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Five questions to IMF resident representative

July 1 (CT) I am grateful you and the IMF for the web publication of the transcript dated 2nd May 2013, of the recent press conference on the IMF Article IV report. This web publication paves the way for the establishment of a transparent and direct public communication process, covering what transpired at the meeting, including the specific questions raised and your answers. It is my belief, that you will be happy to extend this niche opportunity further, for effective, transparent more..

Suicide by Bowatte Indrarathana Thero

July 1 (SL) Ven. Indrarathana Thero committed suicide by setting himself on fire within the precincts of the Dalada, Maligawa – The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. It was reported in the media that the Bhikkhu had killed himself to ensure that killing of cattle for food is banned and to end unethical conversions. Certain Buddhists and Bhikkhus, due to misplaced piety are attempting to make a hero of the Thero, suggesting what the Bhikkhu did was ‘self-sacrifice‘. more..

'People's representatives must help women bread-winners'

July 1 (SO) The elation of having the Northern Provincial Council Elections after a lapse seems to be felt across the country. It has become a hot topic in all provinces - among politicians and civilians. "People are demanding for educated, well versed politicians whom they could believe in as their true representatives and who would create a conducive environment for them to live in peace and harmony", said SLFP more..

Making a sanna out of Kusal: A fatal attraction?

July 1 (SL) More than one reason can be imputed for Sri Lanka’s dismal failure to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy final last week, something they’ve routinely accomplished over the past decade. Semi final opponent, India, admittedly, wasnever going to be easy picking, due as much to therelentless form they displayed throughout the competition, as the psychological belief that Sri Lanka, increasingly, is getting to be India’s bunny: since 2012, eight of the previous eleven more..

Why a TNA-run Northern Council is more positive than negative

July 1 (GV) Had the Govt not made the mess it has by fussing over the 13th amendment, it could have shown off the TNA run Northern PC in all global forums as evidence of post-war progress in political reconciliation. Instead of deploying the NPC into an advertisement for Sri Lanka’s domestic process of reconciliation as per the LLRC report, the Govt is making an absolute meal of it; turning the whole thing into an exercise that widens rather than bridges the political gap between more..

'13th amendment is a step in the right direction'

July 1 (SL) Leader of the DLF, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara emphasizes that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was a step in the right direction in solving the ethnic problem. He believes that it will be fully implemented after consultation of a fairly representative parliamentary select committee (PSC). Q: Do the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment, in your view, solve the national question? A: Yes, it is a step in more..

WI vs India: Profligate West Indies escape with thrilling win

July 1 (CI) The pursuit of the money shot nearly cost West Indies what should have been an easy win, and it took a 10-run stand for the last wicket in front of a nervous full house to end India's nine-match winning streak in international cricket. With balls remaining in the chase of 230 out of equation, Kemar Roach and Tino Best, who had taken two wickets each previously, showed the more accomplished batsmen how to finish the chase off - they added 10 in 4.2 overs and still had more..

Tamils need the PC even if powers are curtailed

July 1 (SL) On14.06.2013, Jey and Chrishanthi (Anna) Anandarajan lost two-day old Elyssa. They held through with fortitude borne of faith. As if in tribute to his father – my loving chemistry teacher and later Principal, St John’s College, C. E. Anandarajan, who was felled by LTTE killers – Toronto’s gathering matched that at Jaffna school functions. We still live among murderers. On 30.05.2013, a short distance away, a 37-year-old Tamil was murdered in his backyard in more..

Pusswedilla – a damp squib? Not at all!

July 1 (CT) About two weeks ago, a cousin rings and invites Kumari to see Pusswedilla. Thankfully Kumari does glance through the daily papers even though the local news sends her hot (with indignation) or cold (with fear). Mercifully, she knew that Pusswedilla is a play and not a damp squib of a man whom the said cousin wanted her, Kumari, to meet. Goodwill people with misguided notions still try to 'fix-up' Kumari, meaning more..

Village beauty's love leads to mother’s death

July 1 (SO) An eerie scream tore through the silence of the night as two youth attempted to strangle Kandaiya Sellamma who was a virtuous, hardworking woman who loved life and did everything to make life happy for herself and her family, even though she was poverty-stricken. Sellamma was in her eighties but was agile and got about her daily chores without any problem. Sellamma's daughter, Rangeshwari, was a beauty. Her almond-shaped eyes were covered with more..

Are external finances improving or deteriorating?

July 1 (ST) The external finances of the first four months of this year point to some favourable prospects as well as concerns and anxieties. While the balance of payments is likely to be in surplus this year, the trade balance is heading towards a large deficit owing to a continuing decline in export earnings. The current trend in trade performance is likely to lead to a trade deficit of more than US$ 8.5 billion, only somewhat less than the deficits of the last two years. more..

SLPL fiasco: The Big Land, the small land and the candle man

July 1 (ST) Once there was a rich merchant in the Big Land, which had a huge population. He had three sons. The merchant wanted to hand over his business to the brightest. So one day he called upon his three sons and gave them a hundred rupee note each. He told them the one who could fill the room with something with the money that he had given them would inherit his business and the others would have to work under the winner. more..

Editorial : A criminals’ paradise

July 1 (Island) There’s apparently no agreement among scholars on the origin of the pithy saying, "The law is an ass", though the general consensus is that Dickens popularised it through Oliver Twist. Whoever really deserves the credit for that aphorism, one cannot think of a better metaphor to describe SL’s legal system, which is obstinate, stupid, tardy, lazy and capable of kicking with both hind legs and even biting when the ordinary people are in trouble, seeking justice. more..

J.R.'s Legacy & Sri Lanka's Misery

July 1 (Island) Tragically and indisputably, JR’s 1978 Revolution and his legacy, have proved to be the spectre haunting and causing every major crisis in Sri Lanka from 1978 to date. The nexus is nationally recognized. Hence, the popular demand to abolish the Executive Presidency – the final and most important legacy of JR. Somewhat paradoxically, the duopoly of UNP and SLFP, deceitfully and tactically, use an election promise to abolish the Executive Presidency once elected, more..

Lankans have overseas accounts as they don’t trust authorities with the money

July 1 (ST) Many Sri Lankans open bank accounts abroad to either evade taxes or because they believe their money is unsafe against Govt scrutiny or possible seizure, a Business Times (BT) poll on overseas ‘secret’ bank accounts has revealed. While a majority said tax havens were being used by locals to evade paying local taxes, one respondent said it was ‘for their own protection from extortionists, to circumvent exchange more..

Nadeeka confident of achieving World Championship qualifying mark

July 1 (Island) National javelin champion Nadeeka Lakmali expressed hopes of qualifying for the forthcoming IAAF World Championships in Moscow after creating a new Sri Lanka record at a competition held in Finland yesterday. "I am confident of achieving the qualifying mark," said a determined Lakmali said from Pihtipudas, Finland where she cleared 59.32 metres at a competition. "I am happy that I could reach this mark. My aim is to qualify for the World Championship now," more..

Time is ripe to go back to the good old friendlies

July 1 (ST) In around 400 BC the Hunnish emperor Attila said “Romans have done great things but their time is past. What they have done we can do better, we must rule the world”. When we read of the chaotic situation of school rugby possibly somebody has to say time is up. That somebody has to be the SLRFU and the Ministry of Sport who need to have a plan to work with the schools. If it is not the time to go at least they must be prepared to hunt and be equipped with the best bow and lace. more..

Tiger Airways to pull out from Sri Lanka this September

July 1 (FT) Singapore’s leading low-cost carrier Tiger Airways has decided to terminate operations in Sri Lanka from September, a year after its launch. Citing commercial reasons, the airline has made the decision three weeks ago and has already started conferring with customers that have booked for the period after. MAC Aviation Services, the General Sales Agent for Tiger Airways, noted that there would be no flights from more..

Foreigners sell down over Rs. 5 bn in securities and equities in one week

July 1 (Island) Foreign investors have pulled out Treasury bond investments amounting to Rs. 6,017 million last week, accounting for a small fraction of the total foreign holdings, leading to a net outflow of Rs. 4,063 million from the securities market during the week in addition to a Rs. 1 billion outflow from the stock exchange. Out of total foreign holdings in Treasury bonds amounting to Rs. 424,708 million as at June 19, a small fraction, 1.41% or Rs. 6,017 million, was sold down during the week more..

Lankan brokers list Shariah Compliant companies in CSE

July 1 (ST) Sri Lankan stock firms have prepared a list of Shariah Compliant securities firms in the stock market for the benefit of local and foreign investors seeking investments that follow Islamic investing principles. “This list has been designed and developed to be used as a basis of Shariah compliant equity investments at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE),” an analyst said. He said that listed companies at CSE are screened against a set of Shariah principles and the list is more..

'Sampur power project not handled properly, may lead to diplomatic issue'

July 1 (ST) Minister Champika Ranawaka has contested claims by the Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando. He was reacting to a news item titled “Sampur: Power Ministry Secretary denies former minister’s claims” which appeared in the Sunday Times. He said : The article says that the “Secretary Ferdinando contested the claim saying that Minister had not raised the issue previously and more..

Entire Rambakan Oya project completed with Lankan input

July 1 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the recent completion of the Rambakan Oya reservoir had become a turning point in irrigation and water resources management in the country as the entire project was by Lankans from funding, to designing, engineering and construction. The construction work had been completed and President Rajapaksa is expected to inaugurate the project on July 20. The cost of the entire project was Rs. 3,970 million. It included all the required more..

Sri Lanka: Local govt without women

July 1 (CT) Following the 2011 round of local government elections, for the first time in more than two decades, all local authorities (LAs), barring two, comprising Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas, across Sri Lanka have been constituted. LA’s form the lowest tier of elected government in Sri Lanka and have a range of functions, from provision of vocational training and recreational facilities to primary health care and solid waste management. more..

Malaysian PM assures CHOGM participation

July 1 (DN) Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamed Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak assured his country’s participation at the upcoming CHOGM in Colombo, when President Rajapaksa met him in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Saturday. The bilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the Global 2013 Smart Partnership Dialogue. The two leaders discussed CHOGM which will take place in Sri Lanka in November. more..

Treasure hunters vandalise ancient Swastika Pond

July 1 (Island) Archaeological monument Sawasthika Pokuna (Swastika Pond) situated south of the historic Rankot Vehera in Polonnaruwa has been dug up and damaged by a group of treasure hunters. It is believed to have been built during the time of Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD) and is considered one of the most beautiful ancient ponds in the country. It was declared an archaeological monument and conserved by the Central Cultural Fund recently. more..

Sri Lanka kills some liquidity ahead of cash flood

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has killed 13 billion rupees in excess liquidity ahead of a flood of new cash into the interbank money markets from a reserve ratio cut on July 1. On Friday the Central Bank sold a 5 billion rupees tranche of Treasury bills from its balance sheet at 8.42% and another 5.0 billion rupee tranche at 8.47% on Friday for settlement on July 1. Market liquidity went down from a 13.4 billion rupees excess on Friday to 9.1 billion rupees short on Friday. more..

Iraq govt. holds talks with SupremeSAT

July 1 (DN) Making yet another historic landmark, SupremeSAT have been able to attract the Iraqi government for a possible joint satellite partnership related to SupremeSAT-2. A delegation headed by Senior Deputy Minister of Communications Amir Al Bayati, accompanied by Senior officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Communications, Abbas Hasson and Basil Subhi visited Sri Lanka last week and held more..

Dilmah targets younger market

July 1 (B&T) Dilmah today launched its Single Region Selection ‘tea caps’ that founder Merrill Fernando says will help target a younger market. The tea caps are filled with handpicked leaves from regions around Sri Lanka and designed to fit in Nespresso coffee machines to ensure “consistent quality”. Yet Fernando says the company is not trying to compete against coffee. “I don’t think people can drink parallel to coffee,” he told B&T. He said the company was focusing on a younger more..

Farmer digs up bones from his property

July 1 (Island) A farmer of Track One, Mahakandarawa, in Mihintale, happened to unearth human skeletal remains while digging his land for cultivation purposes on Friday. The farmer, S.M.W. Seneviratne (45) informed the Mihintale police of the find. The Mihintale police visited the site and informed the Anuradhapura Magistrate’s Court. Acting Magistrate Amarasena Hettige arrived at the place where the bones had been dug up on Saturday (29) and held a magisterial inquiry. more..

NPC polls: SLMC to go it alone

July 1 (Island) SLMC will contest the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election on its own. SLMC Leader and Minister Rauf Hakeem said in Kandy yesterday that his party intended to go it alone at the NCP polls scheduled for September. He was responding to a question by the media, while addressing a meeting of the SLMC political activists in Kandy at the party branch office at Katugastota Road. more..

Unite to defeat UPFA at the NCP polls

July 1 (CT) General Secretary of the TNA, Mavai Senathiraja, has called upon the Northern voters to defeat the UPFA in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls, and to prove to the world that the political aspirations of the Tamils could not be suppressed by the chauvinist forces in the South. Senathiraja was addressing a seminar in Kilinochchi on Saturday (29), on the NPC polls, at which the Kilinochchi District TNA Parliamentarian, S. Sritharan presided. more..

Improvised swing brings death to 13-year-old

July 1 (Island) A 13-year-old girl died of strangulation when her neck got entangled in a swing she had made of a coir rope, used for hanging clothes to dry. The deceased, Dilani Priyadharshini, was a student of the Patana Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya. The victim’s mother was looking for her to send some tea to her husband who was taking part in a shramadana in a nearby locality when she was found unconscious with her neck stuck in the swing. She was rushed to the Kotagala hospital but more..

No ICC events for Sri Lanka for ten years

July 1 (Island) Sri Lankan cricket enthusiasts were in for a rude shock yesterday after it was revealed that the country will not be hosting any ICC events for the next ten years! The ICC announced yesterday its global events from the period of 2016 to 2023 and while all Full Members of ICC were given some event, the only countries that were not allocated any events were Sri Lanka and Pakistan. While no cricket has been taking more..

Police raid casino at night club

July 1 (CT) A nightclub operating in Bambalapitiya and reportedly was conducting an illegal casino centre within its premises was raided by the Unit for Organized Crime and Anti Vice (OCAV). Some 13 persons serving at the night club were apprehended as well. The suspects who were produced in the Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday were enlarged on personal bail of Rs 200,000 each. The persons have been charged with possession and selling of liquor without valid licence more..

BTI for schools courtesy Cuban Embassy

July 1 (CT) The Ministry of Health (MoH) is hoping to provide Bacillus Thuringiensis sub-species Israelensis (BTI) bacteria to schools to contain the spread of dengue. The Cuban Embassy in Sri Lanka had agreed on Saturday to provide 2,000 litres of BTI bacteria, gratis, to the ministry to assist in the efforts mooted to eliminate breeding sites of the aedes mosquito from the premises of schools. 25% of dengue patients comprise school children, with more school children reportedly more..

CEB continues to defraud with impunity

July 1 (SL) The country is losing Rs. 110 million per day due to the CEB’s decision to halt hydropower generation, at a stage when all reservoirs are filled to capacity and conduct maintenance work on turbines. Due to this unscheduled maintenance and sudden breakdowns claimed by the CEB, the national grid is deprived of around 195MW of hydropower, which is now purchased from private thermal power more..

Editorial: Go clean, go green: It's not a dream

July 1 (DM) In the latest of the blazing crisis after crisis or scandal after scandal over fuel imports, a five-year battle between the Rajapaksa regime and the Standard Chartered Bank over flawed hedging deals has ended in somewhat of a disaster for Sri Lanka with the Govt agreeing to paying US$ 60 million to settle the dispute. The SCB’s CEO Anirvan Dastidar said that the money was paid to the bank by the CPC after a commercial decision was reached to resolve the long-standing dispute. more..

Revamping Healthcare Services in Sri Lanka

July 1 (DM) Healthcare absorbs a major part of public and private expenditure in almost all countries around the world. In some developed countries, it hovers around 15% of the GDP. The increasing cost of healthcare provision is partly a reflection of growing commercial interests in healthcare and partly the result of the increasing cost of labour, medical technology and pharmaceuticals. The expansion of the health sector has undoubtedly led to improved quality and choice of healthcare more..

'Mistrust and misunderstanding between Sinhalese and Tamils must end'

July 1 (DM) Dharmalingam Siththarthan, the Leader of the PLOTE, a former militant who embraced democratic politics consequent to the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord said that the Provincial Council system introduced under the Accord should not be weakened despite it being inadequate in addressing the aspirations of Tamil people. During the war PLOTE was an organisation that was opposed to the LTTE. more..

Presidential Commission of Inquiry to begin sittings within next fortnight

July 1 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Matale mass graves, will begin sittings within the next two weeks, Commission head, retired Supreme Court Judge Justice S.I. Imam said. The three-member Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Rajapaksa on Wednesday, has been asked to submit a report within six months. Its other members are ex-Parliament Secretary General more..