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Pressure on govt. to pass CEB savings on to consumers

July 4 (Island) The People’s Movement against Increasing Electricity Tariffs, a collective of trade unions and civil organizations, called on the govt to reduce electricity tariffs as the CEB had been generating more than 1,460 GWh of low cost hydro electricity during the last six months which was in excess of what was estimated. Co-convener of the alliance Saman Rathnapriya said the CEB was generating over 2,600 GWh from hydro power plants due to sufficient rains and it did not buy fuel more..

NGOs condemn disruption of movie screening

July 4 (FMT) Several human rights groups have condemned the Home Ministry (KDN) and the police for disrupting a private screening of a documentary film at the Chinese Assembly Hall last night and harassing the organisers and audience. Representatives of the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Right Committee, Komas and Suaram said that KDN officials and police barged into the screening room about 30 minutes more..

Nawagattegama teachers report sick

July 4 (AD) All the teachers of the Nawagattegama Navodya School, where a female teacher was allegedly punished by a Provincial Councilor, have applied for sick leave today and tomorrow, the Ceylon Teachers’ Union said. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin stated that they have called in sick in protest to both Vice Principals of the school not assisting in the inquiry into the incident, which occurred on June 14 when North Western Provincial Councilor, Ananda Sarath Kumara had more..

President gets 'Weather Report'

July 4 (CG) The Commission of Inquiry (COI) appointed to investigate the recent disaster following the extreme weather, handed over its report to President Rajapaksa today. The Committee, headed by Dr. A.W. Mohottala, recorded statements regarding the incident from the Director General of the Met Department, Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries, officials of Sri Lanka Telecom, members of fishing societies, media institutions and officials of the Disaster Management Center. more..

Sri Lanka expects to keep rupee stable despite outflows

July 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka can maintain exchange rate stability and there is little sign that outflows resulting from foreign investors selling govt securities will pose a significant risk, the country's central bank governor said. "We are well equipped to handle any possible outflow," Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. "We have shown that capability and capacity in the past." Currency dealers expect outflows to keep more..

'Sri Lanka Pavilion' shines at Shanghai World Expo

July 4 (CT) Chairman and CEO of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), Prasad Galhena, said the NGJA, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Consulate in Shanghai has organized a 'Sri Lanka Pavilion' at the China International Gold, Jewellery and Gem Fair for the seventh consecutive year at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre (SWEECC). The Sri Lanka Pavilion consists of 20 Sri Lankan gem and jewellery trading companies. The China International Gold, more..

Cabinet adds 53 to action plan

July 4 (CG) Cabinet has approved more recommendations LLRC to be included into the plan of action for implementation. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that accordingly 53 LLRC recommendations will be implemented apart from those already being implemented by the committee. The 53 recommendations includes matters related to human rights, IDP, issues surrounding North East Muslims, Legal matters and refugees. The report of the LLRC contains 285 short term, medium more..

Sri Lankan asylum-seeker claims wrong

July 4 (TA) Afghan asylum-seekers outnumbered Sri Lankans by two to one in 2009, casting doubt on Labor's claim that its failure to toughen immigration policy after Sri Lanka's civil war was pivotal in the revival of the smuggling trade. As Foreign Minister Bob Carr signalled a crackdown on asylum-seekers who discard their identity papers, an analysis of boat arrival figures has cast doubt on the govt's assertion that its failure to act swiftly more..

Learning devolution from our ancestors

July 5 (NS) Prior to European colonial rule over Sri Lanka governance, administration and judicial procedures are said to have been operated under the direction of the ruler upon which near unlimited power vested. Although that is the common notion taught to us, it is evident that autonomous and devolved administrative units have existed in the past that ensured autonomy whilst not compromising the sovereignty of the island. It is valid and timely that we investigate deep into the homegrown more..

Challenges and Opportunities

July 5 (CT) I am privileged to have been invited to deliver this lecture at the 25th Anniversary of the Association of Professional Bankers of Sri Lanka (APBSL) in my home district. I warmly welcome you all to the City of Jaffna, an emerging city of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the quarter century of civil war that ended in May 2009. It is doubly gratifying for me to address the professional body of the financial sector which has recorded the second highest growth rate in the Northern Provincial more..

Exactly where does MR stand on 13A issue?

July 5 (CT) For quite some time now India has been trying to understand with at least a modicum of certainty, where exactly Mahinda Rajapaksa stands on the issue of the 13th Amendment. India needs to gain some insight into his thinking on this, so its leaders could evaluate his genuineness and reliability in respect of his various promises and pronouncement regarding the Amendment. However, his thinking on this vital matter is more..

Thirteen-A divides, but how…

July 5 (SL) Reports that the SLMC constituent of the ruling UPFA at the Centre has suspended two of its three members in the North-Western Provincial Council for defying the party line on a 13-A related resolution in the House should cause eyebrows to rise. Combined with the perceived slight of the party in its exclusion from the PSC on power-devolution, and its leaderships subsequent but separate talks with the UNP and the TNA, questions may be beginning to be asked about more..

Suresh Shah’s wisdom: An eye-opener for all Sri Lankans

July 5 (CT) Mr. Suresh Shah, newly elected Chairman of the 174 year-old Ceylon Chamber of Commerce or CCC, has spoken his mind boldly and openly at the time he was installed in office for the forthcoming year at CCC’s Annual General Meeting held in Colombo last week (available here). In his brief but well-articulated installation oration, he has reiterated his deep conviction that Sri Lanka’s future prosperity is based on private sector-led growth and noted that there is a vast gap between more..

Who should took the blame for the sorry state of the National Art Gallery?

July 5 (ST) One visit is enough to put off even the most zealous of art lovers. The imposing building on Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (or Greenpath, as it’s more popularly known) is a mere outer shell; walk in past the stone lions, through the heavy mahogany doors and into the badly lit halls and you’ll realise why a book must never be judged by its cover. The National Art Gallery is a farce. more..

Whither the Sri Lankan Tamils?

July 5 (GV) I attended the Thanthai Chelvanayakam Memorial lecture entitled “Whither the Sri Lankan Tamils?” given by Justice C. V. Wigneswaran to mark the 36th death anniversary of Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Q.C., as sponsored by the ITAK, Colombo District branch on Friday 26th April at the New Kathiresan Hall, Bambalapitiya. I must admit I came away with a faint sense of déjà vu. If we claim to be a nation-in-waiting we must think in territorial and historical terms. more..

Grama Rajya

July 5 (CT) The Secretary to the President in a recent Twitter session stated that ‘Devolution must be to the village. Power must be devolved to the lowest possible level, the village – the Grama Rajya’. Given the fundamental factors of Sri Lanka, population, geographical size, literacy and numeracy, health, infrastructure and access, it is eminently feasible to provide more capacity and power to the local, village and community level. From time immemorial this has been the more..

The Voice of Ranaviru in New York

The other side of paradise

July 5 (Island) The govt is in overdrive, trying to sell Sri Lanka as a world class tourist destination. It is busy developing infrastructure and offering attractive incentives to prospective investors. Luxury hotels are coming up along the littoral and tourist arrivals are on the increase. However, if the govt is to achieve the ambitious targets it has set for itself it has to prevent the country from sliding into lawlessness. The latest British travel advisory should serve as an eye-opener to the ruling party more..

'Devolution should be based on geographical factors'

July 5 (SO) In Sri Lanka the Tamils live in many parts of the country. For example in the Badulla District there are well over 100,000 Tamil people living. Nuwara Eliya has over 400,000 Tamils. Thus the Tamil population is living across the country and so is the muslim population. So my view is that if one is thinking of the ethnic issue, the best way is to look at it nationally. My view is that we need to create equality and equal opportunities should be given to all communities, then it will not more..

Treasury’s operational cash deficit grows 48% to Rs. 131bn

July 5 (Island) The Treasury reported an operational net cash outflow of Rs. 131 billion for the five months ending May 31, 2013, up 48.35% from Rs. 88.3 billion a year earlier. Revenue and other receipts during the five-month period January to May 2013 amounted to Rs. 371.6 billion, down 1.27% from Rs 376.4 billion a year ago. Cash outflow for recurrent expenditure amounted to Rs 521.6 billion, up 11.76% from a year ago more..

House of Fashion to open second store

July 5 (NS) Sri Lanka’s top clothing and lifestyle brands retailer, House of Fashion is planning to open their second outlet in Borella. Accordingly, the ownership is looking at making the new property which is still under construction in close proximity to A.F. Raymond’s funeral parlor, their flagship store whilst the longstanding outlet along Duplication Road will operate auxiliary to it. “What is left to be done is the interior designing and planning out the display. 100% of the construction work more..

Sri Lanka considers buying more gold

July 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is considering buying more gold from international markets taking the view that falling prices are an opportunity for the country to raise gold reserves, a top Central Bank (CB) official said. The CB was also exploring this possibility by using Sri Lanka’s growing foreign exchange reserves and maximizing the return. He declined to comment on the quantity of gold purchases it hoped to make this year but revealed that during 2012 the CB purchased 23.69 metric tons of gold and more..

French firms tap Sri Lanka’s transforming urban development

July 5 (FT) High-powered delegates from France presented to local companies their expertise on urban development yesterday to help Sri Lanka during its massive transformation in that arena. Jointly organised by the French Embassy and the Sri Lanka-France Business Council, the symposium on ‘French Expertise in Urban Development’ served a platform for the visiting representatives of the 10 French companies more..

Hameedia to open its latest concept store in Melbourne

July 5 (ST) Sri Lankan menswear specialist ‘Hameedia’ is to open its latest exclusive concept store in Melbourne, Australia next week, Fouzul Hameed, Managing Director of the company revealed. This will be similar to the company’s concept store ‘Envoy Mansion’ in Colombo, he said adding that it is major step of ‘Hameedia’ towards making its presence felt internationally. The Melbourne concept store would house a collection of Hameedia’s premium brand ‘Envoy’ along more..

Juniour Rambukwella’s antics shamed entire Asia – UNP

July 5 (Island) The UNP said that Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s son, Sri Lanka ‘A’ team cricketer, Ramith’s behaviour aboard a British Airways flight would tarnish not only the country’s image but also bring shame up the entire of Asia. UNP MP Harin Fernando said that Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ cricket team were the only Asians in the packed Boeing 777 aircraft, in which cricketer Ramith mistakenly tried to force open a cabin door at a height of 35,000 feet, mistaking it for the toilet door. more..

Water's Edge Aerodrome, Cinnamon Air launched

July 5 (DN) The launch of the Water's Edge Aerodrome and the Cinnamon Air took place at the Water's Edge Hotel in Battaramulla under the patronage of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Cinnamon Air is a joint venture of John Keells and MDL Leisure Holding and the MMBL Leisure Holding and Phoenix Ventures. The Cinnamon Air provides amphibious aircraft on scheduled and charter passenger more..

Karuwalagaswewa PS Chairman remanded

July 5 (Island) UPFA Karuwalagaswewa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Weerasinghe Pathiranalage Neil Weerasinghe, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting an irrigation department engineer at Tabbowa, was yesterday remanded till July 9 by the Puttalam Magistrate and Additional District Judge, Malini Wijeratne. The Chairman had allegedly assaulted the engineer when he had told him that he did not know the mobile number of a high ranking officer of the Department. more..

Sri Lanka urban housing eyed by UAE firm

July 5 (LBO) Midein Holding, an Abu Dhabi based firm is looking at urban housing development in Sri Lanka, the ministry of industry and commerce said. Omair S Al Dhaheri, chairman of Midein Holding had visited Colombo and has had talks with deputy minister Faiser Mustapha and chairman of the state investment promotion agency, Lakshman Jayaweera. "We have received a very encouraging welcome in Sri Lanka. In partnership with Overseas Private Investment Corporation of US, more..

Gov't to provide loans to ex-Tamil Tigers to start business

July 5 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt has decided to provide over 4,700 former Tamil Tiger cadre with loans to start their own businesses after they completed rehabilitation programs. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that approval had been given for the Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry to release 4.1 million US dollars in total for the loans. Sri Lanka ended a brutal three-decade war in 2009. more..

Journalist flees Sri Lanka media crackdown, seeks safety in U.S.

July 5 (ST) Frederica Jansz is used to making people mad. She worked for decades as a journalist in Sri Lanka — a country ranked among the worst for press freedoms by Reporters Without Borders. As a young journalist she interviewed key leaders from the militant separatist group the Tamil Tigers. At the end of the Sri Lankan civil war she wrote an article about the defense secretary suggesting he shared a similar psychological profile to that of the leader of the Tigers (a sworn enemy). more..

Vass' wife warned

July 5 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate severely reprimanded the wife of the former DIG, Vass Gunawardena, warning her not to interfere with or threaten witnesses, of the case of the murdered businessman Mohammed Shiyam. She was ordered to personally appear before the Court for allegedly threatening a witness in the murder trial. The wife of the former DIG, Shyamali Perera, was released after being reprimanded by the Magistrate, when the case was taken up at the more..

Trinco murder suspects remanded

July 5 (CG) The Trincomalee Magistrate has remanded 12 police ST personal over their alleged involvement in the murder of 5 students in Trincomalee in 2006. The incident referred to as the Trincomalee massacre, occurred when the five Tamil high school students playing by the beach were briefly detained and then shot dead. The incident drew a huge outcry among human rights groups calling on the govt to bring to justice more..

Writ seeking DIG Gunawardena’s interdiction fixed for Aug. 05

July 5 (Island) A writ application filed by Nipuna Ramanayake and his mother, citing as respondents, DIG Vass Gunawardena, Mrs. Shyamali Gunawardena and their son Ravindu was called before the Court of Appeal, yesterday and fixed for support on August 5, 2013. The petitioners have requested the Attorney General to indict Vass Gunawardena for ordering that Nipuna be taken to the Crime Investigation Division, Colombo, subsequent to being assaulted allegedly by more..

JVP union claims SJH CAO drawing SLAS officer’s salary

July 5 (Island) The Chief Administrative Officer of Sri Jayawardenapura hospital is alleged to have been drawing a salary equal to that of a Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) Grade I officer since his appointment. The allegation was leveled by the president of the hospital’s JVP affiliated Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) Chandana Jayalath. He claimed that auditors, both internal and govt, had informed the hospital authorities in writing of what he called the illegal appointment. more..

TNA should participate in PSC – KP

July 5 (CT) Former LTTE chief arms procurer and international coordinator, Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), criticized the TNA for opting to keep away from the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). He said he had not been approached by anyone to contest at the upcoming NPC polls. "I have not even thought about it," he said, confiding that he was 'worried' about the stance taken by the TNA to boycott the PSC. more..

Minister laments in-fighting among docs

July 5 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena lamented that disunity among doctors in Sri Lanka had reached a climax. As a result, the patients who were scheduled to undergo kidney transplants at the NHSL had to suffer, he said adding that the biggest hostility was between the surgeons attached to the Colombo University Professorial Unit and the surgeons in the Health Ministry, both of whom were conducting kidney transplant. But because of the friction between the two groups of surgeons more..

UPFA accused of family bandysm

July 5 (Island) The UNP claimed that the govt was planning to nominate relatives of Ministers to contest the forthcoming North Western and Central Provincial Council elections. UNP MP Harin Fernando said that sons of Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake and Cultural Affairs Minister T.B. Ekanayake had already started their campaign in the Kurunegala and Kandy Districts. more..

SF launches polls campaign in Jaffna

July 5 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka is confident of mustering the northerners’ support for the unitary character of the state. Responding to a query by The Island, the former army commander said that he believed there were northerners who still had faith in a unitary state. Gen. Fonseka was on his way to Jaffna for the launch of DP’s propaganda campaign in the run-up to the first NPC election. more..

Journalist saves injured turtle

July 5 (CT) An injured turtle washed ashore in Bambalapitiya on 3 July, was saved due to the quick action taken by a journalist who was passing by. Heral Senadeera, a journalist employed at a radio station, noticed the injured turtle on the beach near the Bambalapitiya Railway Station. "I saw the turtle at around 10:30 a.m. I immediately contacted the Bambalapitiya Police who sent three police officers to the area to assess the situation and take appropriate action. more..

John de Silva Theatre to be modernized

July 5 (DN) The Culture and the Arts Ministry has launched a project to modernize the John de Silva Memorial Theatre and National Arts Gallery (Jathika Kalabhavana) following a request from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Minister T B Ekanayaka. He said it is necessary to improve art centres and provide facilities for artistes for training. Therefore, the President directed the ministry to renovate the John de Silva Memorial Theatre with modern facilities. "Govt has allocated Rs 322.4 million more..