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Top US biz delegation to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (DN) A team of reputed entrepreneurs from United States will arrive in Sri Lanka to explore the possibility of investing in Sri Lanka Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US and Mexico Jaliya Wickramasuriya said that these investors are involved in oil exploration and related services, power generation, tourism, and other areas. The embassy arranged a number of business delegation visits from USA to more..

Colombo Metro housing units coming up fast

Jan 28 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a sudden inspection visit to review the progress of the housing complexes which are under construction in the Colombo Metropolitan area today. Under the first phase of the housing project for low income families nearly 10,000 houses are being built. These housing units will be distributed among the slum dwellers and low income families who live under deplorable conditions. These housing projects are more..

CEB seeks hike in electricity rates

Jan 28 (ST) The CEB is to propose a tariff increase on electricity to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka shortly, the board chairman, Wimaladharma Abeywickrema, said. This was in the wake of a decision of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to increase the price of furnace oil used for thermal power generation by Rs. 25 a litre. “We are not in a position to pay the increased amount. We have pointed out to the Treasury that if we pay the increased amount the CEB will suffer more..

Tsunami orphans who got back on their feet with flip flop business

Jan 28 (Standard) Enduring this year’s disaster movie, The Impossible, is a marathon of flinches for anyone. Naomi Watts has been nominated for an Oscar for her gritty depiction of a mother whose family is torn apart in the Indian Ocean tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. Rob and Paul Forkan watched the film last Tuesday night. For these founders of London-based flip flop company Gandys, the experience was all the more more..

The bigger thing is to keep matchstick in box

Jan 29 (NS) It is easy to see ominous signs where there are none. Molehills, after all, are frequently made into mountains. On the other hand, if atom can be made into bomb, we must acknowledge that society is a tinderbox and people matchsticks. Few things inspire collective umbrage as assaults on collective identity, perceived or real. Sri Lanka has enough collectives to make anyone given to rabble rousing on identity-account salivate. It does not take the entire collective to feel wronged. more..

Who is Chandre Dharmawardana?

Jan 29 (NS) I view with extreme concern Dr. Dharmawardana’s efforts to extricate himself from a past indiscretion. This was committed when he confided to Dr. Michael Roberts in an email note that the inscriptions of Lanka in the second century B.C. are really not Sinhala or Tamil and that the utmost that can be claimed was that a betting man would be justified in placing the odds on Sinhala because the Prakrit is close to Pali. This was the gist of the part of his email note, which by reason of its more..

Smothered dreams

Jan 29 (NS) She was always a courageous student with determination to ensure that her hardworking parents could be rewarded for their love and toils to achieve success for their family. Hailing from an average family of rural Urubokka off Matara, Achala Priyadarshinie attended the local school where she worked hard at studies nursing her dream of helping her father - a farmer; mother who is employed in West Asia more..

At this hour we have to look for wisdom

Jan 29 (DBS) The Anglican Bishop of Colombo has called his fold to observe Sunday the 3rd of February as a “Day of Lament” as he is unhappy with the turn of events in Sri Lanka. Will this act or his message make any contribution to making Sri Lanka a better place to live in or will it give further fuel to division and recrimination instead of heralding Peace and Brotherhood among the different religions and communities in a multi- religious and multi- cultural democracy. more..

Access denied

Jan 29 (DBS) The ceremonial sitting on 23 January to welcome the newly appointed Chief Justice, Mohan Peiris, began on an inauspicious note, which along with 2,000 odd lawyers of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka boycotting the sittings also saw the fundamental rights of the Fourth Estate, being violated. More than 30 journalists from the private media, both print and electronic, who arrived in Hulftsdorp to cover the event, were prevented from entering the Supreme Court premises. more..

Mullaitivu gets a new look

Jan 29 (SO) Today, the transformation in Mullaitivu is in full swing. Roads that were once dirty have been fully carpeted. Shops, banks, investment institutes, saloons, eating houses and tailorshops are coming up as the towns turn into commercial centres. The haunted feeling that prevailed three years ago is no more. Marks of the battle against ruthless terrorists are disappearing. A total area of 1,160 square kms is cleared more..

‘Balu Veda’ of the regime: Some tips on defeating dicatorship

Jan 29 (CT) On two previous fateful occasions democracy was pronounced dead, or all but dead, in our post-independence history – on certain occasions during JR’s Bonapartist authoritarianism, one moment was when he mendaciously cancelled elections and wrongfully extended parliament’s tenure by a further term, and second in 1989-91 when state and society were in chaotic breakdown. If we take a step back and survey the political wreckage all around, the debacle is more..

The gang rape near Colombo, Peoples’ sovereignty and the absence of protest

Jan 29 (CT) A 45 year-old woman was gang raped in the early hours of January 23 in Nugegoda (some reports give her age as 47). This gruesome incident only received a few lines in some of the newspapers and in the media. Yet a similar incident that occurred in New Delhi, India, when a medical student was gang raped on a bus, provoked a nation-wide protest for several days and, in fact, the protests continue internationally even up to now. This protest caused the Indian Prime Minister to intervene more..

Hela Sihila Hiru stages provocative anti-Muslim demonstration in Kuliyapitiya

Jan 29 (DBS) The recurring phenomenon of orchestrated demonstrations against “Halal”labelled foods, Muslim owned businesses and Muslim places of worship by organized groups of Buddhist Clergy and Laity took a different turn in Northwestern Province of Wayamba on Jan 24th. A protest demonstration was staged by a group of around 150 persons at Kuliyapitiya, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious more..

Mahinda bats for Sanath as best choice to head cricket selectors

Jan 29 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday described Sanath Jayasuriya as the best choice to head the selection committee of Sri Lanka Cricket and denied the move signalled politicisation of the country’s favourite game. “If Mervin Silva was appointed then criticism of politicization can be true,” quipped President Rajapaksa who was in a jovial mood when questions over the selection of Jayasuriya were raised during an interaction with editors last night at Temple Trees. more..

Sri Lankan tea managers welcome newly formed International Tea Producer’s Forum

Jan 29 (ST) Sri Lankan tea managers have welcomed the formation of the first ever International Tea Producer’s Forum (ITPF) and congratulated Minister of Plantation Industries, Mahinda Samarasinghe for his initiative and effort in pursuing this. With an intergovernmental membership of seven of the world’s largest tea producing countries including India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and China as an observer, ITPF will serve as a powerful new channel to tackle the more..

Black January: Ceaseless media suppression in Sri Lanka, with total impunity

Jan 29 (GV) The month of January is coming to and end. January marks a number of major attacks that have taken place on media freedom in Sri Lanka. For this reason, January is referred to as the ‘Black January’ of media suppression. This year too, journalists’ organisations in the country are commemorating Black January as an event to mark continued suppression of independent media and journalists in Sri Lanka. more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: Y is for y’all

Jan 29 (GV) Many languages have singular and plural forms of the second person pronoun you, including Sinhala and Tamil. English doesn’t, except in certain dialects: yous or youse is heard mainly in Scotland, Ireland and Australia; and y’all is common in the US, as in the expression “Y’all have a nice day!” Y’all is also common in colloquial Sri Lankan English (“When did y’all come?”), as well as the possessive form y’all’s (“Where are y’all’s books?”). The all is just a plural marker, more..

Editorial: In the heat of Arab Summer

Jan 29 (Island) British Prime Minister David Cameron and the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy caused quite a stir internationally when they toured Tripoli and Benghazi in Sept. 2011, six months after the ouster of Gaddafi. They were given a rousing welcome. Some of the overzealous Libyans even named their children after Sarkozy! Cameron and Sarkozy were so cock-a-hoop that they went so far as to warn that the Arab Spring could become an Arab Summer for more..

Boston Lanka News: January 29, 2013

A day dedicated for Sangha to honour teachers

Jan 29 (DN) In the same way we dedicate days to eulogise members of the Maha Sangha, we should also pay attention to allocate a day for the Maha Sangha to honour their teachers. The Sangha Sabha is considering dedicating a Yathiwara Upahara for this purpose, Ven Prof Bellanvila Vimalarathana Thera said. The thera was speaking at a ceremony organised by the Kotte Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya to honour 35 Buddhist monks. The ceremony was held at the Kotte Raja more..

Corporate governance at finance companies needs improvement

Jan 29 (Island) Sri Lanka’s non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) will have to attract long term foreign investment, improve efficiency and governance and contain high-risk intra-group and related party activities, top financial professionals said yesterday. Addressing the national conference of The Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka, Central Bank Deputy Governor Ananda Silva, HNB Chairperson Dr. Ranee Jayamaha and several others highlighted the need to more..

I take full responsibility for negligence: Deshapriya

Jan 29 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said there was no foul play, in the 300 ballot papers that were found marked for the “swan” in Kalagedihena, and confirmed they were counted ballots. “The ballot cards are genuine and they were counted. That much I can confirm. There was no foul play and it has been revealed that when they were brought to be destroyed, the cards had fallen due to more..

Kotagala Plantations goes for Rs. 360 m Rights

Jan 29 (FT) The Board of Directors of Kotagala Plantations has resolved to raise Rs. 360 million via a Rights Issue to settle bank borrowings and boost working capital. Funds will be raised via a Rights Issue on the basis of one share for every four held at Rs. 45 each. It will involve issuance of 8 million new shares. The company said Rs. 300 million will be used to settle bank borrowings and the balance Rs. 60 million as working capital requirements. The Board maintains that the consideration more..

Fibreglass statue of ‘Mother Mary’ torched, one arrested

Jan 29 (Island) A fiberglass statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, valued at around Rs. 650,000, which had been installed on Saturday, with a prayer service, on a bare land close to St. Mary’s school in Avissawella, was set ablaze by saboteurs in the early hours of yesterday, the parish priest told The Island yesterday. The parishioners had spent more than Rs. 2.5 million on the project to install the statue. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that the incident had taken place around 1.25 a.m. more..

'Some big investors got it wrong'

Jan 29 (ST) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) follows a strict rule where a member of the commission doesn’t get involved in an investigation if the parties involved are connected to the commissioner, says the SEC chief. “Of the nine investigations that have been competed, on at least two or three occasions I stayed away from the deliberations because the parties could be linked to me. The reports are well documented,” more..

India lauds Sri Lanka’s economic progress

Jan 29 (Island) Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Dr. D. Purandeswari has expressed her satisfaction over Sri Lanka’s economic progress and infrastructure development. She said this when she met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at his ministry recently. "The Indian Minister was impressed by the development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and added that that the products of SL garment factories established in Hyderabad, were of high quality. more..

‘Public views will be sought prior to electricity tariff revision’

Jan 29 (DN) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said the CEB recently filed the estimated cost for the supply of electricity for 2013 with the PUCSL. These calculated costs will include costs incurred for generation, transmission, distribution and other related costs for the supply of electricity. The PUCSL is to assess the validity of such cost estimates filed by the CEB and after that they will analyze whether, the prevailing electricity tariffs are not sufficient to recover the more..

President claims no damage to country over CJ impeachment

Jan 29 (FT) President Rajapaksa yesterday defended the widely criticized impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake saying in his opinion rather than cause damage it had actually been a good move for the country. “I don’t think the impeachment has done any damage to the country. I would say it was something good,” President told editors at Temple Trees in his first interaction with senior journalists in the New Year. more..

Suspicion over alleged suicide

Jan 29 (DM) The sister of the housemaid said that she suspects the cause of the death of her sister who is alleged to have committed suicide. The deceased housemaid. R.R.M Anupama(29) of Madampe had been employed in Dubai for over 6 years. It was earlier reprted that the housemaid had jumped from the apartment complex to her death after an augument with her lover. However the sister denied the maid having any issue that would lead to sucide. “The death is suspicious, my sister more..

Reptiles in a bus traumatize passengers

Jan 29 (DM) In a bizarre incident reminiscent of the popular Hollywood movie ‘Snakes on a Plane,’ at least 20 passengers inside a CTB bus were traumatized when nine venomous snakes, a python and a monkey ran amok inside a bus bound to Galagedara on Sunday night. The four men who owned the animals had been seated in the front of the bus while keeping the boxes with the snakes under their seats. It had transpired that the men were under the influence of liquor and more..

Academics welcome reduction of university admission age

Jan 29 (Island) Several academics welcomed Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s recent proposal to reduce the age of admissions to universities to 16. President of the FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that it was very important to reduce it to at least 17 years. However, Dr. Dewasiri said it was not the FUTA’s view, but his personal opinion. "Our students waste several years in school before entering universities," more..

Reconstituted Bench to hear Bathiudeen appeal

Jan 29 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed the date of hearing the appeal filed by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen for March 18, 2013. The minister had appealed to the Supreme Court against an Appeal Court order, which had ordered him to appear before it and face an inquiry pertaining to contempt of Court charges. The Supreme Court Bench comprised Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justice P. A. Ratnayake and Justice Sathya Hettige. The Chief Justice declined to hear the case. more..

Court orders notice on Vaiko’s plea on LTTE ban

Jan 29 (Hindu) The Madras High Court on Monday ordered notice on a writ petition by MDMK general secretary Vaiko, challenging an order of the Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act confirming the Centre’s notification declaring the LTTE as an unlawful association. He also challenged the publication of the tribunal’s decision in the Tamil Nadu Govt Gazette dated January 4, 2013. The First Bench of Acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan more..

Cabinet reshuffle akin to changing pillows to cure a headache - UNP

Jan 29 (Island) Yet another Cabinet re-shuffle witnessed yesterday was a case of changing pillows to treat a headache and would only further aggravate the country’s economic problems, including the massive debt burden, the UNP said. Ministers had been moved around like on a chess board, while some had been given "Impeachment Gratitude Portfolios" but the "King" had already been checkmated, UNP MP Gayantha more..

Heavy toll of elephant deaths

Jan 29 (DN) The human-elephant conflict together with natural causes has resulted in the death of nearly 235 elephants last year. In addition around 62 people have died during the same period due to the same reason. The Agrarian Service and the Wildlife Ministry is in the process of building electric fences to prevent elephants roaming into human settlements. Elephants have lost their habitats due to the expansion of villages, cultivations and accelerated development projects. more..

Another useless ministry – CTU

Jan 29 (CT) The establishment of the new 'Educational Services' Ministry in the education sector will mean nothing more than valuable funds that should be channelled towards free education being instead diverted towards quelling political hysteria in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) stated. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said, "Nothing good will come out of this new ministry. Another minister will now be maintained on the money more..

Mahinda scores a century!

Jan 29 (FT) Undeterred by mounting pressure on a bloated Cabinet, criticism over poor governance, rising costs and inefficiencies, President Rajapaksa yesterday figuratively scored a century making it a team of 102 Ministers following a fresh round of appointments. The much anticipated reshuffle which analysts described largely as an act of rewarding those who played a key role in the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandarnayake more..

Case against Malaka, 6 others referred to AG

Jan 29 (DM) The case against Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka and six others who are alleged to have assaulted an Army Major has been referred to the Attorney General for his advice, the Kompanna Veediya police informed Court today. Kompanna Veediya OIC told court that extracts of the investigation report had been referred to the Attorney General on the instruction of Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake. The seven suspects -- Malaka Silva, the late Minister more..

.... further burden on the people - JVP

Jan 29 (Island) The JVP said that the expansion of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cabinet would further burden the people who were already suffering from the unbearable cost of living. JVP MP Vijitha Herath called the present Cabinet an ‘Elastic Jumbo Cabinet’. He said that by appointing more ministers, additional burdens by way of increased taxes and prices of essentials, would be heaped on the people soon. "The people of the country haven’t benefited from this Cabinet reshuffle, more..

U.S. to criticize Sri Lanka at UNHRC

Jan 29 (Reuters) The United States will deliver a sharp public rebuke to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in March for failing to pursue those responsible for abuses as govt forces were crushing Tamil rebels in 2009, officials said on Monday. A three-member U.S. delegation is in Colombo on a five-day visit to discuss issues including progress in implementing the recommendations of Sri Lanka's own official investigation into the war, more..