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Suspects may have committed eight other murders

June 13 (CT) The CID suspects the police officers, who are being interrogated in connection with the murder of businessman, Mohamed Shiyam, were involved in eight other murders. A high ranking police officer said the police are now gathering more information in that regard. Meanwhile, information pertaining to a close friend of DIG Vass Gunawardena, who is supposed to have gone with the police officers on the day the businessman was murdered, is also being collected. more..

J’pura University to offer Masters in Entrepreneurship next year

June 13 (DM) The University of Sri J'pura’s Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce announced the establishment of a Masters in Entrepreneurship qualification from January 2014. The programme is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and will run parallel to the Department of Entrepreneurship’s other qualifications ranging from entry level certificate courses in Entrepreneurial Business Management up to a Postgraduate Diploma. “Entrepreneurship is the missing ingredient needed to drive more..

SL allows foreigners to take out capital

June 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced the easing of foreign exchange controls to allow foreigners to repatriate capital as well as profits from real estate transactions. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it was making it easier for both foreigners and locals to take money in and out of the country as part of measures to spur greater economic activity. Sri Lanka's economic growth slowed to 6.4% in calendar year 2012, more..

Child Soldiers: UN gives all clear for SL

June 13 (CG) Sri Lanka is no more included in the UN Secretary General’s annual report on children in armed conflict, the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and armed conflict said. The annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, released yesterday highlights progress made in 2012 to protect children living in countries affected by conflict. In the 2011 report released last year Sri Lanka was mentioned but was removed more..

SLFP Central Committee in crucial meeting

June 13 (Island) An urgent meeting of the SLFP Central Committee is scheduled to be held at Temple Trees today, commencing at 6.00 p.m. SLFP Administrative Secretary S.H. Ariyasena, contacted for comment, confirmed that the CC memeting was scheduled to take place tonight with President Rajapaksa presiding. The main issues on the agenda were the protest by two constituent parties in the UPFA -the NFF and the JHU - against the 13th Amendment and the holding of the more..

'NGOs must register or get out'

June 13 (DN) It has been made compulsory for all NGOs operating in the country to register themselves with the Office for the Registration of NGOs. This step is being taken to ‘thwart certain NGOs from hatching conspiracies to effect regime change by engaging in politics in the guise of doing social work in the country,’ our sources stated. Strict legal action will be taken against NGOs failing to comply with this more..

Stop extravagance, provide equipment to forecast natural disasters

June 13 (DM) The inclement weather prevailing in the country over the last two weeks has claimed more than fifty lives and has caused a lot of damage to property. Nearly all who died were fishermen, and their small boats were destroyed in the rough seas within a kilo metre’s radius from the land. As this tragedy struck, the Meteorology Department which had anyway earned little confidence of the people, has come under flack again. People are calling for the resignation of the key officials more..

Encountering the Dragon of chauvinism

June 13 (DM) Government has decided to make serious changes in the 13th amendment. These changes, if implemented will negate the expectations of the Tamil people. The 13th Amendment was brought in primarily to satisfy the demands of the Tamils. It was considered to be a step towards autonomy for the Tamil home land in the north east. The clause which allowed the merger of the adjoining provinces was included, to keep that option for the north and east provinces. more..

Gems galore for the ‘correctly connected’

June 13 (SL) Accusations have been levelled against the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) for issuing gem mining licenses for ineligible persons with political affiliations. Although this has been brought to the notice of the higher authorities including the President and Environment Ministry Secretary, NGJA employees claim that no action has been taken to address this issue over the years. However they claimed that there was a more..

Windy conditions to continue

June 13 (CG) Windy conditions are expected to continue over Sri Lanka and neighboring sea areas, the Department of Meteorology said this afternoon. The showers will occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Southern provinces and in the Puttalam and Kurunegala districts. Heavy showers are also expected at some places. Southwestern monsoonal winds will be strengthen at times over the island more..

Colombo University VC appointment politicised or ethical?

June 13 (DM) Controversy has surrounded the university system once again following the appointment of the new Colombo University Vice Chancellor Dr. Lakshman Hirimburegama last month. It has been argued that Dr. Hirimburegama possesses only the minimal qualifications required for the post and that the post should have been filled by a more qualified candidate. Some academics have said that more..

Scrapping PCs: JHU discusses its proposal with UNP

June 13 (Island) The JHU yesterday met the UNP at the latter’s headquarters, Sirikotha, to get its support for scrapping provincial councils, which were established under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1987, with India’s intervention. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said his party had had discussions with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe flanked by UNP Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema more..

'Sri Lanka investment approval for Crown in final stages'

June 13 (LBO) Investment approval for Australian magnate James Packer's Crown group for a joint venture mixed development in SL is being finalized and details will be presented parliament soon, minister Lakshman Abeywardena said. The 350 million US dollar investment with a Sri Lankan partner envisages a luxury hotel with 430 rooms and qualifies for floor investment to be listed as a strategic investment qualifying for more..

‘Sri Lanka ships 2% of world’s ornamental fish supply’

June 13 (DN) Sri Lanka now stakes more than two percent of a claim in the global ornamental fish trade-annually. “Now we have more than two percent share of global ornamental fish market which is around $ 340 Mn. We are also now recognised as one of the best ornamental fish suppliers to the international market” revealed Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at the EDB on the Aquarama 2013 event in Singapore. more..

Expat workers: Males outstrip females reversing earlier trend

June 13 (Island) Sri Lanka was experiencing an increase in the proportion of its male migrant workers, Minister Dilan Perera said. He said that within the first five months of this year, there was an 18% increase in the total number of males going for jobs abroad. The increase in skilled males migrating for employment had increased the SLBFE’s profits considerably and the country should be able to earn more than US$ 6 billion more..

'Appoint civilian instead of Rtd. Military officer as NP Governor'

June 13 (AD) In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today called for the appointment of a civilian instead of a retired military officer to the post of Northern Province Governor. Wickremasinghe which quotes media which reported that the Govt is going ahead with the preparations to hold the Northern Provincial Council elections in September 2013 adds that the UNP and other Opposition more..

Bitter truth of imported fruits

June 13 (ST) Are all the luscious fruits imported into Sri Lanka including apples, grapes and oranges fit for human consumption? Health officials say a firm “NO.” Some carry bacteria or other toxic chemicals and warn consumers to be careful. Last year, Sri Lanka imported 5.9 million kg of fresh oranges for Rs 511 million, and also consumed 5.1 million kg of fresh grapes costing Rs 1.1 billion, and 21 million kg of apples costing more..

‘President’s promise to CEB broken’

June 13 (Island) President Rajapaksa’s promise that his govt would subsidize electricity for the lower rung electricity consumers, numbering nearly 2.4 million, to the tune of eight billion rupees has not been honoured; the CEB has not received funds for that purpose. Sri Lanka’s foremost authority on energy, Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya said that the CEB had not received the eight billion rupees it had been promised. more..

A Panchikawatta (not Supermarket) of constitutions and govt’s 13A mischief

June 13 (CT) Depending on whose translation you look at, there is an interesting line in Plato’s Republic (Book VIII) where Socrates tells his pupils that in the ideal City State a citizen can walk into a “supermarket of constitutions” and pick whatever pleases her or him. The UNP’s marketing of its constitutional wares brings to mind not so much the emporium that Socrates had in mind but Colombo’s old Panchikawatta, the minefield of cannibalized machine and metal parts. more..

Sri Lanka biz and professional women pushes international links

June 13 (LBO) Business and Professional Women International, an organization spread across 125 countries will be holding a conference in Sri Lanka in August to promote joint ventures trade and ecotourism, organizers said. "After the end of the war we want to do our part for the development of the country," project chairperson Dimanthi de Silva said. The conference will be held from August 10 to 12 with the support of the parent organization which is spread across 125 countries. more..

Using Google Earth as a storytelling tool

June 13 (Journalism) The old adage says that a 'picture tells a thousand words'. And by using just two satellite images from Google Earth, taken two months apart, a citizen journalist has been able to tell the story of the end of Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war. Back in November 2012, Sanjana Hattotuwa, founding editor of Groundviews, a site dedicated to 'journalism for citizens', realised that by using the Google Earth time slider, a tool more..

Sri Lanka processing large property projects

June 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is processing several large mixed development projects in Colombo including two which may be over 500 million US dollars, minister Lakshman Abeywardena said. One project now being processed involves a 640 million US dollar investment, he told reporters. Another involving a Korean investor may go up to a billion US dollars in all its phases he said. Sri Lanka's Abans group is engaged in a 140 million US dollar project in its first phase, Abeywardena said. more..

BBS, JHU protest to British Council over scheduling exam for Poson day

June 13 (Island) A group of BBS and JHU members urged the officials of the British Council Kandy branch, yesterday, not to hold a scheduled exam for students on June 23, as it was the Poson full moon day. The British Council in Kandy had fixed the date for children between seven and 12 years of age, in collaboration with a private tuition master from Anuradhapura. One hundred children were to be brought down to Kandy from Anuradhapura for the exam at the Kandy British Council premises. more..

Prepaid card system for private buses in WP by year end

June 13 (DN) The prepaid card system for private buses will be adopted to cover all bus routes in the Western Province by the end of this year. Sri Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Chairman Gemunu Wijeratna said the prepaid card system was implemented as a pilot project from last Monday in eight private buses plying from Mattegoda to Colombo Fort and two private buses plying from Maharagama to Colombo Fort, more..

Vaas Gunawardena admitted to hospital

June 13 (AD) DIG Vaas Gunawardena who was arrested over the murder of a businessman in Dompe has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital due to an illness, hospital sources confirmed. He was admitted to Ward 42 while the DIG was further remanded until June 25 by the Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shabdeen, his lawyer Ajith Pathirana said. DIG Gunawardena was arrested on June 10 and was being questioned under a 72-hour detention order, more..

Media ethics and parliamentary privileges

June 13 (CT) The govt's great hurry to introduce a Code of Ethics for the media smacks of hypocrisy, for while it seeks to asphyxiate media freedom with ostensible good practice guidelines, we have MPs flouting the same moral conventions using their privileges as a shield. This came into stark evidence during the recent debate to amend the Sri Lanka Press Council Law, when a bombshell was dropped into the proceedings in the form of Prageeth Ekneligoda's whereabouts. more..

Fake white van abduction foiled

June 13 (CG) The army says a group of men have been arrested when they posed as security forces personnel and abducted a family in Batticaloa in a white van. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the police had arrested the men at Manmoonai in Batticaloa. He said that a group of six males, claiming that they were from the security forces, had abducted a family of four (father, mother and two children) more..

Rudrakumar wants ties with India

June 13 (CG) Former LTTE member and peace negotiator V. Rudrakumar, who is now the self appointed ‘Prime Minister’ of the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), says the group wants to have good ties with India. He says this has been mentioned in a ‘Tamil Eelam Freedom Charter’ released last month by the TGTE in the United States. “Expressing solidarity with the people of India and to foster peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, Tamil Eelam will forge more..

Australia, Lanka discuss harmonising laws to combat people smuggling

June 13 (DN) Australian and Sri Lankan officials participated in a roundtable discussion on harmonising Australian and Sri Lankan people smuggling laws to assist efforts to combat people smuggling on June 4. Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Robyn Mudie and Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa opened the roundtable hosted by the Defence and Urban Development Ministry. The need for continued discussions on harmonising more..

Madawala murder case: Firearm and supplier produced in court

June 13 (AD) The firearm allegedly used in killing of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala and the person suspected to have supplied the weapon were produced at the Mahara Magistrate Court today by the CID. Also the CID produced the laptop belonging to the suspect Ishan Edirisinghe which contained photos of the firearm used in the murder. Magistrate ordered the suspect to be remanded until June 23. more..

This is a ‘MR – IMF’ govt – Lal Kanthe

June 13 (LT) The economic model begun by Mr. J.R. Jayawardene has come through Chandrika and Mahinda as an economy that gets its income only through taxes, fines and foreign debt and this neoliberalist economy has left only a discrepancy in development and distribution of income says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP and President of National Trade Union Center K.D. Lal Kanthe. This economy has created all social crises that plague the country at present added more..

Would-be asylum seekers arrested

June 13 (CG) The police arrested 11 people including 10 who were preparing to go overseas through illegal means from Kattankudy. According to the police media unit, the would-be asylum seekers were arrested near the beach in Kattankudy. Of the 11 people arrested one person was believed to have been a people smuggler, the police media unit said today. All 10 people who were to go overseas are men and are residents of Palaly, Karavedi, Chavakacheri, Vadukotte and Kattankudi. more..

Sri Lanka to ban foreign investments in to steel, cement, retail trade

June 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to ban foreign investments into steel, cement, retail trade, small scale agriculture and beauty care products, to 'protect' domestic investors. Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwelle said relevant regulations would be made known later. He said existing investors in the sectors will not be affected and it will not be with retrospective effect. Asked whether the move will not further limit and more..

Group carrying out Wele Suda's heroin business arrested

June 13 (CT) The Narcotics Bureau of the Police had taken a group of four suspects between the ages of 19 to 20 into custody, with 500 grams of heroin in their possession. Police sources said they had also been engaged in packing and distribution of heroin on a regular basis. The group had been carrying on the business for 'Wele Sudha,' reportedly Sri Lanka's foremost heroin dealer, who had been smuggling heroin to Sri Lanka, and is now said to be hiding in Pakistan. more..

SEC Chief explains capital markets turnaround strategy

June 13 (DM) At the 66th CFA Institute Annual Conference held in Singapore in May, I had the honour and pleasure of interviewing Nalaka Godahewa, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on the development of the country’s capital markets. Godahewa started with a bit of history. He explained that since the end of the war in 2009, the stock market (as measured by the All Share Price Index, ASPI) has grown by approximately 6,300 points (or 420%) more..

'UNP confident President won’t be able to dilute 13th Amendment'

June 13 (Island) President Rajapaksa would not be able to obtain a two thirds majority to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the UNP said. Senior Vice President of the UNP, Lakshman Kiriella said that Rajapaksa, knowing very well that he did not have a two thirds majority to dilute the 13th Amendment, according to his agenda, had told constituent members of his govt to act as they wished. more..

Stocks down 1.2%, rupee weaker

June 13 (LBO) Stocks closed down 1.22% on Thursday for third straight day and the rupee closed lower touching 128 to the dollar, amid turmoil in global markets. All Share Index closed 76.89 points lower at 6,207.87 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 52.3 2points lower at 3,499.09 down 1.47%. Turnover was 480 million rupees down from 566 million day earlier. Foreigners brought 67 million rupees worth shares while selling 24 million rupees of shares, in a day that 46 stocks advanced more..

China to develop our Sugar Industry

June 13 (GDI) China being the second largest sugar producer in the world is to assist Sri Lanka in the development of the sugar industry. The Governor of the Yunnan Province of China Mr. Li Jiheng has said that Yunan Province of China is an agricultural area and unstinted Chinese assistance will be provided to Sri Lanka to improve the agriculture sector. Governor Jiheng has made these comments when he met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, who is on an official tour in China, at a bilateral discussion more..

Two lionesses to arrive from Germany

June 13 (CT) National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala will receive two lionesses from Germany on July 3rd. The two lionesses, together with the lion that arrived from Korea in May 2013, are to be sent to the Safari Park in Hambantota, once it is opened in Oct 2013. The big cats born on 31 March 2011, are being brought here after a lapse of 10 years, Zoo Director, Anura de Silva said. "The two lionesses will be brought down from the more..

Bogambara prison to shift soon

June 13 (CG) The Bogambara prison in Kandy will be shifted to a new location soon, the President’s office said today. Discussions on shifting the prison were held at Temple Trees today between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the relevant officials. Shifting the prison is part of the development plans for the Kandy city, the President’s office added. Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera and Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake were more..