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Indian national security adviser SS Menon to meet President, UNP, TNA and SLMC

July 2 (DBS) India’s National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon is scheduled to meet President Rajapaksa at “Temple Trees” in the morning of July 9th 2013 for crucial discussions on recent developments concerning the 13th Amendment brought about by the India-Sri Lanka accord of July 29th 2013. Menon who has served in Sri Lanka as High Commissioner and also held the post of foreign secretary is also expected to more..

India v Sri Lanka Preview: Injured Dhoni ruled out of tri-series

July 2 (CI) Triangular tournaments can be hard on the ego of the team that leaves the competition first. Unlike a bigger multi-team tournament, there is no consolatory semi-final finish, or a bronze medal. There is only a lonely last place. This series has just started, but with West Indies nine points clear of both India and Sri Lanka, that last-place tag, for now, has gravitated towards the two subcontinent sides. The familiar foes, who have played each other in five different countries in more..

Amare: Farewell, my dear friend!

July 2 (Island) Just over three months ago, when I met Amara Hewamadduma at his brother-in-law’s funeral, it did not occur to me, even in the wildest of my dreams, that I would be writing this article. Amare looked so healthy and cheerful, as always. He was concerned that I would make his sister cry by talking too much about her husband. When I told him ‘it is good to cry’, he asked me ‘is it really?’ He can never know how many would have shed tears on hearing of his untimely death which leaves a huge void in Sri Lanka. more..

Money printed for govt down sharply

July 2 (Island) The Central Bank Treasury bill holdings reflecting money printed to sterilize foreign exchange sales which invariably financed the govt’s deficit, fell a sharp Rs. 62.6 billion yesterday. It fell from Rs. 101.76 billion last Friday to Rs. 39.43 billion last evening, after the Central Bank retired around Rs. 27.24 billion worth of Treasury bills and absorbed around Rs. 35.06 billion excess liquidity from the financial market, treasury dealers said. more..

Over 6,000 to picket in Muttur today

July 2 (CT) More than 6,000 people are set to picket in Muttur town today asking President Rajapaksa to intervene and develop the Muttur Base Hospital that lacks basic facilities. The Chairman of the Hospital Development Committee, Thideer Thoufeek, said the hospital is visited by more than 500 patients daily but has no facilities causing great inconvenience to them. There is only one OPD doctor for all the patients and sometimes a doctor from another village is asked to more..

Cage these predators!

July 2 (Island) The health sector has become a haven for sex maniacs. Last December, Minister Maithripala Sirisena himself turned the spot light on the high incidence of sexual exploitation of female health workers. Trade unions have accused some unnamed higher-ups in the administrative setup of soliciting sexual favours from women for transfers. We have reported extensively on this shocking state of affairs and editorially called for action to deal with the sexual predators, but in vain. more..

'Foreign reserves not enough to settle external liabilities'

July 2 (Island) Even if the govt were to sell all its foreign reserves it would not be able to settle the external liabilities, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said. He said that while the CB Governor Cabraal kept contradicting himself frequently, the reality was that the country’s liabilities exceeded foreign reserves by about 25%. "So, even if we sell all our foreign reserves, there would be no escape from the deteriorating economic situation," more..

National Farmers' Week -2013: Modern agriculture technologies to be introduced

July 2 (DN) The National Farmers' Week -2013, Agriculture Exhibition will be held at Wariyapola Agriculture Complex from July 6 to 10 under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said the North Western Province is a main agricultural area in the country famous for paddy cultivation. "We decided to hold this year's National Farmers' Week in Wariyapola with the objective of introducing modern agriculture technologies for farmers and the public," more..

Japan turns to Lanka to overcome supply chain constraints

July 2 (Island) A top Japanese official says a high-level business delegation would visit Sri Lanka later this year to explore opportunities in establishing joint ventures here in order to address supply chain problems facing Japanese industry. Japan is now readying to send an almost unprecedented business delegation to Sri Lanka as part of expansion of its global foothold in manufacturing. "Production overload in Far-East Asia and China manufacturing are severely affecting the supply chains of more..

Gaming can be a $ 1 b industry with tourism upside: Analysts

July 2 (FT) With existing players getting aggressive and new brands being lured in, the gaming scene in Sri Lanka has the potential to expand to a billion dollar industry from its current fledgling status, especially with an upside in the tourism and leisure markets, according to analysts. For the past 15 years there are four casinos being operated by formal players in the country who pay Rs. 100 million per location per annum. more..

‘Army Prasanna’ arrested

July 2 (DM) A prominent underworld leader ‘Army Prasanna’ against whom five open warrants have been issued was arrested by the Kelaniya Police today and ordered to be remanded till July 5 by the Mahara Magistrate court. The suspect Hiran Prasanna Kumara alias Army Prasanna was arrested this evening over alleged robberies, thefts, smuggling of heroin and possession of weapons. Magistrate ordered the suspect to be produced before each court that had issued warrants more..

'Revolutionaries trying to mislead youths'

July 2 (DN) TThe minds of youths could be influenced easily. So called revolutionaries were trying to make use of it to mislead youths by mixing their emotions and radicalism with revolutionary ideas and incite violence to disrupt peace, said said Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayake. He was addressing a meeting held to mark the handing over of a newly built house at Shanthipura in Nuwara Eliya to Ruwan Pradeep Kumara, a member of the Kalapura Hiru Youth Club. more..

CPA-JHU lock horns in Court over 13A

July 2 (FT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives petition challenging the JHU private members’ bill to repeal the 13th Amendment on the basis that the proposed legislation has been tabled in Parliament without the consent of all provincial councils was taken up before the Supreme Court yesterday. The case came up before a three judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and Justices more..

No doctor at Rantambe Camp

July 2 (CT) The National Cadet Corps Training Camp in Rantambe does not house a single doctor despite the govt's claims that there are doctors on call, at all times, the Ceylon Teachers' Services Union (CTSU), charged yesterday. The CTSU said, there are no doctors stationed at the training camp even though around 80,000 students undergo training each year. The Medical Unit is manned by a Sergeant, whereas there should be a doctor on duty, the General Secretary of CTSU, more..

President attends Sri Lanka Seychelles business forum

July 2 (DN) President Rajapaksa on his final day of the State Visit to Seychelles attended the Sri Lanka - Seychelles business forum last morning. The President was received at the venue, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, by Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Steve Fanny, Principal Secretary of Finance, Trade and Investment and Marco Francis, Chairman of Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Minister G L Peiris made the opening remarks and introduced the SL delegation. more..

FUTA debunks SB’s private universities solution

July 2 (Island) The FUTA said that all students who qualified at the GCE (A/L) exam need not enter a university for higher education, but they should be trained in professions which the country needs in terms of human resources. Commenting on Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s statement that establishing private universities would enable all A/L qualifiers to do higher education, FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri more..

Sri Lanka interbank liquidity up sharply after reserve ratio cut

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's money markets were flooded with 35 billion rupees in excess cash after a cut in the statutory reserve ratio despite pre-emptive moves by the Central Bank to kill some liquidity. Excess liquidity rose to 35 billion rupees on Monday and was absorbed overnight through a repurchase (repo) auction of 29.4 billion rupees at 7.78% and another 5.6 billion rupees was placed by lenders at the Central Bank's standing window at 7%. Last week the Central Bank sold down some more..

Unprotected rail crossings consume more lives – UNP

July 2 (Island) While burning issues such as unprotected railway crossings were consuming lives by the day, the govt had generated a debate on the proposed dilution of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, with a view to diverting attention from matters that concerned the security and economic wellbeing of the masses, the UNP said. MP Gayantha Karunathillaka said that there were 775 unprotected railway crossings in the country which had resulted in the loss of many lives, but more..

Video: Will leave if PC ‘powers’ are curtailed

July 2 (DM) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said he could not be a part of a govt that has pruned ‘powers’ of Provincial Councils and would be compelled to leave the govt if any such attempt was made. He however added that he accepted the fact that the ‘merger’ clause pertaining to Provincial Councils and the ‘absolute majority’ clause vested through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with regard to laws more..

Harsha to revive Parakramabahu Era

July 2 (FT) Economic affairs spokesperson for the UNP and its Kotte organiser Dr. Harsha de Silva last week establishing his Balamandalaya in grand style said that in the next UNP administration he will make sure that the people of Sri Lanka will benefit from development. Taking a broad swipe at the current regime where he said benefits are enjoyed by a handful close to the top the candidate for Colombo district said the time had come for members of his party to get down to business now to more..

Landslide victory for incumbent GMOA team

July 2 (Island) A team lead by Dr Anuruddha Padeniya obtained a two thirds majority at the annual elections of the GMOA and were re-elected on Saturday. Dr. Padeniya (President) received 2,386 votes against his rival Dr. A.M.D.K. Attanayaka, who only received 1,143 votes. Dr. Saman Abeyawardena, contesting the GMOA General Secretary’s post and received 2,282 votes as against his rival Dr. Upul Gunasekare who got 1,188 votes. Dr. Nath Wijesooriya was more..

Sri Lanka, Seychelles sign three agreements

July 2 (FT) Sri Lanka and Seychelles signed three agreements yesterday (30) following bilateral discussions between President Rajapaksa who is currently on a state visit to Seychelles and his counterpart James Alix Michel. The agreements signed were bilateral air-service agreement, MOU on vocational training and youth development and MOU on defense cooperation between the two countries. more..

Smugglers take pre-war Lanka route

July 2 (TOI) Arivalagan alias Arivu, the kingpin of a cartel that smuggles gold into the country from Sri Lanka, is on the run, but directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) officials arrested four of his associates with more than 200 gold bars recently. Officials probing the case say smugglers took a sea route, between northern Sri Lanka and Kodikkarai in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district that cartels used before the Lankan war ended in 2009. Kodikkarai, a low headland on the Coromandel coast, more..

11 Indian prisoners a step away from transfer

July 2 (Hindu) Eleven prisoners from India lodged at the Welikada prison here could be just one step away from being transferred to Indian prisons, if the Tamil Nadu govt acts swiftly. Until 2010, the prisoners, all from Tamil Nadu, nurtured no hope of meeting their families ever since they were apprehended here and sentenced to life imprisonment for possessing narcotics. As per Sri Lankan law, persons caught with narcotic substances are given a life sentence and more..

PBJ summoned

July 2 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge, Kumudini Wickramasinghe, issued notice to Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, to appear in Court on 23 July, to give evidence before Court in the Rs 3.9 billion VAT fraud case. The Colombo High Court issued the notice when the case regarding the misappropriation of more than Rs 3,990 million in VAT was taken up yesterday. Further, the Commissioner of the IRD more..

Commonwealth forum backs Lanka

July 2 (CG) Just days after the Commonwealth Secretariat had backed holding the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth Local Govt Forum said Sri Lanka needs to be supported in it’s post war journey. In a letter published in the London Financial Times, Carl Wright, Secretary General, Commonwealth Local Govt Forum said that Sri Lanka and its democracy need active support as well as constructive criticism in the long journey out of civil war. more..

Susanthika elected to Asian Athletics Association

July 2 (Island) Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe has been elected to the Women’s Committee of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) at its Congress held in Pune yesterday. It is the first time the former sprinter has been elected to a committee of the AAA. However, despite the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka making arrangements for her to attend the Congress in Pune, Jayasinghe has failed to make the trip. The Athletics Association of Sri Lanka has even more..

Drunken Sri Lankan cricket star tried to open aircraft cabin door at 35,000ft

July 2 (DM) A drunken Sri Lankan cricketer caused panic on a packed British Airways passenger flight when he tried to open the cabin door at 35,000ft. In his stupor he tugged away for up to two minutes at the exterior door before telling BA cabin crew on board the packed Boeing 777 that he had mistaken it for the toilet. The incident alarmed eye-witnesses among the 229 passengers on board flight BA 2158 as the Sri Lankan cricket team more..

Unprotected railway crossings a death trap

July 2 (DM) Is Sri Lanka a country that cannot afford to spend Rs. 3 million a month for the safety of thousands of vehicular passengers who cross the railway lines daily at about 600 points throughout the country? This question is so pertinent in the light of the increasing number of fatal accidents at unprotected railway crossings since lately. The last fortnight might go down in the railway history as the fortnight with highest number of accidents or at least one of such fortnights. more..

Diaspora and Development: Bridging between Societies and States

July 2 (DM) Given that this international forum convened by the IOM on the theme of diaspora is unprecedented, we must recognise that there is no widely accepted universal definition of the term ‘diaspora’ and in fact the term is today used to signify many different phenomena. The working definition of diaspora proposed by the International Organization for Migration/Migration Policy Institute in Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development: more..

Noise Pollution When will we break the silence?

July 2 (DM) Whether we are walking on the street, travelling by public transport or even resting at our homes, we cannot escape the loud noises coming from -- vehicle horns, ear-splitting music and the booming noise of loud speakers. Sound pollution has almost become second-nature to us, especially to city-dwellers. Even though we are exposed every minute to an array of harmful noises, reminding us of the physical, emotional and psychological more..

Banning private tuition in run-up to exams unfair by poor children - JVP

July 2 (DM) A vociferous JVP affiliated teacher trade union yesterday condemned the Education Ministry’s recent ban on the holding of seminars, public lectures, conferences and private tuition classes five days prior to the GCE (A/L) and Grade V scholarship exams. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the ministry’s decision would affect poor students who could not more..

Have offshore leaks revealed Balapatabandi achilles heel?

July 2 (SL) Revelations contained in the leaked Offshore Accounts Database by the ICIJ may throw light on one of Sri Lanka’s most enduring speculations. No amount of investigation could quite reveal the sources of wealth amassed by the Balapatabandi family. Kusumsiri Balapatabandi a jolly good southerner was a permanent Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, at the time Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Sajith accuses govt of not taking prompt action to save lives

July 2 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has accused the govt of not taking speedy action to prevent innocent people being killed at unprotected railway crossings. He said that there were more than 750 unprotected level crossings across the country out of a total of 1,083m but the govt had not even resorted to the late President Premadasa’s method of thinking of utilizing the ‘bamboo pole system’ as a temporary measure in every more..

Sri Lanka budget deficit 3.9% of GDP up to April 2013

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka has posted a budget deficit of 3.9% of gross domestic product for the first four months of 2013, against a full year target of 5.8% of GDP, finance ministry data showed. State revenues for the first four months was 326.6 billion rupees, up from 313.9 billion rupees a year earlier and current expenditure was 471.3 billion rupees (5.4% of GDP) up from 460.6 billion rupees (6.1% of GDP) in 2012. more..

Child Development and Women’s Affairs Ministry takes on tall order

July 2 (Island) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs (CDWA) yesterday said it would initiate several programmes to promote children’s and women’s development in the districts of Kurunegala, Puttalam and Kegalle, in view of the 2014 Deyata Kirula Exhibition. Spokesman for the CDWA Ministry, Gamini Jayasinghe said that those programmes were to be carried out in 2,731 grama niladhari areas more..

Sri Lanka outlook on 'B1' rating cut to stable by Moody's

July 2 (LBO) Moody's Investors Service has cut the outlook on Sri Lanka's 'B1' credit rating to 'stable' from 'positive' on rising bank foreign debt and continuing budget deficits and high state debt. Moody's said foreign reserves have stabilized at 6.9 billion US dollars and the rupee was no longer being pegged tightly to the US dollar. But foreign liabilities of banks have doubled to 3.4 billion US dollars by February 2012 from July 2011 which could more..

SLC orders inquiry into drunken player on flight incident

July 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has ordered an inquiry into reports that an unnamed member of the country's A team player misbehaved on a British Airways flight while being drunk. "...Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that it is disappointed to hear of such an incident and SLC will discuss with the Manager of Sri Lanka 'A' Team. An inquiry will be conducted based on the Manager's report and disciplinary action will be taken more..

Easy pickings as crime pays and pays well

July 2 (ST) Housebreaking, theft and robbery continue to top the police’s grave crimes list in alarming numbers within Colombo and its suburbs. According to law enforcement agencies and sociologists, the increase in drug addicts and growing disparity between high and low income groups are leading causes. According to police statistics, annually nearly 35,000- 40,000 cases of housebreaking and theft, robbery, theft of more..

Sri Lanka bans Time 'Buddhist Terror' edition

July 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka has banned July 1 issue of Time magazine over its cover story on Myanmar's Buddhist-Muslim clashes, which it said could hurt religious sentiment on the island. Customs department spokesman Leslie Gamini said they held the issue because it carried a photo of a prominent Myanmar monk under the headline: "The Face of Buddhist Terror". "By operation of law these magazines will be confiscated," more..