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Golden Key: Kotelawala’s promises ring hollow

Feb 23 (SL) In Dec 2008 Lalith Kotelawala wished depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company Limited (GKCC) a merry Christmas and a happy new year. By Valentine’s Day in 2013 depositors of the GKCC were aware that in excess of Rs. 26 Billion was missing from their funds and the promise made in Dec 2008 by Kotelawala had resulted in a pittance of a settlement: a mere Rs. 200,000 each. more..

CPC loses Rs89bn in 2012; to break-even next year

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation which lost 89 billion rupees in 2012 is hoping to reduce losses this year and break-even in two years, petroleum minister Anura Yapa said. "At the current economic conditions, fuel subsidies cannot be given on the long term," minister Yapa said Saturday, following a fuel price hike midnight Friday. Octane-90 auto diesel was raised by 3 rupees to 162 litres, more..

Muslim Council meets Mahanayakas over Halal issue

Feb 23 (CG) A delegation of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council met the Mahanayakas of the Kandy Malwatta chapters this morning and discussed the issue arising from the issuing of the Halal certificate. The delegation led by the President of the Muslim Council, N.M. Ameen, briefed the Mahanayakas on the concerns of the Muslim population as a result of the tensions that have arisen in the country following stiff opposition more..

Regulators shoot down Ravi K’s power hike claim

Feb 23 (Island) UNP heavyweight Ravi Karunanayake yesterday expressed confidence that there would be an electricity price hike from March 1, the regulatory body, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), insisted that there were no applications from the stakeholders, thus there would not be any immediate revisions on electricity charges. However, senior officials of the PUCSL yesterday said they had not more..

No info on Games cancellation: Lanka

Feb 23 (NIP) The Sri Lankan govt is yet to be informed about the cancellation of the Asian Athletic Games to be held at Chennai in July, an official of the Lankan Ministry of External Affairs told Express here on Friday. Asked to comment on TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s bid to cancel the games on account of the participation of Lanka, the Director General of Public Communications, Rodney Perera, said that he could not comment more..

Sri Lankan cricketers visit Bangalore

Feb 23 (ENS) Retired Sri Lankan cricketers Sanath Jayasurya and Arjuna Ranatunga visited a popular mall in the city on Friday in order to promote Sri Lankan Tourism. Part of a three-day tour in the city organised by the Ministry of Economic Development and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the cricketers on Friday encouraged people from the city to ‘Get Sri Lankan’ed’. The campaign will showcase more..

Pro-Eelam outfit protests Sri Lankan umpire's presence

Feb 23 (PTI) About 50 activists of a pro-Eelam outfit were arrested today for staging protest outside M A Chidambaram stadium here against a Sri Lankan umpire officiating in the first India-Australia cricket test match. Members of the little-known 'Thanthai Periar Dravidar Kazhagam' were arrested for staging protest against the presence of Lankan umpire Kumara Dharmasena, police said. The black outfit wearing activists raised slogans more..

PSM warns of further health turmoil after next Thursday

Feb 23 (Island) The professions supplementary to medicine (PSM) warned yesterday that they would give Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena time, till next Thursday, to resolve the issue of the circular on revised overtime, on call and risk allowances. General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that the Health Ministry was unable to issue the circular as the Finance Ministry had failed to adhere to the promised amounts more..

Minister ignorant of land-grabbing in North

Feb 23 (CT) TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, yesterday claimed the army is taking decisions with regard to the lands belonging to the IDPs in the North and East, while Minister of Land Development, Janaka Bandara Thennakoon, remains ignorant on the subject. "Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya announced two days ago, the lands belonging to the IDPs will be acquired by the army to put up a military cantonment," more..

Sri Lanka raises fuel prices

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has raised petrol by 3.0 rupees to 162 rupees a liter and auto diesel by 6.0 rupees 121.0 a litre, with super diesel being raised by 3.0 rupees to 145.0 reports said. LankaIOC, Sri Lanka's second fuel distributor said it will also raise petrol by 3.0 rupees but would keep diesel prices at the same level. LankaIOC had earlier raised diesel by 6.0 rupees above the CPC price. more..

Gypsies celebrate independence

Feb 23 (ST) The Gypsy community, a fast vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka, held their own independence celebrations for the first time. The Gypsy group, which is made up of 42 families, made an appeal at a village in Vavuniya on Feb 4, which marked the country’s 65th year of independence from colonial rule. “Earlier we settled our minor differences and quarrels among the community. But now if there is a dispute of even the most minor nature it is referred to the police and later the matter taken up in more..

Editorial : Mr. Minister! They are not outcasts

Feb 23 (CT) “International schools, petted and booted” screamed a headline in yesterday’s issue of Ceylon Today. It referred to Minister Bandula Gunawardane’s rejection of a request by the country’s international schools – some 23 of them – to participate in a highly popular inter-school cricket tournament in which a million schoolboys in State and private schools clamour to be a part of. Gone are the days when Royal and S. Thomas’ dominated the school level cricket scene. more..

Lasantha’s assassin’s details with UN ?

Feb 23 (TI) Mr. Lal Wickramatunga, has handed over through a friend living in the UK, a written complaint to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navaneethan Pillay, that the former army commander, Mr. Sarath Fonseka should be held responsible for the assassination of his brother, the formereditor of 'Sunday Leader' Mr Lasantha Wikramatunga. Mr Wikramatunga said he had communicated to the UN more..

Not due to surgical mishap

Feb 23 (CT) The death of Peradeniya University Professor, Rajeewa Jayasinghe at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital was not due to a surgical mishap but due to a bacterial infection following the surgery, Hospital Director, Dr. Asela Gunawardena said. Refuting allegations that Professor Jayasinghe passed away as a result of an incorrectly performed sleeve gastrectomy, Dr. Gunawardena claimed, the hospital had strongly advised the deceased not to go through with the surgery as due to the many more..

Cruel face of Sri Lankan establishment exposed

Feb 23 (CT) Britain’s Channel 4 and the international media outlets have recently published reports and pictures of the execution style assassination of 12-year old Balachandran Pirabaharan. These recently published accounts add to the mounting evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed against the Tamil people in the Vanni region in the island of Sri Lanka during and after the war in 2009. The death of Balachandran by the Sri Lankan more..

Special flight from USA to Mattala international airport on it's inauguration

Feb 23 (SLE) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, DC is organizing a special flight to arrive at the new Mattala International Airport during the Inauguration Ceremony on March 18. We invite all of you to join this group flight and be part of this monumental event in Sri Lanka’s aviation history. Travelers departing from the United States can reach Dubai from any of the destinations in which Emirates operates in the USA more..

Some late measures since Rizana beheading

Feb 23 (Island) In the light of often recurring problems faced by innocent West Asia job seekers, the Foreign Employment Bureau has decided to register subagents of foreign employment agents. A maximum of five sub agents will be allowed per agent. Following the tragic beheading of Rizana Nafeek employed in Saudi Arabia, the ‘Sharia Law’ has also been incorporated into the curriculum of pre-departure training. Coordinating Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, Ms. Padma Ratnayake, more..

MP’s action turns School into fighting arena

Feb 23 (LT) A tense situation has been created at Handungamuwa MV with the immediate transfer of the Principal of the school who had been requesting for the required number of teachers for the school so that students could continue their studies properly. The Principal has been transferred on a direct order from Matale District UPFA MP Lakshman Wssanthe Perera and a close associate of the MP has been appointed as the new principal complain parents and students. more..

India pays homage to fallen IPKF soldiers

Feb 23 (PTI) India on Saturday paid homage to its soldiers who lost their lives while fighting Tamil rebels on a peacekeeping mission in northern Sri Lanka. The Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ashok K Kantha, and senior Sri Lankan and Indian officials laid wreaths at the IPKF memorial at Palaly in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The IPKF memorial at Palaly was built in 2008 in memory of the martyrs of the 10 para more..

Ranil cannot appoint 'deputy leaders

Feb 23 (CT) Southern Provincial Councillor, Maithri Gunaratne said Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, does not have the authority to appoint several deputy leaders. "UNP Leader Wickremesinghe attempts to disrupt the political campaign launched by former Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa. His intention is crystal clear by the decision he has taken to appoint more than one deputy leader. According to the party constitution, Wickremesinghe is not empowered to do so," more..

'Money from decentralized budget is not from pockets of politicians'

Feb 23 (LT) “Today parents have to maintain schools in this country. Even then they cannot have any confidence regarding examinations their children have to sit. Nor can they have any hope for employment for their children. The poor in the villages cannot admit their children to schools. The super college near the home is closed for the underprivileged. The parents have to go behind politicians. There are no facilities for village schools but schools where children of the more..

'Malicious campaign by BBS against Muslims'

Feb 23 (CT) "The malicious campaign carried out by the Buddhu Bala Sena (BBS) against the Muslims does not seem to be receding. On the contrary, their false propaganda and illegal acts continue to increase daily. The Muslim community is like a rudderless ship, with no captains to champion their cause. Party leaders and ministers, who are Muslims, are numbed into silence. The yellow robe is a cover for the more..

'Journalists need to declare their assets'

Feb 23 (CG) Journalists will need to declare their assets in future, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. The Minister said that a special committee will be appointed to look at a system under which details of the assets will be collected. He said that once implemented, the Media Ministry will be the body to which the assets of journalists will be declared. The govt hopes to implement the system in three months time, the Minister said. In the past there had been reports in the media more..

Bathiudeen to be tried on June 24

Feb 23 (Island) The Court of Appeal fixed June 24, as the date on which Minister Rishard Bathiudeen will go on trial on charges of Contempt of Court. A group of lawyers from Mannar had complained to Court that the Minister abused the Mannar Magistrate, Anthony Jude, over the telephone, on or about, July 17, 2013. Later, he had called the secretary of the Judicial services Commission to transfer the Magistrate from Mannar. The abuse had been due to a judicial order made by more..

'Mental strength is about not being afraid to make mistakes'

Feb 23 (CI) Over the past six years Sri Lanka have been the most consistent team in major world tournaments, reaching the World Cup and World T20 finals twice each. But despite their form during the tournaments, they have lost all those finals comfortably. Sangakkara, who played in all four matches and was captain in two, talks about the pressure and emotion of playing a major final and suggests a solution for Sri Lanka. more..

A dialogue of religions not a clash of religions is needed

Feb 23 (CT) I read the article by Shenali Waduge and was greatly perturbed. Why is she stirring up hatred against the Muslims of our country? Are they not human beings and didn’t the Buddha ask his followers to show compassion to all living beings? Don’t we all have friends among Muslims? But I don’t want to preach for if 2000 years of Buddhist teaching has not succeeded how can I make any impact. I only wish to sound the dangers of this course of action. Today the world is more..

'Send us to our native place; we do not need any assistance'

Feb 23 (OU) “We do not want any assistance. It is adequate if we are settled in our native soil. We will protect our living hoods. Hence leave us to return to our native place”. Such statement was made yesterday Thursday by the displaced people from Waligamam north, sheltered in welfare centers to Japanese representatives. Political unit Officer in Charge of Japanese Embassy Nalodukaro Romonji headed panel visited Jaffna district yesterday. They personally visited the Mallakam, more..

DXM laced cough syrups suspended from usage

Feb 23 (AD) The Health Ministry today said that all cough syrups containing Dextromethorphan have been temporarily suspended from usage with immediate effect, following an alert from the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision to suspend usage of the syrups was taken as a precautionary step, the Director of the Cosmetics, Devices & Drugs Regulatory Authority, Dr. Hemantha Benaragama said. more..

Speaker to ensure all questions are answered

Feb 23 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday told parliament that he would bring about a special mechanism, with the consultation of the party leaders, to provide answers to all questions raised by the opposition MPs from ministers. He was responding to a request made by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Jayasekera pointed out that he had raised 11 questions with the expectations of obtaining answers from the ministers during this week, but none of them had been answered more..

New homes and churches for Christians in Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (CT) Barnabas Fund is building homes and churches for Christians displaced by Sri Lanka's brutal civil war. Homes are being constructed for Christian widows, disabled people and pastors who have spent years living in tents despite the conflict ending in 2009. The civil war lasted more than a quarter of a century and devastated communities across northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Among the recipients is a family of seven in which the father and three of the five children are disabled. more..

Three-wheeler fares increase

Feb 23 (DM) The trishaw fares are due to be increased as a result of the fuel price revision, as one group of three wheel owners have decided to revise the rate per kilometer up to Rs. 40 with effect from Monday, while another group has decided to increase only the stipulated rate of Rs. 50 for the first kilometer without any changes to the rate per kilometer. All Island Three Wheel Owners Association (AITWOA) Chairman Sudhil more..

Call to confront SL's 'authoritarian turn'

Feb 23 (SBS) A 2012 United Nations review concluded as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009. The UN review found credible allegations of war crimes by both govt forces and the rebel Tamil Tigers. Now, the International Crisis Group has issued a new report calling on the world to act to force an investigation into those matters and the restoration of the rule of law in the country. The International Crisis Group has called for strong more..

Travel to Sri Lanka II: A Treasure trove

Feb 23 (ML) In our previous issue, we gave you general travel tips on Sri Lanka, followed by a tour of the beach town of Bentota and a walk on the wild side. Here, we’ll explore the Hill Country of this island nation, as well as its cultural and religious heritage. Our first stop is Nuwara Eliya, the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, situated over 6,000ft above sea level. The seven-hour drive from Bentota to Nuwara Eliya is stunning as it is set against the backdrop of mountains, valleys, waterfalls more..

'Govt unsympathetic to Lankan Tamils'

Feb 23 (IANS) DMK president M. Karunanidhi Saturday said the central govt does not seem to understand the continued suffering of Sri Lankan Tamils who have lost their livelihood and their rights. Referring to President Pranab Mukherjee's address to parliament Feb 21 on the Sri Lankan issue Karunanidhi said they are just a string of words and did not echo the pain of the Tamilians. "We are making progress in our engagement more..

Editorial: UNHRC must prove its sincerity

Feb 24 (SO) The LTTE rump has resorted to various tactics to mislead the international community ahead of every UNHRC, UN General Assembly (UNGA) or any other international platform such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). From the day the LTTE was crushed militarily in May 2009, the Tiger cohorts, LTTE poltergeists and a section of the Tamil Diaspora have conducted similar campaigns. There is no exception this time around as the UNHRC is more..

Editorial: The violence must stop!

Feb 24 (SL) Our nation was named and shamed to be one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists. The international community made this observation not many years ago. What did we think? Nothing. We are not expected to think. In the off chance we do, we are not expected to reveal our thoughts. Some did. They paid a price. The three pillars that govern us have since morphed into one. The constitution and the codified laws of Sri Lanka spell out the functions of these more..

'Loss–making ventures now make profits'

Feb 24 (SO) “Empowering the Sri Lankan economy by managing govt resources through efficient enterprise management strategies” is the vision of the Ministry of the State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry which was stabilising in 2010 under the broad vision of the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ to make Sri Lanka the ‘Wonder of Asia’. Dayasritha Tissera as the Minister entrusted with this task of turning loss-making more..

Editorial: Faraz Shauketaly’s ‘revelations’

Feb 24 (NS) Faraz Shauketaly suffered gunshot injuries and was rushed to hospital a little over a week ago. Faraz, who holds dual citizenship, in Sri Lanka and Britain, is a freelance journalist. He is also a businessman who runs a hotel in Mount Lavinia. The way the incident was ‘picked up’ by the media and others, including those who talk of human rights and media freedom speaks volumes of related politics. Faraz was shot at by unidentified gunmen. The Daily Mail privileged Faraz’ ‘British more..

Editorial : Northern fisherfolk in deeply troubled waters

Feb 24 (ST) Today begins the week-long festival at Kachchativu, the once contested islet off the coast of Jaffna, now firmly ensconced in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. The annual feast of St. Anthony in the church there enjoys a long tradition as an occasion when seafarers from both India and Sri Lanka together with their families mingle. After a 1974 agreement between India and Sri Lanka, Indian fishermen were granted visa-free access to attend the festival. more..

'Foreign relations grew stronger under President's leadership'

Feb 24 (SO) Still in the prime of life, Galle District UPFA MP and External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena plunged into the cauldron of politics at a critical phase in the country's history. However, within a relatively limited space of time, he learned the fine art of politics. MP Gunawardena said, “we follow a non-aligned foreign policy where we have equally good relations with every nation. more..