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'Entire govt. sleep walking, not just one Minister’s son'

July 13 (Island) It was not just one Minister’s son who was sleep walking, but the entire govt, the UNP. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillka said that the unprecedented crime wave that had engulfed the country, was just one example which proved that the ruling UPFA, from the President downwards, was sleep walking. The frequent increases in the prices of essential goods and services, including transport, electricity, more..

Orientation for PSM degree holders commences

July 13 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) yesterday alleged that there was some misconception regarding the gazette notification on the orientation programme for degree holders in professions supplementary to medicine (PSM). PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that there were certain forces spreading rumours regarding the programme which was meant to provide a six-month orientation for medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) and other more..

Govt set policies for another Rupee crisis

July 13 (CT) The Exchange Control Department has issued a press release on June 12, 2013. The objective of the press release was to relax foreign exchange regulations. The press release justified the relaxation of regulations and says “During the past few years, Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic fundamentals have improved and the domestic financial sector has become stronger and more resilient.” This was the learned conclusion of the Exchange Control Department (ECD). more..

Sri Lankans on sunken boat

July 13 (CG) Australian authorities were scouring remote seas for survivors Saturday after a people-smuggling boat carrying 97 people including Sri Lankans, went down, with 88 people rescued so far and the body of a baby found, the AFP news agency reported. Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the boat first issued a distress call in rough seas north of Christmas Island, between Australia and Indonesia, more..

Tamil diaspora never misses the chance to miss the bus

July 13 (CT) It was the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC), a Tamil organization operating in London in the late 1970s that brokered a deal between the Tamil militants in Sri Lanka and the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. As a result of that cloak-and-dagger agreement, Tamil militants were trained not only in South India, but also in North India, with the consent of the Indira Gandhi govt. This, in other words, means that the Tamil diaspora was not just the tail of the LTTE. more..

Bollywood movie on Lanka war to be released in Aug

July 13 (CT) After the critical and commercial success of 'Vicky Donor', the actor's production house JA Entertainment and Rising Sun Films have teamed up once again for 'Madras Cafe'. "This is a serious film. We believe in making quality films. I don't know how much crores the film would make. I feel all Rs 100 crore films are not the greatest movies," John said at the trailer launch of 'Madras Cafe'. A spy thriller, the film is a story based on the political relations between more..

Dy. Speaker responds to Amunugama’s statement on schools

July 13 (Island) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, responding to Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama’s statement, that the govt should not invest more in the poor quality education system, which he referred to as a ‘garbage System’, said that the govt had given priority and was investing heavily in restructuring schools and primaries around the country. Addressing the 14th Economic Summit, more..

'Selective treatment and women’s issues: I wish to lodge a strong a protest'

July 13 (CT) Today (11) I sought to present the Bill which appeared as item 4 in today’s Order Paper, at which point the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena raised an objection that the Attorney-General’s views had not been obtained. Consequently the matter was put off pending a ruling by Mr. Speaker. In this connection, I wish to draw your attention to Standing Order 47 which sets out the procedure for presenting Private Members’ Bills. You will note that there is not one word about more..

Fisherman dies after boat collapse

July 13 (CT) One fisherman has died while another has been rescued when the boat they had set out to sea from the Ridhiwella area in Chillaw had met with an accident, the Police Media Unit said. The incident has occurred when the boat had capsized while the fishermen were returning from fishing activities. One fisherman had been rescued while the other had died after drowning. The deceased has been identified as a 56 year old resident of the Ridhiwella area in Chillaw, while the body of the more..

Duty hike on Lanka onions to hit India

July 13 (ENS) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday doubled the import duty on onions from LKR 15 per kilo to LKR 30 per kilo, with a view to giving a boost to local production. But the hike may hit India as most of the onions coming into the country are from India. “We get about 6,000 mt per month from India,” Palaniyandi Sundaram, president of the Colombo Traders’ Association, said. At LKR 50 per kilo, imports are of the order of LKR 300 more..

Into the hills with Sri Lanka’s very own Indiana Jones

July 13 (Telegraph) If you took too much heed of travel guides you might never set foot in a foreign land. Take the one I have for Sri Lanka that in its health advisory section warns the hapless traveler of the following possible afflictions: dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, chikungunya fever, gastroenteritis, marine stings, typhoid, cholera and sunstroke. Furthermore it helpfully suggests that Sri Lanka has the highest number of snakebite fatalities per capita and more..

Govt. increases indirect tax burden with latest commodity levy hike

July 13 (Island) The indirect tax burden on the people was increased yesterday (12) with the Treasury raising the special commodity levy on imported big onions from Rs. 15 to Rs. 30 per kilo, as the govt continued to struggle with falling tax revenues. Economists have against ad hoc tax revisions. "Since the Yala 2013 harvesting season of local big onions has now begun and stocks have started arriving in the market, the govt has decided to increase the special commodity levy on more..

Met. Dept inefficiency blamed for tsunami, recent storm deaths

July 13 (Island) Thousands of lives that perished in the Boxing Day Tsunami could have been saved had the Lankan Met. Department given correct telephone contact numbers to the Hawaii International Tsunami Warning Center, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe said. He said that the Hawaii authorities had foreseen the calamity and tried to pass the warning message to Lankan authorities, but they had found that more..

Sri Lanka defeats Nepal on Volleyball tournament

July 13 (MR) Nepal suffered a straight set defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka on Saturday to qualify for final with a match in hand in the South Asian Invitation Men´s Volleyball Tournament being held at the covered hall of Dasharath Stadium, Kathmandu. In course of becoming the first team to make it to final and give continuity to its dominance over Nepal, Sri Lanka inflicted a humiliating 25-17, 25-16, 25-16 defeat over the home team. Nepal has never earned victory over Sri Lanka since 1987 more..

Sri Lanka revamps petro exploration law

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is revamping its petroleum exploration law to provide better investor protection and to clearly separate regulatory and upstream activities. Saliya Wickramasuriya, head of Sri Lanka's Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat said the draft law is now with the island's attorney general's office. It still needs approval by the cabinet of ministers and parliament. Wickramasuriya told a business forum ahead of a bidding round that is to close in November more..

Sri Lanka's final hoodoo

July 13 (CI) Since the 1996 World Cup, West Indies have been in terminal decline. A Champions Trophy in 2004 wiped the dust from their trophy cupboard, but it wasn't a long-term answer, rather a throwback to a bygone era. When Darren Sammy's unheralded power-hitters motored into the World T20 final last year, even the most optimistic supporter in Trinidad or Arnos Vale wouldn't have put them down as favourites. more..

Foreign diplomats must project true picture

July 14 (SO) Several Colombo-based diplomats acted in a high-handed manner and the LTTE leadership took the upper hand when terrorism was at its peak. Some Western diplomats in Sri Lanka were more concerned about the human rights of the Tigers than those of hapless civilians, who had been forcibly held as a human shield by the LTTE. It is an open secret how certain Western diplomats in Colombo, who projected themselves as the guardians of human rights and more..

Still groping for a solution for minorities

July 14 (SL) The Rajapaksa government, since its much celebrated military victory four years ago over the LTTE, has been hemming and hawing, equivocating, promising and denying promises made and been ambiguous over its proposals to address the grievances of minorities, in particular the Tamil minority. A collective word for all these evasions is: prevarication. Two basic demands made by Tamils have been are to enact the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and hold elections to more..

'TNA, the mouthpiece of international forces'

July 14 (SO) Journalist turned politician Minister Dullas Alahapperuma is a workaholic. Eloquent in his mother tongue his deft use of the Sinhala idiom could hold his audience spellbound. The Minister said that we should not get bogged down on the 13th Amendment because it is not an object of worship. If there is a better Amendment whether it is 18,19,20 or 21, we should go for it. The media should also conduct an more..

The President’s name and face

July 14 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that if anyone has done anything wrong that person needs to be punished, whether or not the concerned individual carries a picture of the president on his or her person. He pointed out that under cover of his photograph there are people who produce moonshine, operate buses without permit. It is perhaps an indication of the power vested in the office of the Executive President in the 1978 Constitution that Mahinda Rajapaksa is more..

Filling the hotel rooms

July 14 (Island) The newspapers are full of reports of new hotels under construction and older properties that are being refurbished and expanded. We are often treated to lavish colour pictures of these developments and given last year’s arrivals topping one million visitors and 2.5 million targeted for 2016, there is room for optimism that all the rooms that are available already or will become available in the short-term can be filled. But there are disturbing reports that the our leisure industry is pricing more..

'PC system will have to remain'

July 14 (SO) In the light of facing issues with broader range of approach Minister Keheliya Rambukwella insists that he is not disturbed with any of the discussions happening. "I was disturbed when I was the Govt Defence Spokesman, where I had to announce about fallbacks in the past war against terrorism, deaths of innocent civilians and when our soldiers were killed during that period. Those were the intense days. more..

Review the ‘coerced’ Indo-Lanka Accord

July 14 (ST) The visit by the Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, a one-time High Commissioner in Colombo, was the ‘umpteenth’ visit by an Indian diplomat — from the days of G. Parthasarathy and Romesh Bhandari three decades ago to now, carrying New Delhi’s veiled directives on how the Govt in Colombo must carry out its business. It is also significant, if significant can be, that the visit was on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the 1983 July race riots in Sri Lanka. more..

Steering wrong on Northern course

July 14 (ST) My Dear Sampanthan Seeya, I thought I must write to you now when I heard that the provincial council elections that you were demanding all these years are to be held in a few months. Although I expected you to be happy at this turn of events, I understand that you are not. From what I hear, like Oliver Twist, you are always asking for more. You seem to want police and land powers for the councils and you also want the right for two or more councils to merge. more..

'My priority is to serve the people'

July 14 (SL) Former media spokesman of the LTTE Dayanidhi alias Daya Master is to contest for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election under the UPFA banner. He said that his decision to contest is aimed at developing the Northern Province and improving the lives of the war affected people in the North. Q: Do you think that the holding of the NPC election would help in post war reconciliation? more..

India, 13A and the Kachchativu card

July 14 (Island) The rumour doing the rounds in Colombo is that India is using the Kachchativu card to blackmail Sri Lanka into compromising on or delaying the plans to remove police and land powers from the 13th Amendment. The argument in relation to Kachchativu would go as follows: 1. The Agreement between the Govt of India and the Govt of Sri Lanka to Establish Peace and Normalcy in Sri Lanka (the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord) of 29 July 1987 signed in Colombo is a bilateral treaty more..

Lankan hoteliers likely to cut winter rates

July 14 (ST) The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is examining a possible rate cut on rooms for the coming winter season. A long awaited rate reduction from hoteliers in the country was raised at a meeting held on Friday in Colombo between Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and the Tourist Hoteliers Association of Sri Lanka (THASL). SLAITO President Mahen Kariyawasan told the Business Times that both parties have decided that Destination Management more..

Lankan selectors hold back team selections

July 14 (ST) The Lankan selectors will on Tuesday to name the stand-in captain for the first two ODIs against the visiting Proteas and the rest of the squad. The Lankan captain Angelo Mathews was banned for two ODIs in the West Indies for maintaining a slow over rate in their final against India at Port of Spain. The Lankan selectors delayed their meeting because the tour selector Pramodya Wickremasinghe was also with more..

Real politicking will commence after NPC election

July 14 (NS) After months of speculation, the govt this week announced that elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) will be held, after all. The date of the polls is yet to be announced, but is expected to be in September. It is also clear that the elections to the Council will be held under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution as it stands now, as there is no time to rush through further amendments to this controversial piece of legislation which was a product of the Indo-Lanka Accord. more..

India’s help only if Govt doesn’t dilute scope of PCs

July 14 (NS) India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon was in Sri Lanka last week. The news ran that Menon was here with a special message from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The message from Singh had indicated that New Delhi expected President Rajapaksa to implement pledges made to India and the International community about implementing the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution and also go beyond its framework to provide more..

Culinary Art 2013: A victual experience as never before

July 14 (Island) Chairman Chefs’ Guild of Sri Lanka, Gerard Mendis said the forthcoming ‘Culinary Art 2013’ will showcase culinary talent not only from a Sri Lankan context, but expectations were that about 1,200 chefs would exhibit their skills. Chefs from other countries will also be present and be part of the latest effort in culinary artistry. This exhibition was first held in 1988, and since then, its biannual regularity engendered international more..

Milco’s Narahenpita milk powder factory to move out of the city

July 14 (ST) Sri Lanka’s state-owned dairy Milco (Pvt) Ltd is now undergoing a major revival process with urgent capital and technological infusion to upgrade its four aging milk processing factories and improve hygienic standards, officials said. The company will modernise it’s three factories at Ambewela, Digana and Polonnaruwa and re-locate the 55 year-old Narahenpita factory in Badalgama using Rs.6 billion loan to be received from Denmark’s Nordea Bank more..

COPE head, Opposition call for better paid, powerful Auditor-General

July 14 (ST) While Parliament last Wednesday approved a salary of Rs 48,940 for Auditor-General (AG) H.A.S. Samaraweera, Opposition legislators argued strongly for a better salary for a person holding the top post of one of the most important State institutions, while there were also calls to strengthen the powers given to the State auditor. Several Govt members including Chairman of the COPE Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera too argued for a better salary for the AG, more..

Chief Selector questions Malinga’s performances against India

July 14 (Island) Given Lasith Malinga’s awful recent record against India, questions have been asked whether Sri Lanka should consider leaving out their main strike bowler in clashes against them. While there’s no serious thought has been given for such a move, given Sri Lanka’s disappointing outings against the Indians in the last few years, the tough question has been hotly debated. more..

Daya Master welcomes Mervyn to Jaffna

July 14 (CT) Controversial Minister Mervyn Silva, visited Jaffna last week and was garlanded by the LTTE's former Media Head, V. Dayanithy alias Daya Master. Silva is on a tour in the Peninsula, ahead of the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council elections and was accorded a welcome by the former LTTE media spokesman, who is tipped to contest the election from the UPFA list. Minister Silva visited Daya Master's hometown, Point Pedro yesterday evening, where he was accorded more..

Ceypetco’s HR rot begins at the top

July 14 (NS) Human capital is a vital component of any organization. To manage it effectively, a skilled and qualified Human Resources (HR) Manager is required. However, at Ceypetco, the HR Manager is reportedly the least qualified person in the whole HR department. As a Grade A/2 officer, he should have obtained at least a Post Graduate Degree or a Post Graduate Diploma in the particular discipline. However, his only qualification is that he attended a five day leadership training program, more..

Lanka's Historic Ehelepola Walawwa handed over to President

July 14 (GDI) The historic 'Ehelepola Walawwa' mansion, which has been used as a prison for nearly 195 years was handed over to President Rajapaksa on Saturday. The administration of this mansion which was under the Sri Lanka's Prisons Department was handed over by the Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera. Speaking at the ceremony President Rajapaksa said that during the British colonial rule 53 leading patriots more..

Will JKH look at private share placement to raise new capital?

July 14 (Island) Analysts speculated yesterday on the possibility of the John Keells Holdings conglomerate exploring the possibility of a private placement of shares to raise new capital for its USD 850 million mega development project on prime real estate belonging to the group in Colombo-2. JKH had been keeping plans for this Beira Lakefront project under wraps for the past several months and made a brief stock exchange filing after Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene recently more..

'Black money laundered through CSE'

July 14 (ST) Developed countries must assist developing countries to combat the scourge of corruption, in terms of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), top Sri Lankan public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere has said. Addressing an international seminar in Jinan, China on June 24 by the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), he referred to Chapter VI of the UNCAC on Technical Assistance and Information Exchange and pointed out that more..

Lanka snubs India, talks nukes with Pakistan

July 14 (HT) In an apparent tit for tat, Sri Lanka is moving in the direction of a nuclear pact with Pakistan after India voted against it at the UN this year. At the same time, it is dragging its feet on a similar pact with India by not scheduling talks despite Delhi’s keenness to conclude the agreement soon. India had offered Sri Lanka a comprehensive nuclear pact that would deal with all aspects of civil nuclear cooperation, including safety and more..