environment being created for such a state. The masses who struggled for the independence of the judiciary are told by the govt that Hulftsdorp paved the way for separatism. However, even before the commotion was over the govt sends G.L Peiris to India, falls on all more..

The failure of the Central Bank, the Golden Key curse and the fall of a Chief Justice

Feb 16 (CT) The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in its order of 23.03.2009 granting leave to proceed in SC Applications filed by some depositors of the Golden Key Credit Card Company stated thus: ‘On a perusal of the file… it was revealed that Folio …containing report of the Head of the Special Investigation Unit (S.I.U.) of the Central Bank which had considered the very matter raised by Counsel for the petitioners ..has stated as follows:- ‘In view of the above facts the examiners more..

The Geneva epidemic and Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (CT) The Geneva epidemic is nothing new to Sri Lanka. It has been suffering from it since 1983, during the time of the UN Human Rights Commission and the Sub-commission on Human Rights. But since the file was transferred to the UNHRC in 2006, the epidemic has been spreading rapidly. Spin doctors of Sri Lanka are finding it very difficult to deal with. According to the diagnosis the patient may be put in quarantine and eventuality may require an organ transplant. more..

Police to monitor garbage collection

Feb 16 (CG) The police, in addition to fighting crime, will now also have a separate unit to monitor garbage collection. Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that steps have been taken to expedite the collection of garbage in Colombo. He said that in order to assist this process a separate division within the Police will be established to monitor the work progress of the contracted companies. He said that that more..

Qatar, Tamil Catholic risks decapitation. The Family: Blood money to save him

Feb 16 (AN) The life of Vengadaslam Sudeshkar, a Sri Lankan Tamil Catholic sentenced to death for murder in Qatar, is worth 3.5 million rupees (20,600 euro). This is the ransom, or blood money, being requested by the family of the victim, a young man of Indian origin, to avoid the young Sri Lankan's execution by beheading. His family, however, is very poor: most of sum is being covered by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), but to date there are still 700 thousand rupees, to be more..

'Polonnaruwa meteorite: A major development in search for extraterrestrial life'

Feb 16 (Island) Professor Godfrey Louis, Vice Chancellor of the Cochin University of Science and Technology of Kerala, India hailed the discovery of life in the Polonnaruwa meteorite as a major development in the search for extraterrestrial life. Professor Louis is the pioneer scientist who drew the attention of the whole world to the strange phenomenon of the Kerala red rain and in the following email interview with this correspondent flatly rejected the opinion expressed more..

Ranil says Palaly HSZ could be removed

Feb 16 (Island) Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took part in a hunger strike organised by the TNA, NSSP, Western Province People’s Front, Tamil People’s Liberation Front, several other political parties, Fishermen’s Solidarity Groups and a few other organizations opposite the Durga Amman Kovil in Telippalai, declared yesterday that the High Security Zone at Palaly could be dismantled without any harm being caused to the security of more..

Sri Lanka rescues more Myanmar boatpeople

Feb 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's navy on Saturday rescued 38 Myanmar nationals who were drifting off the island's east coast, the second batch of boatpeople to be saved in as many weeks. Sri Lankan naval craft responding to a distress call plucked the 38 people from a rickety boat drifting about 250 miles off the east coast, a navy official said. Four of the rescued passengers required treatment for dehydration and they were being brought to the southern port of Galle, he said. more..

CJ Mohan Peiris dumps EPF case

Feb 16 (LT) The petition filed by 11 trade unions including Inter Company Employees Union, Free Trade Zone employees unions, Lanka Bank Employees Union, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, media unions seeking an order to declare as a criminal act investing money of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in the share market was annulled by the Chief Justice today (15) stating it was not necessary to proceed with the hearing. Chief Justice Mohan Peiris further stated more..

Ottawa Celebrates the Sri Lanka National Day

Feb 16 (IL) Amidst freezing temperatures and a snow covered city, the Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa together with the Sri Lankan community and well-wishers celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the National Day on 10th February at the prestigious National Library & Archives Auditorium. The official segment of the programme included the National Anthems of Sri Lanka and Canada sung by children of more..

Fisher folk commemorate Antony Fernando

Feb 16 (LT) Antony Fernando commemoration was held at Egodawella in Chilaw with the support and participation of a large number of fisher folk says the National Organizer of All Ceylon Fishermen’s Federation Rathna Gamage. The fisher folk in the area had hoisted black flags in solidarity with the celebrations organized by the Fishermen’s Federation to commemorate Antony Fernando who was shot dead by the STF on 15th February, 2012 at a peaceful agitation held to protest against more..

Cyclo Cross Championship in Hambanthota

Feb 16 (DM) Seventh 'Cyclo Cross' championship will be staged at the Ceylon Autodrome Circuit at Tissamaharama on March 1. The championship is conducted by National Mountain Biking Association (NMBA) in conjunction with Tharunnayata Hetak Organization, as a part of the Carlton Super Sports Series 2013. The tournament will feature 11 major events, tailor-made for junior cycling enthusiasts. The events are Under-10 mix, Under-13 boys, Under-13 girls, Under-16 boys, Under-16 girls, more..

Vindictive Jayalalithaas ‘Vishwaroopam’ Against ‘Vishwaroopam’ Film

Feb 16 (DBS) Renowned Actor and Filmmaker Kamal Haasan’s Magnum Opus ”Vishwaroopam” is now running to packed movie theatres in the South Indian state of “Tamil Nadu” and elsewhere. The film produced in Tamil and Hindi and dubbed in the Telugu language has raked in more than Rupees 1200 Million within a week in India. The brouhaha surrounding the film’s ban in Tamil Nadu is over and it appears that the controversial more..

Sampur’s $4,000m heavy industries zone project free of tax, levy and duty

Feb 16 (ST) The newly appointed Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena announced a series of tax concessions for Sri Lanka Gateway Industries (Pvt) Ltd which will undertake a US$ 4,000 million project in Sampur, Trincomalee. The project will include the development, operation and management of a special zone for heavy industries including the construction of a deep water jetty and stockpile yard. Imports of project-related capital and construction goods required by more..

Krishnamoorthy appointed ambassador to Saudi

Feb 16 (AD) Former Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai V. Krishnamoorthy has been named as the new Sri Lankan ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, replacing Ahamed Javad who was recalled fallowing the execution of Rizana Nafeek. The senior career diplomat was named for the post by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, however is to be submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee on High Appointments for approval. Measures have been taken to inform the Saudi govt more..

State services should fulfill people’s aspirations - President

Feb 16 (DN) The govt has strengthened and streamlined the state services in accordance with present day requirements aiming to obtain the maximum benefit for the country, President said. “The state service therefore, has come forward with the true aim of serving the nation, fulfilling the aspirations of people, shedding its lethargic attitudes and work patterns, which have hitherto drawn the ire of the public,” more..

Sri Lanka to get US$ 200 million from World Bank to improve its health sector

Feb 16 (N360) Sri Lanka has decided to seek a US$ 200 million credit facility from the World Bank to improve the country’s health care system and tackle non-communicable and communicable deceases. The Government says, the World Bank has already agreed to provide this money, which will come through the International Development Association of the World Bank. Once received, the funds will be allocated to tackle health issues such as, malnutrition, prevention and control of more..

Father of Jathika Chinthanaya endorsed Devolution: Now who is Weerawansa ?

Feb 16 (CT) The LLRC Final Report, despite the reluctance of the Tamil Diaspora in accepting and pressurising for its full implementation, has now become the basis of negotiations and resolutions at the UNHRC sessions. This March too, the Rajapaksa regime would have to fight a diplomatic battle to avert another “Resolution” the US administration has given notice on. What has not received any attention, but is also extremely important is the other “committee” that more..

'No justification to introduce Sri Lanka into CMAG meeting'

Feb 16 (MEA) Having regard to the substantial progress achieved by Sri Lanka in dealing with a variety of complex challenges since the advent of peace and also in view of the clearly formulated rules governing the scope of CMAG’s role, there is absolutely no justification for introducing any issues relating to Sri Lanka into the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, minister G.L. Peiris, said in Dhaka on Thursday. more..

Certain Western forces trying to undermine country’s progress -PM

Feb 16 (DN) PM D M Jayaratne said a conspiracy is being carried out in certain Western countries in recent times to stifle the economic progress of Asian countries. Under this conspiracy, plans have been drawn up to make Sri Lanka which is nurtured by pure Theravada Buddhism, a colony once again, he said. The Prime Minister was speaking at the Keerthi Sri Thejowarama Raja Maha Vihayaraya at Pallawela, Hakmana to present Sannas Pathra and declare the viharaya a Sacred Area. more..

CID takes over journo attack probe

Feb 16 (CG) The police CID has taken over the investigations into the attack on The Sunday Leader journalist Faraz Shauketaly. According to a statement by the police media unit, IGP N.K. Illangakoon had instructed the CID to investigate the incident. Meanwhile the Director of the Colombo National hospital Dr. Anil Jayasinghe said that a part of a bullet which was lodged near the neck of the journalist had been removed. He said Shauketaly was however still in the ICU of the more..

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Editorial : No overnight miracles!

Feb 17 (SO) President Rajapaksa's visit to Jaffna earlier last week rekindled fresh hopes for people in the North. Apart from the Tamils in the North and the East, the Muslims and Sinhalese in the two provinces were also happy to welcome the Head of State. The visit also helped those in the North and the East to perceive the Government's efforts to uplift the living standards of the people in the two provinces, contrary to the negative picture projected by some extremist Tamil politicians. more..

Editorial : Are private hospitals holy cows?

Feb 17 (NS) A little child, Buddhini Kaushalya Ratnayake (5) died under strange circumstances at the Nawaloka Hospital. The child was admitted to hospital on Jan 31. The child’s parents blame hospital authorities and allude to malfunctioning equipment. The hospital claims the child died of natural causes stemming from her illness. The story broke out around Feb 7 after the parents lodged a complaint with the Police (6). They claim that the hospital authorities misled them regarding more..