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'Sri Lanka needs a constitution of modern democratic principles'

June 14 (DM) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella pointed out that a Constitution which upholds the sovereignty of the people is essential to Sri Lanka’s future progress, both for economic development and for dealing with international demands. He opined that the rule of law, judicial independence, and media freedom are at stake today, with nothing being done by the govt to arrest the dangerous trend. He said his party is for a more..

Port fire facts misleading, say employees

June 14 (SL) All the misleading facts presented over the fire that ravaged the biggest warehouse in the Colombo Port – CFS No: 1 by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is to come to the limelight as the Govt Analyst report is scheduled to be released, claimed ports authority employees. Govt Analyst W.D.G.S. Gunathilake confirmed that his report over the SLPA fire would be released but declined to furnish details. more..

Australia sends back more Sri Lankans

June 14 (CG) Australia says another 41 Sri Lankans have been sent back home taking the number to almost 1250 Sri Lankans returned since last August. Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor confirmed the 30th plane had landed in Colombo with 41 on board since the Govt began flying Sri Lankans back in August last year. It brings to 1247 the number of Sri Lankans who have been sent home after it was deemed they were not more..

Sri Lanka sees surge in gold imports

June 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka has seen a surge in gold imports in the second second quarter of 2013 and is being watched by authorities, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We have seen a activity in the gold market. People are importing gold," Central Bank Governor said. "From the second quarter it has picked up quite substantially. The first quarter was neutral. We are examining it and the basis for these imports." more..

'Sri Lanka rupee weakness a logical adjustment'

June 14 (LBO) A weakness in Sri Lanka's rupee is a "logical adjustment" coming amid falling Asian currencies including the Indian rupee and Japanese Yen that will also ward off import pressure, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "There are different ways of looking at this," he said. "The Indian rupee has weakened significantly. "The Japanese yen has also weakened considerably. The weaker it gets (Yen/India rupee) there is a more..

250-member Indian crew to shoot Bombay Velvet in Sri Lanka

June 14 (ST) A 250-strong Indian film crew led by talented actor Ranbir Kapoor will spend millions of rupees and use some 11,000 room nights between July-September to shoot an ambitious movie in Sri Lanka. Indian film director Anurag Kashyap is using Sri Lanka as a location for the movie “Bombay Velvet” to be shot at Serendib Studio at the Ranminithenna Tele Village in Hambantota. The Information and Media more..

Sri Lanka fishermen will be safer with vessel monitoring system: minister

June 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting to have a vessel monitoring system operating within five months which will provide up to date weather information to fishermen and reduce loss of life, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Last week 51 fishermen were lost at sea and eight are still missing, following severe monsoonal winds. There is a govt inquiry on why they were not warned by the met office in time. more..

Govt. denies Weerawansa assaulted during Cabinet meeting

June 14 (Island) Amidst rumours that Minister Wimal Weerawansa had been manhandled by Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera, during yesterdays crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment, the govt denied such an incident had taken place. Minster Keheliya Rambukwella, when asked, if Weerawansa had been hit by Gunasekera, replied that it was a ‘very creative story’ and more..

CEB, CPC stock fuel for difficult times

June 14 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the West Coast Combined Cycle plant at Kerawalapitiya, owned by Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL), yesterday jointly agreed to pay Rs. 1.5 billion to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), a high ranking official said. He said that CPC had asked the CEB and the LTL owned company to sign the Letter of Credit (LoC) directly for the forthcoming consignment of more..

'It's one of my best innings'

June 14 (PTI) Kumar Sangakkara described his match-winning unbeaten knock of 134 against England in the must-win Champions Trophy group match here as one of the best innings of his career. "Yeah, it has to be (one of the best). And I am pretty happy about it and am all the more so as we won the match and we kept ourselves alive in the tournament," Sangakkara said after the seven-wicket win that kept more..

Fruitless endeavours

June 14 (CT) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), after its comprehensive probe into the performance of State-owned enterprises, issued its annual Report for 2012 along with the much-awaited results last week. And the findings are not good, not good at all, especially for the 'pet' corporations whose top jobs are usually sought after by many a govt henchman. The usual culprits, CPC, CEB, Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Air, have accounted for 95% of the public sector losses. more..

Total destruction of the Tamil Tigers: The rare victory of Sri Lanka’s long war

June 14 (CT) The author, a visiting professor of Journalism at Cardiff, has written several books on recent wars. This work (hereafter, TDTT) is short but contains a wealth of information and detail. Moorcraft has read on Sri Lanka, visited sites, and conducted interviews including with army commanders, the Permanent Secretary (Defence), the President, Kumaran Pathmanathan (K.P.), Colonel Karuna and others. “To see beauty in victory is to rejoice in the killing of others” more..

Brandix apparel workers makes it top blood donor

June 14 (LBO) Brandix group said its workers who had donated blood voluntarily had been recognized for making the firm the largest company to have contributed to the National Blood Transfusion Service. President Rajapaksa had given a plaque appreciation which had been received by Brandix chief people officer Ishan Dantanarayana at a ceremony organized by the blood transfusion service to recognize top donors. more..

A man of many parts: Teacher, conman, lover and thief

June 14 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Matara police arrested a private tutor who had relieved several married women of their gold jewellery after inveigling them to come and watch pornographic films with him. At the time of his arrest he had 27 CDs containing pornographic material. His modus operandi was to befriend mothers of children to whom he gives tuition and he had easy access to the women as he always made it a point to go and drop the children at their respective houses. more..

Specialised dengue treatment units in 28 hospitals

June 14 (Island) Dengue High Dependency Units would be set up in 28 main hospitals shortly to combat the alarming spread of the disease. The OPD doctors in state-run hospitals had been fully trained to attend to any dengue patient in need of urgent medical attention. On the instructions of the Health Minister highly advanced medical equipment designed to treat dengue patients had been distributed to 28 hospitals as the disease was on the rise. Minister Sirisena had informed the more..

Sri Lanka central bank intervenes

June 14 (Reuters) Central bank intervened in the currency market on Friday, selling dollars to stabilise the rupee after it had fallen to a more than six-month low. "We have done a limited intervention, because I think there is some unnecessary speculation," Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. "We have stabilised the market." Rupee had sunk to a 129.00/129.10 per dollar in early trade, its lowest since Dec 4, more..

Sri Lanka stocks up 0.2%

June 14 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.19% on Friday following three straight days of losses with index heavy stocks continuing to drop and profit taking by some investors. The All Share Index closed 11.52 points higher at 6,219.39 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 5.26 points higher at 3,504.35 higher 0.15%. Turnover was 577 million rupees up from 480 million day earlier. Foreigners brought 159 million rupees worth shares while selling 241 million rupees of shares, while selling 241 million rupees of more..

Lankan held with immigration seals

June 14 (DC) Sri Lankan native Nageem Abdul Sukkur (41) was apprehended at the city airport international terminal on Thursday after the CISF personnel found him carrying two rubber stamps with immigration permit seals wrapped in a paper in his pant pocket. Mr Sukkur who came to Chennai to visit his uncle at Injambakkam cleared the customs and immigration checks before the CISF stopped him at the security clearance area. He was scheduled to take AI 273 flight to Colombo at more..

Dual Citizenship Act still in limbo

June 14 (CT) The Controller of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Chulananda Perera, blamed the Legal Draftsman's Office for the delay in implementing the much awaited Dual Citizenship Act. He said the Legal Draftsman's office was unnecessarily holding it back from being implemented. He said the draft of the new amended Dual Citizenship Act had been finalized by his Department months ago and they are more..

Rs. 20 million withdrawn from Shiyam’s account

June 14 (SM) An amount of Rs. 20 million has been withdrawn from a DFCC bank account of Mohamed Shiyam, a millionaire businessman who was abducted and murdered. According to his relatives they are unaware of the reason behind the particular transaction and they are inquiring about it. The father of the victim Mohamed Deen has stated that he is uncertain whether the money has been transferred to a different account and he is currently inspecting his bank records. more..

Non medical personnel abusing docs’ car passes - GMOA

June 14 (Island) Car passes issued to doctors previously were being misused by non-medical personnel, the government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) alleged yesterday. GMOA president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that even three-wheel drivers and vans hired for transporting building materials were also using the doctors’ car passes to gain precedence in traffic. Dr. Padeniya said that the new car passes, signed by the Director of the Intellectual Property Rights, more..

JVP challenges SB to an open debate

June 14 (CT) Throwing an open challenge, the JVP, invited the Minister S.B. Dissanayake, to a public debate on the turmoil embroiling the higher education sector, ideally, in the presence of university students. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, claimed the current govt was hell bent on suppressing both university students and the public as a whole, in a nutshell, by ruining the system of free education, more..

Clarke hopeful of Sri Lanka return

June 14 (CI) Michael Clarke is not certain whether he will be fit to face Sri Lanka in Australia's vital last Champions Trophy group match on Monday but has declared that he "will definitely be back for the Ashes". Even before David Warner decided to take swing at Joe Root last week, Clarke had enough on his mind as he tried to overcome a recurrence of his back problem which had ruled him out of Australia's first two matches. Australia's tournament hopes rest on Monday's meeting with Sri Lanka at more..

Sri Lanka Insurance launches scholarship scheme

June 14 (Island) Sri Lanka Insurance has launched a national scholarship programme titled ‘Sri Lanka Insurance Life Suba Pathum’ to provide financial assistance to those who had excelled at the Year Five Scholarship, GCE (O/L), and GCE (A/L) exams. SLI said that 300 students would be given Sri Lanka Insurance Life Suba Pathum Scholarships annually. "Top four students from each district who excel in the grade five scholarship scheme will receive a Rs. 20,000 lump sum while the top four district more..

Jagath Jayasuriya promoted to rank of General

June 14 (SLA) President Rajapaksa has promoted Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya to the rank of General, to be effective retrospectively from 1st June 2013. General Jagath Jayasuriya is the 19th Commander of the Army. He assumed office on 15th July 2009, months after the war against terrorism was brought to completion. General Jagath Jayasuriya had been the Commander, more..

The bridge on River Kelani

June 14 (Hindu) “One day the war will be over,” Col. Nicholson had famously said, “And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it.” Yes, we all do remember that; at least those who go to Kitulgala in Sri Lanka, to the Kelani River, for white water rafting. The Bridge On The River Kwai, the cult World War II British movie, was not shot in Burma but in Sri Lanka. And not on River Kwai but on River Kelani. Although nothing of the more..

Islandwide railway strike next week

June 14 (CT) Railway employees warned they would launch a 48-hour, islandwide token strike next week, demanding a salary increase for all the employees. Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA), Janaka Fernando, said although they had many discussions with the Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, and officials from the Ministry of Transport as well as those from the Salaries and Cadre Commission in this regard, the outcome had been negative. more..

'Keep close watch on LTTE activities'

June 14 (DM) Sri Lanka urged Germany to ‘keep a close watch on the several LTTE front organisations in Germany, breaching the European Union proscription’. Minister G.L. Peiris, during his bilateral discussions in Berlin with Dr. Guido Westerwelle, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany also said several LTTE front organisations were operating in Germany under the guise of community organisations. more..

Wildlife Minister chased by female jumbos

June 14 (CT) Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation, Vijith Vijayamuni de Soyza, had a narrow escape last Tuesday, when two wild female elephants had given him a chase. He had gone to visit the Angamedilla and Waskaduwa Reserves with a group of officers of the Department of Wildlife Conservation on an inspection tour. While on tour, the minister had decided to inspect the electric fence at Sevanagala. They group had got off the vehicles at a place called Galpe, to watch elephants more..

Govt’s 30 and 20 year T-bonds attract Rs. 28.85bn

June 14 (Island) The govt raised Rs. 13.1 billion yesterday via a 30-year and 20-year Treasury bond issue, both of which were more than 2.2 times oversubscribed with bids amounting to Rs. 28.85 billion, data released by the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank showed. The Central Bank offered Rs. 8 billion in 20-year Treasury bonds which attracted bids amounting to Rs. 17.7 billion with the bank settling for Rs. 8.05 billion at 12.15 percent. The bonds mature in 2033. more..

'Lifejackets can be made mandatory to please ourselves'

June 14 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne today stated that introducing laws to make floatation devices mandatory for fishermen is not practical and that they can make wearing lifejackets mandatory to “please ourselves”. He stated that they have distributed over 10,000 lifejackets and thousands of life preservers to fishermen. “Some people are asking us to make these mandatory. We can make this more..

Lalith Weeratunga on Twitter interview

June 14 (CG) Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, will answer questions on a Twitter Q & A on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sri Lanka time. The President’s office said that the chat will take place via the official Twitter account of President Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa). The public can submit their questions with #AskLW.

Relief for Shri Ram depositors

June 14 (CT) The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday granted permission to release Rs 21.5 million to the depositors of Shri Ram Company. The three-judge panel comprising Justices Shiranee Thilakawardena, Priyasath Dep and Rohini Marasinghe, delivered the verdict when the petition filed in this regard was taken up yesterday. A Committee headed by Lakshman R. Yatawala was appointed to source the funds, and distribute the money among the Shri Ram depositors, as advised by the Court. more..

Former SLC chief confirms unknown woman’s presence in hotel-room

June 14 (PO) The Indian cricket board and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) may have denied the media report which suggested the presence of a woman sent by a bookmaker in the hotel room of one of the members of Team India during 2010 tri-series (SL, India and NZ) tour, the former SLC president, Sumathipala has backed I.S.Bindra’s claim. He said, “yes, the story was right and the woman stayed in Indian player’s room whole more..

SLFP Central Committee decides to hold 3 PC polls on same day

June 14 (Island) The Central Committee of the SLFP last night decided that elections for Northern, Central and North-Western Provinces would be held on the same day. President Rajapaksa presided over the meeting. The CC also decided to appoint three committees, comprising three ministers each, to spearhead the campaign. Sources said that UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayanth, Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena more..

For Sri Lankan bishops, the govt must respect Tamils, the country needs unity

June 14 (AN) Administrative decentralisation and a new constitution that guarantees peace, justice and real prosperity for all citizens, irrespective of ethnic, religious or social differences is what the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka wants from the govt at a time when parliament is debating the possible repeal of the 13th amendment of the constitution. Adopted in 1987 during the civil war, the amendment set up provincial councils and recognised Sinhala and Tamil as Sri Lanka's official languages, more..

Daya Rathnayake appointed Army Commander

June 14 (AD) Major General Daya Rathnayake has been appointed as Commander of the Sri Lanka Army with effect from 1st August while being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. Meanwhile incumbent Army Chief General Jagath Jayasuriya has been appointed as Chief of Defence Staff with effect from August 1. Present Chief of Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke will elinquish more..

Bamboo that tolled the death knell for Rajasingha

June 15 (NS) Pethangoda Royal Pleasure Gardens is a very significant part of history that gives way to a very unfortunate incident; the death of King Rajasingha I. This Royal Gardens is situated in Pethangoda village on the Awissawella-Kegalle road. One needs to pass Anguruwella and go through Kannaththota to reach Pethangoda. The stories surrounding the Pethangoda Royal Pleasure Gardens involve the King Rajasingha and his death, making the gardens an integral part of history more..

Post-war and the contemporary cold-war against the minority in Sri Lanka

June 15 (CT) One way or another the Muslims of Sri Lanka encompass a colorful history at the back them marked by a long spell of hardship suffered during the Portuguese and Dutch occupation of the Island. It is much to their credit that they withstood the onslaught of economic constraints, political intrigues and religious persecution to stay behind and survive. Most other peoples may have packed their bags and left for good. They not only saved their religion from the Christian enemies but also rebuilt the more..

Awakening Jaffna Uthuru Wasanthaya

June 15 (NS) I was fortunate to be associated with various cultural, social and historic incidents with the Jaffna community from time to time as a public servant in the peninsular making use of the free railway warrants issued to a govt servant. When the assisted schools were taken over by the state in 1958 there was pandemonium and mayhem in Jaffna as all the school buildings and lands were forcibly occupied by the parents and more..